Installations Guidelines & Specifications For:
Handcrafted Stone™ Specialty Concrete Flagstone
* and Flooring Tile... Limited Warranty listed below.



HANDCRAFTED STONE is the leading manufacturer of Specialty Concrete Flagstone and Concrete Flooring Tile products for all interior and exterior applications and is installed using just a thinset mortar. The tiles will add only a 1 inch finished height including the thinset mortar. Our concrete flooring and tile products are not only beautiful but are designed to be very installer friendly more so than ceramic, natural and clay tile products.

One of the most unique tile we manufacture is our Terra RomaTM, a flagstone textured concrete based tile. It is created in a large rectangular shaped tile, (for ease of manufacturing and shipping only and must not be installed as a retangular sheet of tile), 3/4" thick that is shaped by the installer once at the jobsite, just like natural flagstone. Each piece and shape will be unique just like Mother-nature creates with no set or established patterns. This feature sets us apart from any other tiles on the market and has a Patent Pending. (See section #9. Installations). This design feature allows for faster and predictable installations which will not only make for a satisfied customer but a happy installer.

HANDCRAFTED STONE Specialty Concrete Flagstone and Concrete Flooring Tile product installation processes are similar to natural stone and ceramics tiles and can be accomplished with minimal skill levels. If you are looking for a product that will provide beautiful, natural appearing surfaces over a concrete sub-base, an alternative to other products on the market, is installer friendly and produces quick, consistent and easy results (every time), requires little or no training and has virtually no maintenance, then you will be very satisfied with the Specialty Flooring and Tile products Handcrafted Stone has created for you. Our Flagstone, Saltillo (Mexican Paver), Slate and Old World textured tiles come from a legacy of tried and proven installations, happy customers and high performance concrete formulas and processes developed by the founders of the product over 23 years ago. Concrete is naturally a GREEN product and our concrete tiles are made from sustainable raw materials.

Installing the Concrete Tiles Over New or Existing Concrete Bases:

1. Before Beginning:

a)  Your local contractor/installer needs to assess the conditions on which the Handcrafted Stone concrete tiles will be installed. Our products are only as good as the surface the tiles are installed on. Handcrafted Stone cannot warrant the installers work, the base our tiles are installed on and conditions our tiles may be subjected to that may occur before, during and after the installation of our concrete tiles on a customers existing and/or new flooring surface. Handcrafted Stone concrete tiles will not keep concrete slabs from moving, separating, lifting, flexing, scaling, settling or solve efflorescence/ moisture related issues at the jobsite. Any one of the issues previously described can cause damage and/or harm to the Handcrafted Stone concrete tile product. When in doubt, the installation of a moisture barrier/slip sheet between the concrete slab and Handcrafted Stone product to limit the amount of moisture and salts (efflorescence) from coming up through the concrete slab and the tile may help with this condition but Handcrafted Stone cannot warrant this will solve any moisture issue that may occur for any particular installation. (*See LIMITED WARRANTY below)

b)When ordering or measuring any type of tile, a common practice is to order 10% extra to overcome any miscalculations or waste during installation. For Diagonal patterns for square tiles, 15 percent extra should cover for waste created by cuts.

c)Handcrafted Stone Terra Roma flagstone, Tuscan slate, Castilian classic Saltillo (Mexican Paver) and Old World sculpted textured concrete based tile product should be at the job location before installation. Product needs to be protected from rain and elements until installed or will void warranty. We recommend a moisture resistant covering.

d) (Raw materials used in the manufacturing of concrete products may vary slightly from pallet to pallet). To achieve the most desirable balance of color, select and blend tile from within each pallet and from different pallets throughout the installation area.

e) Inspect product before installation for any damage or issues before installation. Use constitutes acceptance. Any issues must be addressed before installation!

f) Address any moisture related issues with the flooring base before installing Handcrafted Stone products. If there is scaling, white powder, crumbling, moisture on surface of concrete base, there may be pre-existing moisture problems with the flooring base that need to be addressed and/or have proper moisture protection applied before installing our tiles. We do not warrant our product against the damages of moisture issues carried up through to our tiles from the customers flooring base. Efflorescence can damage the surface of concrete tiles and cause color to leach out and pock marks in surface and white powder to form.

