TECHNICAL INFORMATION FOR CERAMIC & PORCELAIN
- Ensure that the material chosen is suitable for use. For floors, porcelain stoneware tiles must be used, for interior wall coverings both porcelain and ceramic tiles can be used.
- Open and check every box before placement to ensure all material is from the same batch and that tones and sizes are compatible.
- The surface must be completely clean before laying any tiles. Any residue that is not eliminated will create weak bonding points that will generate future problems.
- The surface needs to be dry (less than 3%), vertical level and plane (less than 3mm deviation per 2lm's along any direction).
- Make sure that the surface has good cohesion and that it is stable – surface shrinking, expansion or warping is disastrous for tiles. Water sensitive substrates eg wood and chipboard, plaster and precast gypsum may require a waterproof primer.
- Bonding materials must be used according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Don't hurry, do everything safely and slowly and ensure that all products and tools used are used according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Do not use the thick layer installation method, always install tiles using the thin-layer technique (3mm to 5mm thickness of bonding material layer).
- For tiles that have a special shape or size and for metro tiles which have a concave back side, the double-bonding method is recommended.
- Mix tiles from several different boxes to achieve a homogeneous effect.
- Do not submerge the tiles in water before installation.
- Clean the surface thoroughly before starting to tile – any particle that you do not clean off may reduce the adherence of the adhesive and result in the tiles falling off in the future.
- Set movement intermediate joints, especially for surfaces that are more than 8lms long, or 10m2. We also recommend perimeter joints for surfaces of greater than 10m2 for floors.
- When laying the tiles, make sure that the back of the tile is 100% covered by the adhesive. If not, you will probably regret it in future as tiles may fall off, the grouting material may come off or the tiles will be easily broken when hit or drilled.
- Check every tile before laying it to make sure it does not have any defects.
- Remove excess adhesive before it hardens, from both the surface and from the spaces of the joints.
- Interiors floors require joints of no less than 2mm and perimeter and intermediate joints should be at least 6mm wide. Recently laid areas must be appropriately marked to avoid traffic.
- Cover the surface of the tiles to ensure they are protected until other work is completed.
- Exteriors floors require wider joints ie at least 5mm. Create 1% to 2% slopes to ensure water drains away and to prevent any type of water accumulation on the surface.
- Always create as many structural and perimeter joints as are necessary. Intermediate joins must be left for every 20m2 or 4lms.
- For walls, the laying joint should be at least 1.5mm for ceramic tiles or 3mm wide for porcelain stoneware tiles.
- Meshed pieces require additional care. The flatness of the surface is even more important with meshed pieces. For shower floors the necessary drainage slopes must be made in the substrate before installing the mosaic. Take special care when the pieces are laid next to each other to ensure continuity of the joints. To achieve a uniform, flat surface tap each mosaic sheet (and two sheets at once) right after laying using a wooden block and a rubber hammer. Manually adjust pieces that may have been moved when laying the mesh. Finally, use bonding materials with a high resistance to creeping and try not to use too much bonding material as the excess will fill the spaces in the joints.
- Grouting material must be used according to the producer's instructions. The type of grouting material to use depends on the final use of the surface and the width of the joints.
- The grouting operation deserves as much care and skill as the laying of the tiles. Before starting, the joints must be empty and free from bonding material, and they must have a uniform depth.
- Wait at least 24 hours after laying the tiles before filling the joints and follow the grouting material usage instructions.
- After grouting, clean the joints with a wet sponge before the material has dried.
- Sweep the tiles before you start cleaning.
- In most cases, a diluted acid solution (such as vinegar) will be sufficient to remove cement. Commercial cleaning products should be used with care as they may contain high concentrations of acid which may damage the surface of the tiles.
- Warm water and a damp cloth is sufficient to remove the protective wax on the glazed surface of the tiles – do not use scrubbers, blades or sharp objects that could scratch the surface.
- Before using any cleaning agent, test its effect on the ceramic tiles and grout.
- Never use scrubbers to clean shiny tiles.