Cement tile installation guide
GUIDANCE ON CEMENT TILE APPLICATION AND INSTALLATION
Please note that this guidance is not a completely guide to installation and maintenance but some advice on aspects, which we have found to be particularly important and exchanged from our partner’s feedback from different continents.
DESCRIPTION ABOUT OUR CEMENT TILE
The cement tile origin is from Spain and Southern France, which is developed in the 19th century. However, it is made in many countries like Vietnam, Morocco, Mexico... Cement tile is made by hand with the pressing support from hydraulic presses, steel mold and brass divider. It it 100% non-burn and handcrafted process. The raw materials are Portland cement, sand, fine marble, water and color powder. Each cement tile is individually made and variations in thickness, size and color and imperfection like irregular edges and corners, as well as pattern contours being partly blurred are inherent to the manufacturing process. These characteristics add to the tile’s nature appeal and do not compromise performance.
The tile have to be sealed in the factory to protect them from dirt and water, with our solvent-based sealer. With some special requirement, the tile is kept at raw and for the sealer application in job site. In summary, the cement tile is not totally perfect. They have few patina from day one and only become more beautiful with time. That is the value of time from its characteristics.
INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF OUR CEMENT TILE
We recommend the installation work for cement tile is after all other construction works if at all possible. Fix the tiles at the last stage of the work. Otherwise the surface will be dirty and will be next to impossible to clean if it is soiled by construction workers.
STEP 1: PREPARING THE SUBSTRATE:
The tiling substrate must be prepared in accordance with design, lower than the tiled platform from 25-30mm.
The tiling substrate must be flat stability, clean and a bit wet.
If you are laying tile on a concrete slab, be sure the slab is completely cured to prevent white efflorescence spots from showing up later on the surface of the tile as water evaporates through it
STEP 2: PREPARING AND SETTING THE TILES:
Soak tiles in water at least 10 minutes to remove any dust and in order to pre-wet the back side prior setting. Since the tiles are handmade and therefore tiles’ color variation that we recommend that you mix them randomly from different boxes when lay it them out in order to balance color and tonal variation. If you are installing a sub-floor heating system: do not under any circumstance allow the system to be powered on until the installation is complete.
Use the ruler and tapeline to locate the construction area. From a fixed line and corner, start to install based on the selected design. The pattern tile looks best with small grout joints (from 1 to 3 mm).
Keep installing follow stretched parallel lines and cords to determine the tiled surface. Keep installing each row until finish construction area. When installing press the tiles down firmly into place only by hand – please don’t use a hammer or mallet since the cracks may show up later, even if you do not see them immediately. Working in small areas at a time and avoid getting the thin-set on the surface of tile – please wipe off any excess thin-set or other dirt immediately so as to avoid it setting in the porous surface.
After finish placing the tile on the substrate, spray clean water on the surface to enhance adhesion between tiles and substrate.
STEP 3: Our standard tiles are pre-sealed, which you don’t need to do sealing again in work. However, with some customs order, the tiles are requested to keep it raw. Therefore, please note that sealing has to be performed before grouting, otherwise, grout can penetrate the porous surface of the tiles. If you want to do the sealing one more time, please use only the solvent-based sealer, which it will be completely matched with our pre-treat sealer.
STEP 4: GROUTING
Before grouting tiles should be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours, recommend 3 days after fixing. We request not using dark coloured grout with pale tiles and vice versa. Use un-tinted grout only, or closely-matched grout on solid color tiles. Improper installation can cause the tiles to be stained by the grout tint, causing haze over dark regions, or making lighter regions appear dingy.
Do not use any oils or cleaning chemicals to apply to the tile face.
Apply the grout just enough in the area around of tile join only. Please don’t put the grout and flat over the whole tile’s surface. Always moving diagonally across the joints. Any excess grout should be removed with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries
STEP 5: MAINTENANCE
The tile should be cleaned using mild soap, but not by detergent. Never use acidic cleaner or other acids on cement tile. Depending on the amount of foot traffic the tiles will have to be re-sealed periodically with a suitable sealer.
The tiles are not recommended to install outdoors but possible to use with special consideration and application of extra sealer, heat and sun light condition.
COMPLAINTS AND CLAIM
Please inspect your tiles prior the installation work carried out. No returns or claims will be accepted once the tiles have been installed. We will never assume any responsibility for faulty workmanship.
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