SlateFlex & GraniteFlex Installation
SlateFlex & GraniteFlex are natural stone products and therefore have porous surfaces. They must be sealed or enhanced prior to handling to ensure they remain clean from the oils of your hands and to help protect them from stains and spills.
SlateFlex and GraniteFlex are thin sheets of natural stone veneer with a fiberglass backing and can be applied over numerous surfaces such as concrete, drywall, painted surfaces, ceramic, wood, plywood, MDF, cabinetry and many others. These are natural stone products and therefore within a family, it is normal to find varying degrees of texture and colour.
These products are used in generally the same way wood veneer and laminate products are used. Fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) is used in the backing, giving it durability, strength and resilience. The minimum inward or outward radius it will flex depends on product thickness and the surface texture before it starts to crack. Warming the sheets with a heat gun, will help achieve a tighter radius.
As mentioned previously, SlateFlex & GraniteFlex are natural stone products and therefore have porous surfaces. They must be sealed or enhanced prior to handling to ensure they remain clean from the oils of your hands and to help protect them from stains and spills. There are a number of natural stone sealers and enhancers on the market for a variety of applications. Test these products for the desired appearance and colour prior to installation.
The SlateFlex’s thin profile allows it to be cut with standard woodworking tools. SlateFlex can be cut with long nosed snips, table saw with a masonry cutting disc or good quality diamond blade. The easiest way to cut curves in small applications is with long-nosed snips. Diamond blades or masonry saws are recommended for larger production runs. GraniteFlex is best cut with a diamond blade.
Additional installation tools required: Smooth Trowel or putty knife, 3/16” V-Notched Trowel, Rubber Covered Veneer Roller, NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator, Eye protection.
Ensure that proper eye protection as well as a NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator is worn when cutting these sheets. If cutting with any tool which creates dust, work outdoors if possible in a well ventilated area or use a properly filtered ventilation system. The silica dust from this product may be harmful if inhaled.
Any of the substrates mentioned above are suitable for SlateFlex & GraniteFlex installation. The method of adhesion should be chosen relative to the base material and projected usage. Be sure to test any of the adhesives you intend to use and ensure that your surfaces are clean and free of an contaminants that will hinder proper adhesion. Enhancing or Pre-sealing the sheets prior to your installation will protect the sheet surface during installation.
If installing over existing ceramic or similar tiles it will be necessary to prepare the smooth tile surface to give it a tooth. It may also be necessary to fill grout lines level with the surface of the tile.
Any adhesive that you are considering for use with SlateFlex & GraniteFlex should be tested prior to use. The standard choice of adhesion involves an FRP adhesive applied to the fiberglass backing. For water resistant applications, we recommend using polyester resin or epoxy adhesives.
Some recommended Adhesives:
1. Porous Surfaces
Titebond GREENchoice Fast Grab FRP Adhesive
LePage PL 700
Marlite Solvent Free FRP Adhesive
2. Non-Porous Surfaces
Titebond Solvent-Based FRP Adhesive
3. Wet applications or Non-Porous Surfaces
Titebond GREENchoice Advanced Polymer Panel Adhesive
Initial prep and design for the area which you are covering will be worth while. An initial dry fit allows for the placement of sheets, textures and colours before final positioning.
A 3/16” V-notched trowel is recommended for applying adhesive on substrate. If you have a curved application, gently warming the sheet with a heat gun will help relax the FRP backing somewhat to achieve a tighter radius. Flexibility will vary depending on the texture and thickness of the stone sheet.
Once your sheet has been applied to your surface it is important to remove air bubbles which may be trapped. Starting in the center of the sheet and working outward towards the edges, apply gentle even pressure on your rubber covered veneer roller. Take care that you are not pushing your roller too heavily or you will force the adhesive out around the edges.
These sheets may be butt together or you can create a tiled look by leaving a grout joint between the sheets. A modified, non-sanded or water based epoxy grout works well to fill the grout lines. Remember to re-seal after grouting is completed. If installing in a shower application SlateFlex & GraniteFlex must be grouted and well sealed.
A Final Word
SlateFlex & GraniteFlex are exclusive products with many uses which will add not only a unique design element to any project but also increased value. We would love to see those finished projects and add them to our galleries. We would also like to use them in our printed literature so the higher the resolution you can take your photos at the better. Enjoy!
Email your images to firstname.lastname@example.org