Slate is an excellent material to be used for indoor as well as outdoor flooring. It is highly durable and is stain and slip resistant. These tiles are available in several colors, shapes, patterns and natural texture, which can enhance the visual appeal of the overall home decoration. There is not much difference between the interior or exterior slate tile installation. The important thing required is that the base flooring should be strong enough to hold the heavy tiles.
They tools required are diamond bladed wet saw, hammer, measuring tape, trowel, chalk line, utility knife, spacers, grouting float, sponge and bucket. Materials required include thinset, grout, caulking and tile sealants. You will also need protective gear like goggles, gloves and knee pads.
Preparation of the Floor: The first step involves thorough cleaning of the floor to remove the dirt and debris. Fill up cracks or damages areas with a leveling compound so that you can get a uniform base for laying the tiles.
Installation of Underlayment: This underlayment is a stiff material made of cement and will help to create a strong foundation for the flooring. Read the manufacturer's instructions and follow the same for installing this underlay pads. You can skip this step if the concrete floor has a uniform level surface.
Arranging the Tiles: Take a measuring tape and find the center of the floor from each wall and mark it on the floor. Draw straight chalk lines from this point towards all the walls. Start laying the dry tiles from the center with half inch spacers following the drawn lines towards the walls. When you reach the walls, measure and cut the tile to fill the gap between the wall and the tile using a wet saw.
Laying Mortar: Prepare the mixture as per the instructions given. Starting from the corner apply a layer of mortar over the underside of the tile and the concrete or the backer board using a trowel and place the tile immediately over it. Press gently with a wooden board and level it by tapping with a rubber mallet. Care should be taken that the spacing in between should be identical. Wipe off the extra mortar with the help of a damp sponge.
Application of Grout: Allow the slate tiles to set for a day or two as recommended by the manufacturer. Sanded grout should be used for slate tiles. Fill up the joints in between two tiles with grout. Ensure you wipe off grout from the surface immediately. Let the grout dry for 24 hours before you apply a coat of sealant to prevent staining of the slate tiles.