Laying Marble Floor Tiles [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-03-2004, 02:01 PM

Stumbled onto this site while frantically searching the web.

I am from Scotland and am currently getting a new kitchen installed. On the advice of the kitchen company, I selected marble floor tiles from a large chain supplier.

The kitcehn fitter arranged for his own tiler to install the tiles and this was done over two days (last Friday and Saturday).

I had never used marble floor tiles before and so (foolishly maybe) trusted these guys to lay the floor as they seemed to know their stuff. They used a grey coloured adhesive to fix the tiles and a dark(ish) grey grout (that's as technical as I get I'm afraid!)

They advised me to stay off the floor for at least 24 hours and I did this. When first standing on the floor (Monday morning) I noticed that the tiles did not seem quite level and that some tiles were moving. This I assume is not normal.

The floor is now being replaced by the kitchen company tomorrow, as most tiles are now moving up and down slightly.

Can anyone give me a layman's guide to how a marble tile floor should be laid and what to look out for when the new tilers come to fit it?

Thanks in advance.

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08-03-2004, 02:45 PM
Marble would be installed very much the same as any other tile with the major differance being the floor needs to be stronger or more supportive...In most cases it is "glued" to the floor with a latex thin set mortar that would look alot like cement.. You might start reading post on this forum and when your ready ask some questions. Is the substrate that the marble is going over ply wood, cement, on grade or above?

08-03-2004, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the reply.

The floor was originally bare floorboards which the first tilers put plywood over.

The kitchen company have talked about "laying a new base" which they explained to me as like a skim of concrete.

I'm really sorry but I have no clue what "on grade or above" means. Like I said, I have never laid a floor before or had any problems with previous ceramic floor tiles in other rooms of the house.

Thanks again.

08-03-2004, 03:57 PM
You contractor has no idea what they are doing. To top it off, marble is one of the worst possible floors for a kitchen. It will stain and scratch.

08-03-2004, 04:02 PM
You have,concrete,on grade, and wood or raised floors, above grade.I have no idea what they could have done for that to be moving like that,got some pics?

08-03-2004, 04:19 PM

My digital camera is at work so no pics I'm afraid.

This is sort of what I was worried about. The kitchen contractor assured me that the marble (which has a polished surface if that makes a difference) would be ok if looked after (ie regularly cleaned).

The movement is small for each tile (maybe only a few millimetres) but it would really annoy me given how much I am paying for this kitchen!

Also, what sort of space should be left between marble floor tiles and around the walls (to allow for expansion etc)? Kitchens in this country seem to be smaller than a lot of US kitchens and so I'm not sure if the figures I have seen online would apply.

Thanks a lot for all of your help and replies,


John Bridge
08-03-2004, 05:52 PM
Welcome, Brian. :)

Essentially, a tiled floor can't stand any movement of any sort -- none at all. That's why it's so important to spend a lot of time evaluating and improving the floor framing and the subflooring. You've made little mention of what might be happening below the tile layer, but that's where the problem is.

I would hold the tiler off until you (and we) can ascertain how the floor is constructed, what size and shape timbers were used and how they are arranged and supported. Then we move on to the sub floor and make sure it's adequate. Otherwise, you may be headed down the river for a second trip. ;)

Maurizio Bertoli
08-04-2004, 12:51 AM
It is not a tile setter posting here - although I believe I'm much better at setting than the clowns who've been working in your house! :rolleyes: I'm strictly a stone maintenance man, and as such I want to tell you one thing, and one thing only:


Got it?! ;) :shades:
Ciao and good luck

Kirk Downey
08-04-2004, 01:19 AM
The marble we had on our kitchen was deadly slippery until Maria and her Mom used enough Pine Sol to get rid of the last bits of polish.

Ours didn't stain, but it was ugly from the get go.

Kirk out