Natural Stone / September 6, 2018 / FifineAsselin
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.
Always take care to wear hand and eye protection as well as suitable clothing and remove and power sockets or electrical equipment that is likely to get wet in the process. When marking a cut line on a natural stone tile you may prefer to use a crayon as opposed to a pencil which is likely to not make a significant mark on the tile. Take care to go extra slow when reaching the end of your cut as if you go too fast and force the tile through it is likely to break rendering it difficult to use. If you are cutting a particularly large tile try to get someone to help you steady the tile as you cut since the weight of either piece of tile can start to pull the whole piece apart - encouraging a snap - as you advance through the tile.
There are different types of sealer such as invisible sealer color enhancer sealer deep sealer etc. Depending on your purpose you would choose the proper sealer. For example invisible sealer does not change the character or color of your tiles while still protecting it but color enhancer sealer will make your tiles darker and will bring the color out. Deep sealer is used for more porous natural stone such as limestone and sandstone. This process must be repeated every couple of years depending on the type and quality of you Stone. For example for travertine and limestone this should be done every two to three years and for granite and marble it could be done every four to five years.