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PRODUCT SELECTION GUIDANCE

Natural Stone Tiles and Mosaics

It is important that you ensure that the tiles you are selecting are suitable for your application, below is more general guidance to help make the correct choice. We would always recommend using a professional tiling contractor that is familiar with fixing Natural stone tiles and that can give guidance on the correct tiles for your installation.

Location

There are a few things to consider when selecting the location of natural stone tiles, we would always recommend using honed (matt) tiles on high traffic areas as they will not show the usage as much as a polished tile that will require a lot more maintenance to keep looking its best. In shower and bathrooms, we would always recommend using large tiles where possible as this reduces the number of grout joints, which helps reduce any maintenance requirements.

AESTHETICS

There is also the aesthetics to consider, if you are looking for a contemporary or minimalist look for your property, we would always recommend a straight / sawn edge material with a honed or polished finish in as large format as your budget allows. For a more traditional country feel you would be better leaning towards tumbled and honed finish and it would also be worth considering a mix of different sized tiles such as opus pattern tiles or even using external paving products to create the look of old flagged floors.

If you need any future guidance on tile selection, please contact one of our team who will be pleased to advise, prior to your purchase.

CHIPPING, DAMAGE, AND BREAKAGES

There is always a level of slight damage with natural stone tiles, this is part of the production process and it is unavoidable. Every level of care is taken in packaging and delivery of these products but some level of damage will be present this is completely normal and acceptable within the natural stone industry. Any tiles where the damage may be visible should be used for cuts or in area that is not going to be seen. You can expect between 10-15% to be affected within your orders and this should be allowed for when ordering.

COLOUR VARIATION

Natural stone products will have a degree of colour variation within each product. Colours will change as the material is mined in different areas of the quarries so over time changes will occur. Even with each batch of stone there will be a large level of variation, you must ensure that you are happy with the colour variation before you start laying, as after installation exchange will no longer be possible.

If you require a more consistent coloured natural stone tile we would recommend using some of our limestones, slate, and light graded travertine tiles.

DELAMINATION

Sedimentary stone such as riven slate and very occasionally sandstone will have a certain amount of delamination during and following installation, this is due to the natural layers of these stones. Any loose material should be just removed and if this occurs after installation some additional sealer may be required. This is a natural process that occurs after the tiles are split in the quarries and will normally stop quickly after installation. This process does not affect the strength or suitability of these products for tile installations.

Slate tiles and hearths should not be installed in areas subject to direct and intense heat such as open fires, as this will cause extensive delamination.

PRODUCT QUALITY

There are a few things that you will need to investigate when selecting your Natural stone tiles to insure you purchase an excellent quality product.

Natural Stone and Timber Ltd can offer our customers the highest levels of quality in tiles, as we know that when buying natural stone, quality is a major factor and something that can make a real difference to the final look of your completed project.

Below are a few things that you must look out for to insure to you receive superior quality natural stone tiles.

Density – you are always looking for a dense heavy product, this is especially important in Travertine products as you want to limited surface pitting.

Colour grading - you will always get colour variation within natural stone, but it should be within a reasonable band of colour, this selection will normally be done in the quarry, but when dry laying you can have a lot of influence on this and any unsuitable coloured tiles can be selected out.

Surface finish – always look for a consistent honed or polished surface without noticeable variation within the finish.

Tolerances – there is always some level of size tolerance with natural stone tiles, but here at Natural Stone and Timber Ltd we have carefully selected our suppliers to insure the smallest tolerances with all our products. Please be aware products manufactured outside Europe will tend to have more size variation. European made products, such as Moca Brush limestone, Jura Grey Limestone and Travertine will have minimal tolerances but the added accuracy is reflected in the price.

EXTERNAL APPLICATION

Natural stone and timber do not recommend using tiles that are less than 20mm depth externally. In some circumstances it will be possible to install tiles as thin as 15mm externally, but a solid concrete base would need to be installed first and then these tiles fixing with suitable external tile adhesive.

IF YOU NEED ANY ADVICE PLEASE CONTACT A MEMBER OF STAFF AT YOUR LOCAL DEPOT, ON ONE OF THE NUMBERS BELOW, WHO WILL BE HAPPY TO ADVISE YOU ON ANY OF OUR PRODUCTS.

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