Before you begin tiling
GUIDELINES - Tiling Made Simple
Before You Begin Tiling
Stone is a product of nature, and variations in colour and characteristics are the elements that give every installation its unique appearance. No single image or picture can indicate all the possible permutations that may be present in stone varieties, natural stone tiles exhibit natural geological variations that make each tile different, unique, and therefore each batch manufactured is unique, this means your floor/wall will be unique to you.
Samples are a guide!
The tiles featured on our web site show typical tile characteristics, these are good quality images that can be enlarged at the click of your mouse, you have the option of taking a sample and using that in conjunction with our images to consider the characteristics/colour/finish of the tile(s) you want to purchase - the tiles you receive will not necessarily be exactly the same as your sample across every tile or the whole batch.
The objective is to use the web images plus the sample to visualize the finished installation. This is part of the great attraction of natural stone, it's one of the deciding factors why people choose stone - they know their finished project will have a rare beauty as it will unique to them.
First sight of your ordered tiles
Natural stone tiles are likely to have surface 'imperfections' these could be 'scratches' fracture lines, pitted area's etc don't be alarmed! Remember these are tiles made from stone and the reason for this is that is how nature made them - it's part of the reason you chose them.
Some marbles (crema marfil for example) are hard but fragile and as a result some of them weaken along fracture lines when in production; manufacturers employ a technique called "mesh backing/gluing" so that the tile surface characteristics are preserved but the tile is perfectly good for use and remains durable and fit for installation. It is quite common for the warehouse to add extra tiles to your order (at no extra cost) so that there are some spares available, this is done with most stone types not just marble.
Blending involves sorting through the tiles (before you start fixing) and selecting the mixture of shades and textures to suit your requirements. We strongly suggest that all tiles are blended before installation.
The installer must have an understanding of blending requirements or special patterns as part of the job. For instance minor damage to some stones may occur during installation, handling, cutting and grading. Under normal circumstances, 10% should be allowed for that purpose.
Whilst sorting tiles to ensure suitable blending, normal practice calls for segregation of tiles with minor damages or some unusual markings. They can be used where cut tiles are required, or in less visible locations.
Stone tiles are always packed in wet conditions at the factory and cannot properly dry out until unpacked; they will lighten in colour as they dry. It is therefore essential that all tiles are completely dry prior to installation to be able to assess any colour variation present.
To check this, it may be necessary to place a tile in front of a direct heat source to see the true colour of the stone when it is totally dry.
All natural stone must be sealed, this is usually done after fixing and before & after the application of grout.
Keeping your stone clean
Your normal day to day sweeping with a soft broom will remove the usual 'bits 'n pieces' that fall on floors, warm water and a non-abrasive sponge is great for wiping over your natural stone tiles.
Use only a recommended neutral cleaner that has been specifically prepared for natural stone, our Essentials range has just the right products for cleaning and maintaining stone tiles and bathroom fittings such as shower trays.
Do not use general purpose cleaners or you may damage the stone or the sealer that was applied during installation; avoid products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids - these will definitely damage your stone by removing the sealant and without a sealant your stone is unprotected and susceptible to stains and other surface damage.