How to Lay and Maintain Tiles Made from Natural Stone.
Although natural stone tiles may not be the most user- and maintenance-friendly option for walls and floors, they are widely held to be among the most valuable because they will raise the value of the property they are installed in. In addition to these advantages, natural stone tiles are incredibly durable and, with proper care, can endure the lifetime of the building.
As has already been established, installing and maintaining natural stone tiles can be more labor-intensive than other flooring options like wood. One explanation is that the stone is far more challenging to cut, unlike a wooden board or ceramic tile, which can be easily scored and broken with a knife. If the subfloor is uneven or fractured, more preparation may be required before tiling begins. A high-quality self-leveling compound, found at any reputable tile and flooring store, is usually all needed.
Inspecting natural stone tiles for chips and surface scratches is integral to getting them ready for installation. A little layer of wax is often applied to natural stone tiles before shipping to prevent scratching. Cleaning the tiles should be done after they have been laid and grouted, so don’t stress too much about it before. When placing tiles, it’s best to use multiple boxes so that the final product looks random and cohesive.
An electric tile wet cutter is the most efficient method for cutting natural stone tiles. Stone tiles are thick and sturdy and a raw material with inherent veins and defects, making them unsuitable for manual tile cutting due to the greater likelihood that the tile may shatter rather than break. You should cut outside or in a well-ventilated area because wet cutting can be untidy and produce dust and debris. Wear protective gloves, goggles, and clothes at all times, and unplug anything electrical that could be damaged by moisture.
If you’re marking a cut line on a tile made of natural stone, you might find a crayon more effective than a pencil. When you’re nearing the finish of your cut, take your time to avoid breaking the tile by forcing it through too quickly. Since the weight of either tile piece can start to pull the whole piece apart — encouraging a snap — as you go through the tile, it is best to have another person help you steady the tile as you cut if the tile is extensive.
Using tile glue to secure your natural stone tiles to the surface is straightforward. ‘Back-buttering’ with tile adhesive is necessary before laying porous tiles like travertine. ‘Buttering’ is a beneficial practice in general, and it is especially vital if your tiles have cracks on the bottom. Natural stone tiles can be pretty hefty; therefore, handle them with care when placing them. Avoid straining your back by stretching more than required. Before moving on to the next tile, use a spirit level to ensure it is level, and tap any corners too high with a small mallet.
Once again, the method of grouting your natural stone tiles is straightforward. Tile grout mixing can be a very dusty procedure. Thus it’s essential to wear a mask. Always use clean, cold water when mixing grout powder, and for areas where mold and mildew are a concern, such as a bathroom or a kitchen, look for a tile grout that contains anti-bacterial agents. Using the edge of a trowel at a 45-degree angle to the floor, generously fill in the spaces between your tiles (made using spacers). After applying the grout, you can remove any uneven spots and smooth out the fill with a grout profiling tool.
It is essential to note that sealing your natural stone tiles before you finish your tiling job will protect the stone from becoming stained. After the tiles have been cleaned and any lingering dust, glue, or grout removed with a residual remover, you can apply the seal. Once the residue remover has been used and rinsed away, a seal can be applied to the stone to help keep unwanted substances from seeping into the rock and leaving permanent scars. Maintaining this seal is essential to the tiles’ long-term health, and it can be improved upon using enhancement solutions that highlight the stone’s inherent grain and contrasts.
Natural stone tiles are Topps Tile’s specialty, providing a large selection of beautiful and durable options for your floor.