Stone tiles are quarried into blocks. These blocks are then milled in large factories using multi-million pound machinery. Most of these machines use water in the manufacturing process, with the tiles being packed immediately into crates once they’ve been manufactured. Tiles may well be wet when unpacked and can often appear darker in colour.
We recommend drying the tiles first. Once the tiles are dry the true colours and markings are then visible. This facilitates the even blending of the tiles to achieve the best look possible for your floor. Also try and use lighting during the fixing process that represents similar lighting that will be utilised once the project is compete.
At this point you may find a tile or two that you don’t want to take centre stage of your floor. Use these tiles for cuttings or under units.
It is very important that all crates are opened and mixed prior to installation to ensure an even blend is achieved.
When laying stone in a pattern format a laying plan will be provided. This laying plan does not have to be followed, it is your decision. However, the tiles must be installed in the same ratios as the laying plan instructs. We are not able to sell patterns in single sizes; we only sell patterns in full and half modules.
Stone is a natural product and can be susceptible to minor damage such as edge/corner chipping when handling during the packing or unpacking process. This is normal in the industry and not a defect in the product. Industry practice is to utilise any tiles with minor damages for cuttings during installation. You may find a slightly higher ratio of minor damages when dealing with larger format tiles.
Although not always possible, we recommend dry laying as best practice. Dry laying allows the fixer to avoid any unsightly cuts, ascertain the optimum grout joints and work their way into an even blend.
Most of our tiles are calibrated to within +/- 1mm thickness. Occasionally some of our larger format tiles may not be calibrated and it is important that these tiles are graded. The chunkier tiles should be fixed first with thinner tiles being laid on top of a thicker bed of suitable adhesive to account for the difference in levels.
All surfaces that are to be fixed with stone should be flat, level, clean, dry & free of any grease or dust. It is important that the surface has minimal or no movement at all as this could cause problems later down the line.
Utilise our information sheets to ask your fixer a few important questions to see if you’re happy with their knowledge of natural stone fixing.
Identifying the correct substrate is crucial for ensuring a suitable fixing procedure is followed. The materials required for preparation and fixing vary dependent on the substrate. Using the wrong fixing materials for the substrate can lead to numerous problems. All advice is only considered as a guideline and its important you consult with your screed supplier to ensure the correct screed is identified along with their recommendations prior to installation.
Sand & Cement
A degree of variation in dimensions within Porcelain tiles is to be expected, due to their nature and production. This is often more noticeable on larger format tiles. In order to avoid emphasising this, joints should be staggered by a maximum of 20-30% of the length. It is also standard practice to use levelling wedges and spacers when tiling, in order to create a flat and level floor. Should you have any queries, please speak to one of our team or discuss with your tiler.