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stone wall cladding - Stone is a defining feature in almost any room and adds instant solidity, luxury and grandness whether you decide to cover all your walls with marble or simply use it for a simple round basin. Although stone is definitely a tough material once installed, the self -builder must always take special care to see the delivery and installation process runs smoothly. Dirt from traffic or a careless knock from a power tool could lead to a pricey repair bill. Maintain the room clean and tidy, check larger items like a stone bath, can fit through a door entrance (you may have to leave off architrave/frames to allow extra room). The weight of stonework entails that it should be planned in at the home's design stage as load-bearing joists may need to be increased in proportions or even doubled as much as cope with the weight.

Preparing floors

A brand new concrete screed is the perfect base for stone ceramic tiles, as long as the concrete is fully cured. New concrete needs to be at least six weeks old and show no signs of remaining moisture. You may have to use a thin screed of self-leveling compound to balance out any low spots. Again, leave the compound to totally cure before tiling.

If you are working on new flooring grade T&G chipboard panels, make sure the edges are fixed at 300mm centers and tile to the surface with a flexible adhesive all the trade adhesive manufacturers have powder mixes meant for timber flooring. For a restoration project, never try to tile directly onto old floorboards. Instead, create a new sub-base with 15mm exterior grade plywood, screwed down at 300mm centers with stainless-steel screws. Stagger the board joints and adjust any uneven floorboards before starting work. Coat it's with thinned PVA to seal the wood.

Old cork and vinyl flooring should always be pulled up. Look at the floor beneath is dry, flat and powerful enough to support the brand new stone tiling. If you're faced with quarry or ceramic tiles, it's possible to tile directly within the surface as long as there isn't any signs of damp, cracking or movement. Prime the old tile surface to give the adhesive a key' for bonding making set out your new tiles so the grout gaps aren't aligned with the existing floor. The exceptions are shower or wet room walls that needs to be lined with a waterproof lining panel to provide the tile base.

Installing real stone tiles

The porous the surface of many natural stone products means they are more vulnerable to staining than glazed tiles. Look into the manufacturer's instructions for precise laying instructions and try to seal the surfaces of the tiles, if recommended, before fixing it's too easy to spill adhesive over a tile and not notice. Open the tile packs and work from the 3 packs to evenly distribute any color variation between packs.

Tiling the ground

With a little planning and careful aiming, dramatic stone flooring is really as easy as tiling a wall. There's usually less cutting around awkward shapes compared to wall tiles and you are not fighting against gravity. Remove skirting boards and door thresholds before beginning work. In the aiming stages, it's important to guarantee the tiles look completely from the entrance to the room. Often walls are bowed or from true so check your measurements in a number of places along each wall. It is slightly more but a powder mix rapid-setting adhesive is the best option for most floors. It's going to reach full strength in as little as 24 hours so the remaining portion of the build isn't delayed.

Finally, plan in any movement joints required. They're 6/8mm wide and filled with flexible filler that enables for movement and prevents tile damage. These joints are typically installed where flooring abuts walling, steps, columns or another hard objects on large floor areas and over structural movement joints. Floors less than four meters between walls is not going to normally need movement joints.

STEP-BY-STEP

1 Find the mid-points of the two longest walls and snap a chalk line over the room between these points. Repeat for the shorter walls but adjust the road so that it passes with the center of the first line at right angles. Make an effort to work with as many whole tiles as possible, even if it means adjusting the grout line width slightly.

2 Lay tiles over the two lines to check if they look right from the threshold. If any gaps at the walls are fewer than half a tile wide, shift the line across to make more of a gap. Also move the guide lines so that tiles around a dominant feature (e.g. a fire or French windows) are symmetrical there are whole tiles at the doorway.

3 Spread about one square meter of tile adhesive/grout into one of many right angles created by the two crossing chalk lines. Scrap the notched side of the trowel across the mix to make ridges of the same thickness.

