Stone carpets are the ideal solution for many problem areas on the floor. But even if you just want it to look classy, a stone carpet is always the perfect and durable choice. It is even easier to lay a stone carpet than a tiled or natural stone floor. See for yourself, right here in the guide.
More and more often you see a stone carpet at friends or in the hardware store. The wish quickly arises to also have such a natural and yet elegant-looking floor. If more do-it-yourselfers knew how easy it is to cast a stone carpet, the supplies in hardware stores would probably already have been plundered. In our step-by-step instructions, we will guide you through the laying of the stone carpet and then show you how the new floor can remain beautiful for a long time with the right cleaning.
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materials and preparation
What you need:
- mason bucket
- drilling machine
- bright Lamp
- peel-off board
- safety goggles
- possibly mouthguard
- epoxy primer
- epoxy resin
- quartz sand
- stone mix
- possibly aluminum strips
- edge rails
Stone carpet for many purposes
Stone floors for pouring are not only available in different types of stone, but also in numerous colors and even patterns. The different grits also contribute to the lively and natural look. You can pour a stone floor made of pebbles or quartz yourself on almost any surface. The most important factor is always the selected binder, which consists of epoxy resin for most suppliers.
Whether screed, concrete, old tiles or even mastic asphalt, stone carpets combine with almost everything with the right pre-treatment. A solid, resilient plastic base can also be covered with a stone floor. Some manufacturers even offer stone carpets under which underfloor heating can be laid. This is particularly ideal for stone carpets in bathrooms and wellness areas. However, it must be said that this type of stone floor is not as cold to the feet as, for example, a tiled floor.
Lay stone carpet – not porous floor covering
A stone carpet is often referred to as an open-pored floor covering. However, that is not quite correct, because the rounded stones made of different natural materials are held together with a binding agent that is by no means open-pored. Most of the time it is epoxy resin, which later holds the stones together in a rock-solid manner, but remains almost invisible itself.
Tip: Epoxy is not lightfast and the clear versions will soon turn yellow when exposed to the sun. That is why you should use PU laying resins instead of epoxy when laying outdoors or in a particularly sunny area. However, you should also use the two-component version of the binder in this case, as it is more robust.
This is also the only point of criticism that users could have. Polyurethane or epoxy can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people. It is therefore particularly important to protect yourself during this work. We therefore expressly point out the various protection options here in the instructions, so that later you only remember the simple laying of the stone floor. You should wear protective goggles, at least when mixing, so that no splashes of this mass can get into your eyes. Anyone suffering from respiratory diseases or allergies should inhale as little as possible. A mouthguard is therefore at least recommended. In any case, you should wear special rubber gloves throughout the work to protect your hands from the resin.
- protect hands
- Protect eyes from splashes
- Wear a face mask and ventilate well
Instructions: Pebble carpet
The more absorbent a substrate is, the better the primer that is applied under a marble pebble carpet must be. Otherwise, the resin contained in the binder of the stone carpet will be absorbed by the subsoil. Then the new floor cannot form a proper bond. The pebbles will then soon detach and roll around the room. If you use an epoxy resin binding agent, which is usually the case for these stone carpets, then you should also use an appropriate epoxy primer.
Tip: Most manufacturers of stone carpets offer the entire range of materials required. If possible, also use the appropriate primer if the manufacturer has this in his range. In this way, the individual products do not repel each other and form a secure, lasting bond.
You should sprinkle some fine quartz sand into the still wet primer. This later ensures an even better connection between the two levels and prevents the stone mass from running off. Do not use one-component epoxy products, as they evaporate more. In addition, many of these products will no longer be permitted within the EU from 2016.
For these products, read the instructions of the respective manufacturer very carefully. It is very important to success that you mix the two-component binder together in exactly the right amount and then add in exactly the right amount of pebble or quartz. Mix the stone carpet mixture thoroughly. But also check for yourself whether the amount of resin is really sufficient.
Depending on whether you are using pebble, quartz or marble gravel, it may be necessary to increase the amount of resin. In the case of pebbles made of different materials, seven percent epoxy is usually added, whereas quartz often requires at least eight percent. However, some types of marble partially soak up the resin and experts therefore recommend adding ten percent epoxy resin to these materials.
You can find out everything you need to know about epoxy resin coating and the costs that you will incur here: epoxy resin coating
Most manufacturers recommend a thickness of about six millimeters for a stone floor. If you want a thicker layer, you also have to consider a much longer curing time. You should have a strong neon lamp ready and keep checking to make sure the floor is flat as you shake the carpet. Using the spirit level, drag the slat across the floor and level out any areas that are still uneven with an additional dollop of the stone mix.
