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Old 06-24-2006, 12:58 PM   #1
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slate tile

walking through home depot yesterday looking for pool filter sand, i came across the tile section. so i bought some thinking it would be cool to be able to custom make slate caves whatever shape i want. upon further reflection, i thought maybe the slate has been treated or polished with something unsafe for my fish. the guy at home depot says no, it's all natural slate. but looking at it i noticed the man-made grooves on the bottom of the tile and can't help but think he's wrong.... anyone had this dilema?
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:00 PM   #2
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I was thinking of picking some up when i do my lake alawi tank...

as far as i know they should be fine, just scrub them and boil them like you would anyother rock.

i could be wrong though...
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Old 06-24-2006, 03:32 PM   #3
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the man made grooves on the bottom are saw marks to help the mortar adhere to the tile. as far as i know , no rock leaves the manufacturer sealed with anything. trust me, im a stone worker, just boil and scrub then build away!
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Old 06-24-2006, 03:46 PM   #4
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quick thought though....90% of stone sealers are petroleum based so if you really wanna be sure, break off a corner and stick it in a jar of water for an hour or so, if there is no slick on top of the water then id have to say your all set. good luck!!
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Old 06-24-2006, 04:00 PM   #5
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sweet, that makes me feel better. i like having some way to prove these things to myself. on a side note, any suggestions on how to cut or break the slate tile with any amount of control? i was thinking of just dropping them on concrete to get a natural, random break.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justrelax
sweet, that makes me feel better. i like having some way to prove these things to myself. on a side note, any suggestions on how to cut or break the slate tile with any amount of control? i was thinking of just dropping them on concrete to get a natural, random break.
brick-layers/rock hammer if you know how to use it can give you a controled, yet natural looking break
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:30 PM   #7
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its perfectly fine to use, the man made groves are usually cut using hihg pressure water jets to keep the tile from shattering
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:27 PM   #8
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brick hammers dont really work well for breaking slate especially tile b/c its so thin. slate being sedementary will "run" any which way it wants , so getting a nice "clean" cut is a little tough. you can try to contol the size of the peices you want however with a regular claw hammer like a carpenter uses. try tracing a line of the shape you want to try and get with a pencil, and using the hammer , hit that line about every 3/4" with the side of the head of the hammer(the right angle corner of the face and side) always applying pressure away from the peice you want to keep. or using something sturdy, with a straight edge like a cinder block or another bigger rock and holding the tile against the edge of it on a 45 degree angle, using the straight edge as a break of sorts. anyway you should wear some glasses, sunglasses will do, slate shards can really be like glass sometimes.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:45 PM   #9
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after a few swings at the "slate", i realized it was actually a ceramic tile with a slate look. @*@#$%!! not quite the look i was going after, but i fiddled with it and think i should be able to salvage the idea. ceramic is safe, yes? it doesn't react to vinegar at all. ended up with some sharp edges, but i took care of that. i imagine i looked like quite the grown idiot sitting on the sidewalk this afternoon rubbing the edges of the pieces on the ground... oh well haven't put it in yet, want to make sure it is safe. tia
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:34 PM   #10
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Ceramic is fine as far as I know.

The next time I need slate I'm heading to a local landscaping yard and just picking up some random pieces that will fit and look interesting.

I have real slate (over paid at the lfs though) in my 29g now and it looks great.Very cool decor imo.
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