Natural stone tiles can be the best replacement for ceramic tile flooring. You will need to prepare the floor for installation before you begin and this process can be demanding. Here is an easy guide that will help you install natural stone tiles, if you are a beginner.
Step 1 – Remove Old Tiles
Use a hammer gun with a chisel. This tool will help you control your movements better. Start from one corner of the room to remove old tiles. Hold the hammer gun steadily and aim it at the groove of the tiles. Apply pressure to the power tool as it digs under the tiles.
Remove the old thinset on the concrete floor to get a level and smooth subfloor. To do this, run the hammer drill on the thinset to crack them. Remove the remaining thinset with a concrete grinder. Use a nylon broom or a heavy duty vacuum cleaner to sweep the dust and tile chips.
Step 2 – Prepare the Area for Tile Installation
Measure the floor area to estimate how many tiles will be needed to cover the floor. Always be sure to purchase extra tiles in case you might need more. Lay down the tiles and arrange them according to your layout plan. Use a wet saw with masonry blade to cut the stones to fit in the area you need. Mark the area where you would start the installation. It is best to start from the middle floor so that any cuts at the edges are uniform on all sides.
Step 3 – Install the Tiles
Mix the thinset with water and follow the manufacturer’s instruction on the proper mixing ratio. Apply thinset on the underside of tiles using a trowel. It is important to dampen the back of the tile first using a grout sponge. This will allow the tiles to absorb the moisture out of the thinset and will slow down the setting time. This will also strengthen the bond between the tile and the thinset.
Spread ample amount of thinset on the floor. You may need to take or add thinset on the floor to ensure that the tiles are evenly set. Set the first tile and continue to the next one. Be sure to space out the tiles properly so that that space in between the tiles is uniform throughout the floor. You can use toothpicks to get the gap sizes right.
Step 4 – Apply the Sealer and Grout
Once the thinset dries and hardens, clean the tiles with sponge dipped in water. After this, seal them with natural stone sealer. You can spray the sealer on the tiles. Wipe the excess sealer off the tiles. Next, mix the grout and apply it in between the tiles. You may need to push the grout in to ensure that it reaches the joint. Clean excess grout with a damp sponge.