Tiling the Pillar

The installation of the tile is a matter of cutting it to fit and mortaring it to the cement board. However, there are challenges involved in cutting and fitting.

The first block I cut with a grinder and while tapping off the cut piece the entire corner fell apart in my hands. I don’t know if that was because it was a weak piece or if the tapping hit just right.

The weather has moderated for a few days so I decided to try the wet saw instead. I realized that a straight cut would not look very good on the wall with a four tile seam. I noticed the full tiles staggered the seams with two tiles above and two below instead of every other tile. I copied this way to stagger the seams.

Tile corners
Tile corners

By staggering the cuts I was able to fit the stones without such long vertical seams. I had some acrylic tile adhesive on hand and mortar is more work to mix so I’m just using the adhesive for these tiles. For some short cuts I was able to use the dry grinder instead of the wet saw and so far I have not broken another tile with it.

Staggered cuts
Staggered cuts

The corner tiles can be difficult to cut with the tile saw because if it is not long enough or thin enough it does not allow the saw to pass over it. The prebuilt corners have tile blocks every other tile but I realized I could build some corners the same way the tiles are staggered by alternating the seam every two tiles. These are a little more squared off but using this technique in a few places is not too obvious a difference.

Mortared Tile
Mortared Tile

This will allow me to buy some flat tiles and lower the cost of the whole project. In order to keep the tiles level I am using some wide popsicle sticks that I had on hand. These are working better than the small tile separators that I have. I don’t want to grout this tile except in apparent gaps.

First two boxes of corners
First two boxes of corners

I think it will look nice and rustic and complement the decor in the living room. I want to finish before the weather gets cold again!

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