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Resources > Cement Tiles > Installation Guide

Test Layout

Always take the time to do a “test layout” with your tiles. You want your patterns to line up nicely with your door frame and key features such as free standing tub or vanity. If using borders, it’s especially important to test your layout.

Caution: Do not step on your tile during this layout exercise and be sure to handle tiles face to face to avoid scratching. (You can also do your layout testing with full sized paper copies of your tiles.)

Installation Procedure

Use a high quality thin-set adhesive based in cement. You can always contact the tile adhesive manufacturer to recommend the appropriate adhesive. Follow adhesive manufacturer's instructions.

Cement tiles should not use methods of installation that require large amounts of water. Also take care to install out of direct sunlight to insure proper drying of adhesives.

Cement tiles are absorbent and should be soaked in water for a few seconds before they are laid in the thin-set mortar bed, but not too wet as to dilute the adhesive

Make sure that adhesive is applied to the full back of each tile (100% coverage). Back-buttering the tiles is a recommended way of insuring this coverage, but be careful to not allow excess adhesive to form into the grout joints.

Be sure to gently press tiles into floor adhesive with a perpendicular back and forth motion to collapse ridges and ensure a level set. Beating tiles with mallets or rubber hammers can break or crack tiles.

Insure that that the tiles are perfectly level throughout the installation, as they cannot be polished down like marble or granite.

A small (1/16”) grout joint is best. If choosing a larger grout joint, take care with grout color choices. (see grouting)

Be sure to pay attention to your pattern to insure your patterns align.

Handle tiles carefully to avoid chipping edges.

Clean as you go. If there is excess adhesive on the surface, use a damp cloth or sponge to remove quickly and avoid any stains.

Use a sharp diamond blade in wet saw to avoid chipping of edges.

Allow the tiles completely dry after installation. This may take several days. Do not seal, polish, cover or walk on your installation until it has dried completely. Moisture left in your installation can cause stains, pitting or cracking in the tiles surface.

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