Stone flooring guidelines

We always recommend that you employ a proven professional for the installation of Stone flooring, but here are some important guidelines to consider to ensure a smooth installation process.

When Your Stone is Delivered

When you receive your stone, check that you have all of your tiles and that they are in good condition. A few breakages and some slight corner or edge damage is inevitable, but these tiles can be used as cuts. With natural and hand-crafted products there will, of course, be some variation in colour, tone, character and texture, which makes them unique and beautiful. We recommend that you shuffle and mix tiles from different boxes/crates so that you have a uniform effect across the whole of the new surface. It is often wise to dry lay small areas first to ensure even distribution and to consider optimum placement of tiles e.g. with fossil characteristics.

Prior to Installation

  • The tiles should be dry, and both sides of the tile should be wiped clean of any dust before installation and the top surface should be wiped and cleaned carefully again after installation and before sealing and grouting takes place.
  • The substrate being tiled on to must be flat, level, stable and rigid – preferably of concrete. Timber substrates should be structural grade as per British Standards and need careful consideration as timber is subject to movement under load, temperature and humidity.
  • Other substrates such as sand/cement screed, calcium sulphate screed, under floor heated screed and walls will all need careful selection of tile adhesive – this information can be best supplied by your installer of the tiles.
  • If you are tiling on to areas prone to wetting, such as wet room floors or shower room walls, we recommend that prior to tiling you fully tank (waterproof) the substrate using a suitable tanking system, such as the Mapei Shower Waterproofing Kit.
  • If you are tiling on to an underfloor heated screed, we recommend overlaying with a movement uncoupling membrane (such as Schluter Ditra Matting). Appropriate movement joints will also need to be incorporated into the floor. Moisture content of screeds is a critical factor that must be considered prior to stone floor installation.
  • Tiles can be cut using a diamond blade, ideally using a water-cooled machine. Constantly spraying with water while cutting will help to prevent chipped edges.

Note Regarding Underfloor Heating

Underfloor Heating should be turned off prior to installation and kept off for 2 weeks after the install is complete. The temperature should then be ramped up gradually, at a rate of 1 degree per day. Anhydrite/Calcium Sulphate screeds need careful consideration as curing and drying rates are longer than conventional concrete screeds. Please enquire with your installation team for more specific advice.

Installation

Underfloor Heating should be turned off prior to installation and kept off for 2 weeks after the install is complete. The temperature should then be ramped up gradually, at a rate of 1 degree per day. Anhydrite/Calcium Sulphate screeds need careful consideration as curing and drying rates are longer than conventional concrete screeds. Please enquire with your installation team for more specific advice.

Grouting Sealing

It is our recommendation that, prior to grouting, the tiles are thoroughly cleaned, allowed to dry and then sealed using the recommended sealant for your product. It is very important that any sealant residue is completely removed from the tile surface, and then the sealant must be allowed to dry fully. Grouting may then commence.

It is important to ensure that the grout is also thoroughly cleaned from the surface of the stone, prior to any final coats of sealant being applied. Rinse the grouting sponges frequently, using two different containers of water: one to remove the excess mix from the sponge, and the other, containing clean water, to rinse the sponge. The buckets must be changed frequently. If grout residue still remains this should be cleaned off using Lithofin Power Clean, but ensure that the grout lines are set hard prior to any cleaning.

Follow the instruction on the sealant container (take particular note of application temperature), ensuring that the sealant is not overapplied and that any excess is removed prior to the sealant drying. Failure to do so could result in a patchy or cloudy finish.

If grout and/or sealant residue is not removed and cleaned off carefully and thoroughly at each stage as required and is allowed to dry on, then it can be very difficult and costly to remove at a later stage.

Ongoing Maintenance

See our Maintain you Floor page, for all information regarding maintaining your stone floor.

These are very general guidelines and not definitive instructions. The issuer of these guidelines cannot be held responsible for any issues related to installation