3.1. Work patterns into the stone carpet
In contrast to a tiled floor, it is very easy to incorporate beautiful patterns and decorative additions into a cast stone floor. Either you lay out a pattern yourself with the appropriate aluminum rails or you use prefabricated patterns made from the same aluminum rails. These have small mounting feet that you can nail or glue to the ground. Once the floor has been poured later, the rails can no longer slip anyway, so it is often sufficient to glue the rails. The rails can also be bent into smaller arcs, even allowing for an intricate monogram on the entryway floor.
Tip: The prefabricated patterns made of aluminum rails can often be found in any hardware store. However, this also brings with it the danger of a certain monotony. For example, there is a really beautiful large star almost everywhere that looks good in an entrance hall. But when every neighbor has the same star on the floor, things get a bit boring.
Due to the different colors, which can be differentiated from each other with the rails on the floor, the stone floor later looks like a real terrazzo floor. However, it is many times more expensive than the pebble carpet. The only limit to the variety of patterns is your imagination, which can also be fired up using pre-worked templates. There are even manufacturers who will make your company logo as a template for the stone covering. For this purpose, plastic parts are usually milled to size, into which the mixture of pebbles and binding agent is then poured.
Tip: With some manufacturers you can even get decors that are already glued to a mat. These are then laid out when laying the stone floor and filled with the contrasting color all around. This is certainly the quickest and easiest way to work a beautiful pattern into the stone covering. You can also decorate and combine your stone carpet with tile mats or glass stones.
3.2. Lay stone flooring on the stairs
Stone coverings for stairs are ideal. There are also corresponding aluminum edge and aluminum corner rails that prevent the floor covering from slipping. The rails are hardly visible later, but ensure perfect edge protection. The stone covering for pouring is the perfect solution, especially on old concrete stairs or tiled stairs. Due to the low construction height, the dimensions of the stairs and the height of the steps are not changed too significantly and the stairs remain safe and easy to climb.
Tip: You can’t do without rails if you want to cover the stairs with a stone floor. The stone carpets are very sensitive at the edges and transitions and individual stones can come loose, which will soon be followed by others.
You can use the same rails that you use for the stone carpet on the stairs to create a matching countertop from the stone mixture in the kitchen. This means that perfectly curved arches and semicircles can also be used as worktops. There are special mixtures and binders for the food processing industry that you should also use for a worktop.
4. Drying season
You can do additional pore sealing with another coat of clear epoxy. But that should only be done after the dry season. Keep in mind that this type of clear coat will also make the floor a little smoother. But in damp rooms, or if you want to lay the epoxy stone floor in a walk-in shower, you should definitely use this pore seal to seal the floor completely.
With epoxy resin flooring, the drying time is not the same as the curing time. In most cases, you can walk on the surface again after a good 24 hours, but such a stone floor is only really hardened after about seven days. However, after two days you can put lighter furniture in the room. However, you should wait with the first cleaning until after the complete curing time.
care and cleaning
First and foremost, it is important that the cleaner is free of solvents so that the binding agent between the pebbles is not dissolved. Most gentle PVC or plastic cleaners are suitable for cleaning the stone carpet. It is important to remember, however, that this must not be cleaned during the first seven days after installation.
Specialty stone carpet cleaners often contain essential oils to keep the floor smelling nice. If you use such a cleaner, you should only put a very small amount of it in lukewarm water. In this way, the essential oils are sufficiently diluted so that they do not have any harmful effects on the binding agent in the stone carpet.
1. Damp and warm
A normal mild soap-based floor cleaner is the right solution for the epoxy stone floor. After the hardening time, the floor tolerates some water and can therefore be completely flooded. However, you should not pour the boiling hot water onto the stone floor, because ultimately epoxy resin is always a plastic that can melt a little if it is treated too hot.
2. Rinsing and drying
In contrast to other floors, you should still remove the soap residue from a stone floor with clear water. With a mop or one of the other common floor wipers, cleaning is quick and easy. You should also dry the floor a little to prevent limescale deposits on the beautiful stone floor after cleaning. Microfiber cloths or old towels are well suited for this. The floor does not have to be completely dry after cleaning, only the risk of limescale should be banned.
Tips for speed readers
- priming of the substrate
- Mix stone mixture with epoxy resin
- Spread stone mixture on the floor
- level with a staff and spirit level
- Insert pattern or decor with aluminum rails
- Always provide stairs with corner and edge rails
- possibly apply a top coat to close the pores
- Pay close attention to the drying and curing times
- Clean only after seven days
- use gentle cleaning agents
- Water not too hot for cleaning
- rinse with clear water
- Dry the floor slightly to prevent limescale