Georgian Limestone Laying and Sealing Instructions
1. When the Limestone arrives on site, stack upright and keep out of the rain. Store inside in a safe place and out of the way of other trades.
2. Ensure the floor to be tiled has been power floated to a smooth finish, or has been made Good with a levelling compound if the concrete finish is rough. New floors should be at least six weeks old (B.S.Regulation) so that all the moisture has evaporated.
3. Because the Limestone is a natural product there will be variation in colour and no two tiles look the same. So lay tiles on the floor to assess the overall appearance. Chipped tiles can be used as cuts at the skirting edge. Some tiles may have small holes that are part of the character of the tiles, not a defect, which will be filled with grout later by the Tiler. All the tiles have been checked in the Natural Surfaces warehouse before being despatched to ensure the highest quality when arriving on site.
4. Use a White floor adhesive by Evode, Bal etc. Use a Flexible one if underfloor heating is to be used or tiling over Timber Sheeting. Rapid Set adhesive is normally used on floors, and Slow Set on walls. Grey adhesive is not to be used as it will discolour the Limestone. Follow the manufacture's instructions on the back of the packs.
5. Lay the tiles on a 10mm bed of adhesive, using a 10mm comb. Use a grout space of 2 to 3mm. Do not butt them together so as to allow a certain amount of play. Expansion Joints should be used if Door Saddles are not to be used, and where Patio Doors are used, or where the floor in an extension meets the floor of the original house. A gap of 6mm should be used where tiling meets the skirting edge, columns, curbs, steps etc. Limestone skirting can be placed down over this and looks superior to timber skirting. In large floor areas, tiling should be divided up into bays at 8 to 10 metre intervals to allow for expansion.
6. Use a wet saw to cut the tiles. These are available in hire-all shops if the Tiler doesn't have one. The wet edge should be dried with a cloth and allowed to dry out before sealing.
7. Seal the Tiles with the Natural Surfaces Hardener Sealer. Pour into a container and apply with a 4" paintbrush. It will soak in quite quickly. Brush marks should be wiped away with the Floor Wiping Towel. Allow sufficient time to dry i.e. 3 hours, and don't apply if the temperature is below 5 degrees centigrade, or it will remain tacky and not dry out properly. Towels should be left outside so as to avoid self-combustion.
8. Ensure the job is protected when leaving by covering with 8' x 4' hardboard sheets or similar when other trades are competing in the area. Lay plastic sheeting on top of the hardboard to avoid dust, grit etc. Otherwise, just block off the room or shut the door if there are no competing trades.
9. Use an Ivory Grout with a Flexible Additive if underfloor heating is to be used. Pull it Across the tiles into the small surface holes and into the Grout Space with a squeegee. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the back of each pack. Because the tiles are 20mm thick the grout may sag, and a second application will be needed. Clean and dust off the surplus grout. Allow 24 hours to dry out.
10. The next day wipe the entire floor with a damp sponge to lift off the excess dust and wipe dry with old clean towels. Apply a second coat of Hardener. Do two courses of Tiles at a time, going from one side of the room to the other. Also, seal the Grout. Anything remaining after that must be wiped up with old clean towels. If left to dry out, it will become tacky and difficult to remove. Follow the same proceedure with the next two courses of tiles and so on. The Hardener Sealer gives protection against staining and deepens the colour. However, the Limestone must be treated with a degree of respect and any spillages must be wiped up as soon as possible. Depending on the porosity, some Limestone may need a third coat. Cloths must be left outside so as to avoid self combustion.
11. The next day, wax the entire floor with Natural Surfaces Beeswax. Do two courses of at a time. Allow 10 minutes to harden, then shine with the shining brush. The floor is complete. Further applications of wax will give added protection.
12. If applying to walls use a tile that is 10mm thick. Heavier tiles of 20mm thickness will fall away from Plasterboard/Drylining. In the shower area or where the bath is situated use a Tanking Solution Paint before tiling, and also embed tape over the joints and corners. This is to ensure a waterproof backing. Apply the Hardener to the wall tiles in the same manner as the floor tiles. Waxing the wall tiles is not necessary.
13. In relation to maintenance, sweep the floor as you would a normal floor. Once a week use a sponge mop to remove surplus dirt with lukewarm water, using soft soap/Lux Flakes. Stubborn marks can be removed with Beeswax applied to a cloth, or with a Plastic Brillo Pad. Wipe up floor with old towels and allow floor to dry off. Buff over Floor with the Natural Surfaces Flat Buffing Pad. Further waxing is recommended when a lot of foot traffic has occurred such as at Christmas or Easter time. Wax floor with cloth and allow 10 minutes to dry and harden. Shine with the shining brush or Flat Buffing Pad. A Patina/layer of wax will build up giving added protection.
14. Nylon pads should be stuck to the legs of chairs and tables. Put plastic cups on old furniture with castor wheels.
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