Engineered marble needs to be correctly applied, the correct fitting of engineered marble will insure durability, beauty and …. . Engineered marble unlike engineered quartz has a higher porosity which makes it slightly less technical in application, although most recommendations made for engineered quartz also apply to engineered marble.
- Adhesive and cement instructions: according to the European Standards namely the prEN 12004 some manufacturers recommend a Class C2 cement based adhesives for engineered marble applications. Fittings where engineered stone is exposed to high temperature variations, a Class R2 will be advised. Applications of engineered stone on a non-cement base will need a suitable adhesive. Do read carefully the engineered marble manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper adhesive to use, especially the part which talks about water addition and dosage.
- Preparing the base: the base should be clean and leveled. It should also not have a humidity index above 2%, if such index is higher you may need to do a waterproof surface treatment.
- Prepare the adhesive according to the instructions, mix thoroughly.
- Spread a thin layer (up to 10 mm) of adhesive on the application area, due to the relatively quick drying of the adhesive, your working area should be defined accordingly. Use a grooved trowel for better adhesion of the engineered stone, the engineered stone has a very flat and smooth surface, so proper gluing methods is advised
- Apply adhesive evenly on the reverse side of the engineered stone tile or cut to size piece, this will ensure a good adhesion between your engineered stone and the base.
- Grout Joint: leave at least a 2mm grout joint in between each tile, if the area has severe temperature variations during the day and/or if the size of the tile is greater than 400mmx400mm, 5 mm may be recommended.
- Use a rubber mallet to ensure that the fitting is perfect and that the adhesive is evenly spread underneath the engineered marble tile.
- Clean any excess adhesive which may be appear on the tile with a humid mop, this should be done before applying the grout in the joint.
- Wait 24 to 48 hours before applying the grout, be careful while choosing the grout, follow manufacturers recommended products, as the engineered marble may absorb/stain with some products.
- Clean carefully the surface after filling the joints
You will need cutting tools during your engineered marble applications. Use diamond stone discs for the job, choose similar ones to natural marble and don’t forget the cutting process requires water to guarantee a perfect cut and higher durability for your diamond tool.
Grout joints between tiles are recommended as are area expansion joints, due to expansion index proper of engineered marble, you may not avoid these, read manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Most of the problems regarding engineered marble are due to application, in general most of them can be avoided by just following instructions.