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Standing Pebbles Installation Guidelines

Our standing pebbles are designed to give maximum stone exposure to the pebble surface without compromising strength. These tiles are manufactured with secure tile adhesion and durability in mind.

Inspection:

No two pieces of natural stone are exactly alike. Tiles must be inspected prior to installation to ensure that no blending is required. No claims will be accepted by The Five Elements after installation. Use of product implies acceptance.

Substrate Preparation:

In order to achieve good adhesive bond, be sure to identify any surface contaminants that may be present and remove. The standing pebbles are approximately 7lbs./sq.ft. installed, and in some instances may require structural angle support. An engineer’s opinion may be needed for weight bearing walls. Wet areas need special attention and require appropriate substrates, e.g. concrete, cement boards (compressed sheet) and treated plywood. The use of reinforced waterproof membranes is recommended.

Waterproofing:

As required for interior or exterior application. It is strongly advised that membrane systems are used in all wet areas. Some systems involve the use of a primer. Please refer to installation guidelines set forth by the Marble Institute of America.

Adhesive:

The manufacturer’s literature will explain if the product is suitable for interiors and/or exteriors, as well as walls and floors. A cement-base adhesive is generally suitable on masonry substrates where no movement is anticipated. Where slight movement could occur through thermal or pedestrian loads, a modified cement adhesive should be used as a minimum. It is important that each pebble is embedded in the adhesive. An appropriate notched trowel can be used to apply the thinset to no more than one square yard of adhesive at a time. Use a thin-set tile adhesive with no vertical slump.

We advise adding a color additive to the thinset that matches the color of the stone or is neutral to the stone to avoid creating any contrast. If you use the typical white thinset with anything other than a white stone or pebble, it will compromise the look of the finished project.

Grout:

Grouting is optional and typically not recommended. The look and feel of the product is designed to work as a cladding with thinset being the background. Some wet installations may benefit from grout but there are numerous examples of projects in wet areas that do not have grout. If you choose to use grout: BE CAREFUL. One of the easiest ways to loose the look you desire is by burying the stone in grout. If you decide to proceed please follow the recommendations below. Sanded grout with a grout-additive for flexibility and improved adhesion is recommended.

Installation Notes on Tools:

Soft grouting sponge, notched trowel and other typical grouting tools. We highly recommend a nylon scrub brush to pull the grout out from between the stones so as to get the desired relief.

Installing the tiles:

  • Tiles should be brick stacked.
  • Ensure pebble lines run even and parallel by marking the substrate with a guideline.
  • Press tile firmly into tile-set by hand, then tap with a rubber backed grouting tool to ensure full contact with thin-set adhesive.
  • The pebbles should be vertical to the substrate.

Grouting:

  • Allow a one day drying of thinset period prior to grouting.
  • Apply a fairly “stiff” sanded grout with a rubber backed grouting tool
  • Allow grout to dry to a granulated stage.
  • Sponge surface grout away.
  • Brush grout out to desired depth with a “firm” bristled wisk-brush. This removes much more grout than just normal sponging.
  • At least half the depth of each pebble should be visible before going to the next step.
  • Sponge deeply again.
  • Final brushing with a softer “wet paint brush” to smooth the recessed grout deep between the pebbles.
  • Final sponging of pebble tops.

Cleaning & Sealing:

  • After a days drying, remove any remaining cement film with a chemical grout film remover.
  • A quality penetrating and/or stone-enhancing sealer should be applied for a long lasting finish to the stone and grout. A sealer should preserve the natural look. A stone enhancer will give the stone a darker, wet look.

TEST YOUR SEALER IN ADVANCE BEFORE APPLYING TO YOUR FINISHED PROJECT