Cement tiles are handcrafted using cement and pigments. Due to the nature of cement and pigments, such mosaics may have slight variations in color and shade contrast. We recommend that before installation, mix boxes from different boxes to balance differences in color and tone.
When removed from the boxes, some mosaics may have a white residue on the surface, called cement bloom, which is nothing more than mineral salts of the cement itself. Leaky floors generally prevent blooms from returning.
He offers these installation recommendations for cement tile as general advice for installers. As installation conditions vary, the installer (not the tile) is responsible for ensuring that floors are installed and sealed properly.
For more information and step-by-step instructions on installing your floor, we recommend referring to the excellent and free Concrete Tile Manufacturers Association guide . The North American Tile Council also produces a step-by-step publication called A Guide to Installing Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tiles which is sold on their website:
Cement tile installation tools
First: Equipment and materials required for flooring installation
- Mortar (use white mortar for light-colored mosaics and gray mortar for dark-colored mosaics).
- Spacers (1/16 inch or 1.6 mm)
- 1/2″ (13 mm) wool felt
- 5 gallon bucket of water
- wet tile saw with diamond blade
- Kalich/plaster without sand (no sanding) plain (no epoxy)
- Float (molded rubber for plaster) or plaster bag
- Cement/Concrete Floor Sealant – One of the best sealers is a dry, stain-resistant treatment.
- 17 inch (43 cm) diameter floor polisher
- Polisher Brush (No. 220 Sand Strainer / Black Pad – Optional), Green and White Pads
Secondly. Preparation of floors and walls
When installing the floor, be sure to install it on a concrete base or treated concrete that is level and level.
It is very important that the base be processed before installing the floor, that is, it is not very new, since moisture of the base and mineral salts can appear on the surface and cause blooms on the surface of the mosaic. As indicated above, these minerals are removed in the process of cleaning and polishing the floor.
To prevent cracks or interruptions caused by movement of the substrate or the ground itself, be sure to include a small perimeter for expansion, contraction, and insulation of the mosaic when necessary. Consult the engineer.
Wall tiles can be installed over drywall, gypsum, cement block or cement board (for wet areas). The surface should be flat, smooth and dry, and any paint residue or unevenness should be patched or leveled. Be sure to apply behind the cement board, not to stick to it but to fill in gaps or unevenness in the cement board.
Third. cement floor installation
Locate and position the tiles to ensure the result before installing them. If you choose a traditional rug layout, start in the center of the pattern and then section off the edges. Finally lay the exterior tiles and cut to fit using a wet saw with a diamond blade.
Using a sponge, wet the back of the floor thoroughly to make it easier for the glue to stick to the tiles.
Apply the adhesive mixture to the bottom surface of the floor evenly, using a 13 mm notched trowel. Next, apply glue to the back of the mosaic, and completely cover it with glue. Always brush the adhesive in the same direction, otherwise air bubbles may get trapped causing the tiles to lift.
Do not use a rubber mallet, instead press down on the tile with your hands to place it in the correct position and level so that the tile flushes with the first tile already installed. Make sure the mosaic is perfectly level throughout the entire installation, as the mosaic cannot be leveled with a sander as it is with marble or granite.
Use 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) spacers to separate each tile.
Move the tiles back and forth so that the new tile is flush with the first tile you installed. Leave a 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) gap for the caliper between each tile and continue installing until all the tiles are in place.
Do not allow glue residue to remain on the mosaic. Make sure to remove it immediately with the damp sponge. This will make the final cleaning of the mosaic easier.
Allow the mortar to dry completely for 2-4 days before applying the caliche.
Fourthly. Lining the joints of the floor
Unless you’re indicating it’s already sealed, you should pre-seal it with a penetrating sealant first, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help protect the bricks from staining with plaster or caliche. Do not use dark because it contains carbon pigment; This type of dye is very invasive and can stain light sections of brick, even if it is pre-sealed. Instead, it is better to use caliche without sand in light colors such as white, light gray or off-white. It is not recommended to use as it will cause irreversible damage to the cement tiles. To avoid staining the mosaic with caliche, it must be immediately cleaned with a damp sponge.
Apply caliche using product instructions. Do not let this substance dry on the surface of the mosaic for an extended period of time. The caliche should be at the same level as the floor, in other words, the joints should be completely filled.
We assure once again not to leave remnants of caliche on the surface of the mosaic.
Spray the grout with water two to three times daily to slow the wetting process and reduce cracking or shrinkage of the grout.
