Laying of marble slabs or tiles from this stone demands taking care of its characteristics.
Marble slabs are a highly appreciated material for the decoration of different environments, thanks to its glossy finish and the variety of textures that contribute to give a sophisticated, personal and elegant touch to any place.
A strong material
Marble tiles, unlike ceramic slabs, can vary in composition, structure, compactness, hardness, foreign components, natural cracks, surface gloss. Also, despite being considered a strong material, it can be damaged by excessive pressure or by heavy objects falling on its surface.
For this reason it is important, when deciding to start a marble slab application, to verify at the time of purchase the physical characteristics of the same, since they can be very different depending on the manufacturer, processing methods and price.
Speaking of price, good quality marble slabs are not usually very cheap, so it is important to be clear about the quantity to be purchased. For this it is necessary to correctly calculate the surface to be covered with the tiles.
It should also be considered that marble tiles are intended to give the floor the appearance of a single piece. For that reason the edges of each piece are sharp and they are mounted tightly against each other.
The marble slab application assumes a perfect leveling and placement of each piece, without allowing deviations in height or sides, so it is important to work on a well leveled ground and keep the side edges of each piece completely clean and free of burrs.
It is important to remember that an irregular arrangement of marble tiles is the main cause of cracking due to foot traffic or other weights.
Use additives for marble slabs and tiles
A trick to remove the ridges is to pour a little acetone on the tile, then wipe it with a soft cloth and let it dry overnight.
The adhesive to be used is another important aspect to be taken into account when installing marble floor tiles, and it should be selected according to the type of marble to be worked on. Usually, for good calcareous marbles of fine grain and compact nature, mixtures of sand and white Portland cement are used, to which polymeric additives are added to increase adhesiveness, plasticity and setting time.
For marbles of a less compact nature, cracked with earthy incrustations and dolomitic marbles, epoxy adhesives are used, which also help to seal the tile on its support side. If you want to save some money, you can seal the support face of the marble tile or slab with a resin and then mount it with a conventional cement mixture.
The next step to start laying marble floor slabs is to measure the center of each wall and make a faint mark with a pencil. Then take a chalk line and hold each end of it against the centers of two opposite walls; lower the line and mark it on the floor to create a chalk line. The procedure should be repeated with the remaining two walls so that the two lines intersect and determine the center of the floor.
This mark will be used to continue marking a grid that will correctly indicate where each of the marble tiles should go.
Laying the marble tiles on the floor
The next step will consist of placing the tiles within the drawn grid without applying glue, in order to detect those areas where pieces will have to be cut to fit as perfectly as possible.
Once this is done, the marble slabs are removed and a layer of the adhesive mixture is applied to the floor with a notched metal trowel. Then proceed to place the tiles on the treated surface within 10 minutes after applying the mortar, taking care that the tiles do not run and that no traces of glue remain on their upper face.
If it is observed that part of the adhesive protrudes between the tiles, remove the excess with the help of a spatula or small knife.
Finally, let the glue dry for the time indicated by the manufacturer before walking on the new floor. In many cases it may be necessary to seal the marble slab or tile after installation, using special marble waxes to fill the pores and prevent water absorption.