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Placing and Treatment Natural Stone

Download here our step by step guide for natural stone tiles.


Type: Marble mosaic tiles are tiles made of natural stone such as marble, whether or not finished by polishing. Production is (partly) manual.
Materials: Natural stone, marble
Characteristics: Marble is a natural product and is extracted in countries such as Italy and Turkey. Large blocks or plates are processed into smaller mosaic shapes, usually glued onto mats.
Variants: There are numerous variants that are often characterized by color and / or shape.
Applicability: Inside, outside, walls, floors.
Extra attention: Our mosaic tiles made from natural stone such as marble are more sensitive than other tile types. Be careful with acids or caustic cleaning agents. The processing of mats works differently than the processing of whole tiles, which is why mosaic tiles must be placed with extra attention and preferably by someone with experience.

The step-by-step plan and advice may differ per space or area of  the application. Below we give our advice for the most common placement of our mosaic tiles. Also read the important tips at the bottom of the step-by-step plan and contact us if you have any questions.

What do you need to install mosaic tiles:

  • Primer
  • Flexible tile adhesive
  • Flexible grout
  • 2 mm tile spacers
  • Angle grinder or water-cooled tile saw
  • Joint trowel, glue tub, glue comb 6 or 8mm, depending on the mosaic
  • Azule Cement Stain Remover (cleaning agent)
  • Bucket and sponge, wash-in set


STEP-BY-STEP PLAN 
Before you start tiling, make a plan of how the tiles should be placed. For example, are there patterns with borders (border tiles) and must everything be neatly centered in the room? Measure everything well in advance for a good result!

Priming
Is the surface on which you will be tiling absorbent or untreated? First make sure that you treat the surface with the correct primer. This can usually be applied with a block brush or roller. Follow the instructions and drying time of the respective primer.

Glue & install
Always glue the tiles on a flat surface with a flexible tile adhesive that is suitable for your tile type. We recommend an adhesive that is suitable for natural stone to be used for our mosaic tiles.
Use a glue comb 6 to 8mm and use tile spacers that have the thickness of the joints in the mats. Usually this is 2mm.
Use the glue comb to coat part of the surface with tile adhesive, around the size of about 3 tile mats. That way you can place the adjacent mat nicely with the same joint width. This is important because you ultimately want to see 1 whole where all joints have the same width.
Depending on your plan, and whether or not edge tiles are used, the mats may or may not be pre-cut.
Remove the excess adhesive residue on the tiles.
Let the adhesive dry for at least 24 hours before starting grouting.

Cut to size
Finish your surface completely and start at the end with the pieces that need to be sawn. Unless special border tiles are used, you can choose to place the edge tiles first and then the interior.
Mosaic tiles can be cut with a water cooled tile cutter or angle grinder, this requires extra attention because a mat is not as stable as a normal tile. So be careful with pieces of tile coming loose.
Make sure you always buy some extra tiles for the cutting loss that arises. Different patterns are possible, each of which causes its own cutting loss. Calculate this well in advance!

Grouting
When the glue is dry, the tiles can be grouted. Use a flexible grout. Mix it according to the proportions on the package. Then apply it with a joint spatula and ensure an even filling of the joints.
Let the grout dry (about 30 minutes) and remove the excess grout that remains on the tiles with a slightly damp sponge or cloth. Make sure you do not remove too much, the joints must remain well filled.
Mosaic tiles need a lot of grout because they have a lot of joints.
Once the grout is completely dry, you can clean the tiles several times with Azule Cement Stain Remover and a dry cloth until no more veil is visible.
Note: Only use acid-free products to clean the marble.

CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE

Maintain the tiles periodically (approx. 1x per week) with Azule Tile Soap and water. This agent is acid-free and contains a concentration of greasy soap that functions as a natural impregnation agent. By regularly mopping with Azule Tile Soap, the tiles get an increasingly beautiful and fuller appearance and also better protection against stains. Be careful with acids!

TIPS

  • Work in a clean and well-ventilated area.
  • We recommend that you have mosaic tiles installed by someone with experience.
  • Our mosaic tiles are handmade and can show color differences. This is inherent to these tiles and should be considered normal.
  • Get informed which grout color is best. This is different for each marble variant.
  • Make sure that the joint width between the mats is exactly the same as the joint width of the marble pieces in the mats. As a result, you will not see any ugly grids or loose mats later on.
  • Marble tiles are usually intended for indoor use, if they are used outdoors then always under a canopy protected from sun and rain. A heavy frost can damage these types of tiles.
  • Always read the instructions on the various products you will need to install tiles such as glue, grout and primer.
  • Be careful with acids! These can cause stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Marble is sensitive to external influences. It can therefore be decided to apply a layer of impregnating agent to protect the marble. Azule Tile Sealant is a suitable product to protect your tiles. 1 or 2 thin layers are sufficient.
  • If you are unsure about the correct treatment or if you have any questions about the treatment schedule, please do not hesitate to contact our helpdesk. We are happy to advise you and help you getting best results.
  • Make a good plan / sketch in advance of how you want to place the tiles and where the tiles should be cut. 
  • Work safely! Always use the correct protective products such as gloves, safety glasses and hearing protection. When cutting or grinding tiles, pieces can come loose and cause painful injuries. Make sure you always have a first aid kit within reach.

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