2.  Prep Surface:

Use industry-accepted methods, follow all local tile installation codes, to clean and prepare concrete base for application of Handcrafted Stone products.

a)  Address all Cracks or Imperfections of Substrate. Slip Sheet/Fracture Membrane/ Crack Isolator Materials: Provide where Architect, Engineer or Qualified Installer recommends over any cracks or imperfections to help protect the Handcrafted Stone tiles from any movement of the sub-base. Follow the manufacturer's installation guidelines for the type of product to be used for crack or imperfection repairs before installing the stones. Handcrafted Stone cannot warrant product against cracking and coming loose if installed over cracked, damaged or moving concrete bases if these bases shift or move. Slip Sheet/Fracture Membrane/ Crack Isolator materials are not a guarantee against the concrete base from cracking our tile that may be installed on top.

b)  Expansion Joints: Provide where indicated on plans or as recommended by Architect, Engineer or Qualified Installer. Expansion joints can alleviate stresses on tile and grout surfaces due to movement and/or pressure from concrete bases they are installed over. Follow the expansion joint material manufacturer’s recommendations on how to best install their product.

c)  It is necessary to verify that masonry and concrete substrates do not have residual coatings (curing compounds, paint, bond breaker, etc) present that may affect the bonding of thinset mortar to the substrate. Correction of the problem is to be made according to the thinset manufacturer's recommendations and/or installer who guarantees the installation labor.

d)  Hint:  You may want to apply a high quality masonry sealer to the tiles before installation. This can act as a grout release and make for easier clean-up of grouting material. (See section #5 Sealing for type of sealers and #9 Installation Tips).

3. Thinset Mortar:
See ASTM C-54 Tile Installers Instructions. We recommend using only "High Quality" thinset mortars with acrylic additives. Mix the thinset per manufacturer’s recommendation. Using ½ inch notched Trowel, apply a bed of thinset mortar as per manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not spread any more thinset mortar than can be used before it sets up or develops a dry skin over the top.

4. Installation:

   Press Handcrafted Stone Specialty Flooring and Tile Flagstone, Slate, Old World and Saltillo, (Mexican Paver) textured tiles firmly into position. Wiggle each piece slightly while applying a slight pressure to the concrete tiles in order to ensure a firm bond, causing the thinset to extrude slightly around the edges of the stones and to leave the desired joint width, in the predetermined pattern.  If leveling of the tiles is necessary or increased adhesion is desired, you may back butter product to achieve this. Tiles of greater size than 8"x8" must be backed buttered in order to achieve 100 percent coverage every time. Be sure to remove any residual mortar from surface of tile before it dries. Some thinset mortars can leave stains on tiles if left to dry on the surface.

   a)  All of our tile products can be cut and shaped with a wet or dry diamond bladed saw. An angle grinder with a diamond blade will work also. For the flagstone, we recommend using the installation tool similar to the one in the diagram at top left of page labeled Terra Roma Shaping Tool). (Note: see section #9 "Installation Tips" for shaping our flagstone textured concrete tiles)

5.  Before Grouting:
After Thinset mortar has hardened, you should use a "High Quality" sealer and pre-seal the tiles before installing the grout. (This works well as a grout release and will make it easier to clean off any grout material and haze later). DO NOT LET THE SEALER TOUCH THE INSIDE EDGES OF THE TILE. IF THIS HAPPENS THE GROUT MAY NOT STICK TO THE TILE. Use only a breathable non-yellowing type of sealer. (See section 7 below).

6.  Grouting:
 You may purchase heavy sanded, (coarser) grout mix or make your own. Follow all grout manufacturers recommendations for type of grout and grouting widths. Add your grout mix (or pre-mix) and fill all joints using a grouting bag, (preferred method), clean surface of all residues to make ready for sealer. Use as little as water as possible during the clean-up. Excessive water can cause the grout to expand and will cause it to have shrink cracks, become brittle and or pull away from the tiles. American National Standards Specifications for Ceramic Tile (ANSI) mandates that all newly installed tile floors have at least a 72 hour cure time before begin surface traffic. It is also recommended to damp cure the installation. If the concrete slab/base moves and or flexes, grout may crack and pop loose.

