Whether you’re looking to enhance your home’s style or are looking to give it a complete design overhaul; a great DIY trick to master is knowing how to lay a tile floor, particularly those of stone material.
Stone tiles can often prove a little different to lay than most other tile materials, and require a little extra care and application.
So, if you’re looking for a little DIY inspiration – here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure your stone floor is laid to perfection.
1. Cut the membrane
Starting in a corner, roll out the membrane, flocked-side down, beside the room’s long wall.
At the end wall, crease the roll into the corner, and cut along that crease with a utility knife. Trim as needed to get around pipes and doorways.
Lay out and cut the remaining sections so that their edges butt together and they cover the entire floor.
2. Spread the thinset
Number the sections, set them aside, the vacuum the floor.
Mix a batch of thinset: Use polymer-modified thinset on cement-based substrates.
Starting at a corner, spread the mix evenly over a 6ft section, as wide as the membrane, and comb into long parallel furrows with a ¼inch notched trowel.
3. Roll out the membrane
DO NOT LET THE THINSET SET – any delay can prevent a good bond.
Place the first membrane section into the corner and immediately roll it out onto the fresh thinset.
Spread and comb out another 6ft section of thinset, and unroll the next section of membrane onto it.
Repeat until the first toll reaches the end wall.
4. Flatten the membrane
Immediately after the membrane is laid, use a grout float to press all areas firmly into the thinset.
Repeat after laying each remaining section.
Once the entire floor is covered, dry-lay a line of tiles between each pair of walls to judge how best to minimise cuts and get a neat layout.
5. Lay the stone tiles
Spread unmodified thinset over an area of around 3ft by 16 inches, filling the membrane’s texture.
Comb out parallel ridges with the notched trowel. For each tile, smear thinset on its underside, press it firmly in place, and make sure it is flush with adjoining tiles.
Gently remove any excess thinset from the joints with a putty knife, and wipe the stone with a damp sponge.
6. Grout the joints
After leaving tiles to set for 24 hours, wash away thinset residue with muriatic acid, and (to protect the stone from grout stains) apply a sealer.
When sealer is dry, mix up a sanded grout and push it diagonally into the joints with a grout float.
Wait 10 minutes, and then wipe off grout residue from the stone with a damp sponge, rinsing it often. Try not to disturb the joints. After, remove any haze with cheesecloth and apply final coat of sealer.
Here at Tile Mart, we are proud to be one of the UK’s leading providers of quality tile styles and designs, stocking an extensive range of all stone, glass and porcelain floor tiles. Our friendly and creative team are always happy to answer any questions you may have, so for more information – please do not hesitate to contact us on 01772 258 998 today!