How to Lay Sandstone Tiles

What You'll Need
Sandstone tiles
Grout float
Spirit level
Subfloor cleaner
Leveling compound
Tile spacers
Tile cutter
Rubber mallet

Sandstone tiles are one of the strongest materials available for flooring and other uses, making them a popular choice amongst builders and homeowners alike. They also come in a wide variety of colors and designs. Since sandstone tiles are particularly durable, they are ideal for use in highly trafficked areas. If sandstone tiles are laid properly and using the correct materials, a sandstone floor should last many decades under normal conditions.

Step 1 – Prepare the Surface

Before installing the tiles, the floor should then be cleaned using a special cleaner specifically designed for that type of subfloor.  Follow the instructions that come with the cleaning product for further advice.

The surface will then need to be perfectly level. To achieve this, you can purchase a compound which levels by itself. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results. This compound will need to thoroughly cover the subfloor. It will then need to be spread over the surface evenly and then left to dry for approximately 24 hours.

Step 2 – Find the Center of the Room

You will need to find the exact center of the room as this will act as a reference point when you start laying the tiles. To do this, run lines diagonally across the room from opposite corners to form a cross. The point where the lines meet will mark the center of the room. Mark two more lines passing through the cross and connected the centers of the opposite walls. If your room is not a four-sided shape, then work with each section separately.

Step 3 – Determine the Layout of the Tiles

Take extra care to determine the exact layout of the tiles because there is no going back at a later time. To do this, place a row of tile along each line and find the best position for the layout. You should design the layout to that it uses as many uncut tiles as possible. Mark the determined positions using the chalk.

Step 4 – Placing the Tiles

Mix the mortar as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. Start from the center of the room with a patch of mortar roughly four foot square. Apply the mortar evenly using a trowel held at a 45 degree angle. Place the tiles onto this surface, twisting them slightly as you press them down to get a better grip. Use two tile spacers in each gap between tiles to ensure that the gaps are kept in accurately equal width. For tiles which are not completely level, tap them in place with a rubber mallet. Continue to use a spirit level over every three or four tiles that you lay to ensure that the surface is even. Some tiles will also need to be cut so that they fit at the edges of the room. Use a special tile cutter to do this.

Step 5 – Sealing and Grouting the Tiles

When the tiles have been left overnight to set, place a layer of sealant over the surface. This needs to be evenly applied over the tiled area. Two hours after, apply grout between the tiles and remove the tile spacers. Allow this to dry before giving the surface a final clean. The surface should be allowed a couple of weeks to fully set.