How to Lay Slate Flooring How to Lay Slate Flooring

What You'll Need
Slate tiles
Grout float
Tile cutter
Tile nippers
Paint brushes
Tile spacers

Slate flooring is very popular in many situations, largely due to its rustic appearance and impressively high degree of durability. Because of its exceptional longevity, it is popular in areas that have a lot of traffic, such as hallways, porches, corridors and many public places. Installing slate tile flooring is also popular in kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms because it is particularly slip-proof. To install slate flooring, you will need to make some preparations before laying the tiles. Afterwards, the tiles need to be grouted and then sealed. Installing slate tiles is much like installing any other type of tile.

Step 1 – Prepare Surface

Slate tiles can be laid over a concrete surface or a backerboard surface. If the subfloor is made from wood, a backerboard underlayment will need to be installed. If the subfloor is concrete, it is very important that it is properly prepared beforehand. Any cracks or holes in the concrete will need to be patched up. Locations of the floor that have been repaired will then need to be sanded back so that they are completely flush with the surrounding floor. Overall, the floor needs to be completely smooth and flat before you can tile it. Also, make sure that the floor is swept thoroughly clean before continuing.

Step 2 – Lay the Tiles

Establish the pattern in which you plan to install the tiles. Decide which part of the room you want to start from. You may want to minimize tile cutting by laying the tiles in an appropriate manner. Outline the layout of the tiles with the chalk. Mix the mortar, following the instructions on the pack. Apply the mortar to a small area, enough for about 4 tiles. Use a trowel and make sure that the mortar is smooth and no more than ¼ inch in thickness. Apply a thinner layer of mortar onto the back of the tile and set it in place. Continue installing the tiles in the same manner. To make sure that the joints are the right width, you can use tile spacers. When you need to cut the tiles, use an appropriate tile cutter. To cut out small sections of a tile so that it fits around plumping or electrical fixtures, use a pair of tile nippers. Once you have completed the floor, leave it to dry overnight before grouting.

Step 3 – Grout and Seal the Floor

Mix the grout and pack it tightly into the gaps between the tiles. Wipe away any excess as you work, as this cannot be done later. Use a grout float to apply the grout. Leave this to dry for the time recommended by the manufacturer. Seal the floor when it is dry. Once the first coat of sealer is dry, apply a second coat and leave the floor overnight again before walking on it. 

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