Laying A Stone Floor
We set up shop outdoors — a few rugged sawhorses and
plywood table tops. The cutting tool of choice was a Makita
circular saw fitted with a diamond blade purchased from a
masonry supply house.
To cut the stone, we sawed about three-fourths of the way
through from the back, taking several shallow passes (Figure
4). Then, arranging the cut line along the edge of the work
table, we used a 2-foot-long by 3/4-inch-thick piece of steel
as a hammer to snap off the stone at the kerf.
4. Working from the back of the slabs, the crews
used a circular saw equipped with a diamond blade to
score the stone most of the way through.
This created a slightly uneven, very sharp edge, but a scrap
of the sandstone itself made a fine rubbing block for softening
it (Figure 5). As we finished cutting the stone, we stacked the
pieces on edge in the garage, sorted by size.
5. By positioning the kerfed stone slabs (top
left) on the edge of the table, the workers were able
to snap the scored line using a large piece of steel as
a hammer (bottom). A small scrap of sandstone served to
smooth the sharp, rough edges (top right).
Prepping for Installation
The next step was to prep the concrete subfloor. When we
poured the slab, we recessed the stone floor area and left it
with a rough broom finish. We snapped layout lines for the
6-foot grid and transferred elevation marks from adjacent
We decided to dry-fit the stone for several reasons. Because
of the labor involved, we hadn't cut many extra pieces. Color
and texture of the stone pieces varied greatly, plus several
pieces had slightly cracked corners. By dry-fitting, we could
rearrange the pieces as needed, using the best ones out in the
middle of the floor and taking advantage of broken pieces for
cuts and edges. This required extra labor, but it reassured us
that we had plenty of stone to finish the floor.