Installation « Surface Innovation

By: Surface Innovation  09-12-2011
Keywords: Natural Stone, Slate Veneer

Installation « Surface Innovation

SlateFlex is a thin sheet of natural slate 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.

SlateFlex is used in generally the same way wood veneer and laminate products are used. Fiberglass
reinforced polyester (FRP) is used in the backing of SlateFlex, giving it durability, strength and resilience.
The minimum inward or outward radius it will flex depends on the surface texture of the slate before it
starts to crack. Warming SlateFlex with a heat gun, will help achieve a tighter radius.

Tools
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.

Additional installation tools required: Smooth Trowel or putty knife, 1/8 or 3/16” Notched Trowel,
Rubber Covered Veneer Roller, NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator, Eye protection.

Safety First
Ensure that proper eye protection as well as a NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator is worn when cutting
SlateFlex sheets.  If cutting SlateFlex 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.

Base Preparation
Any of the substrates mentioned above are suitable for SlateFlex 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 SlateFlex sheets prior to your installation will protect the sheet surface
during installation (see Sealers below).

If installing over existing ceramic or similar tiles it may be necessary to scuff 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.

Adhesives
Any adhesive that you are considering for use with SlateFlex 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 — www.titebond.com (select Products>Specialty Adhesives)
LePage PL 700 — www.lepage.com

2. Non-Porous Surfaces
Titebond Solvent-Based FRP Adhesive — www.titebond.com (select Products>Specialty Adhesives)

3.  Wet applications or Non-Porous Surfaces
Titebond GREENchoice Advanced Polymer Panel Adhesive — www.titebond.com (select Products>Specialty Adhesives)

Sealing
SlateFlex is a natural stone product and therefore has a porous surface.  It should be sealed or enhanced
prior to handling to ensure it remains clean and to help protect it 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.

Design
Initial prep and design for the area which you are covering will be worth while.  An initial dry fit of SlateFlex
allows for the placement of sheets, textures and colours before final positioning.

Application
A 3/16” V-notched trowel is recommended for applying adhesive on substrate. Better results will be achieved if you lightly butter the back of the SlateFlex sheet with a flat trowel before
applying to your substrate.

Once your sheet has been applied to your surface it is important to remove air bubbles which may be trapped
between the SlateFlex and the substrate. Starting in the center of the sheet and working outward towards the
edges apply 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.SlateFlex may be butt together or you can create
a tiled look by leaving a grout joint between the sheets. Nonsanded and water based epoxy grouts work well
to fill the grout lines.

A Final Word
SlateFlex is an exclusive product 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 protected]

Keywords: Natural Stone, Slate Veneer

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