Installation of Marble and Porcelain Tile
STONE and Tile's INSTALLATION
These instructions are meant to be a guide for most installations of marble, laminated stones, onyx and agate, porcelain tile and artificial stones, under normal conditions.
As we all know, no two pieces of natural stone are exactly alike. 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.
*Always use appropriate personal protective safety equipment when handling, drilling, cutting or grinding porcelain tile, and mosaic tile such as (but not limited to) eye, ear and hand protection.
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.
When setting tiles we recommend the use of polymer or latex modified thin set or medium bed mortar compliant with ANSI standard A118.4 and is recommended for use with marble tile.
3/16” or 1/4” square notch trowel should be used when installing our glass material and ridges should be smoothed down with the flat side of the trowel prior to fixing the tiles in the mortar bed.
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.
Cut edges and corners will be sharp. Always be sure to smooth the cut edges manually with 200-grit wet/dry sandpaper.
If possible, drill holes before installing tile. Drilling from both sides can ensure a cleaner finish if the hole will be visible after installation. Using a new diamond coring bit (for large holes) or spade bit (for small holes) with a diamond tip made for glass drilling will give the best results. Lubricating the bit and tile surface with a continuous spray of oil/water mix will prolong the life of bits and provide a better-finished edge. When possible, the use of a jig will ensure precise placement of holes to be drilled.
When drilling holes for anchoring bolts, plumbing or any other dissimilar material always ensure a minimum of 1/8” clearance around the item is provided to avoid cracking due to disparate expansion and contraction rates or stress transfer.
We recommend applying grout release prior to grouting, suitable for the respective stone and interior or exterior use, to the tile to facilitate cleaning and for protection against staining from contrasting color grouts. Grout joints should be packed full and free of all voids and pits. Excess grout should be cleaned from the stone or tile surface as the work progresses, before the grout hardens. Do not use acids to clean off excess grout. Prior to grouting, test an area to make sure the stone surface will not scratch.
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. 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.
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. Do not use any abrasive cleaners.
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