Sandstone is a favourite for both home DIY and more serious design projects. As a durable and lightweight natural stone, sandstone slots into place perfectly in chic modern projects and classical architecture alike. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use, sandstone can be used for floor tiles, garden pavers or wall coverings.
However, as with any natural stone, the right sandstone installation techniques are crucial for a great finish. Natural stones are particularly susceptible to moisture and chemical reactions which can alter the appearance and texture. With that in mind, we look at what you should know about choosing an adhesive before you start your next sandstone project.
Why does the type of natural stone adhesive make a difference?
Because natural stone encompasses such a wide range of materials, there are different types of adhesives that work better for certain products. Choosing the right adhesive requires a number of considerations such as:
- Surface material.
- Colour .
- Strength required.
An "adhesive" usually refers to a product made almost entirely of or modified with polymer, as opposed to a cement-based mix such as mortar. Polymer makes an adhesive more flexible, which counteracts the rigidity of most natural stones. The basis of an adhesive often characterises how it should be used. Some adhesives are pre-mixed, while others require water or some other form of liquid to be added.
When choosing an adhesive, an important consideration is the porosity of the stone. Some types of grout and adhesive can be absorbed by the tile, which may change the appearance of the stone. Certain cement adhesives are only suitable for the less porous types of natural stone, that won't easily absorb. Stones that are more porous may be better suited to an epoxy-based adhesive.
Adhesives are often designed with the substrate in mind. Thick-bed adhesives, for example, that cover rough or uneven surfaces without problem are particularly convenient for floor tiles. Similarly, specialist adhesives are designed for shower rooms or other high-moisture areas and prevent warping and discolouration.
Other considerations include whether the tile requires quick drying or heat resistant adhesive. Meanwhile, light-coloured tiles may be affected by the colour of the adhesive, with unattractive staining a possibility.
Whatever type of adhesive is used, it's imperative instructions around mixing ratios and open times are followed to ensure performance.
Which natural stone adhesive works best with sandstone?
Sandstone can bond to a number of other materials and the type of adhesive and process applied should be chosen accordingly to ensure longevity. Choosing the incorrect adhesive for your natural stone can lead to a number of problems including staining, scratching, warping, drift and breakage. Some types of sandstone are darker than others, which means you may not need to worry too much about staining depending on your individual purchase. However, it's important to remember that sandstone is a more porous natural stone than something like granite, which does need to be taken into account when choosing your adhesive and tile grout.
Larger items that work with, rather than against, gravity, such as pavers and patio tiles, typically work well with cement and concrete mixtures. Vertically installed sandstone on the other hand, such as wall tiles, require fast-drying and very strong adhesive to glue the product in place.
Selecting your sandstone tiles
During formation, excess items like rocks and pebbles can get caught up in the sandstone and make the end product weaker and less attractive. Not only will this impact on the look of your project, but it almost makes the product weaker and less reliable. You'll need to take additional steps to protect the stone, like sealing.
At BauMart, we pride ourselves on providing the highest-quality Indonesian sandstone. Talk to our experienced team today about how we can provide the sandstone you need for your next project.