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Tiling the back corner of a hearth

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by EatenByLimestone, Oct 1, 2006.

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  1. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I've layed out the tiles on the cement board for placement. Unfortunately the walls are not square and the space between the wall and the tile varies from about 1/4" on one side to about 1 1/4" around the back edge of the 6'x7' hearth. What is the best way to deal with this issue? The walls are all 3' from the stove. Should I cut pieces of tiles to fit in the spaces? Should I leave clearance to account for any thermal expansion.

    TIA,

    Matt

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  2. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Can you post pics? Are you trying to use nothing but full tiles? Is it possible for you to start in the corner (of course do a trial layout first) and compensate by cutting the tiles? I'm not sure if I am understanding your situation correctly so sorry if I am being vague.

    Walls are seldom square so, with tile you can compensate by making cuts to fit. In other words, if it is to tight in the corner, then remove the amount you will need to keep that row running square. Also, grout joints are there so you can rob from peter to pay paul and fudge it a little. Just do the cuts to each tile so they blend, or in other words, don't take a 1/4 inch off of one, then 3/8's off the next, etc. It will look like steps on stairs. Lay the tile pieces out just like it would be in you installation (gaps for grout joints, etc) then lay a straight edge accross the top of the entire row and mark the desired cut line across all of the tiles. Then cut each tile with a wet saw. The cut line will flow smooth, and if it is close to a full tile, no one will ever know the tile was cut or the wall was not square.

    Don't ever use a very narrow strip for the last run. It looks terrible. Your better off starting with a half tile (or something like that) so you end up with a larger last piece (sorry hard to describe) against the wall.

    You could always just increase or decrease the size of the hearth a little to adjust it so nothing but full tiles will be used. When the wall gets tighter (from being out of square) then you just trim that small amount with each tile. Usually you will need to trim a little more with each tile as you get closer in to the corner.

    Yes, leaving a little gap can't hurt, but no more than 1/8 to 3/16ths of an inch is really needed, especially if the home is not new construction. Do I have you confused yet? Sorry, but this seems like one of those situations where it would be easier to show you then try to tell you how on print. KD
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    4,785
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Not confusing at all. Last night I picked up larger spacers and closed up most of the gap on both sides. The little it is off now will not bother me a bit. It was my first tiling job so I was a bit nervous over it.

    Thank you,
    Matt
  4. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Glad to help, don't forget to post pics when job is done! KD
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