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cement - top installation tips: trim, grout + sealant

TRIM

(left) design: HDR remodeling / photo: Open Homes Photography, (right) design/photo: Omgivning Arch/Interiors

 

DO YOU OFFER TRIM FOR YOUR CEMENT TILE? HOW DO I FINISH EDGES?

At clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients do the same. Here are our recommendations for trim alternatives for cement:

  • If your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the tiles to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
  • Another way to complete your tiling is to run a bead of caulk or grout along the exposed tile edge.
  • If you have a painted surface next to your tile, you can choose to paint the outer edge of the tile to match the painted surface. Click here for our cement paint pairing guide.
  • As with any of our tiles, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the tile.
  • For more information on trim, read our blog on trim alternatives.

 

GROUT  

(left) design: Natalie Myers / photo: Charlotte Lea, (right) design: Veronica Valencia / photo: Megan Welker

 

HOW AND WHAT TO USE:
  • clé recommends the use of mapei flexcolor CQ grout and a 1/16" grout join with the cement collection.
  •   Grout color selection is always up to our client and/or their design professional. however, clé is often asked for our opinion on best grout selections for our tiles. Due to the large array of grout colors that are now available, clé would like to offer this general guideline on a foolproof grout color selection for any of your clé tiles.
      1. Have your professional tile contractor complete your tile installation, except for the grout portion.
      2. When ready to grout, ask your contractor to bring ALL grout color charts from his preferred grout manufacturers, for your review.
      3. Choose a time of day when you are most pleased with the lighting in your space (either natural lighting, installed lighting or a blend of both). during that lighting and time of day, select the grout color that best matches your tile selection.
  • Note that the full mapei flexcolor cq color catalogue contains 40 colors to choose from. Visit the mapei website to view.

     

    • For further information check out these Grout Articles:

    how to use grout as a design element in tile installation

    the power of grout

    why tile grout matters

     

    SEALANT

     

    WHAT IS A PRE-POLISH AND PRE-SEAL?

    clé was the first to introduce cement tiles that were pre-polished and pre-sealed. But what does that mean?

    All clé cement tiles come pre-polished and pre-sealed which provides for a smooth matte surface, as polishing removes the natural "tooth" that is naturally occurring on the surface of all cement tiles. This polishing removes the rough surface allowing for  clé tiles to resist abrasion and the collection of surface dirt.

    This polishing process is completed with a light penetrating sealer that allows the tiles to ship without the abrasion issues that can be more prevalent when shipping pigmented tiles. We keep the sealant light so that it doesn't act as a bond barrier for the setting material, therefore the cement tile will still require additional sealants.


    WHY SEAL CEMENT TILES?
    • Due to the porous nature of cement, all applications (dry and wet) must be sealed after grouting.
    • If your installer fails to use Mapei Flexcolor CQ- then they will also need to seal the cement tiles prior to grouting or will experience grout staining.
    • Grout lines and the tile surface must be sealed as the final step of installation.
    • Exterior walls require vertical weather flashing and waterproof, penetrating sealant.
    • Exterior floors must be installed above grade with waterproof, penetrating sealant.
    • Our recommended sealant of choice is Miracle sealants. For most installations their 511 Porous Plus is sufficient. if something more heavy duty is preferred or something with a shinier finish, there are various other options to choose from. Please contact Miracle Sealants, directly.

     

    HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO RESEAL?

    If used in the shower or areas with heavy traffic (bath and kitchen floors or commercial floors)  the tile will need to be resealed once or twice a year.

     

    WANT A SHINIER FINISH?

    For clients that want more sheen to their cement tile finish, gloss sealants can be used to provide for this. Please contact Miracle Sealants.

     

    For any further questions, please refer to our cement resource and installation guide. 

    Link to Homeowners Resource Guide  

    Link to Trade Resource Guide

     

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