Useful tips for avoiding problems when using natural stone

1. In very cold and rainy weather climates, for external use, avoid using polished or fine honed finishes in natural stone flooring in exteriors, since they will create problems of slippage. Better to use flamed, or bush hammered or any rugged finish. It is advisable to apply an anti-slippage finish to the stone.

2. To avoid anti-slippage on stone installed inside a building, anti-slip stripes made of 2-component –epoxy containing corundum should be placed on the stairs. In the entrance areas, anti-slip agents enable roughening up of the polished surface.

3. To avoid efflorescence /salt/moisture stains on stone installed, the stone should be protected on the back side and the flanks with an alkaline-resistant special coating in conjunction with silica sand.

4. When doing exterior cladding made of a soft natural stone (like soft limestone, for example) in a cold climate, care should be taken to follow the right criteria.

5. When deciding on the sizes of natural stone pieces for cladding or staircases, also consider whether there may be difficulty in transport, in handling and assembling of the pieces.

6. When choosing natural stone for counter tops, it is not enough to consider only the visual, aesthetic aspects, one should also consider the physical properties. Limestone and marbles should, in general, not be used as kitchen-tops, since they are not acid resistant. To protect against stains from oil and grease, a special impregnation should be used.

7. For counter tops, use smooth finishes avoiding the rough finishes which are more difficult to clean.

8. Fountains are often made of concrete and then finished with stone elements. Often the joints look ugly after a short period of time due to water penetration effect. This problem can be avoided by using solid and well sized elements eliminating the joints to the minimum number. Alternatively, it is advisable to bond the stone cladding on a fountain with 2-component- epoxy- adhesives and also fill the joint with 2- component-epoxy- adhesives. In this case, no efflorescence from the cement will appear.

9. When using under the floor heating, some stones (like travertine, for example), which are filled, the filler can pop up due to the heat. This is not a defect. Particularly if the heating is done with water, run it before installing the stone tile so that the concrete settles down, this way the risk of the stone cracking is highly reduced.

10. Some stones need to be resin on the front, or reinforced on the back side. This way these stones become more stable, and we can now enjoy a wider variety of what is available in nature of natural stones.