How to fix natural stones

Common issues and queries you can face

Different types of stones

Limestones, granite, marble, slates…Each type of natural stones has its own technical or aesthetical characteristics, and their composition can vary drastically when compared to standard ceramic tiles.

Fixing stones thus requires special care and special ap­plication methods. 

Identification of the stones installed is essential to for proper preparation and application. 

Artificial/reconstituted stones however, have different composition and require adapted application techniques and special tile adhesive products (fast-setting adhesives,...etc).

Not all natural stones have same characteristics

Mechanical characteristics, hardness and cohesiveness of natural stones can differ a lot. Thus, natural stones are not regulated in terms of porosity and movement. 

Sandstone and limestone will be porous. Granite and marble will be quite dense, slate could warp.

Tile adhesive and stones

Some light-colored natural stones require special care when fixing them. 

Stains and different shades are a frequent phenomenon that appear when fixing light-colored natural stones (especially limestone/marble tiles). This can result from bad transfer of the tile adhesive between the substrate and the natural stone.

As well, if a grey adhesive is used, this can make the tile appear darker in shade once installed. (Alkalis contained in the cementitious adhesive can create a natural chemical reaction) 

A spot-fixed method of application should not be used by tilers as it can result in shadows seen from the tile’s face where the adhesive is in contact. It also increases the likelihood of point load breakage.

Tiles may be susceptible to scratching

Same tile grouts can scratch soft glazed tiles (such as hand-made tiles) and the surface of soft stone (such as marble).