Natural Stone / September 10, 2018 / FifineAsselin
Dont worry too much about cleaning the tiles before you lay them - this will need to be done after theyve been laid and grouted anyway. Try to work out of several packs of tiles when laying to help you achieve a truly random and harmonious aesthetic. When it comes to cutting natural stone tiles the best way to do this is with an electric tile wet cutter. In addition to stone tiles being quite thick and strong they are also a natural material and will therefore by nature have veins and faults in it making it unsuitable to be cut using a manual tile cutter which would be more likely to shatter the tile as opposed to snap it. Be aware that wet cutting can be messy and create significant amounts of dust and debris; therefore try to either perform the cutting outdoors or in a safe environment.
Actually now that Im thinking about it I probably would have chosen to decorate with natural stone tiles anyway since they look so much better than linoleum wood or other types of flooring. Thats just my humble opinion of course. So once I decided to use natural stone tiles in these rooms I checked through some books and magazines for inspiration. I found lots of lovely patterns to choose from and decided to try to emulate a few of the looks I discovered on those glossy pages. The next step was to purchase the natural stone tiles themselves which took a bit more work. At first I went to the local home improvement center but they didnt have the exact tile pattern I wanted -- and their prices were a tad too high anyway. So I started browsing online and came across several websites that stocked precisely what I wanted. They were offering pretty good deals too -- even with shipping and handling charges thrown into the mix. After I took delivery of the natural stone tiles I began the real work of renovating my house. I started in the kitchen where I wanted to replace the backsplash and floor. It took me kind of a long time to get my bearings and gain some confidence in my capabilities but once I got the hang of the process I had no trouble putting each tile in place. Im not quite finished in there but hope to make significant progress next week.
Laying your natural stone tiles is a relatively simple process involving the use of tile adhesive to fix the tiles to the surface. Some types of particularly porous tile such as travertine require back-buttering with tile adhesive before theyre laid. This is also important if your tiles have any cracks in the underside since buttering will help to seal the crack and add strength and the process is considered good practise in any situation. Take care when laying natural stone tiles as they can be quite heavy. Take care to minimise unnecessary stretching to reduce the risk of back-strain. You can use a spirit level to help check your tile is level before moving onto the next one and a gentle tap from a small mallet can help to encourage any corners that are too high. Grouting your natural stone tiles after theyve been laid is again a fairly simple process. Do use a mask when mixing your tile grout as it can be a considerably dusty process. Always mix your grout powder with clean cold water and if youre laying your tiles in a bathroom or kitchen you wish to use a tile grout that features anti-bacterial agents to reduce the growth of mould and mildew.