How to Install Natural Stone Tile

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 48,690
    Expert contractor Mark Le Mon demonstrates how to install natural stone by using a compound Thinset mix that is premixed.

    Mark Le Mon: I am Mark Le Mon, Project Manager and you are learning how to tile. Okay, now we are going to be installing natural stone by using a compound Thinset mix that is premixed. You can also use the dry mixed bag version but I recommend when you are doing walls if you use the premix it's a lot easier and faster. You want to have on hand a bucket of water and a sponge, of course your stone. A trowel, tape measure, pencil and a wax pen for marking off your designs and your cuts. Okay, as you see I have already finished one wall complete it's un-grouted and I will be moving over to this wall over here which we are going to continue across the kitchen face and we will be cutting around some outlets and some switches. So let me get this measured out and I will be back with you in just a minute. Okay so I precut this corner trowels to match up with the distance of the length of the tile to cut around the corner. In position it will look that. I am going to continue that across till we get up to our outlets and then we are going to cut around the outlets. So let me show you how you do that. First you are going to take your compound. You have seen many times where people will kind of put it across the whole wall, but because we have many cuts what we are going to be doing, I want to make sure that we have a nice clean wall to work with and not have anything sticking to any tile that we don't want in the way. I am taking a full piece tile and I am putting this inside, right here on this edge, leaving a little bit of space. We will have then the next tile that we are going to place. As I go along I check to make sure that the edges are lined up, if they are not I want to pull out the tile, I want to go about the compound enough so that everything is nice and flat.

    Alright, so I have put this in place nice and lined up, every so often I want to come back with a wet sponge, I am going to clean off any excess Thinset that is on there so that it stays nice and pristine after everything is all dried. If you see any areas that some of the compound has come through the way you are going to cope, you just push a little blade in there just like that. In this type of application where you have a very tight grout line, we will be using non sanded grout when we grout this. It allows the grout to penetrate a very small area. Be careful when you work with these, they are very sharp.

    Okay, you want to separate this from the wall and you want to lay the tile and place over the hole and then mark off the outside part of the box where you are going to make your cuts and the bottom of the box where you are going to make your cuts. Okay so we are going to place our tile over the hole, we are going to mark an outside area on both sides of the outlet. You are going to slide it to one slide and you are going to find your bottom, you will bring the pencil to your bottom, you are going to mark off your bottom. Now you are going to square cut this right here and that will be your outlet. So I have taken these pieces which I have hand cut and hand honed using a belt sander to grind and round off the corners of the edges and then you take a wet sponge or just probably about 200 grit underwater in your hand polish these and you have your finished corners which should match up beautifully and give you a nice finished rounded edge. It's good to number these pieces because not every wall is going to be absolutely square, so this way you know exactly what order they go into the wall. Take them and then you push them into the wall so they get nice adherence, smooth it out, finish your edge off and prepare to sponge after your last piece. There went last piece in. Clean out your grout lines. Okay, there you have it.