Installing Natural Stone Floor Tiles in Your Bathroom
Natural stone floor tiles can improve the look of a bathroom. For those who are unfamiliar with ceramic tiles, it is important to remember that laying natural stone floor tiles requires a different technique. You will need a wet saw for cutting because a standard tile cutter won't work. If you don't own one, you can rent a wet saw before you begin the job.
Step 1 - Reference Lines
It’s important to begin laying the natural stone floor tiles at the center of the room and move outward from there to have an even look. To do this, you need to establish where the center is, as the room might not be perfectly square. Measure along one wall and mark the halfway point. Do the same on the opposite wall and snap a chalk line between them. Repeat the procedure for the remaining walls. Where the lines cross is the center of the room.
Step 2 - Thinset
Mix up some thinset, just as you would for ceramic tile. Spread it around the center mark of the room using the notched trowel and lay the first file against the center marks. Put three others in place, to form a square around the center. Put down a little more thinset and begin to work outward from this to all the walls of the room.
Step 3 - Spacing
Natural stone floor tiles need to be closer together than ceramic tiles. It is important that you use spacers to ensure the distance between the tiles is even. Use spacers that are 1/16th inch to keep the tiles close together. After you’ve put down about six tiles, lay your pieces of wood over them and tap lightly with a rubber mallet. This will ensure they’re level with each other. Do this in all directions.
Step 4 - Edges
Continue laying the tile, using the spacers. Once you are close enough to the walls, you need to cut the natural stone floor tiles. Use the wet saw for this, Measure and mark the tile and be sure to wear safety glasses when operating the machinery. Put the tiles in place and then leave the entire floor to dry overnight.
Step 5 - Grout
The next morning, start by removing all the tile spacers from between the tiles. Take your unsanded grout and begin to pack into between the tiles, using the grout squeegee. Work in one small area at a time. After the grout has had time to sit in the spaces, say about 10 minutes, use a damp sponge to wipe off all the excess. Repeat the process until you’ve covered the entire floor and wiped everything clean.