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How to Install Slate Tiles on an Exterior Wall

Understanding the Basics of Slate Tiles

Let’s become familiar with slate tiles before we start the installation procedure. These tileshave a unique texture and range of colors because they are made of metamorphic rock.

Due to its resistance to weathering, low water absorption rate, and slip-resistant surface,slate is a popular option for both interior and exterior applications.

You can also click to read about our article: Comprehensive Guide to Install Tiles Seamlessly

 Slate Tiles

How to do?

Step 1: Surface Preparation

For a successful slate tile installation, this step is essential. A greater explanation is as follows:

Cleaning the Surface. Start by cleaning the exterior wall completely. To get rid of any dust,dirt, or other loose materials, use a pressure washer or a stiff brush. To create a clear andstable surface, any paint or coating that is currently present must be removed.

Inspecting for Irregularities. Check the wall carefully for any imperfections, holes, oruneven areas. These must be addressed before going on. Small cracks can be repaired withmortar or another suitable filler, but larger structural problems might need to be fixed by aprofessional.

Allowing the Wall to Dry. Before going to the next step, make sure the wall is completelydry. Moisture can affect how well the mortar stays put, which ultimately affects how stablethe tiles are.

 

Step 2: Applying the Mortar

The mortar must be applied correctly to create a stable base for the slate tiles. Here is acomplete explanation:

Mixing the Mortar. The mortar mix should be prepared according to the manufacturer’sinstructions. To make the application simple, the proper consistency must be achieved. Acreamy, workable consistency is usually perfect.

Applying the Mortar. The mortar should be applied to the wall using a trowel. Start at thebottom, then move up. Apply a uniform layer with a thickness of about 1/4 inch. The tiles arefixed to the wall with the help of mortar.

Creating a Rough Surface. Make lines in the mortar with the trowel’s notched side before itdries. This builds up the connection between the tiles and mortar.

 

Step 3: Placing the Slate Tiles

Starting at the Bottom. When installing exterior wall tile, it’s crucial to begin at the wall’s base. Tiles should be started here, ensuring they are level and properly positioned before pressing them firmly into the mortar bed.To help fix them in place, give them a gentle twist.

Using Tile Spacers. For consistency across the exterior wall tile installation, place tile separators between each tile. This guarantees a polished, uniform appearance.

Checking Alignment. Frequently inspect the tiles’ alignment and consistency using a level. To maintain a smooth appearance on the exterior wall tile, make any necessary adjustments.

 

Step 4: Cutting and Fitting

The need to cut some tiles to fit particular spaces is necessary. Here’s how to approach this:

Measuring and Marking. Measure the area exactly where a tile needs to go. Mark thecutting line on the tile’s surface with a pencil or marker.

Using a Wet Saw. The best tool for cutting slate tiles is a wet saw. It makes exact cuts witha blade that is coated in diamonds. Wear goggles and observe all safety precautions whenusing the saw.

Fitting the Cut Tiles. Place the tiles in the appropriate locations after they have been reduced to size. Make sure they are strongly in place and line with the next tiles.

Cutting and Fitting tiles

 

Step 5: Grouting

Filling the spaces between the tiles is done by grouting. Here’s how to do it correctly:

Mixing the Grout. The grout preparation should be done following the manufacturer’s instructions. It should be peanut butter-like in texture. Applying the Grout: Spread the grout over the tiles at an upward angle using a grout float. Make sure that all gaps are filled in entirely.

Removing Excess Grout. Use a wet sponge to remove any extra grout from the tile surfaces after the grout has had time to dry for a few minutes. Frequently wash the sponge.

Allowing the Grout to Cure. Give the grout the time to dry that the manufacturer suggests. Usually, this takes 24 to 48 hours.

 

Step 6: Sealing

The sealing process is essential for protecting the slate tiles. Here’s what you need to know:

Choosing the Sealer. Pick a sealer that is effective with slate tiles. There are two varieties;one protects the tile’s surface and the other enters it.

Applying the Sealer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. The sealer is typically applied to the tiles with a brush or roller.

Allowing the Sealer to Dry. As instructed on the product label, allow the sealer to air dry as long as necessary. Depending on the sealer you’re using, the time required may change.

 

Maintenance

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance Regular cleaning is essential for keeping your slate-tiled exterior wall looking its best. To extend its life, take the following actions: 

Dust Removal. Start by regularly dusting the surface with a soft brush or a vacuum that has a brush attachment. This prevents garbage and dirt from building up in the tile’s cracks. 

Mild Detergent Cleaning. Mix a mild detergent with warm water for a deeper clean. The tiles should be gently scrubbed with a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid using acidic cleaners or harsh chemicals because they can harm the slate’s surface. 

Rinse and Dry. To get free of any soap scum left on the wall after cleaning, completely wash it with clean water. Use a clean cloth to wipe the tiles dry or let them air dry. 

Avoiding Acidic Cleaners. Avoid using acidic cleaners because they could ultimately harm the slate’s surface. Products like vinegar- or lemon-based cleaners fall under this category.

 

Periodic Sealing and Re-Sealing

Periodic Sealing and Re-Sealing To keep their resistance to stains and moisture, slate tiles benefit from everyday re-sealing. Here is a recommended schedule: 

Initial Sealing. Before sealing the grout after the initial installation, allow the grout to completely cure (usually between 24 and 48 hours). As a result, the tiles’ surface develops a layer of protection. 

Regular Re-Sealing. Every one to three years, depending on variables like weather and foot traffic, it’s suggested to reseal your slate-tiled wall. This guarantees ongoing protection against stains and moisture. 

Choosing the Right Sealer. Make sure to select the right sealer for your slate tiles when it’s time to reseal them. Think about what you want out of tile shine and whether you prefer a sealer that sits on top of or soaks into the tiles. 

 

Addressing Stains and Spills

Addressing Stains and Spills Accidents is going to happen. If a spill or stain does occur on your slate-tiled wall, take the following actions: 

Immediate Cleanup. Clean up spills as soon as possible. Use a clean, absorbent cloth to wipe away the affected area to prevent the stain from setting.

Stain Removal. If you have tough stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread it on the stain, cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it overnight. Then, rinse it off well. If needed, you can do this again. 

You can read our article: How Do I Maintain My Tile

Addressing Stains and Spills

Conclusion

Slate tile installation on exterior walls can completely change the appearance and durability of your house. You can guarantee that your slate-tiled wall will remain an eye-catching centerpiece for years to come by following the specific instructions provided in this guide and following routine maintenance procedures.

Keep in mind that a properly maintained slate installation not only improves the look of your home but also increases the value of your property. 

Please feel free to visit our blog or contact one of our experts for more guidance or to look into additional home improvement projects. We’re available to help you build the house of your dreams!

Click to learn: Tile Installation: Depth Guide to Installing Ceramic Tile on Walls

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