Transportation & Handling
Following is a common slab storage situation; it highlights problems that can result from improper securing. The cargo transport unit of DeluxeTop is formed on two “A - shaped” frames, provided by us. (Fig. 1 & 2).
Research into regulatory guidance from other sources did not uncover any recommendations speciﬁcally concerning natural stone slabs and road transportation, but the Swedish National Road and Transport Research (VTI) Institute issued recommendations for the transportation of panels more than 15 years ago, which are illustrated in (Fig. 3).
Typical suction cups(Fig. 2) of different kinds are a prime aid, although a couple of workers will be needed to carry the tiles and these may still get deformed.
To allow the extraction of the slabs in a safe and easy way, it is recommended to position the pallets in a suitable area where the lift truck can be moved round all sides of the pallet.
In the case of tiles with a textured surface, soft rubber suction pads (Fig. 1) should be used to ensure a strong grip. Suction pads ﬁxed to a lifting bar will make it easier to handle the products and prevent them from becoming deformed. By using two of these bars, all kind of operations can be performed by just two people.
However, the best solution is to use a rigid lifting frame (Fig. 3) with suction cups that grip the tile on all four sides.
The lifting frame can be designed to adapt to all tile formats, sizes or cut sections, keeping the tiles undamaged and allowing them to be handled by fewer people.
To remove the tiles from the box / To place them on the work table / To carry them anywhere on the work site /To spread cement-based adhesive on the underside / To help lay them
DeluxeTop is extremely heavy and may have sharp edges. It is therefore necessary to wear protective gloves at all times. We recommended the use of single or double suction cups which help to ensure the integrity of the tile is maintained and the operators’ safety is not compromised. Carefully wipe the surface of the tile to remove any dust or moisture. Position the suction cups on the face of the tile and make sure that they adhere to the surface properly.
For safe handling of large format slabs on-site we highly recommend the use of a specialist tile handling frame with suction cup, such as the DeluxeTop Easy-Move. For larger formats the full frame with four suction cups is suitable, with smaller formats two double suction cups are sufﬁcient.
Place the slabs length-wise on wooden beams to prevent the slabs from splintering.
4mm & 6mm slabs needs at least three support points, distributed evenly along the back of the slab; a full support is recommended. For example -an unused granite or marble slab with sufﬁcient width. The best way to maintain the integrity of the slabs is to keep them in their original Packaging or use a full support on the back of the DeluxeTop such as an unused granite or marble slab which is wide enough.
The supports must be able to hold the entire surface of the part during transport.
Too small supports may cause the part to break:
Laying & Fixing
The growth in popularity of large format tiles, with their increased weight and smoother backs, presents new ﬁxing challenges to the professional tiler.
Correct preparation of the subﬂoor or laying surface is crucial. The laying surface should be rigid, non-ﬂexing and capable of supporting the expected load with minimal or no deﬂection. A level subﬂoor is extremely important in order to keep tiles from cracking. Sanding high spots and the use of a levelling compound on low spots is essential. It is also important that DeluxeTop are clean and dry, if necessary wash them with clean water and dry them thoroughly before ﬁxing.
Whatever your speciﬁc requirements, whether they be for standard or large format DeluxeTop within internal or external applications, selecting the appropriate cement-based, ﬁbre-reinforced or ready-mixed adhesive is vital to ensuring the success of your project.
Once your subﬂoor is clean and dry, spread the adhesive on the surface to be covered with a 10x10mm square toothed trowel, covering an area 5cm to 10cm more than the size of the DeluxeTop. Always apply the adhesive in stripes running parallel with the short edge to remove air pockets and bubbles. By using this method, full coverage of the DeluxeTop with adhesive is ensured.
Large format DeluxeTop always require back-buttering. Back-buttering describes the process of applying a layer of adhesive to the back of the tiles using a trowel.
Using a specialist wheeled transport cart, ﬁx the large format slab in a vertical position on the handling frame with the use of suction cups. Use a 10x10mm square toothed trowel for applying your adhesive to the wall or ﬂoor and when back-buttering use a 3x3mm square toothed trowel for the back of the tile.
Using the handling frame with suction cups, bring the slab into a vertical position and slowly lower it to horizontal. The DeluxeTop should be ﬁrmly pressed into the adhesive along a straight edge, collapsing all adhesive ridges. Use a levelling system to avoid lippage and frequently checks that your DeluxeTop are even using a suitable box level. Levelling systems are available with 2mm 3mm and 5mm tile spacers.
Periodically check the tiles backs to make sure there is full contact between the adhesive and tile. If not apply additional adhesive to the tile or use a troll with larger notches in your adhesive. As you are working wipe off excess mortar with a wet sponge.
Tile levelling systems are now commonly used. With large-format DeluxeTop, they are absolutely essential. Given the size of the DeluxeTop and their slimline thickness, unless
a levelling system is used, it will result in lippage.
After the ﬁrst DeluxeTop has been laid and levelled, before proceeding to lay the second one, insert levelling clips below the ﬁrst (Fig. 2). Then lay the next DeluxeTop and tap it to ensure a ﬁrm bond. Next, adjust the level(Fig. 3) of both DeluxeTops by pushing the wedges into place 5 with the levelling pliers (Fig. 1).
The contributing factors to what causes DeluxeTop lippage are how much warpage the DeluxeTop has,
the width of the grout, how ﬂat the substrate is, and the expertise of the tile installer. We recommend that lippage should not be greater than 2mm at the most for this type of installation.
In order to ensure a uniform surface and produce a surface with acceptable lippage, make use a levelling system to avoid lippage and frequently check that your DeluxeTop are even using a suitable box level. Levelling systems are available with 2mm, 3mm and 5mm tile spacers.