Slate tiles [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-12-2004, 11:07 PM
I have 16' slate tile that I would like to install on my cement patio. I asked John and because I live in Michigan, he referred me to the forum. I need to know what thinset is best to use with temps as cold as -10. I was told to use marble and granite thinset by one person and then either epoxy or acrylic by another. Also which grout and sealant? I know that slate is installed in the UK with great success. I just want to avoid problems. I have been told several things and I don't know who to believe. My tiles are a good 1/4" thick and are from India. They are very solid, no crumbling. Any northern stone knowlege out there? Please advise .

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08-13-2004, 08:03 AM
Hi Mindy, glad to have you with us. :) Someone will be by with advice for your outdoor slate install, so hang in there.

08-13-2004, 09:59 AM
Mindy, I just started laying Chinese slate (rusty). I have 1500 sq ft of 12 x 12 x 1/4" and it too is solid and beautiful. I am in NC and inside so the cold climate with heaving and all is not a problem here. I use the versabond thinset from HD. Good luck...Chad

John Bridge
08-14-2004, 02:04 PM
Mindy, I'm going to summon Tileguytodd, the wild man of the North, for you. Hang tight. :)

08-14-2004, 03:00 PM
Hi Mindy, I really hate to be the bearer of bad news.
Indian Slate is really a very poor choice for a freeze thaw environment like michigan.
You are correct that Slate is used throughout the north in exterior applications.Generally this is Northern or Vermont type slate which is much harder and much denser than the product you now have.
I know, its a beautiful product it really is and it would look fabulous in your entryway with perhaps a knee wall planter and a fireplace hearth.For your area it is just not going to be suitable and while i could reccomend a thinset suitable for exterior use,I wouldnt feel right about allowing you to go through the hard work of the installation only to have your dreams dashed 7 short months from now.
I'm really sorry.Perhaps you could exchange the slate for a more suitable product.
If a store sold it to you and told you it was suitable for your area,they have been misinformed and should be set straight.

08-14-2004, 03:36 PM
sorry , lost my cookie i guess :)

08-14-2004, 08:32 PM
Todd, we get this same question asked often for exterior tile work in the cold country. If Mindy could find a better choice material what would be the best thinset to use and would you recommend a membrane first? :)

08-15-2004, 05:01 AM
An alternate material would be A Much harder product.I mentioned vermont slate above as one.There are slates from scandinavia that are also good dense stone.
Granite is an excellant choice for this country.half the rock up here is granite.Other than that, a solid Porcelain is a good choice.

A Membrane depends on the situation.I generally do not use one if we are dealing with a covered area like a porch etc.
I would reccomend one for open air/open weather if you do not use a fairly stiff pitch for drainage.Key is getting moisture away from the installation as quickly as possible.
Mapei keraset/Keraply has been a very good exterior combination in the past.
I see no reason to change unless a medium bed thinset were needed.If this were the case I would Mud and wetset the entire area rather than use some of the newer medium bed thinsets.:)