5. Cleaning cement tiles with floor barrier
After the caulch dries (after about 48 hours), use the floor polisher 17″ 170 rpm with a black pad or green pad on the buffing brush to thoroughly clean the cement floor, depending on how dirty the floor is. Generally, a green pad is enough to achieve this cleaning. Wet the floor with enough water to make sure the polisher always works on the wet surface, otherwise you will scratch the floor, and wet work will also help remove dirt.These instructions assume that you know how to use a floor buffer.
Finish polishing the floor thoroughly, then squeeze out the excess water and dry the floor with a completely clean towel or mop (a new wick mop is preferred). When cleaning the floor with polisher, you will have the impression that the floor is losing its color. Don’t worry, this is normal. What is happening at the moment is that the polisher removes a small surface layer of the mosaic but it does not cause any problems. Make sure the floor is thoroughly cleaned, washed with enough water, and dried thoroughly so that no color residue remains on it.
saw. Seal your floor
To seal the floor, its surface must be completely clean and free of grease, oil, dirt, wax, or any other element foreign to the floor, including caliche that negligence leaves on the surface of the mosaic. It is very important to let the caliche dry for at least 48 hours before applying sealant.
Apply a good quality sealant following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the contents of the sealant are mixed well. Using a clean sponge, apply the first layer of sealer, don’t soak the sponge too much and don’t leave excess liquid on the floor. Apply the sponge over the entire area, making sure the sealant is even. Let it dry for about two hours and then apply the second coat the same way you applied the first, then let it dry for another two hours. If desired, you can apply a third layer. Allow it to dry for 48 hours before using the floor. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
After 2-3 hours of sealing the floor, return to the cement polisher and using the white pad on the buffing brush, start buffing the floor to give the tiles the desired shine. Repeat this step as many times as you like.
The cement floor will be cleaned using neutral soapy water.
Warning: Never use acid-based or abrasive cleaners or chemical products such as bleach, pine, vinegar or the like to clean floors. If the floor needs to be re-sealed after a good period of use, you will only need to apply one coat of top sealant (if any) following the directions shown. Areas where foot traffic is heavy will require frequent use of this sealant. This is as part of floor maintenance.
When removed from the boxes, some mosaics may have a white residue on the surface, called cement bloom, which is nothing more than mineral salts of the cement itself. These metals can be removed during the cleaning and polishing process after installation. Leaky floors generally prevent blooms from returning.
*** Instructions for cleaning and maintaining cement mosaic ***
Cleaning and maintenance instructions are very simple. For daily cleaning, you can use or another soap suitable for the pH (such as liquid dish soap) and warm water. Avoid using acids or bleach on tiles because they can react with the cement and damage the surface of the tiles. Detergents because they can leave a hard-to-rinse residue and collect dirt over time.
Avoid acid spills on the tiles, and if accidents happen, it’s a good idea to clean the floor quickly. The longer the spill is on the tile, the more likely it is to leave a permanent mark.
Depending on the sealer and usage, the tiles will need to be resealed every two years. The stain-resistant sealant is permanent and does not need to be reapplied.
Cement tile installation: What you need to know before you start
To decorate a house, restaurant, bar, cafe or any other type of establishment, extensive knowledge of design and the properties of certain materials used in the design process is required. Whether you’re working on the floors in your home, remodeling walls and floors for a new client, or trying to remodel your business to meet your aesthetic needs, installing cement tiles can be a great way to improve your interiors.
Before jumping straight into designing (or remodeling) any floor, always take the time to understand the entire process from start to finish. This is especially important when installing cement tiles, as there are some key points that must be well understood to get the desired results. Once you have decided on the style you want to achieve (colors, design, size, etc.), you can also hire a professional to help you with your cement tile installation process.
Regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire a professional to fully handle the installation process, it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the cement tile process characteristics, the installation process, and more important information about cement and tile.
The first thing to start with is what we call the basement or floor base on which you are going to install the new cement tile. In most cases, this base is made of cement or wood.
Installing tiles on a cement base
Working with a cement backing (or “cement board”) is generally easier and more reliable than trying to install tiles over a wooden backing. This is because the bases or panels are, in most cases, more stable and more “level” for the installation of the new floor. In comparison, wood bases are less reliable because they can warp due to changes in temperature, causing the wood to expand and contract.
