Cement Tile Installation Procedures [67 KB] - Download the PDF
Guidelines for installation, care and maintenance
Installing cement tiles is a fairly simple process, but it must be done with care in order to achieve the best results.
Each cement tile is individually hand made and slight variations, such as in thickness; shade, slight imperfections, irregular edges and crazing are inherent to this type of product. These characteristics add to the products natural appeal and do not compromise the performance of the tile. It is very important when installing to pull pieces at random from different boxes in order to achieve a better distribution and blending of the material.
- The tiles should be installed edge to edge (butt jointed) and laid on a perfectly leveled and clean surface.
- The tiles can be cut using a wet saw with a diamond blade.
- When installing a pattern we recommend installing the center portion first, the borders and lastly the field tile that will surround the pattern.
- Tiles can be installed either with a pre-mixed adhesive, such a Mapei Type I, or with regular thinset mortar. In either case use a high-notched trowel to spread the adhesive on the surface as well as on the back of the tile in order to achieve adequate adhesion.
- When using thinset mortar the back of the tile must be dampened. When using a pre-mixed adhesive the back of the tile should be cleaned lightly.
- The tiles must be laid by hand and handled carefully to avoid damaging the edges. Once laid level the tiles using your hands. Using a rubber hammer to do this could damage the tiles' surface. Cement tiles can not be grinded down after they are installed, so it is very important that they are perfectly leveled during installation.
- Any residue of mortar left on the surface of the tile must be cleaned immediately to avoid staining.
- Do not step on the tiles until the mortar has dried.
- You may use colored or white 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.
- The grout should be fluid enough to completely fill the joints.
- Apply the grout with a rubber float or with a rubber squeegee, always moving diagonally across the joints.
- Any excess grout should be removed with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries.
- If tiles are installed before construction is finished make sure you protect them appropriately by covering them with a large piece of cloth, fabric or a tarp.
- After installation has been completed and the grout has dried thoroughly wash the tiles with mild soap and plenty of water.
- As with natural stone products, cement tiles are porous in nature and should be sealed to avoid staining.
- After the tiles have completely dried apply a penetrating sealer using a sponge. Always follow the instruction of the sealer's manufacturer. FILA manufactures a full line of sealers and cleaners for cement tiles (www.filachim.com).
- Some sealers will enhance the color of the tiles. Test the sealer in a small portion before applying.
- Reapply periodically as per the sealer manufacturer's instructions.
- Cement tiles should be regularly moped with clear water. A capful of liquid wax may be added to the water to improve the tiles'natural sheen.
- Never use acids to clean the tiles as they will damage it.
Avente provides these guidelines as suggestions to you and your installer. The installer is responsible for ensuring proper installation and sealing of the tiles.