7. Sealing:
When surface is completely dry, clean and all grouting residue has been removed, apply final coat of selected sealer over entire job, including the grout or the recommended 2 coats if a pre-seal coat was not applied before grouting. (Follow sealer's manufacturer recommendations). Sealer needs to be a breathable type, non-film forming, non-yellowing masonry type of sealer suitable for concrete surfaces. Handcrafted Stone does not warrant sealers and does not sell sealer.

8.  Maintenance:  
If “High Quality” sealers are used, maintenance requirements are minimal. Use neutral (pH7.0) standard nonabrasive, water-based household cleaners on stubborn stains. In most cases, plain soap and water will work. Manufacturer recommends trying the cleaner of choice in an inconspicuous area first to see if there is no noticeable change in color of product. Handcrafted Stone cannot warrant any cleaners or their claims.

9.  Installation Tips:

a) Handcrafted Stone Terra Roma flagstone textured tiles are shaped. (see Terra Roma Installation Tool diagram below) or (Saw-Cut and fitted), before installation. Use of this tool or similar device and/or saw cutting is recommended by the manufacturer and will lessen the chance of creating hidden fractures during the installation process, in the stone or tile. The installer needs to make the assement of which method will give him the best results and one that will allow that their installation can can be warranted afterwards by said installer. The use of the recommended tool, which you can easily make, should allow for clean and breaks of our Handcrafted Stone Terra Roma flagstone textured tiles.

At this time, it is suggested that the installer pre-seals each of the flagstone tile sheets before shaping. When working with full sheets or large pieces of Terra Roma flagstone textured tiles, lay the stone you want to shape horizontally across the edge of the tool. Lift the flagstone tile about 5- 6 inches above the tool (along the area where you want the break to be), grasping opposite ends with your hands and then proceed to allow the weight of the flagstone tile to fall on edge of the tool, while exerting a downward pressure on the flagstone tile with your hands. Do this in one quick fluid motion. It may take several times to get the desired affect. This will cause the stone to break along the general area you desired. You can rotate the flagstone tile along the edge of the tool to make other breaks, in order to shape the stone as required. To shape smaller pieces, you may place the flagstone on the edge of the tool and overhang the amount of stone you want to "trim" off. Use a rubber mallet and  make a strong tap along the overhanging edge. This will remove the unwanted edge and help to create the desired shape of the stone.  (DO NOT DROP THE FLAGSTONE ON THE GROUND. IT WILL SHATTER INTO MANY SMALL PIECES AND MAY CREATE HIDDEN FRACTURES!!!) It will also void any warranty.

The use of the rubber mallet is not only less likely to cause fractures in the flagstone textured tile but is an economical shaping tool and will save lots of time and money during the installation process. Each piece should be “tapped” to hear a clear ring before installing. A dull ring indicates there is a possible fracture that may have been created during the shaping process. This tapping will lessen the possibility of a hidden crack showing up later. If a crack is apparent, just reshape the Terra Roma flagstone textured tile along the crack and install.

b) Do not clean with acids or cleaners containing acids.

c) Do not clean with a high-pressure power washer.

d) Moisture Barriers:
The use of a Moisture barrier over sheathing is required by most codes over vertical walls.

Option #1: is recommended by the manufacturer as a good means of stopping moisture movement through wall and diverting free moisture to base of wall. Tyvek Stucco Wrap, by E.I. Dupont, or comparable product as approved by Architect. Provide tape to seal joints, seams, and tears, of same permeation as membrane.

Option #2:  is a less expensive product, yet still may meet code requirements. Check with your local codes to verify.

ASTMD 226, No. 15 non-perforated asphalt saturated organic felt


10.  See "CONCRETE TILE INSTALL DIAGRAM" for installing over concrete base or over wood and special Installations for over  “Existing Pool Copings”





For information about Handcrafted Stone’s concrete tile / paving products, visit our contact us page or email us directly at