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stone wall cladding - Stone is a defining feature in a room and adds instant solidity, luxury and grandness whether you decide to cover all your walls with marble or just use it for a simple round basin. Although stone is an extremely tough material once installed, the self -builder should always take special care to see the delivery and installation process runs smoothly. Dirt from traffic or a careless knock from the power tool could lead to a pricey repair bill. Maintain the room clean and tidy, check larger items for instance a stone bath, can fit via a door entrance (you may have to leave off architrave/frames to allow extra room). The weight of stonework also means that it should be planned in on the home's design stage as load-bearing joists may need to be increased in proportions or even doubled approximately 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 smooth out any low spots. Again, leave the compound to fully cure before tiling.

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

Old cork and vinyl floor covering should always be pulled up. Look at the floor beneath is dry, flat and powerful enough to support the newest stone tiling. If you're confronted with quarry or ceramic tiles, it's possible to tile directly over the surface as long as there isn't any signs of damp, cracking or movement. Prime that old tile surface to provide the adhesive a key' for bonding to make set out your new tiles in order that the grout gaps aren't aligned using the existing floor. The exceptions are shower or wet room walls that needs to be lined with a waterproof lining panel to offer 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 at the manufacturer's instructions for precise laying instructions and always seal the surfaces from the tiles, if recommended, before fixing it's too easy to spill adhesive on the tile and not notice. Open the tile packs and work from several packs to evenly distribute any color variation between packs.

Tiling a floor

With a little planning and careful setting out, dramatic stone flooring is really as easy as tiling a wall. There's usually less cutting around awkward shapes as compared to wall tiles and you're simply not fighting against gravity. Remove skirting boards and door thresholds before starting work. In the aiming stages, it's important to ensure 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'll reach full strength after as little as 24 hours so the rest of the build isn't delayed.

Finally, plan in any movement joints required. They're 6/8mm wide and filled up with flexible filler that allows for movement and prevents tile damage. These joints are usually installed where flooring abuts walling, steps, columns or any other hard objects on large floor areas and over structural movement joints. Floors under four meters between walls won't normally need movement joints.

STEP-BY-STEP

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

2 Lay tiles over the two lines to see if they look right from the doorway. If any gaps on the walls are less than half a tile wide, shift the fishing line across to make much more of a gap. Also move the guide lines to ensure that tiles around a dominant feature (e.g. a fireplace or French windows) are symmetrical and there are whole tiles at the doorway.

3 Spread about one square meter of tile adhesive/grout into one of the right angles made 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 side of the longest center line. Gently press the tiles into position, making sure they also lineup with the other center line. Add plastic spacers at each and every corner to keep them a similar distance apart for grouting.

5 Work outwards from the middle of the room til you have laid all the whole tiles using one half of the floor. Work with a spirit level to check the tiles are at the same level. Now move across towards the other side of the longest center line and add all of those other whole tiles. Leave setting for 24 hours.

6 Make use of the tile cutter to trim the edge tiles to the right shape. Appraise 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 create 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, operate a piece of hosepipe over the grouting surface. Wipe off any grout from the 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 finding out how many tiles you will need, just measure the height and width of the area and multiply these together to offer the area to be tiled. Divide this figure by the area of a single tile (e.g. a 10x10cm tile has an area of 100cm) to give the quantity of tiles you need. Add 10 percent for cutting and wastage. Installation is equivalent to for ceramic tiles but you will need an electric tile cutter using a diamond wheel as well as the capacity to tackle your chosen depth of tile. Most basic 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 to the wall, to support the bottom line of tiles.

Make use of a saw tile to reduce a tile to suit around an awkward shape like a pipe or architrave. If you wish to cut a curve, to suit around the side of a basin for example, create a card template the same size as the tile. Make cuts about 10mm spacing along the curve edge and press web site into position. Trim the 10mm strips to suit exactly around the curve and transfer this shape to the tile. Remember to leave at least 2mm for grouting.

STEP-BY-STEP

1 To prevent lots of cut tiles or even an unbalanced look, make-up a tile gauge (a batten using the tile dimensions and grout spaces marked across the edge) to plan the positions of the tiles so that the tops of the last row of tiles under any window is going to be exactly flush with all the ledge. You may find you will have to cut the bottom row of tiles.

2 Screw a batten for the wall along the line you have marked. Check with a spirit level that it's horizontal. Fix an additional 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 about 50 % a square meter of the wall, starting within the corner made by both battens. Use the notched side with the spreader to form even ribbons of adhesive. This is particularly important for heavy stone tiles. Usually of thumb, 6mm notched spreaders are used for walls and 10mm versions for floors.

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

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

6 Leave the splashback to dry fully before removing the timber battens. Now cut the tiles to match into any gaps at the bottom of the splashback and at leading and sides from the window reveal. Fix in position.

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

8 To make a flexible waterproof seal new tiles and a worktop, run a bead of waterproof sealant across 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 space with a bathroom sealant.

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

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

In order to form a pattern, draw a plan of the room on graph paper to make sure the pattern can look in proportion and symmetrical.

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

Fireplaces

Stone Fireplaces are a defining feature to get a lounge or living area, making the perfect frame to a wood, coal or gas fire. Needless to say, any chimney linings needs to be pre-installed in your self-build project as well as the surround really does come on 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 however the installation process isn't complicated. You are able to choose anything from the clean lines of a contemporary fireplace with a reproduction Regency style or contact an architectural salvage yard to get a genuine period piece. Most yards will also undertake restoration work on stone and marble fireplaces.

Baths and basins

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

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

Worktops

Granite is the most popular of the natural stonework surfaces. You can clean and contrasts well with lighter wood carcases. Marble and limestone look great but are softer and can scratch or stain. When you plan your kitchen, guarantee the runs of floor cabinets can withstands weights up to 90kgs per square meter average for any 30mm solid granite top. You can even specify 40mm tops, created from two 20mm layers having 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 away from the work area. When you can, don't install the wall sockets until after the worktop is fitted this can avoid any accidental damage because the stone is slid into position over the units. With regards to the shape and size of each component part, the suppliers might point to extra joints in solid granite worktops as the grain structure can be quite vulnerable to cracking if there's any stress over longer lengths or around narrow cut-out areas. Be sure 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 the real stone. It also has the advantage of grain consistency plus 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 including worktops don't need too much specialist cleaning because the surface doesn't absorb stains in the same manner as a softer travertine stone.

Wipe up any spills as fast as possible, especially liquids including acidic juices and alcohol. Fine grit may be the big enemy of stone flooring as ground in particles cause striations than eventually dull the top. 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 ensure the floor is dried having a soft cloth to prevent a film build of residues.

Stone should just have resealing every 3-5 years roughly and some products will never need resealing. After installing any gemstone, it's essential to clean up any mortar/adhesive residue straight away as the resin-based adhesives bond' the stone surface and 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 from your mortar/adhesive.

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