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Natural stone tiles can weigh as much as 30kg per square metre so the most impoertant part of your preparartion is to make sure your walls are strong enough to hold this weight. If, not you may have to use tile backer board.

Preparing to Tile with Natural Stone Wall Tiles

tumbled marble natural stone tileNatural stone tiles are very heavy and can weigh between 25kg and 30kg per square metre so you need to be sure that your walls are strong enough to hold this weight. The strongest walls will be concrete render but if you don’t have this type of wall then you will need to use plywood sheets or tile backer board to support the weight of the natural stone tiles. Tile backer board is also waterproof so is useful in bathrooms to create an additional protective layer.

Whatever type of substrate you have on your walls, always use flexible adhesive and flexible grout to avoid any damage from slight movements in the walls over time.

A tile is traditionally laid directly above and next to neighbouring tiles but a more contemporary trend is for them to be laid like bricks – directly next to each other but with each horizontal layer of tiles offset by half a tile width from the layer above and below. This adds and interesting dimension but additional features can also be added by creating a border with specific border tiles or by using mosaics.

Once you are ready to begin tiling you need to determine your starting point. Use a spirit level to mark a vertical line at the centre of the wall with the largest surface area to be tiled. Then mark a horizontal line around the room at a height that will give you an equal distribution of tiles between the floor and the ceiling. This horizontal line may need to be determined with a bit of trial and error and will depend on the size of your tiles. Watch out for doors, windows and the bath (if tiling a bathroom) or the cabinets of tiling a kitchen to ensure that you don’t end up with small section of tiles in prominent places.

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