Intallation & Maintenance
To get the most out of natural stone, you need to make sure you install it properly and look after it. This way you will have the right finish and a product that will last.
Make sure you use a reputable and experienced contractor to install your products.
How do I get the right mix in colour and pattern in my natural stone?
With real stone, you’ll find colour and pattern variations happen naturally. If you lay out your tiles before fixing, you can check you get a good mix of line and shade across the area and make best use of this variation.
Does natural stone need to be sealed?
You should talk this through with your contractor though we recommend you seal your tiles. This will protect the stone from spillages, dirt, sunlight and other ways that change the stone. It will help protect your stone for years to come. You should always check manufacturer’s instructions for suitability and application.
It’s particularly important to use a sealant if you’re installing stone in areas of frequent or prolonged contact with water, like in showers. This will stop the stone from staining but show off its lustre.
You may need to reseal your stone. This will depend on where the stone is installed and what it’s exposed to. Check with your contractor and the manufacturer’s information.
Porcelain tiles usually do not need sealing where they are used internally.
How do I clean my stone tiles?
Externally laid stones can be cleaned with a high-pressure jet wash though this may damage pointing over time. The simplest way to clean natural stone paving is with hot, soapy water and a hard bristle brush.
For slate, use clean water to wash it and then dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots.
Don’t use cleaners that are abrasive, contain vinegar, bleach, ammonia or acid and always check the product label for any of these ingredients. You should look for a pH neutral cleaner as this will not damage the stone. Some stone, like black limestone, is particularly sensitive to acid-based products. It’s always best to talk to the retailer or check the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Sweeping and vacuuming stone is an easy way to collect debris and dirt. If you use a vacuum, check the soft bristles are in contact with the surface so that you don’t scratch the tiles.
For spills and drips, you can prevent stains by quickly blotting the spill with a paper towel. Don’t wipe, as this will spread the spill. Porous stone usually cleans up well though so if you have a particular type of stain, look for specialist cleaners to fix this.
Installing and cleaning split face tiles
Split face tiles aren’t suitable on walls where there’ll be prolonged periods of direct contact with water, such as shower enclosures, even if a sealer is used. However, they can be used in wet areas if the wall has been tanked and there is a lip/edge fix at the top of the tiles to prevent water running down the back of the tiles.
For external walls providing, they must be back butted and have a lip or ledge fixing at the top of the tiled wall to prevent rain water running down the back and damaging the joints. Use a water-resistant adhesive to secure the tiles to the walls and use a stone sealer after installing.
If you’re using split face tiles around fireplaces, use a heat-resistant adhesive.
Split face tiles can normally be cleaned with a damp wet cloth or sponge depending on the location of your feature wall. However, to protect the tiles to prevent water absorption or other fluids which might be spilt on the tiles Romex sealer is recommended to protect them in areas such as kitchens or bathroom where the occurrence of water splashes is minimal.