Install the tiles on a wooden base
Although installing tiles over a wooden backing is more difficult and less reliable than installing tiles over a cement backing, it is also not impossible to get the results you’re looking for for your home, restaurant, or organization when using this type of backing. The solution to installing tiles on a wooden backing or other uneven surface is to use a thicker tile anchor. It would also be helpful to use a bracket or cement board over the base of the wood floor for durability and proper installation.
How to cut cement tiles
Knowing how to cut cement tile is an important step in cement tile installation. If you do not have the knowledge or skills to cut cement tile, you will need accurate measurements, which is usually not a viable option when homes, restaurants, and other establishments have unique floor layouts. It is highly unlikely that the floor on which you plan to lay the tiles is perfectly square or rectangular and has accurate measurements to include tile area and grout clearance.
To cut cement tiles, you will need a tile cutter to help you with the installation work. We recommend using a high quality tile cutter and a high quality tapered (diamond) blade to ensure that you get a clean, high quality cut on your tiles. You are likely to be making a significant investment in the tiles that you install in your home or business, so it is also important that you invest in quality cutting tools that will help you achieve the desired result.
Fortunately, there are two options for buying quality cutting tools, in case you don’t know someone who can lend them to you. You can choose between buying it or renting it. Renting it is generally your best option if you plan to work on one project and will never need a trimmer again in the future. However, if you plan to use the snipping tool frequently or may need it more in the future for other projects, purchasing a quality snipping tool may be a better option.
The first time you’ll need to cut your cement tile is after the dry-fit testing phase. After noticing that there is not enough space for the edge of the tile. This is where a tile cutter comes in which allows you to customize each edge tile to suit the shape and size of the room you are installing it in.
How to remove grout stains from cement tiles
During the cement tile installation process, it is inevitable to encounter grout stains on cement tile surfaces. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are with grouting or cement tile installation. It’s common that at the end of the installation process, you will often find yourself with what we call “stucco stains” or a “stucco layer”. Because of the way cement tiles are made, they are naturally “porous,” meaning they will absorb most materials they come in contact with, including materials such as grout, water, and other liquid materials. If you are concerned about stains on your cement tile, take appropriate precautions to avoid grout stains.
The best way to do this is to use a plaster or plaster remover. This is a liquid that is applied directly to installed tiles to which grout has not been added. Simply apply the plaster remover, let it dry, and then apply the plaster. When the grout dries, wipe the grout off the tiles. Grout remover is especially useful when the tile is noticeably lighter in color than the grout and you don’t want it to stain or scratch. If any of the plaster finds its way into your tiles, be prepared to rub it in after installation. Next, we share with you the best way to remove grout stains from cement tiles:
1.) Wet the grout or colored tile with warm water.
2.) Using a wet, dry, 400-degree sandpaper, gently sand the area, reapplying with warm water.
3.) Repeat as many times as necessary and clean the tiles when finished.
Depending on the severity of the grout or plaster stain, you may need to use a grout stain remover that you can find at a home improvement store. However, always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning grout as suggested by the tile and material.
Learn more about cement tile installation
We are experts in everything related to cement tiles. From its design to its construction and installation, we are here to help! Call or email us today with your cement tile questions and we will be happy to assist you. Each tile in sets is a handcrafted artwork, created just for you. In all sincerity, we want you to be happy with your tiles.
Completely eco-friendly tiles. You can be sure that all the tiles in your home, restaurant or establishment are built from start to finish without harming the environment. From the initial stages of production to the final stages of replacement, the materials are used efficiently without harming the environment.
Other frequently asked questions
Below you can find other frequently asked questions about our tiles or the cement tile application/installation process.
Other sizes and shapes are also available in our other concrete tile collections. Contact us for other tile sizes and shapes we have available.
Can I use cement tiles on walls?
Cement tiles can be used on walls, especially as a backsplash. You can get creative with cement tiles, and you can even use it on the ceiling.
Are there places where it is not permissible to use cement tiles?
Cement tiles are not recommended for use in some outdoor environments. This is due to the possibility of possible freezing, which can accelerate the corrosion process of cement tiles. Cement tiles should also be avoided in places where there is a risk of slipping (for example, sidewalks, swimming pools, etc.), or where it can come into contact with chemically abrasive products (for example, in a car driveway or on the garage floor).
Will cement tile color fade?
A tile color is less likely to fade, as the color depth is at least ⅛ inch. Some cement tile pigments are sensitive to sunlight, especially some of our blue and green pigments. Although these tiles may not look exactly the same after a decade of sun exposure, weathering reveals another level of beauty in tiles that we are sure you will love how they look now and how they will look for many years to come.