If you are planning to lay marble tiles yourself, without professional help, then it is very important to get it right. Marble tiles are expensive and, although you will save money by laying them yourself, there is no point doing it incorrectly and negating any savings you have made and perhaps even paying out more in the end. Let me guide you through the entire process.
Prepare the surface
First of all you need to prepare the surface where you are going to lay them. It needs to be clean, dry and leveled. It may be that you need to lay a new sub floor (the floor beneath the tiles,) and whether this is wood or concrete, depends on the existing sub floor. A concrete sub floor should be laid on existing concrete and plywood or hardwood on wooden floors. Concrete should dry for at least 28 days before tiling.
Finding the exact center of the floor
So now you have your sub floor ready for laying the tiles and the next thing you need to do is the layout so that you have a plan of where and how the tiles will go. Find the exact center of the floor because you will start to lay your tiles from there.
Thinset must match with the color of marble tiles
When you choose the thinset, bear in mind the color of the tiles. Light-colored marble can be a little transparent and if you use the wrong thinset then this can change the color. Use cold water for mixing it and make sure there are no lumps.
Spread the thinset quickly
Spread the thinset with a trowel in an area that you will be able to finish laying tiles in about ten to fifteen minutes so that it doesn’t set before you finish laying the marble tiles. Keep checking the levels with a spirit level as you go.
Use tile spacers
Make sure that you use tile spacers so that you get even spacing between all the tiles. Once you have finished tiling allow the floor to dry overnight and then you will be ready to grout them the following day. Choose the color of the grout to either match the tiles or to highlight them. For marble tiles you should be using unsanded grout to avoid scratching them. Before grouting, clean the tiles of any excess thinset.
Use a proper grout float
Spread the grout over an area of the floor with a proper grout float. This has a rubber pad on the bottom for spreading and pushing the grout into the cracks between the tiles. Hold the float at an angle and make sure that all the cracks are well filled with grout.
When you have finished, clean off any excess grout with the float and then, after the time stated in the directions on the packet, wipe the tiles with a damp cloth or sponge taking care not to remove any grout from the cracks. Rinse the cloth every so often as you go, so that you don’t leave smears of grout on the tiles. Once the grout has fully set, polish with a soft dry cloth and seal it with an anti-mold/mildew product.
You will now have a beautifully tiled, marble floor. Take care of it by cleaning with a brush, mopping with warm water and drying with a soft cloth.