Slate tile flooring is a natural stone flooring that looks wonderful in homes and is a durable flooring option. Many homeowners are turning to slate flooring to increase the value of their homes and as an alternative to other flooring such as ceramic tiling or even hardwood floors.
Slate tile flooring is reasonably easy to maintain and to clean once it has been installed in your home. Prior to installation, slate tile flooring underlayment is extremely important. A quality underlayment can make all the difference in the world for how your finished flooring will look for many years.
Removal of Top Flooring
The first step in ensuring that you have a proper underlayment is to remove the original flooring. This is the first process of the project because you will be replacing the original flooring with the new slate tiling. If the floor does not have any top flooring, you can move to the next step of the project.
Removal of the Original Underlayment
After the top flooring is removed it is time to remove the underlayment that is present. Some floors will not have any underlayment and you will reach the sub-flooring immediately.
Ideally for slate tiling you need cement flooring because with stones you cannot have an underlayment that is going to change with changing environmental conditions. Plywood or other wood underlayment material will change with different temperatures and moisture levels in the room. This type of material will cause slate to shift and can destroy your floor.
Check the sub-flooring for any dips, cracks or damages that need to be repaired. You can sand out rough areas. Tack back down nails at joist joints. It may be necessary to use a leveling compound to fill in any dips or cracks. The sub-flooring should be completely repair-free before you begin to lay the slate underlayment.
Install the Underlayment
Now, you are ready to install the underlayment. You need a moisture and temperature resistant material to place on the sub-flooring. It is recommended that you use cement boards for natural stone tiling such as slate. Cement screws are the best way to secure the cement boards to the sub-flooring.
Make certain that all points of the flooring are level and even. An uneven underlayment will cause the tiling to set unevenly and can create problems. The quality of the underlayment installation is extremely important to the success of the project.
Lay the Slate Tiling
Once the cement board underlayment is complete, you can then begin laying your slate tiling for the flooring. Plan ahead and start in a corner of the room so that you can work your way out of the room. You do not want to walk on your new flooring until the tile mortar has had time to cure and settle. It is easiest to work in small sections at a time so that you can clean between sections. This will save time in the clean-up process when the project is complete.
Sealing the Tiles
Once you have completely laid your slate floor tiling and let the mortar cure, it is time to seal the floor. Again, work in sections and work your way out of the room to ensure that you do not walk on the new floor when the project is complete.
You can purchase tile sealant from your local store where you purchase home improvement items or paint. Follow the directions on the sealant to seal the slate tile and allow drying a minimum of forty-eight hours prior to walking on your new floor.