How to install natural stone in wet spaces
You have to comply with specific conditions of the area when installing natural stone in wet spaces and the procedure (after turning off the underfloor heating system, cleaning and applying the waterproofing):
1. Measure the surface. This is necessary for establishing the number of full size tiles to be used and those that need to be cut. Make a scale drawing, to accurate display the reality, for assessing the areas with cut tiles, their sizes and estimate the tiles thay need to be installed. Use larger tiles for wider areas such as public decoration projects and compact size tiles for cladding (vertical) or for apartment bathrooms. As a result, we avoid cutting too many tiles, by optimizing consumption.
2. Perform a sample installation: lay out a tile row (total or partial) over the surface and establish the procedure for cutting tiles (cut the ones that will not fit at the edges). You need to calculate for cladding. Furthermore, also check finishing, color variation and establish the installation procedure.
3. Check compliance with installing conditions: dry tiles (protect from moisture at least 24 hours before installation), installation temperature: 5 - 25 °C, normal humidity. For exterior cladding, consider the current weather conditions but also the forecast for the next 2-3 days.
4. Choose the necessary adhesive. For high humidity areas, choose a mortar and combine with latex as additive. You can prepare your own mortar from sand, cement and water. The additive is essential, since mortar by itself has a tendency to crack. The combination is recommended for flooring on big surfaces with large tiles (public areas). For small surfaces flooring and cladding, use fast-setting adhesives, depending on project: for bathrooms, kitchens, wet basements, pools, terraces etc.
5. After choosing the adhesive and preparing it according to the manufacturer's instructions, comes installation, based on absorption degree of the surface. Material with higher water absorption, such as travertine need to be moistened on the back of tile with clean water (using a sponge), before installation. As a result, moisture is not absorbed too quickly and fixing time is extended. Stone with lower absorption (granite, slate, marble) are installed by direct application.
6. Continuously spread the adhesive on the surface with teeth plaster comb with teeth. Apply on smaller surfaces so that it does not dry before installing the tile. We can only apply the adhesive on surface or tile (for large-size tiles). Tile should be covered with adhesive on minimum 95% of its surface. The application procedure is "combing" and not "dotting", since a perfect grip is essential. Try to follow a straight line when applying adhesive, and avoid making curves with the trowel. We get a string of tiny, parallel tracks over which we lay the tile. If the tile is rectangular, apply the adhesive so that grooves are perpendicular to the width of the tile. All these operations are aimed at increasing adhesion. If we use large tiles or panels of small stones glued together (15 x 60 cm), make sure to apply a mortar coat (adhesive) on the back, for a better grip.
7. Start cladding from one corner to ensure a perfect lining up of tiles. Lay the tile directly on the surface and push it gently, possibly moving it gently back and forth without rotating it. We need to make sure the surface is flat.
8. For cladding, check smoothnes after installing each panel. Leave a space between tiles, which can be sized with a toothpick. This space allows positioning and use can use a rubber mallet to complete the installation. Installation without joints allows continuous models on cladded surface. After installation, remove excess adhesive with a damp sponge.
9. Allow cladded surface to dry for at least 12 hours, ar as specified by manufacturer; during this time, do not use the surface.
10. After installation, you will have many uncladded areas along the edges (for bypassing obstacles (floors) or close to the ceiling (cladding). For these areas, you need to cut-to-size your tiles. This operation is performed with diamond disc and water-cooled machines, as specified by manufacturer.
11. Cut tiles, let them to dry and then install them, using a similar procedure.
12. Let surface to dry naturally (approximately 24 hours), without using it. Remove toothpicks.
13. Installation without joints are not recommended for areas with temperature variations (exterior), nor for hot floors. Installation without joints are also not recommended for cladding with large unrectified tiles (not cut at right angles), or for tiles with minor imperfections. The joints have to be grouted. Remove adhesive residues before grouting. For exterior cladding, leave 3-5 mm joints (due to the freeze-thaw cycle) for regular shape tiles and more for irregular shape tiles. For interior cladding, leave 1-2 mm joints. Cladding (vertical) with small joints are not to be grouted.
14. Remove excess grout and let surface to dry (for 24 hours).
For installing natural stone in wet spaces you need to work with experts. Based on our experience, we can gladly assist you with any project, just give us a call at +40318.222.33 or email: email@example.com.
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