We have several producers world wide, and although most of them give you unique properties for all their product range, the truth is that each specific colour/item has specific technical information that can cause problems during the installation of you tiles.
The composition of a engineered stone is 90-95% natural stone, using polyester resin as a binding agent. As natural stone has a more or less stable behaviour, the polyester resin is what makes this product so complicated when applied in a tile format. You may have finished products which include 5% resin, and others with 10% .... Yeah well, the producer often says 5% or 7%, this is a figure of speech.... In reality the quantity of resin is defined by the type of quartz grain used in producing it. The bigger the grain, let's say 0,7-1,2 mm will use less resin, than a 0-0,7mm grain, we call these latter products fine grain.
So you can have almost 10% resin in an engineered stone which may alter significantly its physical behaviour when exposed to day-to-day usage. I'm covering this product in respect to tiles, regarding countertops this information is less relevant, when dealing with countertops, they counter has open space to compensate all this we have spoken of.
One important thing just before we follow the 6 step installation method for quartz tiles. When applying fine grain quartz on floors, the manufacturers won't tell you this, but these types of materials react badly to traffic, after some traffic they'll show micro-scratches on the surface .... when the dirt accumulates, the floor becomes ugly and dirty, you can clean it, but quickly it'll return. While manufacturers claim that they their products are all alike, the truth is as I said before, their products vary ... so be careful. This doesn't apply to counters, as floors normally have more wear due to traffic, and other solid objects that come with it, like sand and gravel.
Install Quartz Tiles using these recommended 6 steps:
- Clean the area before applying the adhesive, make sure their are no cracks or unlevelled area; Also the area must be dry, water is not recommended during the application of this type of adhesive.
- Spread a thin layer (2-5mm) of the bi-component adhesive (this adhesive should use liquid latex, not water type adhesive), you should mix thoroughly before applying and make sure it doesn't harden before you finish steps 5.
- Use the notched side of the trowel to comb the thin layer of spread on the floor (Step 2)
- Apply a thin layer of adhesive on the backside of the tile
- Use a rubber mallet to fit and level the tile
- Use masking tape along side of the joints and then grout with polyurethane mastic