Dry Lay: what the process entails and why it is important for marble projects


How Dry Lay Process ensures the overall quality of the project and the desired pattern before the tiles are even installed

One of marble’s key characteristics, and a feature that sets it apart from other materials making it truly invaluable, is marble’s uniqueness. Choosing marble tiles for our project we are essentially choosing a material with unique surface characteristics in each tile. But how can we take full advantage of this priceless, unique character of marble? Can the Dry Lay process guarantee an ideal outcome both in terms of aesthetics and quality?

It Is widely known that each marble tile is unique . Even those derived from the same quarry, block or even from the same slab, can differ from each other. Their uniqueness lies in the different background shades, in the form of the veining and in various other surface features.

The Dry Lay process is the best available method to ensure both the quality of the tiles ordered and that they are optimally combined in the final project.

So what exactly is the Dry Lay process?

During the Dry Lay process, expert staff place each and every tile in its desired position, simulating the end result of the actual finished project.

The manner in which marble tiles are laid can lead to very different results. Hence, during this process, specialized personnel place each tile in the position they consider optimal. Our staff choose the right position after taking into account the surface and quality characteristics of the tiles, their dimensions and of course the aesthetic effect (the desired pattern) of each project.

Dry Lay process: image of expert staff holding a tile

Dry Lay not only guarantees that the final project conforms with the intended design, but also offers another distinctive advantage: during the process, qualified personnel conduct strict quality controls. This entails both controlling tile type and characteristics and measuring the moisture content of tiles. Then, trained inspectors who are appointed by the customer oversee the process to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved.

This is why the work conducted both by the supplier’s marble experts and by the customer-appointed inspectors is considered vital and requires specialized knowledge and extensive experience.

Image of tiles during the Dry Lay process

Applications of the Dry Lay process

The Dry Lay process can be applied to tiles of any type and dimension, as well as to any type and combination of marbles.

The Dry Lay procedure is used in the following cases:

  • Construction or decorative projects
  • Small- and large-scale commercial or residential construction projects
  • Interior and exterior design, including flooring, wall cladding, bathrooms, kitchens, and various specific construction projects.

Thanks to Dry Lay, customers can actually see tile quality and pattern and are able to ask for changes until the desired outcome is achieved.

To be able to apply the Dry Lay process in large-scale projects, marble suppliers should possess the appropriate infrastructure, sufficiently large facilities and an adequate number of qualified personnel so that they are in a position to lay thousands of tiles and visualize the project in its entirety.

Image of many white tiles during the Dry Lay process

Benefits of the Dry Lay Process

The greatest benefit of the Dry Lay process is the flexibility it offers, as well as the opportunity to rectify mistakes long before the final and conclusive placement of the tiles.

The Dry Lay process offers two additional, well-documented and major advantages.

A. Aesthetic-related advantages (pattern)

  • Combination of colors & surface features. Even when all the selected tiles of a project belong to the same type of marble, it is inevitable that different combinations of their surface characteristics will lead to different patterns and designs.
  • Combination of tiles of different dimensions & marble types. Combining colors and patterns is an even more demanding task when, instead of a single dimension, the project involves tiles of variable dimensions and marble types.

Dry Lay helps us choose the desired combination of tile patterns and ensure optimal color balance. This guarantees an aesthetically ideal end result.

B. Advantages Related to Quality Control

  • Measuring tile moisture content. Moisture contained in marble can give rise to a variety of problems during transportation and installation. When moisture is already present in the tile packaging stage, it is very likely that mosses, fungi and pests will grow during transportation, causing serious subsequent problems upon installation. During the Dry Lay process, the moisture content of tiles is measured before packing, and tiles with a high moisture content are dried. Then, our specialists also measure the moisture content of the packaging pallets.
  • Marble type quality control. Even tiles derived from the same block or slab can vary in terms of their surface characteristics. During the Dry Lay process, only the types that ensure the desired result are selected.

While the tiles are being laid, the process allows monitoring and ensuring their quality during both transportation and installation.

Dry Lay process application by Stone Group International

We are always striving to deliver on our promises to our partners. As part of this constant effort, we apply the Dry Lay process to all our tiles, regardless of dimension or intended application.

In the following video you can see the Dry Lay process in practice in our facilities.

We are in a position to apply the Dry Lay process not only to specific parts of a project, but to an entire project, regardless of space requirements. To meet the demands of every large- or small-scale project, we have invested in new facilities, technical infrastructure and specialized personnel. It is also worth noting that our facilities have been designed with flexibility in mind, in order to be able to easily and swiftly adapt to the special circumstances and requirements of each project we undertake and we can manage thousands of tiles in parallel. Furthermore, we have dedicated a number of ten experienced, specialized staff to the Dry Lay process. Our experts undergo constant training.

It is also notable that during the Dry Lay process, project inspectors regularly visit our facilities to monitor the laying and quality of tiles. Inspectors collaborate with our staff to make any necessary changes. Our shared aspiration is to ensure the top quality of the tiles and that the end result conforms with project specifications.

More specifically, this process includes the following stages, which can be adapted to the specific requirements and specifications of each individual project.

  • Tile laying; tile type and tile color control
  • Tile quality control
  • Moisture content measurement and drying of tiles
  • Photo capture of any surface characteristic of tiles
  • Appropriate packaging of tilesς
  • Pallet packing. Pallets are made according to customer’s specifications
  • Measurement & checking of tile and pallet moisture content according to customer’s specifications
  • Barcoding and marking of each individual tile, box and pallet.

* All aforementioned services are optional. They can be provided upon consultation with Stone Group International.

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