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Pebble Tile Installation Guide
author: Irene [ 2011-03-16 01:58:51 ]

Guidelines for Installation of Pebble Mesh Tiles Decorative pebbles and Pebble Mesh tiles can be used in an extensive range of design applications, internally and externally. Applications include foyers, bathrooms, fountains/water features, pools, driveways, pathways, kitchens, feature walls, fire places and in entertainment and barbecue areas.

SUBSTRATES
All substrates should be firmly fixed, flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants. Deflections should be a maximum of 1/360 of the span for walls and floors. Wet areas require special attention requiring appropriate substrates, e.g. concrete, making sure to first apply water to check for any puddles, if so, then those areas will require an acrylic based self leveling compound before you start the tiling project.

Cement boards (compressed sheet), is required for plywood type sub-floors. The use of reinforced waterproof membranes is suggested, in the case of floors with a drainage point of not less than 2 inches.

WATERPROOF MEMBRANES
These prevent leakage of water through to sub-floor framing and or habitable spaces below. Particular attention must be paid to carrying the membrane up the wall at least 12” and should be installed before installing the green rock (water resistant sheet rock), outside shower boxes, installation of bond breakers and sealing around penetrations. It is strongly recommended that membrane systems be used in all wet areas, including exterior suspended decking. Some systems involve the use of a primer.

ADHESIVE OR THINSET

The manufacturer’s literature will explain if the product is suitable for interiors and or exteriors, as well as walls and floors. A cement-based adhesive(thin set) is generally suitable on masonry substrates where no movement is anticipated (i.e.,walls). Attention should be paid to manufacturer’s literature when mixing the thin set with water. A thicker mix is recommended for walls, so that there is greater adhesion once you apply the pebble mesh to the surface. However, Where slight movement could occur through thermal or pedestrian loads, a modified cement adhesive should be used.

Note: it is important that each pebble is embedded in the adhesive. Note that for small areas, such as kitchen or bath backsplashes, you might want to consider using a ready mix acrylic based mastic adhesive. Select a suitable product for application with a 1/4″ or 1/8″ notched trowel and apply to no more than one square yard of adhesive at a time.

GROUTING
The grout should be suitable for joints up to 3/4″ in width and designed for external or internal conditions whichever may be the case. For any grout joint of larger than 1/8″ sanded grout is recommended. Generally, grouts are a water mix but where some flexibility a latex additive or similar should be used. It is important to wait the interval recommended by the adhesive manufacturer before grouting to minimize dirt ingress between the pebbles and avoid the opportunity for dislodging of pebbles.

Note: the recommended time is at least 24 hrs. Particular attention must be paid to that requirement when it is the floor.

Note: Using the right tools for grouting pebble mesh is important. It is highly recommended to purchase a sponge type float, Which can be found in the cement tools section of your local hardware store. It is a coarse (usually red) rubber float (9×4). Not only will this tool speed up the grouting process, but it will also leave less excess grout to sponge off.

In the event that one desires to better expose the pebbles, it is suggested using a type of sponge with a dual surface (one side rough the other side smooth) during the sponging off process, installer to repeatedly remove the excess grout from the joints by the use of the rough side of the sponge first. During this process, it is also recommended that, if more pebble is desired, the installer should then use a medium bristled brush and the soft side of the sponge by repeatedly removing grout from the joints until the desired affect is achived.

CURVED SURFACES
Pebble sheets can be easily fitted around a gently curved surface such as a column.( Note: When approaching wall surfaces that have inside or outside curves, It is recommended that the thin set mixture and the grout included a latex additive. So plan the tiling process wisely.) If the sheet is turned around a right angle, some pebbles will need to be plucked off the mat where they are distorted at the corner and replaced with smaller pebbles to maintain uniformity at this point.

SEALANTS & ENHANCERS
It is recommended to use an appropriate sealer before and after grouting of the pebble tiles. For the best result a good quality penetrating sealer should be used. These types of penetrating sealers ordinarily do not change or alter the color of the stones. In order to enhance the color of the pebble tiles, to a matt or glossy finish, it is suggested to use a proper Enhancer product after the grouting process is completed.

MAINTENANCE
To clean you can use a vinegar solution or a 10% hydrochloric acid solution with water applied with a stiff bristled broom. A mild detergent will work as well. Keep in mind the pebble stone is a porous product and water absorption in pebbles will vary and some staining will occur in different degrees if the stone is not sealed properly. Consequently, any spills should be cleaned quickly to lessen the degree of the stain. If using the acid process, please take every precaution and use the product safely. After sponging off, rinse off excess acid with a bucket or water or hose. To bring the pebbles to its full potential luster, we recommend sealing according to above mentioned SEALANTS & ENHANCERS section. Clear gloss or flat stone, non-yellowing professional acrylic grade sealants are available. There are many different products available on the market, however we recommend contacting your nearest tile supplier for the most appropriate sealer for your application.

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