Before you start tiling, make sure that whatever surface the tiles are being installed to will be strong and structurally sound. Cement board, concrete or drywall is best, as these surfaces can handle the moisture of the tiling process. Plywood should be avoided, since the wood will warp with the added moisture and it will also be less waterproof, even after tiling.
Natural stones are products of nature; therefore, variations in color, pattern, texture, and veining will occur. Verify all products before installation for any damage or defects such as chipped edges, broken pieces. No adjustment will be made after installation.
- We always recommend dry-fitting your pattern first to think about your cuts in advance and to make sure you like the pattern. This will also help you choose which pieces go where, which is especially helpful with tiles that have a lot of variation.
- To avoid affecting the color of the tile, white thinset such as Bostik PM is highly is recommended for all installations. For faster installation, use a rapid curing thinset such as Bostik Single-Flex Fast Set.
- Apply as much adhesive as can be covered within 10-15 minutes.
- Grout joint should be a minimum of 1/16” and not butt set.
- 3/16" or 1/4" square notch trowel should be used when installing our marble material and ridges should be smoothed down with the flat side of the trowel prior to fixing the tiles in the mortar bed.
- To prevent scratching, Non-Sanded grout is ideal for all natural stone. In the event that your grout joints are larger than 1/8”, you should mix Sanded and Non-Sanded grouts for added density. Prior to grouting, test an area to make sure the stone surface will not scratch.
- Grout joints should be packed full and free of voids and pits.
- Clean excess grout as the work progresses before it has hardened completely.
- Acids should never be used for cleaning grout haze.
- Use a damp sponge for the final cleaning and to smooth out the grout joints.
- We highly recommend applying grout release prior to grouting the tile to facilitate cleaning and for protection against staining from contrasting color grouts.
After the stone is installed, and grouted, seal the stone with an appropriate high quality breathable stone sealer, to minimize water absorption, efflorescence, and potential staining. We recommend our unpolished sealer for unpolished stone. If necessary, a color enhancer may be applied to bring out the true color of the stone at any time after grouting. Follow sealer manufacturer's installation instructions. Reseal tile when the stone gets darker or as needed.
Use a wet-saw with a new, continuous rim diamond blade specifically designed for cutting marble. Do not use “turbo” or other notched blades designed for use with porcelain or ceramic as the teeth can cause a coarse cut, resulting in a heavily chipped edge.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
For normal care and maintenance of stone tiles, clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap, or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a clean soft cloth for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.