Tips on laying large slate tiles?

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Hello,

I am planning on tiling my kitchen and hall (~44m2) with tiles that are 900 x 600 x 15 (calibrated). The kitchen also has wet underfloor heating that has a flat concrete screed.

I have layed a few floors and wall tiles in my time but usually ceramic and thinner tiles. Hence I have a few questions...

1) Cutting. I have a wet tile cutter (http://www.toppstiles.co.uk/tprod1171/section38/Portable-Wet-Saw-500W.html). I have been told an angle grider is more suitable on that thickness of tile. Any thoughts?
2) Sealing. Is it better to seal before or after laying the tile down?
3) Thickness of adhesive. Do i have to put more adhesive down since it is for underfloor heating?
4) Any other hints that I should know that make slate tiles different to lay than ceramic?

Thanks for any advice!
 
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I've just done a kitchen with similar sized black limestone.

1. They can be cut on a small wet cutter but its not easy balancing heavy stone on them and hard to see/follow your line. Diamond disc in a grinder will work but be very dusty and not as neat a cut.

2. Seal after laying, grout and then seal again

3. Due to the size and likely thickness variation of the tiles you want to use a large format trowel, I use a 19" long "Giant" Rubi with 20x20 square notches, no need for extra thickness due to UFH but use flexi adhesive & grout and turn the heat off a day or two before and for at least a week afterwards.

4. keep a clean wet sponge to hand to clean any adhesive off the surface as you lay. If the surface is riven then you want a good size joint, I usually go with 12mm but it eats the grout, allow 1kg/m2 of wide joint grout.

Jason

Jason
 
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Many thanks for replying and the great tips, Jason!

Sorry I forgot to mention they are verde riven slate tiles.

Would it be worth investing in a table style cutter?

Why do you recommend the joint size being so big?

How long do you think such a job should take for a professional tiler? I am asking because I am going to get a professional quote and balance whether I should do the job myself or not. I've got lots of other jobs to finish in my house :D !

Thanks again!

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The reason for the large gap is it gives less of a "step" between the tiles as its not possible to get them completely even with a riven surface.

You will be hard pushed to find an overhead wetsaw that will cope with 900mm, the Rubi ones can just manage 850mm but will set you back about £700 with a decent blade. You will need an industrial machine for the full 900mm. It is possible with the top of the range plasplug "mastertiler" fitted with a decent blade but takes a lot of pushing through.

I Laid 25m2 in two days with say another days work to seal & grout spread over two days for drying, so 5-6days work should see yours done. A lot will depend on the amount of cutting and whether it sjust one big area or lots of odd shapes.

Jason
 
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