YOUR GUIDE TO INSTALLING TILES
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The correct installation of your selected stone tiles is just as important as your selection. Take a look at our expert guide on installing pavers and tiles.
PRIOR TO INSTALLATION
- Natural stone tiles are often packed very firmly into crates to avoid damage on shipment. They can become damp during manufacture and contain residue, so it’s recommended that the tiles be washed and allowed to dry completely before each stage of installation.
- Damp stone tends to darken and will become lighter as they dry out. It is also most important that tiles are entirely dried out before installation is commenced, so you can see the proper colours and all the marking before deciding where to place them. We recommend unpacking and having a look at all your tiles before starting to place them.
- Some tiles may arrive in slightly different thickness; therefore they need to be sorted before you commence installation. Thicker tiles will determine the floor level and should be the first to be installed. Thinner tiles should then be installed and raised to the correct level using an adhesive.
- All surfaces that tiles are being laid on should be flat, level, clean, dry, grease-free, clear of loose material and be dust free
- All tiles come with a set of specific adhesive and coverage requirements. Make sure to always consult with your tile supplier about which methods are best for you.
- It is essential that the tiles be occasionally lifted during installation. Doing this makes sure that compaction and full adhesion is accomplished.
- The quicker the adhesives set, the better. Quick drying ensures moisture is quickly dispersed from the stone. Quick setting adhesives help to stop reactions that moisture retention cause. Check with your stone supplier about quick setting adhesives.
- Some lighter stone tiles may need to be laid with a light adhesive to stop any discolouration. It is possible for the alkaline mortar to bleed into or react with minerals within the stone. It may also be necessary to stop shadowing showing through by using a light-coloured grout.
- Pro tip: never guess when it comes to adhesives!
GROUT & SILICONE
- If you’re finding that there is movement once stone tiles are laid, this necessitates the need for a grout joint between the tiles. Grout joints should be a minimum of 3mm to allow for the future movement of tiles, but different stones do vary, so consult your stole supplier.
- All grout comes in a variety of colours. You should choose the colour best suited to your stone tile purchase. It is also possible that this may have a bearing on the adhesive colour needed. (For example, if using a grey adhesive and a light coloured grout the adhesive may show through the grout).
- Some stone tiles may require a specific kind of grout, so again it’s always best to contact us for advice. For larger grout gaps you’ll require a more coarse grout, and for smaller grout joints you need a finer grout.
- You should wait a minimum of 12 hours for adhesive to dry before grouting your tiles. Pro tip: seal your stone before grouting it as grout can then be effortlessly cleaned off the surface of the stone.
- Make sure that any grout residue is removed from the surface of the tiles during grouting, as grout left on the surface of stone tiles can be very difficult to remove if left.
- Stone tiles should be treated with an initial coat of sealant after being laid and before the grouting process begins. This is to avoid them absorbing pigments from certain types of grout containing cement.