Repairing Soapstone Slab [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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Cinamom
08-27-2006, 07:03 AM
I'm hoping one of the stone pros will be able to help me.

Recently, while I was in Vermont picking up some soapstone tile from a stone fabricator, I saw that he had a bunch of off cuts and decided to get a small piece of slab soapstone and fabricate a threshold for the curb of our shower project. Unfortunately, I didn't protect it properly on the way home and it cracked. I would like to glue it back together (it is veined enough that I don't think the seam would be noticeable) and still use it for the project.

Is there a particular adhesive (epoxy, acrylic, polyester) that would be best suited for this type of repair? Am I insane to even attempt it?

The piece wasn't particularly expensive, but I hate to waste it.

Thank you for any help/advise you can offer.

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Davestone
08-27-2006, 01:18 PM
A two part fast set epoxy would work fine for this, they even have tints and such if needed but it gets expensive...AKEMI, TENAX are a few brand names of specific stone products, but any clear epoxy would work, be sure to use a razor blade to trim off excess that squeezes out after the epoxy is semi hard, but not totally hard.

Cinamom
08-27-2006, 04:02 PM
Dave,

Thank you for the advice. I was hoping it would be a simple fix. Now I'm off to hone my "woodworking" skills on this piece of soapstone. I do hope it really is as easy to work with as I've been reading.

Cheers!

Davestone
08-27-2006, 04:04 PM
It is very soft and fragile,be sure to lay a piece of wax paper or something under the crack, and lay it on something flat to work on it. :goodluck:

Steven Hauser
08-27-2006, 04:46 PM
Hi there,

Dave gave you great advice, remember to not let the epoxy stay on the surface as your soapstone is honed and the epoxy dries shiney. The other thing to consider is how will the broken piece be supported when installed. We typically will insert steel rods, stainless in your application to bridge the crack. This steel is set wil the same epoxy.

:)

Cinamom
08-29-2006, 07:13 AM
Steve, re-reading my post I think I was unclear about the damage to the slab; the stone (36"x7 1/2") actually broke into two pieces. Of course, the longer piece is about 2" short of what I need. Unless I decide to leave a slight overhang which would be no more than 1/4", the entire threshold will (or should be if we lay it correctly) be fully supported by the mortar.

Do you think further reinforcement is neccesary for this application?

If so, are these rods simply epoxied into troughs routed into the underside of the stone?

What diameter and length should these rods be and can they be had at the local box store?

Thank you both for the epoxy tips!

StoneBuddy
08-29-2006, 02:09 PM
In this case I would a super penetrating acrylic adhesive. Soapstone is indeed very soft, but with the penetrating it will make this crack stronger than ever.

My suggestion: Use a penetrating acrylic adhesive(Wood & Stone makes a nice one) to put the pieces back together. Then, flip it over, run a couple of rows of fiberglass tape(drywall tape works fine) over the whole piece, apply more penetrating acrylic to the fiberglass and bond the glass to the stone. This will make the piece extremely strong.

If done this way, I see no need for rodding. With the support you have underneath rodding would be overkill, but if you still want to go that route, make sure to use stainless steel rods, even a piece of stainless all-thread will work.

Cinamom
09-05-2006, 01:14 PM
I finally had a chance to actually work on this over the weekend and am quite pleased with the repair. Once I've milled the piece to size and finished sanding, I think I'll be the only one to notice it.

Thanks to all for their time and advice! :wave:

StoneBuddy
09-05-2006, 05:15 PM
And which method did you use?

Cinamom
09-08-2006, 10:38 AM
When I mentioned reinforcement with steel rods, dh got the "oh no, she's about to make more work for me with over-engineering" look in his eyes. (He's a smart guy and knows me all too well. :o ) I ended up simply using epoxy to join the two pieces. I have not reinforced it with mesh, but probably will before we install it.