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Old 05-23-2020, 08:06 AM
enipla is offline
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Porcelain tile - do I have to grout between them?


We have a 4'x4' area that I am going to lay some porcelain tile on. Similar to this.

It will go under our new propane fired Heat stove. We are only installing the tile under the stove. The stove is a replacement and I'm going to update the tile. It's a concrete slab floor.

The tiles are about 6"s X 36"'s. They fit perfectly flush with each other and I will be using a saw (not score and break).

My question is do I have to put a gap between them and grout them, or can I just place them tightly together? I've done a number of tile jobs, and think that would work just fine but am afraid I'm missing something here.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:14 AM
Tride is offline
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Well, anything, including tile, does expand and contract with heat. That said, for a 4' x 4' area, you're going to be fine. Stoves also radiate very little heat from the base by design. There may also be very small spacers cast into the tile strips that will keep them from abutting perfectly. If you're really worried about it, don't even mortar them down!
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:48 AM
enipla is offline
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Originally Posted by Tride View Post
Well, anything, including tile, does expand and contract with heat. That said, for a 4' x 4' area, you're going to be fine. Stoves also radiate very little heat from the base by design. There may also be very small spacers cast into the tile strips that will keep them from abutting perfectly. If you're really worried about it, don't even mortar them down!
This was my thought as well. There are no spacers cast into the tiles. And my experience with stoves, both propane and wood is that they don't radiate much down, but of course it does some. It should stay at a pretty constant heat as it will be on a thermostat. It's the primary heat source for our house. Expansion and contraction over and over again should not be an issue. I. Don't. Think.

Would look better without grout, IMHO. Easier to clean too.

Here's a weird idea... Instead of standard tile glue to put them down, perhaps a little dollop of silicone caulk to glue it to the floor. Maybe that would give it some 'give' And of course it's got 300lbs of stove holding it down.

Why would you grout tile that is designed to look like a wood floor any way? The grout is basically cement. I guess that gives enough for expansion and contraction? It sort of seems pointless and contradictory for the 'look' it is trying to present.

(About ready to start a Pit Thread about Vermont Castings Stoves. Yeah, the one we are replacing is 20 years old. But you can't buy a new gas valve for the thing. Trust me. They. Do. Not. Exist. So I ended up with a 350 lb paper weight. Since we are buying a new stove, we have decided to update the tile that I put down before.)

Sadly, not my first rodeo. This will be Second Propane stove, had two wood burners before. Wood is kinda cool until you have to deal with it every day and hour for primary heat. It really becomes a mess that has to be dealt with every day. Don't ask about sweeping the flue... I'm still alive, so I got that going for me.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:23 AM
Dewey Finn is offline
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Isn't the purpose of the grout to fill the joints so that dust and debris doesn't accumulate there? (In a wet environment, of course, it's also to block water.)
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:36 PM
enipla is offline
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Isn't the purpose of the grout to fill the joints so that dust and debris doesn't accumulate there? (In a wet environment, of course, it's also to block water.)
The dust and dirt is to fill the gaps . Never gonna be any water near it.

These don't fit like bricks, but like a couple of T-squares or other drafting tool as far as how straight and even they are. I'm kinda stunned. I started laying them out and thought... huh. Maybe not grout them. Seems unneeded. Less work and would look better. I double checked, there are no pre cast spacers in these tiles.

My Wife bought them at Lowes, so there is no 'expert' to contact. I've laid a lot of tile in my life for home remodels. Just always used grout. Sort of seems pointless here.

While it is a small area under a 300lb heat stove, it is in our living room so I want it to look nice. On the other hand, if I screw this up, I have to uninstall and move the stove. Not an easy task at all. Took me two days to remove our old one. I should probably err on the side of caution, but, I donno… I really don't see the point of grout for this application. It's only about 4' X 4'. Still kind of thinking about silicone caulk to 'glue' it down as that may have a bit of give for expansion/contraction.
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