Like all ceramic tiles or natural stones, our products contain high amounts of silica, this is totally harmless in its natural state, but if inhaled can cause problems and prolonged exposure can cause silicosis. We therefore recommend that care is taken at all times to reduce the creation of dust when cutting Silicastone products. The best option is a wet cut diamond tile saw. It is also possible to cut with a portable angle grinder fitted with an appropriate wet cut diamond disc and the use of a water spray.
If none of these options are available it is still possible to cut Silicastone dry, but operatives must use appropriate dust protection, such as respirators.
Most Silicastone products are, by their nature quite heavy, akin to natural stone. Weights will vary depending on product but they can weigh up to 45kg per m2, so we only recommend installing on a suitable substrate. We recommend using Mapei Keraflex Maxi as an adhesive to bond Silicastone products.
The recommendation for an adhesive is provided for standard wall constructions internally and externally, for non-standard construction applications please refer to Mapei Technical Department for further information. All installations must be carried out to the relevant section of BS 5385 – code of practice for the installation of tiles. All aspects of the installation should be carried out to British Standards and current MAPEI (UK) LTD guidelines.
We make every effort to ensure that colours are as accurate as possible, however due to the nature of the material variation is inevitable, we therefore recommend mixing batches and taking tiles from several boxes as the wall is created. This way any variation is evenly distributed and an even appearance is created.
It is important to use a notched trowel to apply the tile adhesive on to the wall as would normally be the application method used for laying tiles. When fixing tiles, it is necessary to start the bottom row on a level line to maintain a consistent level as you work up the wall. It is also important that they rest on a secure base such as a concrete floor or footing to help carry the weight and ensure the level stays consistent until the adhesive has cured. When installing Silicastone products, use a generous amount of the recommended adhesive and ensure that each tile has sufficient adhesive, slightly rotating each tile as it is applied. Remember to keep the joints tight between each tile because this will provide a neat appearance.
Sand & Cement Render or blockwork – Silicastone products may be applied over properly prepared masonry / cementitious surface such as fibrous cement board, concrete block, brick, cement, Pre-cast concrete slabs, for interior applications, wooden board and stud work can be used. We only recommend applying Silicastone products in a bonded system up to a maximum height of 2.74mtrs. If you require instillation at greater heights, please contact the head office to discuss pre-fabricated systems and your individual requirements.
Waterproof Backerboard - There are various construction boards/tile backer boards available, generally they are cementitious, glass-fibre reinforced or extruded polystyrene, and are either water resistant or waterproof. They are available in various thicknesses, which will all have a varying weight bearing capabilities. When suitably screw fixed to walls they should provide an approximate load bearing facility of 40 - 50kgs/m², which is generally adequate load bearing substrate for all of our products. Individual manufacturers should always be contacted for the relevant information on load-bearing capabilities.
Plywood - 18mm exterior grade WBP plywood and other timber such as MDF, chipboard etc, may be used but only in dry areas. Seal all sides/faces and edges with Priming Agent before being suitably batten fixed with vertical and horizontal wooden supports at 300mm centers and screwed firmly at 150mm centers at all joints and edges, this is generally capable taking up to 30kg/m². Please note: please refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and suitability for tiling.
Painted surfaces - must be sandblasted, or otherwise stripped of paint before installing and if a new wall needs to be built, or layer added to an existing wall, the most suitable product for these purposes is fibrous cement sheeting such as Hardie backer board.
Dry wall, Sheet Rock, Gypsum board or Plaster board are not suitable substrates for our heavier structured products such as Weave and Incline.
Silicastone tiles are heavy, therefore it is critical that they are adhered to appropriate substrates. The substrate and wall should be structurally sound, secure and capable of supporting the weight of the Silicastone veneer products.
To ensure safety, strength and permanent fixing, all work should only be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor or builder.