4 Lay the initial few tiles along the fringe of the longest center line. Gently press the tiles in place, making sure they also line up with the other center line. Add plastic spacers each and every corner to keep them the identical distance apart for grouting.

5 Work outwards in the middle of the room in anticipation of having laid all the whole tiles using one half of the floor. Use a spirit level to determine the tiles are at the identical level. Now move across to the other side of the longest center line and add the remainder of the whole tiles. Leave to create for 24 hours.

6 Use the tile cutter to trim the extra edge tiles to the right shape. Look at the space at both sides in case the walls are uneven please remember to allow for the grouting gap. Always wear goggles and gloves when cutting tiles.

7 Leave the adhesive to set for at least 12 hours, then grout between the tiles with the adhesive/grout. Force the mix into the gaps with a squeegee, working from side to side and up and down the tiles.

8 For wide joint lines, manage a piece of hosepipe over the grouting surface. Wipe off any grout from your tiles with a damp sponge, before it sets hard.

Wall tiling

Stone tiles add a touch of luxury to any room. There's no special trick to locating out how many tiles you'll need, just measure the height and width from the area and multiply these together to give the area to be tiled. Divide this figure through the area of a single tile (e.g. a 10x10cm tile posseses an area of 100cm) to give the quantity of tiles you need. Add Ten percent for cutting and wastage. Installation is equivalent to for ceramic tiles but you will need an electric tile cutter using a diamond wheel and the capacity to tackle your chosen depth of tile. Most natural stone is easier to reduce than ceramic. The extra weight of real stone ought to be considered use strong battens, no less than 50mm wide and screwed towards the wall, to support the base line of tiles.

Make use of a saw tile to cut a tile to match around an awkward shape like a pipe or architrave. If you wish to cut a curve, to match around the side of the basin for example, make a card template the identical size as the tile. Make cuts at around 10mm spacing along the curve edge and press website into position. Trim the 10mm strips to suit exactly around the curve and transfer this fit around the tile. Be sure you leave at least 2mm for grouting.

STEP-BY-STEP

1 In order to avoid lots of cut tiles or perhaps an unbalanced look, make up a tile gauge (a batten using the tile dimensions and grout spaces marked over the edge) to plan the positions with the tiles so that the tops with the last row of tiles under any window is going to be exactly flush using the ledge. You may find you'll have to cut the bottom row of tiles.

2 Screw a batten towards the wall along the line you've got marked. Check with a spirit level that it is horizontal. Fix a second upright batten along the left side of the area to be tiled. Again, use a spirit level to ensure it's vertical.

3 Spread the adhesive/grout over most a square meter from the wall, starting inside the corner made by both battens. Use the notched side from the spreader to form even ribbons of adhesive. This is particularly important for heavy stone tiles. As a rule of thumb, 6mm notched spreaders can be used for walls and 10mm versions for floors.

4 Begin to tile, pressing the tiles gently to the wall and sliding into position before you see adhesive squeeze out around the sides. Press spacers into each corner and hold a spirit level across the tiles to see if they form a set surface. Continue to tile, working on about a square meter at any given time until you've fixed all of the whole tiles. Clean off adhesive from the tile surface as you work.

5 Next, lay tiles along the sides and front with the window reveal in order that they cover the edges from the wall tiles. Wipe off any adhesive before it has dried with a damp sponge.

6 Leave the splashback to dry fully before detaching the timber battens. Now cut the tiles to suit into any gaps at the end of the splashback and at leading and sides with the window reveal. Fix set up.

7 When all of the tiles are fixed, leave to dry. Force more adhesive/grout to the gaps between the tiles having a squeegee. Wipe off all of the excess grout with a damp sponge, rinsed out regularly in clean water. When the surface is dry, polish with a dry cloth.

8 To make a flexible waterproof seal new tiles plus a worktop, run a bead of waterproof sealant around the bottom of the tiles.

TIPS

If you're tiling around an acrylic bath, half fill with water to make the rim flex to its maximum extent before filling the gap with a bathroom sealant.

