Paver and Tile Installation and Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions
Tips: Gothicstone Travertine, Limestone or Marble Paver Installation
Installation Considerations – Dry Set:
- The use of spacers is not necessary particularly when dry setting these pavers.
- No sealing or maintenance is required. Natural rain will flush and clean the stone.
- Same installation methods and considerations, like other decorative pavers, should be employed including using a pad on your vibrating plate.
- See our blog posts for specific considerations ie: Battling Mother Nature, Part I, mold/algae problems, https://www.gothicstone.com/how-to-battle-mother-nature-part-i/
Installation Considerations – Wet Set:
- For wet set installations, a high-quality penetrating sealer, recommend Stain Proof, www.Drytreat.com be employed as a grout release.
- For optimum performance on wet set installation on a concrete slab, the use of an anti-fracture membrane (such as Ditra b Schluter, www.schluter.com) is highly recommended but not necessary. Always respect expansion joints. Refer to the Paver Buyer’s Guide, downloadable on our paver website, www.marblepavers.com for more details.
Tips: Stone Care and Maintenance – Travertine, Limestone, and Marble Pavers for pool decks or patios
Hardwood decks/patios, as well as wood on houses/buildings, need to be power-washed, cleaned, and sealed on a regular basis. Although you power wash and seal a hardwood deck every year, natural stone deck maintenance is much less frequent.
- We recommend casual cleaning and sealing, with the proper sealers, at least every several years depending on what sealer product you use.
- You should not use a prophylactic coating type of sealer like you would on wood products. That type of sealer puts a coating on the wood and people often use that kind of sealer for concrete pavers, as well, with bad results.
- With natural stone, you should never use a prophylactic coating type of sealer because the stone wants to breathe. Use a “breathable” sealer which tends to last many years longer. When using a high-quality sealer, you will only have to seal every 5-10 years or longer. Gothicstone recommends Stain Proof, www.drytreat.com cleaners, and sealer products.
How to get the natural stone to visually “pop” again like it was new.
- We like to recommend that every couple of years, you do a mild muriatic acid wash on the stone. You must be careful but, it is not as scary as you may think. Here’s how:
- Saturate the surface of the stone, where you are working, with water.
- Use a 10-20% dilution of muriatic acid that you would purchase from your pool supply store or hardware store (it is already diluted when you purchase the container).
- Take the diluted jug and dilute it again to 5-1 (5 parts water, 1-part of the purchased diluted muriatic acid).
- Wash your deck/patio stone with the twice diluted muriatic acid (you can use a mop or bug sprayer).
- Sweep with a broom, then rinse it off with a heavy water flush.
Note: The acid should not be strong enough to do any damage to the ecology or be harmful to your flower beds next to the stone patio. Once the acid contacts the stone, there is a little bit of sizzle, a bit of chemical reaction that happens and then it should be neutralized.
Tips: Stone Care and Maintenance – Travertine, Limestone, and Marble Tile
- The only reason you need to seal natural stone, indoors, is to keep it from staining. Because we specialize in more rustic natural-looking stone (most that are non-polished), we recommend the use of a stone cleaner for your daily maintenance and, regular sealing applications using an impregnating sealer.
- Gothicstone recommends the following for regular cleaning and sealing:
- Stone Cleaner
• When to Use: Regular cleaning.
• How to Use: Mix with water – parts 2 to 1 (water to cleaner).
• What stone: Any polished or honed stone.
- Sealers: Stain Proof, www.drytreat.com
• When to Use: The drop of water test – if the water droplet still beads up, the sealer is still good. NEVER seal stone before thoroughly cleaning with proper cleaning products (Dry Treat also has cleaning solutions) and letting cure overnight.
• How to Use: Pour a bit on the floor or countertop and wipe with a clean sponge mop. For backsplashes, pour some liquid sealer on a clean, dry sponge, and wipe on the backsplash. The stone will absorb whatever sealer it needs and just wipe any excess away with a sponge.
• What Stone: Any polished or honed stone.
- Stone Cleaner
Tips: Travertine, Limestone, or Marble Tile Installation
- One of the most intelligent products we have ever seen is the Ditra product from Schluter. Schlüter®-DITRA is a polyethylene membrane with a grid structure of square cavities, each cut back in a dovetail configuration, and an anchoring fleece laminated to its underside. Designed for ceramic tile and dimension stone installations, Schlüter®-DITRA serves as an uncoupling layer for problematic substrates, a waterproofing membrane, and a vapor pressure equalization layer to accommodate moisture occurring at the underside of the substrate.
- To bond Schlüter®-DITRA, use a bonding mortar that is appropriate for the substrate. Apply the mortar using a 1/4″ x 3/16″ (6 mm x 4.5 mm) V-notched trowel. The anchoring fleece on the underside of Schlüter®-DITRA must be fully engaged in the mortar to provide a mechanical bond to the substrate. Using the thin-bed method, set the tile covering directly on the Schlüter®-DITRA in such a way that the tile adhesive becomes mechanically anchored in the square, cut-back cavities of the Schlüter®-DITRA matting. Schlüter®-DITRA is also suited as a support matting for covering materials such as stucco, plaster, or screed.