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Copyright Sosa Granite & Marble. Serving the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California and Central Valley, Tahoe Area

 


Here are a few tips for the installation and
maintenance of your slate flooring:

1. Determine a Starting Point
First measure and mark the center point of the two opposite walls in the working area. The center line can be marked by snapping a chalk line stretched between these two points.

Duplicate the procedure for the other two walls. Use a carpenter square to verify that the two lines have intersected at a 90 degree angle (make adjustments if necessary). For rooms of irregular shape, simply select the most dominant area and make your marks.

Begin laying loose tile along the center lines allowing adequate spaces for grout. If a space of less than half a tile remains between the last tile and the wall, move the center line one half closer to the opposite wall. Duplicate this procedure along the other line. Now you plan where to begin the installation. Move the starting line adjacent to the wall from which you wish to start the installation.

2. Setting Your Tiles
Ensure that the sub floor is structurally sound and free of dust, paint, oil, grease and any other substance that may prevent or reduce the adhesion of the mortar.

Choose a slate that is calibrated or "gauged". Gauged slate has natural cleft on one side and "grooves" on the other. The pieces come boxed and are the same thickness. It's very similar to laying a ceramic floor. Un-calibrated slate (slate with natural cleft on both sides and the pieces can vary in thickness) is very difficult and time consuming to install, even for the most experienced installer.

Carefully clean off the surface of each tile with water and a brush or a wet sponge to remove dust. Apply the mortar to the concrete sub floor with the flat side of the trowel and then comb the mortar with the notched side of the trowel leaving ridges. Work in small sections at one time. Prior to setting the tiles, apply mortar to the entire back of each tile. Firmly place the tile in position with a twisting motion so that 100% of the back of the tile has contact with the mortar on the floor. Do not disturb the tile work for 48 hours.

4. Sealing and Grouting
Using clean water, thoroughly scrub and clean the area to remove any remaining loose material or dirt from the stone surface. Take care not to disturb the bond of the tile to the mortar. Use kneeling boards if necessary. Allow the cleaned tile to dry. Apply a generous coat of the sealant and let dry for 24 hours before grouting. Grout floor. Apply second and final coat of sealant and let dry for 24 hours.

Q. Isn't granite expensive?
A. It is true that up until a few short years ago, only the very wealthy could afford granite. But today, with the advancements that have been made in the quarrying, shipping and fabrication of stone, this is no longer the case. As a general rule, there is now a wide selection of granite that prices out very competitively with Corian, Avonite, and other plastic solid surface material

Q. What are the advantages of having granite?
A. Granite can withstand heat up to 1800 degrees. Granite can be used as a cutting board (although we don't recommend this as it will dull your knives). For those who love to bake, granite is the perfect prep surface for all your pastries. With your granite counter top your kitchen will look as beautiful as the day it was installed for many, many years to come.

Unlike plastic counter top material, (remember the yellow Formica from the 1960's?!) granite is not a "dated" counter top material. Natural stone has been used throughout the centuries and has maintained "timeless beauty"

Q. Isn't granite porous? What about sealers?
A. Granite is the next hardest material to a diamond. There are some granites that are more porous than others however, all of our granite countertops are sealed during the fabrication process and again upon installation. The rule of thumb is that when the water no longer beads up, it's time to re-seal. For some folks that's two years, for some it's 4-5. It depends upon usage.

Q. I've heard that granite breeds bacteria, is that true?
A. We think that rumor was started by the "solid surface" manufacturers. Granite does not generate or "breed" any more or any less bacteria than your average countertop surface

Q. How do I clean my granite countertops?
A. Regular maintenance of your tops is easy, just use mild soap and water. When properly maintained, your granite tops will last a lifetime.

Q. Doesn't granite scratch easily?
A. No. Granite is a very durable work surface and has proven itself over the centuries. The only things that can scratch granite are carbide, diamond or another piece of granite.

Q. Are the seams very noticeable?
A. First of all, we try to give you the least number of seams possible. This varies depending on the size of the slabs and your particular counter top or island design. Seams are approximately 1/16" in width. They are done with epoxy and mixed with stone dust along with a color pigment to match your stone.

Q. Aren't all granites dark-colored?
A. No. There is a wide range of colors to choose from to match any decor and compliment any cabinetry. You can find granites with green, blue, yellow, beige, taupe, mauve, pink, peach, gold, red, black, gray and brown

Q. How long a process is it to get granite installed?
A. A deposit is required to order your slab material. Installation is approximately 6-8 weeks from time of deposit. If you are having new cabinetry installed, all of the new cabinets must be in place in order for us to template. Delivery of your finished tops is approximately 7-14 business days from time of template

Q. What is slate?
A. Slate is a fine-grained rock formed by the compression of mud and stone sediment

Q. How long will slate last?
A.
The life span of slate is virtually endless. In India, there are many buildings over 1000 years old, which still have their original slate floors and roofs intact