Installing your own limestone tile flooring can be a DIY project, though it is highly recommended that you hire a professional for the installation process in case there are ever any issues or problems that can be run into.
When limestone is in tile form, it can be installed in various areas throughout your home. Limestone is a very porous stone and can be easily stained through the installation process. So taking extra care must be done in order to protect the tiles from absorbing any colors from the mortar or the grout itself.
There are a few things that you will need to complete this project.
- Measuring tap
- Tile wet saw
- Tile spacers
- White, latex additive thin-set mortar
- Rubber mallet
- Foam paintbrush
- Stone sealer designed for porous stones
- Soft cloth
- Grout sponge
- Grout float
One key note is to always use the white setting materials with limestone. It is best not to use any gray mortars as these can end up staining the limestone tiles.
- Locate the wall furthest from the door that you use to enter the room and use the chalk to create a center line from that point and across to the opposite wall.
- Lay out the limestone tiles how you like for them to be installed, either in the area you wish to install them, or an area of equal size. As you are laying them out, take tiles from all the boxes of limestone, that way you blend together the different colors. If you find some that have some unique characteristics such as fossils or markings, arrange to have them out in the open where they will be seen.
- Starting on the opposite side of the room from where you enter, you will begin with the first row. You will align the first tile along the chalk line and continue setting more tiles out evenly along in a row. Use tile spacers if needed to keep them even.
- Cut and trim the limestone so that it fits along the edges with the tile wet saw. Make sure that they fit properly within the layout before you install them.
- Collect the tiles, going in backwards order and set them aside. You will then spread a thin layer of the white, latex additive thin-set mortar in the area that you plan to install the limestone tiles you just picked up. Press the tiles, one by one in the pattern you desire. As you are setting them down, do it at a slight angle and then twist them into place, this way you get good coverage.
- Using the rubber mallet, hit the tiles every few rows. Make sure that the edges of the tiles are lying flat and that none are higher than the others. If you do see some that are higher, hit it a few times with the mallet to push it further into the mortar.
- The mortar will need to dry for 24 hours. You will need to seal the limestone tiles themselves before you apply the grout. Using the foam brush, paint the sealer on each tile. Allow it to soak into the tiles, this will take about 10 minutes or so. Wipe away all excess sealer with a soft, clean cloth. The sealer acts as a grout release and that will help prevent the grout from staining the tiles.
- You will then take the grout and start spreading it over the tiles and grout joints using the grout float. You will need to hold the grout float at a 45-degree angle to the tiles in order to pack the grout between the joints. Scrape off all excess grout with the edge of the grout float.
- The grout will take about 10 minutes to dry. You will need to wash the limestone tiles with the grout sponge. Make sure to wring it out thoroughly and move it in a circular motion over the tiles. You will need to make sure to rinse it out frequently until the limestone tiles are completely clean. From there you will just need to allow the grout to dry for 24 hours.
And from there you are finished installing your own limestone tiles. Be sure to check and see if it would benefit you to apply a sealant to the grout that will not only make it easier to keep clean, but protect it over everyday life.
When in doubt contact a professional, contact us today to schedule your appointment to polish your natural stone flooring or if you have any questions.
Floor ReNew Houston
Natural Stone Restoration
4530 W. 34th Street Suite C
Houston, TX 77092