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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Slate Hearth Brings Out the Artist in Me

My current East Nashville project mostly involves a kitchen makeover. However, "while I'm at it", the homeowner also wanted me to lay some slate tile on the fireplace hearth in the living room.

Fireplaces can be really fun to tile because they often the centerpiece of the room visually. For this particular project, I started with a box of 12" slate and decided to try cutting the pieces into 6" x 12" rectangles and 6" squares and come up with a cool pattern to show off all the different colors and textures that slate has.

NOTE: If you're cutting tiles in half like this remember to account for the grout lines. To make sure mine were perfectly sized, I set some of them up with my spacers and adjusted the guide on my wet saw to make sure all of them were exactly the same.
It was really fun to pull the tiles out of the box and see how unique each piece was. Some were a plain grey, while others had yellow, red, or even green colors in them.

I came up with a pattern that would work well with this particular hearth that is 5 feet across. I cut the pieces and laid them all out to test-fit and make sure I liked where each tile ended up. I wanted it to have a somewhat random look to mix the various shades of color without having pieces cut from the same tile right next to each other.

So far I'm really happy with it. It will only look better once it's grouted to make the tiles stand out even more. It was a blast because I got to use some of those creative juices that run through my veins. :)

BTW- I had to do quite a bit of prepwork to the hearth before laying tile. It sloped away from the fireplace and was quite a bit lower than the finished hardwoods that surround it. To fix the problem, I used a couple applications of leveling cement to raise up the front of the hearth and get it as level and flat as possible.


1 comment:

  1. We did a similar slate tile hearth in Illinois and were in love with the project! We used 4" squares on the diagonal - but I like your lay out too! Beautifully done!