Imaginative stone lining and flooring designs and details with aesthetic and technical assessments.
Natural stone products for use in high quality residential applications
The use of stone such as marble, limestone, sandstone, slate and granite has gained in popularity for use in residential applications. It has become the first choice for the interior designer and consumer when there is a desire to use natural as opposed to manufactured material and its use is regularly featured in the most popular and influential interior design magazines.
Tiles for walls and floors are pieces of natural stone 12mm thick or less and are generally 300mm x 300mm to a maximum of 600mm x 600mm. The requirements for tiles is set out in BS EN 12057. Natural stone thicker than 12mm and for use on floors and stairs is defined in BS EN 12058 . Stone slabs for use on walls is defined in BS EN 1469. These set out dimensional requirements, visual appearance and technical requirements.
Stone slabs used on floors and walls are installed on a bed of adhesive. Much of the stone supplied has a resin mesh on the rear face. It has been established that in damp or wet environment or where underfloor or wall heating is installed there is a rapid loss of bond between the stone and its mesh backing. This potential for failure has been recognised for some years. As a result BS 8000-11 Workmanship on Building Sites – Internal and external wall and floor tiling was revised in 2012. Clause 3.1.2 states that if the mesh and glue covers more than25% of the rear face of the stone it must be mechanically fixed. This applies to stone slabs used on both floors and walls .
The stone selected should be identified by its traditional name, quarry location together with the performance characteristics. Designers should ensure that the stone is marked.
The following checklist is presented to assist in this process:
Establish the traditional name, petrological family, quarry location and country of origin.
Check that packaging has a mark and refers to a product standard (e.g. BS EN 12058 floors and stairs, BS EN 1341 external paving, BS EN 120578 modular tiles). These set out dimensional requirements, visual appearance and technical requirements. Essential characteristics shall be shown .
Check the results of the abrasion testing and that the stone selected is suitable for the application.
For flooring and paving, check how the stone performs in wet conditions. Particular attention should be made to ensure that the values presented relate to the surface finish under consideration.
Treatment and cleaning
Check with the seller whether the stone should be sealed for your proposed application and if so the type of recommended product. The appropriate cleaning methods and products should also be established. Finally, ensure that the installer is experienced in the installation of stone. Choosing the right stone and following good practice for installation should provide a floor that will perform for at least 20 years without significant wear
The stone pieces selected should comply with the following Harmonised Standards:
BS EN 12057 Natural stone products – Modular tiles – Requirements
BS EN 12058 Natural stone products – Slabs for floors and stairs – Requirements
BS EN 1469 Natural stone products – Slabs for cladding (Lining) – Requirements
The stone should be designed and installed in accordance with the following standards:
BS 5385 Part 1 Natural stone wall tiling
BS 5385 Part 5 Natural stone tiles and slabs for floors
BS 8298 Design and installation of natural stone cladding and lining
List of Stone Federation Great Britain Codes of Practice:
Design and installation of kitchen worktops
Design and installation of internal flooring
Slip Resistance – Testing, assessment and guidance