VERY HIGH SHADE VARIATION
Natural stone products have an extreme variation. Review all material prior to installation. To ensure an even variation of color and surface texture, BLEND tiles from multiple cartons. No claims will be honored once the material has been installed. Absolutely no concession will be made due to color, hue, veining or surface texture of the stone once it is installed.
Natural Stone tiles should be installed by an experienced and qualified tile contractor or stone mason. Since these are natural products, it is essential that the client and the installer use appropriate setting materials that are specifically designed for use with stone. Mosaic Tile Company is happy to assist in the choice of setting materials, however, we cannot be held responsible for their use for any particular purpose. We recommend TEC and Custom Building Products installation materials and can provide you with more specific instructions based on your particular application. Since each stone is unique with respect to color, veining, structure, etc., any samples that are submitted are intended to merely suggest of the final outcome. Due to the characteristics of the material, variations are guaranteed and part of the natural beauty of each stone.
Natural Stone Blending
Although all tiles are grouped by color and finish, often the range and variation of patterns is not – it could be random or it could be consistent. Since stone tiles are cut from large blocks, the patterning may be consistent within one carton but vary from the next. Before starting an installation, it is recommended that all tiles be blended and sorted so the complete range can be seen. Mix the tiles from all cartons to obtain the desired effect and achieve a well blended overall look. Expect approximately 10-15% waste in your cartons. Most of these pieces can be used for cuts or less prominent areas. A test run, or "dry lay" is required prior to actual installation. Additionally, it is recommended that the end user inspect and approve the dry lay prior to installation, as no claims will be honored afterwards.
Natural Stone Dry Layout
Most natural stones are on of the following:
Directional – Grain running in one direction across the tile, like Onyx
Figured – Veins and markings running in swirls or a number of directions, like Marble
Multi-Colored – Sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic color variations, like Slate
Directional tiles may be laid end-to-end, in a parquet pattern or random. Figured and multi-colored stones should be arranged like an abstract painting, with the owner, designer and installer rearranging the individual tiles, in a sample area, until the desired effect is obtained. Doing this dry run will eliminate any room for error.
Natural Stone Surface Preparation
Be sure the surface you are tiling with natural stone is even, smooth and structurally sound. Concrete slabs and cementitious backerboard are some of the suitable subfloors for natural stone. Refer to the TEC or Custom Building Products installation instructions for more detailed information regarding underlayment and proper substrate preparation. Surface preparation may be different than commonly practiced with ceramic or porcelain tile installations. For optimum results, Mosaic Tile Company recommends the use of crack suppression products for all natural stone installations.
Natural Stone Installation Method
Consult the TEC or Custom Building Products setting materials guide for appropriate information for your specific stone and job conditions. Always use a premium white thinset for light colored stones, as the mortar may bleed through and stain the surface of the tile. If installing over a wood subfloor, ensure that the area is properly prepared to accept to stone. Be sure to use a new glass or porcelain cutting blade to ensure clean, smooth cuts and to avoid potential splintering.
Natural Stone Sealing, Care & Maintenance
All natural stone installations should be sealed both before and after grouting. Be sure that the surface is completely cleaned of any residual mortar prior to sealing. Choose a grout appropriate to your specific installation. Grout the installation after the penetrating sealer has thoroughly dried. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
A regular maintenance routine should be established for sealing and cleaning the installation. Neutral pH cleaners can be used for day-to-day maintenance, with more powerful cleaners or poultices for specific stains. The stone should be resealed at 1 to 3 years in commercial applications and 2 to 6 years for residential. See the Mosaic Tile Company Natural Stone Care & Maintenance guide for more details.