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Installation Guide of Marble Granite Flooring Tiles

 

Marble granite and other stone flooring has quickly become one of the most popular flooring choices for home improvement projects. Marble and granite are naturally quarried stones that come in a variety of natural colors and textures. Marble granite tiles are durable and look very elegant when installed properly. In the past decades, the market for marble granite and other stone products have enjoyed drastic expansion, particularly when China joined the global market. Beauty, durability and fair easiness of installation make marble or granite flooring an ideal choice for the do-it-yourself home improvements. However, just like any other diy home improvement products,  you need to understand the pros and cons before deciding on tiling a marble or granite floor.

Choose Marble Granite Flooring

There are two common choices for marble or granite flooring. Each  creates a different visual effect for the floor. Traditional marble or granite tiles have polished shiny surfaces, adding a touch of class to the room. This type of tiles do look great in an entryway or foyer. Another type of marble granite tiles are getting increasing popular. That is tumbled marble or granite. Most tumbled tiles come in beige and milky tones. Instead of being polished, they are buffed, and the finish is earthy and has strong natural appearances. Tumbled marble or granite tiles, usually in large sizes,  work best in the open areas such as kitchen/dining rooms and great halls.

Understand Marble Granite Floor

Marble and granite are great flooring materials. They can also be problematic if handled improperly. Potential staining is one of the problems. shampoo, nail polisher and remover, and other household liquids can cause leave permanent staining on marble and granite. To avoid this serious problem, the tile should be sealed using a neutral pH breathable sealer after installation. In order to extend protection against staining, the sealer must be reapplied periodically. Depending on traffic of  the marble or granite floor, it is recommended to apply the sealer every 9-18 months. Secondly, you should not use commercial floor cleaners to clean marble and granite floors. Cleaning marble or granite floors with just warm water is a great practice. Remove tough stains left on marble or granite surfaces with peroxide soaked paper towels. Place the towel over the stain and cover it with plastic wrap. Leave it long enough for the peroxide to dissolve the stain, and then wash with warm water. After cleaning your floor with warm water, follow with a dry paper towel. As light colored marble or granite is easier to be stained, you may want to consider darker colors for flooring in the heavy traffic areas.

One apparent advantage of marble and granite flooring is the natural cooling property. Marble and granite are extremely dense materials that do not conduct heat well. This unique property makes marble and granite flooring extremely particularly in the areas with warm climate. Consider and prepare to use area rugs if you are prone to cold feet in the morning.

 
 

Installing Marble Granite Floor Tiles

In general, marble and granite flooring tiles can be installed in the similar way to installing ceramic tiles. The major difference is marble or granite is much heavier than the ceramic. As the first step of installation, the floor must be cleared and cleaned completely. If the tile are to be laid on top of wood base, make sure the entire base is sturdily secured. Otherwise, the tiles could crack in future. If the floor needs to be stabilized, add joists or jack supports to the level below the floor. After checking for stability, you need to check to be sure your floor is level. Using a long level, check for slope in the floor. Also check under the level to look for dips in the floor. If necessary, build up the floor. A level floor is fundamentally important for installing a marble or granite floor.

A cement backer board can be screwed directly to the plywood. This will reinforce the floor, since marble tiles are relatively heavy. The tiles do not give and are prone to cracking if the floor is not sturdy and unyielding. If you choose not to use a cement baker board, you will need to reinforce your floorboards with another layer of plywood. The tiles will be applied using a thin-set adhesive.

Once you have prepared your floor, it is time to start installing your marble or granite tiles. Start by finding the center of the room. Measure both the length and the width, and put a chalk line down the center of each. Where these lines intersect is the center of the room. Now, the next step is very important. Lay out your marble or granite tiles in a test run. This is important because if you end up with a tiny piece of marble at any end, you will need to shift your center line a little to avoid having a tiny edge on one end of your floor. To keep a symmetrical look, have the starting tile straddle the centerline if needed.

Now you are ready to begin laying your marble or granite flooring tiles. Always begin with the piece in or near the center. Trace around the outside of this tile. Apply mortar, preferably a thin-set mortar, inside the lines you traced. Place your tile on the mortar. This is your reference point for the rest of your floor. From this tile, spread your mortar and use a trowel to notch it. When applying mortar over seams in the floorboards, apply mesh mortar tape to the seams. This prevents cracks in the grout when you are finished. After putting each tile on the mortar, place a 1/16-inch spacer between it and the next tile. This will ensure that the finished project has and evenly spaced appearance.

Once you have finished laying your tile and given the mortar time to dry, it is time to seal the marble. We suggest to have a professional contractor to perform sealing job. Remember to seal marble or granite surface every nine to eighteen months.

Advantages of Marble Granite Flooring

The main advantage of any type of tile flooring, including marble and granite, is that if it is damaged or stained, you only need to replace the damaged tiles, not the entire floor. With a carpet or hardwood floor, any significant damage would require replacing the flooring for the entire room. You may want to consider buying some spare tiles, in case you need to replace some in the future. As marble and granite has naturally random textures, you may not be able to find an exact match to your flooring after a few years.

Now you have your a stunning marble or granite floor. You can ensure its longevity by doing a few simple things. First, whenever possible, remove your shoes before walking on the marble or granite surfaces. Shoes pick up oil and dirt that can scratch and stain the floor. Equal importantly, make sure to sweep or vacuum your floor before popping, so the floor surface is not scratched.

 
 

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