Tiling with Natural Stone
UK Pro Tiling Training understands that natural stone tiles are frequently used in todays modern bathrooms and kitchens due to the fact that they have become widely available through tile suppliers. The look of pure natural stone is something of beauty and adds a completely bespoke look to any installation, which is why we offer a 1 day installation course purely on tiling with natural stone tile.
What is Natural Stone?
Pure natural stone is a material that has been quarried from the earth such as granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate and sandstone. The effect that natural stone tiles can have on your home is of pure excellence. The warmth, colour and exceptional quality that natural stone adds to a room is just not possible to achieve with any other material. Each tile installation will be completely unique, and this is why we love it.
Deciding on the type of natural stone tiles to use could be more a case of aesthetics and which is more pleasing to the eye but there are some other things to consider also. Slate tends to be dark and is highly resilient. Travertine is fragile and although its hard to keep a shine on it, once it settles into its natural matt finish, it creates real warmth in a room. Incidentally, despite its fragility, it was used on the Trevi fountain in Rome, which is more than 300 years old so it can definitely provide longevity. Marble emulates luxury and comes in beautiful patterns and colours. It is also highly resilient. It does however absorb water, so be careful when using it outside. Limestone, which has been hardened over time, means that it is a great material for flooring since it is so resilient and sandstone, equally resilient, is great for consistent tones since there tends to be not as many colour variations with these tiles. Then there is granite, which is probably the hardest natural stone there is and when it comes to holding shine, nothing beats it.
Whichever natural stone tiles you choose, they follow the same pattern of procedures.
Make sure you order enough material to complete the job in one shipment, since this will minimise mismatched lots. Just like you would with any flooring material, get a couple of extra cases or 10% extra to be safe. Then you have some ready for any repairs later on should you require it. Often with natural stone tile orders, the manufacturer will throw a few extra tiles in your order to be used as spares, at no extra cost.
Before you begin anything, remove any initial dirt and quarry dust from the riven areas and pores of the tiles. Then rinse the surface completely and allow to dry. The tiles must be completely dry before you begin
Look at each tile carefully and select and group the mixture of shades and textures that suit the job. Sorting through will ensure you have the right tiles to fulfil the desired pattern, or colour and texture theme. Check for unusual markings or small damaged areas and set these aside to use wherever cut tiles are needed or for the less visible locations. Consider how different tiles will look against set furniture pieces in the room, through doorways and against fireplaces to ensure you achieve the perfect look.
All natural stone tiles are porous so it is essential to seal the stone well with a suitable natural stone impregnator to reduce the natural absorption, which will happen when you grout the tile. Failure to do this will result in grout staining of the tile which will be impossible to remove.
Install the tiles in the desired pattern and flow. Spread flexible cement adhesive using a 12mm notched trowel on a suitably primed surface. The adhesive should be applied to the wall or floor in straight parallel lines. Where necessary, spread the back of the tile with the adhesive. Push the tile firmly into place with a slight twisting movement and place the next tile along leaving enough room for the grout joint. You will learn the perfect techniques for this on your tiling course at UK Pro Tiling Training.
Natural stone can produce deep natural joints so a flexible or wide joint grout will be needed to fill the joints. Natural stone with a textured surface such as slate tends to have larger joint widths whilst the more polished marble and granite will have narrower.
You will learn all of this in so much more detail on one of our courses and after the course, should you need any advice during any tricky job, then you can call one of us to help you out. Nothing will beat the satisfaction you will feel once you have finished tiling your first natural stone floor!
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