top installation tips for cement tile: trim, grout, and sealant

by clé tile | published: Apr 21, 2021

on the left, clé tile pattern cement squares in new west pattern one. on the right, clé tile solid cement hexes in black.
on the left, clé tile pattern cement squares in new west pattern one. on the right, clé tile solid cement hexes in black.

Cement tile and trim

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.

grouting cement tile

  • 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: why seal cement tiles?

  • Due to the porous nature of cement, all applications (dry and wet) must be sealed after grouting. 
  • Our recommended sealant of choice is from Laticrete StoneTech line. For most installations their Impregnator Pro Sealant is preferred. Please contact Laticrete directly if you are looking for other options.
  • If you are using a colored grout or stain, use this product as a grout release to avoid staining and quicken cleanup. Remember to also use a grout release when working with heavily patterned tile.
  • 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.

How often should I seal my cement tiles?

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.

looking for more shine?

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

For any further questions, please refer to our cement Installation and Maintenance Guide.