Natural Stone | Installation

Use a professional

  • this type of floor is heavy, difficult work
  • it’s labor intensive and extremely exacting
  • not for the do-it-yourselfer
  • installing stone flooring is a skill that is developed through years of experience 


  • prepare the substrate
  • cement subfloors can apply the mortar directly to it to lay the tile
  • wood subfloors require a CBU (cement backer unit)
  • movement in the substrate material can sometimes occur
  • for example, water penetrating the grout and/or freezing and thawing temperatures can sometimes cause tile to rise, crack or chip
  • area gets measured
  • snap chalk lines for an accurate layout
  • determine which pieces of tile will need to be cut to fit the area
  • tiles that need to be cut are measured and marked with a pencil
  • then use a wet saw with a diamond blade to cut through
  • begin setting the tile
  • thinset mortar, which is a cement-based adhesive, is applied to the surface with a trowel
  • tile then placed into the thinset and pressed firmly into place
  • imperfections in your subfloor will require differing amounts of mortar to be applied
  • this installation, known as a medium bed installation, is more time consuming and costly

Grout, wedge or butter

  • depending on the type of tile, may be installed with narrow grout joints
  • larger area - wedges or spacers may be used to maintain consistent spacing
  • installers may also back butter the back of the tile with thinset mortar to strengthen the bond


  • after tiles are set and the thinset mortar has fully cured, joints are filled with grout
  • sanded and un-sanded grouts are used
  • type of grout used is determined by the tile, grout joint and width
  • mixture is spread over the tiled area to fill in all the joints
  • sponge is used to remove excess grout from the surface of the tile

Before installation day

  • relocate furniture
  • empty china cabinets and closets
  • consider removal and disposal of old floorcovering
  • remove it yourself and leave 1 day before install
  • moldings and baseboards need to be removed for stone installation
  • installers not responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood
  • painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching (this is your responsibility)
  • existing sub floor may need to be prepared to receive the stone

Door plan

  • possibility that doors may not clear the new floor and swing free
  • installers may remove doors and rehang for an additional cost.
  • for clearance issues, arrange for a qualified carpenter to shave or cut down


  • waste will be produced
  • waste collected and disposed of by installers at an additional cost

Installation day

  • be home and available
  • be prepared for questions
  • presence insures the right wood is installed in the right areas
  • exact time of arrival cannot be guaranteed, only a time frame


  • installers use tools and techniques that can be hazardous
  • make sure that children and pets are out of the work area
  • follow through with a walk-through
  • prior to completion walk through to ask questions and be clear on any final details

After installation day

  • establish good ventilation for 48 to 72 hours
  • be prepared