Light Travertine 1st Grade - Laying and Sealing Instructions

Tools: Wet saw, 10mm comb, Squeegee, Clean Sponges, Old Clean Towels, Bucket for mixing Adhesive, Bucket for mixing Grout, Bucket for Fresh Water, 4" Paint Brush.

1. When the Travertine arrives on site stack upright on timber sheets to protect the edges, and keep out of the rain. Store in a safe place out of the way of other Trades. The tiles may appear a lot darker than expected. This is because they are still damp from the manufacturing process and will dry out much lighter when down on the floor later.

2. Ensure the floor to be covered has been power floated to a smooth finish, or has been made good with a floor levelling compound if the concrete finish is rough. New floors should be at least 6 weeks old (B.S.Regulation) so that all the moisture has evaporated.

3. Because the Travertine is a natural product there will be variations in colour and no two tiles look the same. So, lay the tiles on the floor to assess the overall appearance. Chipped tiles can be used for cuts at the skirting edge. Some tiles may show signs of a grout scum on the surface. This is from lime coming to the surface as the tile dries out or from the White or Dark Fillers used in production in the manufacturing process. Fine Sandpaper will remove this an assist in the drying process. All the tiles have been checked in the Natural Surfaces Warehouse before being despatched, to ensure the highest quality when arriving on site.

4. Use a White Floor adhesive by Evode, Bal etc. Use a Flexible one if underfloor heating is to be used or tiling over Timber Sheeting. Rapid Set Adhesive is normally used on floors, and Slow Set on walls. Grey Adhesive is not to be used as it will discolour the Travertine. Follow the Manufacturer's instructions on the back of the packs.

5. Lay the tiles on a 10mm bed of adhesive, using a comb with 10mm notch size. Grout space is to be 2 to 3mm. Do not butt the tiles together so as to allow a certain amount of play. Expnsion Joints should be used if Door Saddles are not to be used, where Patio Doors are used, or where the floor in an Extension meets the floor of the original house. A gap of 6mm should be used where tiling meets the skirting edge, columns,, curbs, steps etc. Skirting can be placed down over this and looks superior to timber skirting. In large floor areas, tiling should be divided up into bays of 8 to 10 metre intervals so as to allow for expansion.

6. Use a Wet Saw to cut the tiles. These are available in hire-all shops if the Tiler doesn't have one. The wet edge should be dried with a cloth and allowed to dry out before sealing.

7. Seal the Tiles with Natural Surfaces Hardener Sealer. Pour into a container and apply with a 4" Paintbrush. It will soak in quite quickly. Brush marks should be wiped away with the Floor/Wall Wiping Towels. Allow sufficient time to dry i.e. 3 hours, and don't apply if temperatures are below 5 degrees centigrade, or it will remain tacky and not dry out properly. Towels should be left outside so as to avoid self-combustion.

8. Ensure the job is protected when leaving by covering with 8' x 4' hardboard sheets or similar when other trades are competing in the area. Lay plastic sheeting on top of the Hardboard to avoid dust, grit etc. Otherwise, just block off the room or shut the door if there are no competing trades.

9. Use an Ivory Grout with a Flexible additive if underfloor heating is to be used. Pull it across the tiles into the small surfaces holes and into the Grout Spaces with a squeegee. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the back of each pack. Because the tiles are 12 to 15mm thick, the grout may sag, and a second application will be needed. Clean and dust off the surplus grout. Allow 24 hours to dry out.

10. The next day wipe the entire floor with a damp sponge to lift off the excess dust and wipe dry with old clean towels. Aply a second coat of Hardener. Do two courses of tiles at a time, going from one side of the room to the other. Also seal the grout. Anything remaining after that must be wiped up with old clean towels. If left to dry out, it will become tacky and difficult to remove. Follow the same proceedure with the next two courses of tiles and so on. The Hardener gives protection against staining and deepens the colour. However, the Travertine must be treated with a degree of respect and any spillages must be wiped up as soon as possible. Depending on the porosity, some Travertines may need a third coat. Cloths must be left outside so as to avoid self combustion.

11. The next day, wax the entire floor with Natural Surfaces Beeswax. Do two courses of tiles at a time. Allow 10 minutes to harden, then shine with the shining brush. The floor is complete. Further applications of wax give added protection.

12. If applying to walls use a tile that is 12mm thick. Heavier tiles of 20mm thickness will fall from Plasterboard/Drylining. In the shower area or where the bath is situated, use a Tanking solution Paint before tiling along with tape which you embed into the joints and corners. This is to ensure a waterproof backing. Apply the Hardener to the wall tiles in the same manner as the floor tiles. Waxing the wall tiles is not necessary.

13. In relation to maintenance, sweep the floor as you would a normal floor. Once a week use a Sponge mop to remove surplus dirt with lukewarm water, using soft soap/Lux Flakes. Stubborn marks can be removed with beeswax applied to a cloth, or with a plastic Brillo Pad. Wipe up floor with old towels and allow floor to dry off. Buff over the floor with the Natural Surfaces Flat Buffing Pad. Further waxing is recommended when a lot of foot traffic has occurred e.g. Christmas or Easter time. Wax floor with a cloth and allow 10 minutes to dry and harden. Shine with the shining brush or Flat Buffing Pad. A Patina/layer of wax will build up giving added protection.( Sprinkle drops of water on the floor. If they form globules the floor is fine. If they sink in the floor needs waxing.)

14. Soft Nylon Pads should be stuck to the legs of chairs and tables. Put Plastic Cups on old furniture with Castor Wheels.

Natural Surfaces
66 Carrigmore Crescent, CityWest,
Co. Dublin
Fax: +353 12350603 Telephone: +353 12856810
Mobile 087 2623672