Cement Tile Installation
CEMENT TILE INSTALLATION TIPS
⇨ Inspect your order carefully. Our company will not be responsible for material that has been cut or installed. Throughout the installation process and handling of the tile, be careful not to damage the finished surface or corners of the tiles.
⇨ Do not allow the boxes to get wet! Store the material in a dry area. Moisture or dampness can cause the tiles to get stained, have faded color, a damaged surface or effervescence causing a white powdery effect on the surface of the tile from moisture coming through from the bottom of the tile.
⇨ Cement tile, as a product of natural materials, is subject to color and tonal variations and may require blending of tiles. Allow interior tiles to season in their final environment prior to installation.
⇨ Cement tile is a cement-based product and may have residue on the surface. This will be removed during the cleaning, before grouting, and buffing process after installation and after implementation of an ongoing maintenance routine. It is recommended to wipe the back of the tiles with a “damp” (not soaked!) sponge prior to placing in thin set to remove concrete dust residue and enable proper adhesion.
⇨ Install over flat, level and stable cured concrete surface or suitable stable sub-floor (such as Hardibacker, Durock or Ditra) or wall surface. Wall installation on drywall is acceptable when installed with appropriate “no sag” setting materials.
⇨ It is recommended to shuffle tile from different boxes during installation to achieve a uniform effect.
⇨ Use a high quality thin-set adhesive, such as a Laticrete or Mapei product. Contact adhesive manufacturer to recommend the appropriate adhesive. Follow adhesive manufacturer’s instructions. Cement Tiles are not intended for installation methods employing large quantities of water. Do not install during excessively hot weather or full direct sun.
⇨ Make sure that adhesive is applied to the full back of each tile (100% coverage) using a large notch trowel (At least 1/2” notched trowel). Spread floor and back butter the tiles like a natural stone installation. Make sure all tiles are level. Do not beat with a mallet or rubber hammer to set tiles, level your tiles using hand pressure. Remove excess adhesive from the surface with a damp cloth or sponge while it is fresh. Tiles should be cut using a sharp diamond blade in conjunction with water to avoid chipping of edges.
⇨ Cement tiles are pre-sealed at the factory however, additional sealing with a penetrating sealer is recommended. Make sure to seal with an impregnating or penetrating sealer after cleaning and before grouting. Apply sealer in thin layers, until the tiles will not soak up any more. Wipe excess sealer off before it dries, and allow the sealer to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use any acids or alkalines to clean tiles. Use a PH neutral cleaner. Usually, a penetrating sealer in gallon (covers approx. 200-250 sq. ft.) and quart sizes (covers approx. 40-60 sq. ft.). Coverage is based on 2 coats.
⇨ Allow two (2) to three (3) days after tiles are laid before grouting of joints.
⇨ Use Laticrete, Mapei or equivalent unsanded grout, using manufacturer’s instructions. Recommended grout joint width is a tight joint of 1/16″ – 1/8″. Joints should be full and free of all voids and pits. Grout should be applied in small areas and immediately cleaned. Do not spread the entire floor with grout like a porcelain or ceramic tile. Once grout has been applied and starts to dry, remove excess grout immediately. Grout that sits too long can be difficult to remove from the tile. Do not affix duct tape, gaffer tape or acid tape directly onto cement tiles surface. Tape can discolor or stain your cement tiles. Typically cement tile is grouted with white or light colored grout. If you decide to use colored grout we recommend that it be a color that is the same, or lighter than, the lightest color used in the pattern. Note: Take special care when using black or dark grout. Although they can be used, dark grouts can stain lighter colors on the tile and be very difficult to remove after installation.
⇨ After installation, wash floor with a neutral detergent. Any extra residue or mortar should be removed immediately. Do not allow water or other liquids to spot, pond or ring on the surface of smooth tiles (i.e: Do not leave spillages, drips or wet buckets, cups, footmarks, etc. on the surface at any time). For hard to remove residue, a single disc floor machine with a white pad may be used.
⇨ Seal the clean floor, including grout, a second time with the penetrating sealer.
⇨ Cover the tile immediately after completion with a protective covering to prevent damage during the remainder of construction.
⇨ For ongoing maintenance, clean regularly with a neutral detergent and buff tiles with a white pad. Extremely heavy foot traffic may require additional maintenance. A natural patina will occur as the floor is maintained and wears. Water spotting will be eliminated through an ongoing maintenance routine.
⇨ The use of properly sized walk-off mats at entrances and sweeping or dust mopping is important to remove abrasive grit that may cause wear.
⇨ If you have any questions, contact us before cutting or installing tiles.