How cut and fit granite tiles
Contrary to popular belief granite can and will stain. There are two trains of thought as to whether granite should be chemically sealed or not and this often comes down to individual blocks of stone quarried. Generally we recommend a small off cut of granite is tested with and without a sealant and then general everyday items that might come into contact with it be introduced to the sample (lemon juice, Red Wine, cooking oil etc)
The results of these simple tests will tell you if the stone is suitable for the purpose intended and if it requires some form of sealant applied
Blue pearl granite
Black Galaxy granite
Emerald pearl granite
Raw Silk pink Granite
How to cut Granite tiles
Granite tiles are best cut with a diamond wheel cutting machine, please see here- Diamond wheel tile cutter you can also cut granite using a diamond disk and angle grinder but a wet diamond wheel cutting machine is far cleaner.
Drilling Granite tiles
Granite is extremely tough but can be drilled in some instances using a masonry bit as long as it is kept cool, this can be achieved by making a well around the hole to be drilled and filling it with water. Plumbers mait can be used to make a well around the hole, but test it first to ensure the plumbers mait does not stain the tile. If you are struggling drilling a hole you may have to use a diamond coated holesaw.
Granite tile Adhesive
The adhesive you use is as much Dependant on what the granite is to be fixed too as much as the stone itself. As a general rule of thumb if the granite you are fitting is white, light or anything other than a very dark colour it’s important to use a white cement based adhesive suitable for natural products. This avoids the possibility of the stone staining from any dyes or colours in the adhesive. If it happens to be a black marble then a dark Grey adhesive is more suitable. A solid bed trowel should be used in any situation where you consider the stone will be translucent. Providing a full coverage on the back of the stone will not stop discoloration but will discolour the tile as whole if it does happen, therefore reducing the possibility of seeing a row of lines from a serrated trowel if the adhesive happens to discolour the stone very slightly.
You’ve fitted your granite and now it’s time to grout. The first thing you must do is seal the stone thoroughly with a quality sealant, we generally recommend Lithofin Stain Stop MN. This should be done 24 hrs after the stone has been fitted, this delay allows for a large percentage of the moisture in the adhesive to evaporate and not be trapped in by the impregnating sealer. Allow this to dry for at least an hour and mix your grout. Always test the grout on an off cut of grout before you go ahead and start grouting your newly tiled wall or floor. This is very important as many grouts (particularly dark or coloured) can contain pigments that react adversely with the granite itself. Once you’re satisfied that the grout is acceptable, grout your finished tiling and carefully was and polish the residue as normal. 24 hrs later once the grout has dried, the completed tiles and grout all require another one or two coats of sealant.