How to Install Natural Stone on Your Terrace in 10 Steps
For decorating your terrace with natural stone we recommend a careful eye for details while following all installation stages, if you want to extend the lifetime of your project. These are 10 steps for a successful decoration project:
1. Measure and establish perimeter
The first step of your decoration project is measuring exactly the surface that needs to be covered. Then, mark the perimeter and dig the area which is going to be your terrace.
Never estimate quantities; measure carefully, adding at least 10% to the final figure, to cover possible losses throughout installation.
From the moment of purchasing your natural stone until you install it, make sure you store it away from freezing conditions or rain.
Installation conditions recommended by natural stone experts are: temperature range 5 – 25 °C and avoidance of sharp objects, for preventing any scratch or damage of the natural look of stone.
Installing terrace flooring with Classic Cross Cut French Pattern Travertine Set with Tumbled finish
Building an underlay is another important aspect of your project. Depending on the tiles used, the underlay will be different, but usually it is built from crushed stone or pebble, for a suitable drainage.
Underlay thickness depends on the type of traffic on your terrace. For an exterior terrace without car access, 20 – 30 thickness will do just fine. On the other hand, for example, if a car is going to be parked on the terrace, it is recommended to have at least 40 cm of underlay.
Terrace with exterior paving from Kavala Hand Cut Roman Pattern Riven Slate 3-4 cm
Compaction is a complex process executed with a compaction tool all over the surface covered with soil, sand or gravel.
4. Embedment layer
Embedment layer is thinner than underlay, with a 3 – 6 cm thickness and should include elements with maximum 8 cm diameter, preferably gravel or crushed sand. Under no circumstances are you supposed to use mud, clay or crushed scraps, because it will result in a poor job. Prepare the tiles on the embedment layer, just as they should look like in the end.
Are you considering a barbecue, or terrace/garden oven to complete your decoration project? Read about Natural Stone for Your Outdoor Kitchen.
French Pattern Layout Design
5. Use professional adhesive
If the final result pleases you, move on and use a professional adhesive, for ensuring stability of tiles and floor plinth. Apply an adhesive coat with 4-6 mm thickness on the back of tile, attach it to the wall, holding it with your hand until it is fixed. We recommend alternating the use of tiles from different packs, to be prepared for any color disparity, due to differences between batches. Also, it is important to keep in mind that potential roughness or irregularities exhibited on the side of the tiles represent a standard, because this is a natural material.
Terrace cladded with Classic Cross Cut Brushed & Chiseled Travertine French Pattern Set 3 cm
6. Finishing and grouting
After installing the tiles, next step is grouting them with a special grout, suitable for your natural stone. For travertine, slate or granite, we recommend a waterproof grout, such as Weber Color Stone White 20 KG - Natural stone flexible wall & floor wide joint grout, perfect for exterior flooring and joints from 5 to 50 mm.
7. Installing kerbstones
Kerbstone creates the feeling of complete and conformity, so remember to buy them, for matching the natural stone of your preference. Before installing the kerbstones, make sure you provide them with the same treatment as your tiles (store them out of freeze conditions or rain, for at least 24 hours).
8. Allow the joints to “slake”
Probably, the most ignored step from the whole process of installing natural stone tiles on the terrace is allowing joints to “slake” (rest). You have to be patient for this, otherwise you will end up with a poor quality.
After cleaning the remains of adhesive and dirt resulted from the grouting process, you have to use a strong professional sealer. We recommend LTP Mattstone, because it fits all surfaces and flooring. The main advantage of this product is a very subtle finish, offering at the same time an increased durability against many types of stains, from coffee to red wine stains.
Another product that can be used is LTP MPG Sealer. This contains a unique technology that seals at nano-level structure. In other words, this is a colorless treatment for polished marble tiles, granite, limestone or slate, ensuring an increased protection against water, oil or impurities.
10. Cleaning and periodical aftercare
Like other objects that need maintenance, natural stone requires your attention. With improper maintenance, the shine of natural stone will fade in time, being replaced by a dull, cold look. A product you can use with excellent results is LTP Floorshine, Universal natural stone detergent.
Next video features more details on cleaning and aftercare of natural stone:
For further details on choosing the stone best suited to your project, give us a call at +40318.222.333, or better visit our showroom from 137 A, Aleea Teisani, District 1, Bucharest.