Stone tile is typically installed with narrow grout joints, meaning the tiles are laid very close to each other on all sides.
If it is a large tiled area, installers may use plastic tile wedges or spacers to maintain consistent spacing between each tile. In small areas they may not use these at all. The installer may back butter the back of the tile with thinset mortar which will strengthen the bond between the tile and mortar already laid on the substrate. As the installers move along setting the tile, they continually check to make sure the newly tiled area is as level as possible. Since stone tiles vary in thickness and size, the amount of thinset mortar applied is adjusted where needed. After all the tiles are set and the thinset mortar has fully cured, the installer fills the joints between the tiles with grout. Un-sanded grout is most commonly used in natural stone installations.
This type of grout is used because it is able to fill the small joints more easily and will not scratch soft stones like sanded grout might. Your installers think of everything. Un-sanded grout is a dry, Portland cement-based product that is mixed with water onsite. The grout mixture is spread over the tiled area with a grout float to fill in all the joints. A sponge is then used to remove excess grout from the surface of the tile, while leaving the grout in the joints to cure. And that is how your beautiful natural stone floor is professionally installed.
Deal first with your furniture
Remove all furniture and other objects and materials from the areas where the installation will take place. Some installers will move your furniture, but there may be an additional charge for doing so. Before moving, you’ll also need to empty the contents of china cabinets, closets and the like. Be aware that the area of installation must be climate controlled (heated or air conditioned). Indoor humidity should be maintained between 45-65%.
Now address your old floor covering
Please consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of. This can be a time consuming task. We recommend that you check with us about the cost and the method of disposal. If you prefer to remove your present floor covering, do it at least one day prior to arrival of your natural stone product to allow for cleanup and floor preparation. If removing old carpet, please leave tack strips in place and pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad.What will you do about your trim?
In many cases, moldings and baseboards need to be removed for natural stone installation. Your installer may do this but at an additional charge and they will probably not be responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood.
Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation is complete. If necessary, this is your responsibility.Next, address the subflooring
Your existing subfloor may need to be prepared to receive the natural stone, or a new subfloor may be required. We suggest you discuss this with us and, if subfloor work is necessary, that it be done by qualified professionals. It is important that the subfloor be as clean and level as possible.Ensure that the doors swing free
When natural stone is installed, there’s always the possibility that the doors, especially closet doors, basement and bedroom doors, may not clear the new natural stone and swing free. Some installers will remove doors in order to install the natural stone and re-hang them if possible. They probably won’t shave or cut down doors to insure clearance. You should check with us as to their policy and the cost. You may need to arrange for a qualified carpenter to provide this service after the installation of your new natural stone floor.Stay on top of the clean-up
Installing new natural stone will produce waste. Usually these materials are collected by your installer and left at your trash collection site. Check with us before the day of installation so you’re clear about the clean up, if there are added costs to do so, and ask about the plan for natural stone remnants.