Make screw holes for bathroom accessories having a masonry drill bit. To stop the bit slipping and damaging the top, stick some masking tape over the area to be drilled.

Buy all the tiles you will need previously if possible to avoid any differences between batches.

If you wish to form a pattern, draw an agenda of the room on graph paper to make certain the pattern can look in proportion and symmetrical.

To tile a space that has to be used everyday, tile 1 / 2 of the area at the same time so you can still walk throughout the bare floor as the tile adhesive sets. If you learn you are working slowly and the adhesive is beginning to set, only spread around half a square meter at a time. It's essential the adhesive continues to be wet when the tiles are increasingly being fixed.

Fireplaces

Stone Fireplaces are a defining feature for any lounge or dining area, making the perfect frame with a wood, coal or gas fire. Obviously, any chimney linings should be pre-installed in your self-build project and also the surround really does come in the final stages of the project. Most companies offer a design and install service that's worth the money for such large and dear objects. Otherwise, look at builder is happy to battle the job. It may need extra lifting equipment nevertheless the installation process isn't complicated. You are able to choose anything from the clean lines of a contemporary fireplace to some reproduction Regency style or contact an architectural salvage yard for any genuine period piece. Most yards will also undertake restoration focus on stone and marble fireplaces.

Baths and basins

Baths, basins and washstands can be either stone resin or solid stone. There exists a wide range of colors provided by off-whites to reds, browns and blacks. Bear in mind the loading on a suspended floor baths can weigh from 200 to 500kg or even more.

As well as the luxury of a solid stone basin, some of the modern designs can also be breathtaking, with open wave forms, travertine mosaic and deceptively thin slab designs.

Worktops

Granite is regarded as the popular of the natural stonework surfaces. It's not hard to clean and contrasts well with lighter wood carcases. Marble and limestone look great but are softer and may scratch or stain. Once you plan your kitchen, make sure the runs of floor cabinets can withstands weights as much as 90kgs per square meter average to get a 30mm solid granite top. You may also specify 40mm tops, created from two 20mm layers with a ply central insert to cut back the weight. Your kitchen supplier should alter the design and add extra support around sink cut-outs and appliances. The suppliers may also need a clear work space so all sinks and hobs should be removed and kept clear of the work area. If you're able to, don't install the wall sockets until after the worktop is fitted this may avoid any accidental damage because the stone is slid in place over the units. Depending on the shape and size of each element, the suppliers might point to extra joints in solid granite worktops because the grain structure can be extremely vulnerable to cracking if there's any stress over longer lengths or around narrow cut-out areas. Don't forget to order matching granite up-stands

for the walls. These are around 100m high with polished surfaces and edges. Color-matched silicone sealant is utilized for the jointing. As with sanitary items, composite quartzite can reduce the price of the kitchen but still give some of the solidity and feel of your real stone. It also has the advantage of grain consistency and a wide range of solid reds, blues, greens and more neutral tones.

Cleaning and maintenance

stone wall - Keep a copy from the care and maintenance instructions provided with your stonework as sealants and care procedures vary. Granite surfaces for example worktops don't need a lot of specialist cleaning since the surface doesn't absorb stains just as as a softer travertine stone.

Wipe up any spills as soon as possible, especially liquids such as acidic juices and alcohol. Fine grit will be the big enemy of natural stone flooring as ground in particles cause striations than eventually dull the outer lining. Use a mop, soft brush or vacuum to get up the dirt. A neutral pH detergent and hot water will remove grease and other light stains but guarantee the floor is dried using a soft cloth to avoid a film build of residues.

Stone should just have resealing every 3-5 years roughly and some products won't ever need resealing. After installing any stone, it's essential to clean up any mortar/adhesive residue right away as the resin-based adhesives bond' the stone surface and therefore are extremely difficult to clean up when cured. For kitchen and bathroom installations, avoid using any wax or soap cleaners not less than the first six weeks. Otherwise, the stone pores will end up clogged and restrict the evaporation in the mortar/adhesive.

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