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Stone Wall Tile Installation Guide


Disclaimer: The installation guidelines provide in this website are strictly for reference only and do not constitute technical instructions. Proper installation methods of stone wall tiles vary between project to project. Professional assistance from your local contractors is strongly recommended.   

Step 1: Prepare the surface for wall tile installation

Wall tiles may be installed over most structurally appropriate substrates. But the surfaces must be clean, smooth, dry and free of foreign substances such as wax, soap scum and grease. Any broken, dented, loose or rough areas must be repaired, patched and leveled before tiles are mounted. It is strongly recommended to remove any moldings, trim, appliances and other objects that could interfere with wall tile installation. Door jambs may be undercut for tile to slip under.

Step 2: Layout Wall for Tile Installation

Installation should begin with finding the center point of the wall, using a level to draw a plumb line in the wall's center. Lay out a row of loose tiles across the bottom of the wall from the center line leaving uniform joints between tiles. If this layout leaves end cuts smaller than half of a tile, adjust center line closer to the side wall. After the center line is located, determine the lowest point of the floor or tub if above-tub tiling is conducted by using a level horizontally. Stack two tiles at this point and at the top draw a horizontal line on the wall. With the level, continue the line around all side walls to be tiled. This is a guideline for the first row of tiles to be set above.


Step 3: Applying Adhesive for Mounting Wall Tiles

It is important to select a right adhesive for the substrate you're using. You must carefully read and follow all instructions and precautions on the adhesive or mortar package. Mix adequate amount of adhesives that are enough to use within thirty minutes. Using the type trowel recommended on the adhesive package, spread a 1/4" coat on the surface of one grid area. Make sure do not cover guidelines. Next, use the notched side of trowel to comb adhesive into standing ridges by holding trowel at a 45-degree angle. Remove any excess adhesive, leaving a uniform, ridged setting bed. Don't over spread area that can not be set in 15 minutes.

Step 4: Cutting Tiles for Wall Installation

You should measure tiles to be cut carefully and mark the cutting lines with a pencil. Straight or diagonal cuts should be made using a professional tile cutter. Using curved cuts with a nipper to chip away small pieces for best results.  Using a rod saw to make full-length curved cuts. Smoothing sharp-cut edges with a carborundum stone.

Step 5: Setting Tile on the Wall

Variation of shades is an inherent characteristic of ceramic or natural stone tiles tile. Make sure to mix tiles from several batches as you set for create a blended effect. Installing tiles one grid at a time. Finish each grid before moving to the next. Start with the first tile in the corner of the grid and work outward. Set tiles one at a time using a slight twisting motion. Don't slide tiles into place. Insert tile spacers as each tile is set, or leave equal joints between tiles. Fit perimeter tiles in each grid last, leaving 1/4" gap between tile and wall. When grid is completely installed, tap in all tiles with a rubber mallet or hammer and wood block, to ensure a good bond and level plane. Remove excess adhesive from joints with a putty knife, and from tile with a damp sponge.

Step 6: Grouting Joints After Setting Tiles

In general you should wait about 24 hours before grouting the joints. The adhesive package should have specific instructions. Carefully read and follow all instructions and precautions on the grout package. Prepare grout  little bit a time, enough to use in about 30 minutes. To apply grout, remove tile spacers and spread grout on the tile surface, forcing down into joints with a rubber grout float or squeegee. Tilt the float at a 45-degree angle. Remove excess grout from surface immediately with the edge of float. Tilt it at a 90-degree angle and scrape it diagonally across tiles. Wait 15-20 minutes for grout to set slightly, use a damp sponge to clean grout residue from surface and smooth the grout joints. Rinse sponge frequently and change water as needed. Let dry until grout is hard and haze forms on tile surface, then polish with a soft cloth. Rinse again with sponge and clean water if necessary. Don't apply sealers or polishes for three weeks. In the case that sealing or final polishing is needed, do it in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations and instructions.




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