FLOOR SLATE FIXING INSTRUCTIONS

FLOOR PREPARATION

Concrete /Screeds/Renders

Prior to laying the slates, the concrete floor must be completely cured and dry. Allow at least 4 weeks for fresh concrete to dry before tiling. There should also be a damp proof membrane below the surface to prevent rising damp.
It is preferable if the concrete is perfectly smooth, but if it is not, then a floor leveling compound should be used to fix the slates.

Timber Floors/Floorboards

Please ensure adequate ventilation beneath floors. Cover with boarding (plywood or chipboard) which must be at least 12 mm thick and be moisture resistant grade.. Secure with screws not nails at 150 mm centres. A floor primer should be applied prior to laying the tiles.

Existing floors/Tiles

All 'loose' floor coverings such as vinyl, should be completely removed. Old tiles must be thoroughly scrubbed clean and all traces of grease or surface contaminants removed. Roughen surface with a sander and prime with a PVA or similar. Apply flexible adhesive whilst bonding coat is still tacky.

GENERAL TILING INFORMATION

Tiling should commence in the corner of the room furthest from the door. As you cannot rely on walls to be straight, battening must be used to provide a straight starting point.
Using a measure and a chalked string line, mark the centre line of the room from the door to the far end. Find and mark the centre of this line.
Loose lay tiles complete with spaces from the centre point alongside the line to the far wall. Fix a straight batten to the floor at 90 degrees to the line of tiles where the edge of the last whole tile is.
Loose lay further tiles towards the corner of the room and fix another batten at 90 degrees to the first alongside the last whole tile. Check that the corner produced is exactly square, and that the positioning of neither line of tiles will result in narrow tiles having to be cut to fill in around the perimeter once the battening has been removed.
Tiling commences on the prepared corner following the instructions on the adhesive.
The final height of the floor once the slates are laid down should be bourne in mind especially with respect to any doors opening over it. These doors should be removed and reduced in height accordingly.

For cutting the slates, it is recommended that a Wet tile cutter with diamond blade is used.

LAYING THE SLATES

It is recommended that a selection of the tiles be laid out on the floor prior to fixing. This is to ensure a random mix is achieved and you do not get patches of colours on the floor.

Natural slate tiles are split by hand and therefore can vary in thickness. To lay a level floor, it is necessary to find and lay the thickest slates first and then with the adhesive, bed up all other thinner tiles so they are at the same height.

As the slate has been hand split, we will ensure there is always one "better" more smoother side, the reverse however may be rougher with chisel or grinding marks to remove excessive lumps etc. This side should always be laid on the adhesive.

It is strongly recommended that all the tiles are thoroughly cleaned/washed and allowed to completely dry prior to fixing. This is to remove any dust that may prevent the adhesive sticking to the tile.

When laying the slates, the adhesive must completely support every tile. There must be no gaps between the adhesive and slate. Every tile must be 'fully bedded'.

Once the slates have been laid, they must not be walked upon for at least 24hours or until the adhesive has fully set.

As the tiles are cut from a natural material the size of the tile can vary slightly. It is therefore recommended that that a grout joint of a minimum of 6-9mm is used between the tiles.

After grouting, excess grout should be removed from the surface as quickly as possible to prevent marking.

Please note when laying slates in a random pattern it is not possible to have identical grout lines. The tiles can only be laid with slightly varying grout lines.

Internal Use - Slate laid internally must be sealed with a suitable slate sealant to protect against staining. It is recommended that the slates are sealed after fixing, and prior to grouting to make it easier to remove any excess grout. A suitable product would be LTP colour intensifier.

Prior to each coat of sealant, all tiles must be clean and dry. If the slates are not cleaned properly prior to sealing, any dirt remaining on the tile will be sealed onto the surface and extremely difficult to remove.

Expansion Joints - If your room length is greater than 10 metres in any direction an expansion joint is recommended at 8-10 metre centers in that direction. If using underfloor heating an expansion joint is recommended at 6 metre centres in both directions.

For maintenance the slates may be resealed once the sealant has visibly been worn away. There are specialist everyday floor cleaners designed to maintain the life of the slate sealants. Please contact the Sealant Manufacturer for further maintenance advice.

Underfloor heating, in the form of the electric mat system or water piped system are suited for use with slate. A flexible adhesive and grout would be required.

Laying Travertine and Limestone and fossil stone

A white adhesive should be used with lighter / translucent stones to prevent any shadowing that can sometimes occur with a grey adhesive.

It is recommended that you butter the back of the travertine tiles with adhesive to fill in any holes prior to bedding on adhesive.

The travertine tiles are packed immediately after cutting, occasionally the tiles will still be wet on delivery, this will make the tiles appear darker than their true colour. In these instances please open the crate and allow the tiles to dry completely wherein the tiles will lighten to its true colour.

The filling in travertine can occasionally become loose and fall out and the pores can grow, this must then be re-grouted to keep tidy and prevent further damage to stone.

External Use - the slates must be laid on to a base constructed from well compacted hardcore and with a minimum of 75mm thickness of concrete. Thickness of hardcore should be at least 200mm on clay, sandy or peat subsoil. If the tiles are to be laid alongside the house wall, the top surface must be at least 150mm below the damp course level and the tiles must slope away from the wall.

We recommend that all the slate/sandstone/quartzite tiles be sealed with an impregnater when used externally.

To prevent staining it is recommended that the slates are sealed prior to grouting. A suitable product would be LTP Colour Intensifier.

We recommend that any travertine used outside should be sealed with a suitable sealant.

Please note: acid based cleaning products should not be used on certain slates.