Diy Stone Floor Tiles

This article is a do-it-yourself guide to laying stone flooring in your home. Steps and instructions are included for floor preparation and installation.

Stone flooring is an attractive and durable way to enhance your home. Stone floors come in many varieties including marble, slate, granite, limestone, and sandstone. Stone flooring is resilient, stain resistant, long lasting, and requires little maintenance if installed properly. There are a wide array of colors and patterns from which to choose. Though bathrooms and kitchens are common locations for stone floors, they can add to the beauty of any room in your house.

Measure the room you wish to floor and take a trip to your local home improvement store or flooring distributor. An associate should be able to help you choose what type of stone floor you wish to purchase. Keep in mind that most stone will come in tile form however you can also buy uncut stones. These stones are sold in their natural, irregular sizes. These floors take a bit more work because you have to find ones that fit next to each other.

The first step in laying your floor is cleaning. The area should be free from dirt and debris. Any appliances, baseboards, and door jams should be removed. Also check for any protruding nails or staples. Keep in mind that stone flooring is heavier than carpet or linoleum and requires more space for installation.

Your sub floor must be strong and secure. If the weight of the mortar and stone cause the sub floor to warp you will have problems with cracking and breaking. Secure plywood flooring with reinforced concrete board for extra support. This is always a good idea even if you think your sub floor is solid. Concrete sub floor will not need to be reinforced but be sure it is free of cracks and large divots. If you are installing stone floor in a bathroom, you may want to consider a rubber membrane that will protect your flooring from the expansions and contractions in the wood due to moisture. However if you use a reinforced concrete board to supplement your sub floor, this is not necessary. The concrete board will do the job just as well.

After you have your surface area ready, you will want to lay out your tiles for a dry run. See how the pattern turns out and if there are any tiles you will need to cut. Use a spacer to be sure that the tiles are laid exactly as you will want them to be when the floor is finished. A good space is 3/8 to 1/2 an inch. Closely inspect areas where the tiles or stones will meet the wall. You may have to undercut doorframes to be sure the tile fits underneath. Measure and mark tiles that you will need to cut to fit in corners and along the walls. If you are using natural shaped stones for your floor, this step may take you longer. You'll need to find the stones that best fit next to each other.

Use a wet saw to cut any tiles that need to be trimmed. Remember to use safety glasses and gloves to protect your face and skin from the sharp stone edges and any flying chips. Stone has its own grain, so cutting the tiles down can be tricky. Try cutting half way through on side of the tile and then flipping it over and finishing the cut.

Once you have your tiles trimmed, remove them from the room but leave them spaced out so you remember where they are to go. Mix up your mortar to begin laying the tiles or stones. Mix only enough mortar for about thirty minutes of work. If you mix too much at a time, it will begin to dry out on you.

Start in a far corner so you can back out of the room as you go. Spread your mortar with a notched trowel. Hold the trowel at an angle to be sure you get good groove marks in the mortar. Only spread your mortar over a small work area so it does not begin to dry before you can get all of your tiles laid down. Try starting with two by two foot sections. Next you can begin laying down your tiles or stone, using your spacer as you go. Press the tile or stone down firmly so that it adheres to the mortar well. Have a sponge and a bucket of clean water near you as you work. Use the trowel to gather any access mortar that comes up over the tile or stone. Use the sponge to clean any mortar off left on the face of the stone. Any mortar not cleaned off immediately will be harder, if not impossible, to clean off at a later time.

Let the finished floor sit for 24 hours before attempting to walk on it. You can then use a rag to clean the tile again. Next you will want to apply grout between the tiles or stones. Any brand of sanded grout is a good choice. These grouts come in many colors to compliment your choice of stone color. Using a rubber grout trowel, pack the grout into the joints and smooth the top to your liking. After you complete the room, wipe clean with a sponge and clean water. Remember to change your water frequently.

If you wish to seal your floor, wait a month before doing so. This gives the floor time to set up properly. Apply sealer to the floor per manufacturer's recommendations. Allow the sealer three days to dry completely before walking on your beautiful new floor.

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