Engineered Stone Installation
The condition of the surface and the preparation of the surface are fundamental for the correct installation of our tiles and slabs. The supporting surfaces or foundations must be absolutely dry (residual humidity maximum 2.5%), level and free of dust, grease, wax, paint, dismantling agents and anything else which could prevent adhesion. Any pre-existing foundations must be solid, free of cracks, well attached to the base, resistant to the loads foreseen and complete with adequate structural joints.
The use of traditional sand and cement for the laying of our tiles and slabs is to be avoided. We recommend adhesives, which are specific for the general bonding of engineered stone materials. We recommend the use of a serrated trowel to apply the adhesive, so that the quantity extended onto the foundation ensures coverage of 100% of the stone. We also recommend back buttering each tile.
For quartz-engineered stone we recommend the use of two-component pre-packed products (synthetic latex with special cement powders and siliceous sands of a fast setting nature)
For areas subjected to direct sunlight exposure, we recommend the use of epoxy based adhesives.
Butt joints are to be avoided. Proper laying and the correct alignment of the tiles require the use of open and uniform grout lines. The width of the grout line depends on the size of the tile with minimum 2-5mm width. The thermal conditions of the site must also be considered. Pre-existing and expansion joints, as well as the placement of joints must be respected by inserting silicone mastic along these joints. Interior expansion and control joints shall be installed in all directions at intervals of 16-18’.Under no circumstances shall control joints be cut in after the tiles have been installed. If required, cut the tile and resume setting from the opposite side of the joint. Before continuing, rake the joint clean.
Set aside for our inspection, prior to installation, any material deemed out of tolerance.
Care after Installation:
Any excess adhesive which should subsequently surface during installation, should be removed immediately with a damp sponge to avoid possible damage to the surface of the stone.
Our stone should not be left outside, as damage to packaging may result in acid rainwater with calcareous deposits eating into the finished surface. Our engineered stone is not recommended for exterior applications.
Maintenance and Cleaning Instructions:
Marble: Aggressive and acid products must be absolutely avoided for marble based products, whether natural or engineered. Detergents used must be neutral; protective and regular waxing may be used. A stone sealer is recommended for light colors.
Quartz: Quartz based engineered stone offers the advantage of less demanding maintenance procedures. Engineered stone has the inert components of either siliceous sands or quartz and are resistant to acids and to intense wear and tear.. This type of product can be cleaned either with detergents that have a pH level no higher than 11 (avoid caustic soda) or with acidic detergents for persistent grime ( no lower than pH 3). A stone sealer/impregnator is recommended for light colors.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Tile Council of America Inc. (TCA)
Fabrication Tips for Diamastone Engineered Quartz Surfaces
The quartz slabs are worked in the same manner that natural granite is cut and finished. The slabs need to be cut with diamond machine and tools, and finished with the recommended abrasives. All abrasive producers have a particular set of products for the quartz composites.
Bridge saws should ideally use 14” or 16” diameter diamond discs, with an advancing speed of 3’ per minute.
Cut Outs and Holes
Sink and other cut outs in kitchen or other counters can be cut exactly in the same way that and with the same equipment as is done with natural granite. It is recommended that when cutting straight cuts inside the slab, you should drill holes at the end of your proposed cut, in order to avoid a potential split that could go over the maximum end of the cut.
Faucet, dispenser and anchoring holes can be cut in the traditional manner with the usual stone tools.
When finishing edges, care must be taken not to overheat the edge or surface being polished. Ideally, you should use water during the process. When using sophisticated edging machines and CNC’s, there are no major problems. Diamond grinding tools and dies and synthetic abrasives are recommended.
If using dry hand polishers, the speed should be maintained at below 4000 RPM and the process should not be maintained over the same area for more than 1 minute. The polishing should be extended over the entire edge to allow areas not to overheat.
The grit sequence recommended is:
2 sectors with 300 grit
1 sector with 400 grit
1 sector with 600 grit
1 sector with 800 grit
Finishing with one polishing grit
Do not use acetone for surface cleaning.
Diamastone comes in different thicknesses, ½”, ¾” and 1 ¼”. Not all colors are available in all thicknesses. These thicknesses can be laminated in the traditional stone way. A joint will be visible, and it will depend of the quality of preparation of the back of the two pieces to reduce the width of the joint. Joint materials in colors similar to the quartz slab are currently available in the market, which mixed with the proper adhesives, can assist in reducing the visibility of the joint.
Appropriate adhesives for Diamastone surfaces are: silicone adhesives, mastics, adhesive resins with quick hardening components or polyurethane adhesives. In each case it is important to follow the product instructions for the time required to dry properly.