Tile Installation Recommendations

Standing Pebbles
RECOMMENDED INSTALLATION
SOLISTONE Standing Pebbles can be used in an extensive range of design applications, indoors and outdoors. Applications include kitchens, bathrooms, foyers, fountains, water features, pools, pathways, feature walls, fireplaces, borders, floor accents and entertainment areas. During manufacturing, pebbles are center-cut and hand sorted into correct sizes and individually glued onto a mesh backing. As pebbles are a natural product, no two pieces will be exactly alike. It is not unusual to find occasional flaws, veins and lines of separation within the pebbles. This variation is a considered to be desired feature in the product.

SUBSTRATES
All substrates should be firmly fixed, flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants such as dust, oil, paint, sealers etc. to ensure proper adhesion. Painted surfaces must be scuffed or sanded for the product and adhesive to bond correctly. Wet areas need special attention and require appropriate substrates, e.g. concrete, cement boards (compressed sheet), and/or treated plywood. The use of reinforced waterproof membranes is suggested.

WATERPROOF MEMBRANES
Waterproof membranes prevent leakage of water through to the sub-floor framing and/or habitable spaces below. Particular attention must be paid to: carrying the membrane up the wall, outside shower boxes, installation of bond breakers, and sealing around penetrations. It is strongly recommended that membrane systems be used in all wet areas. Some systems may involve the use of a primer.

CURVED SURFACES
Due to its flexible mesh backing, the SOLISTONE Standing Pebble tiles can be installed around gently curved surfaces. Some alterations of the tile may be required in order to create uniformity by removing and replacing some of the pebbles by hand.
 
CUTTING
Cuts can be done with either a wet saw or a hand grinder with the appropriate blade. The mesh backing can be easily cut with a utility knife. Some pebbles may need to be removed and replaced by hand to make the installation look more seamless.

ADHESIVE
Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions carefully. SOLISTONE does not recommend one brand of adhesive over another. Please check with your local tile supply store for alternative and comparable products. The manufacturer’s literature will explain if the adhesive product is suitable for interiors and/or exteriors, as well as walls and floors. Most thinset mortars (multi purpose and polymer modified thinsets) are adequate for installing standing pebbles. A cement-based adhesive is generally suitable on masonry substrates where no movement is anticipated. Where slight movement could occur through thermal or pedestrian loads, a modified cement adhesive should be used as a minimum. A 1/4” square notch trowel is recommended for most applications. Use a gray or tinted thinset mortar if you are using the dark pebbles, and a white thinset for lighter colors. It is very important that each pebble is embedded in the adhesive.

GROUTING
Generally, grout is not necessary for the installation of the Standing Pebble tiles. For some flooring applications, such as borders or floor accents where grout may become necessary, grout should be suitable for joints up to 3/4\" in width and designed for external or internal conditions which ever may be the case. Sanded grout is generally recommended for any grout joint larger than 1/8”. Grouts are ordinarily water mix but where some flexibility may be needed, a latex additive or similar product 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 the pebbles.

In the event that one desires to better expose the pebbles, it is suggested that during the grouting process, the installer repeatedly removes the excess grout from the joints by the use of a medium bristle brush and sponge. During this process, it is also recommended that, if necessary, the excess grout is carved from the edge of the pebbles by use of an appropriate knife.

SEALANTS
Depending on the nature of use, sealers may or may not become necessary. We do not recommend sealers for water features or some outside walls. However, there are various products available on the market and we recommend contacting your nearest tile supplier for the most appropriate sealer for your application. Whenever using sealants and acids, please ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended method of application.

CARE & CLEANING
SOLISTONE Standing Pebble tiles must be regularly cleaned and maintained to extend the beauty of the tile. The pebbles can be cleaned with a neutral mild detergent. The porosity or water absorption in pebbles varies and therefore staining will occur in different degrees if the stone is left unsealed (this may be a desired effect). Consequently, any spills should be cleaned quickly to lessen the degree of the stain.