Cement Tile Fitting, Sealing and Maintenance

Cement Tile Laying
 
Cement tiles are fitted in a very similar manner to any ceramic type tile. They can be fitted on concrete, timber floors and in conjunction with underfloor heating. There a few points to note.
Keep the tiles very clean when fitting, use water and a sponge.
Cutting is with a stone disc, usually on a mini grinder or a wet saw.
The concrete must be dry.
On timber floors and for floors with underfloor heating there are systems that ensure little movement and a good bond, you tiling contractor should have this knowledge. Always use a Flexible tile adhesive.
It is important to get a good contact when using adhesive, it is recommended to trowel the floor or wall and the back of the tile. Hollow points can cause tiles to crack. This is especially important outdoors as cavities can fill with water then expand when frozen and crack the tile.
Use a small grout joint, large joints will disrupt a pattern.
Do not use a rubber mallet when fitting.
 
Cement Tile Grouting
Clean the tile thoroughly using water and a non metal scouring pad, any heavy scratches can be sanded using a fine sandpaper.
Before grouting seal the tile, use enough sealer to waterproof the tile. Pre-sealed tiles still require additional sealing to finish them off. Ensure the tiles are completely dry and spotlessly clean before this sealing, as sealing tiles that are damp or dirty will leave staining or streaking on the surface. Any cement residue left on at this stage is very difficult to remove after sealing.
We recommend using a grey or light grey grout. Darker grouts stain the tile easily and usually contain dyes that can stain the tile when grouting.
Do not use a grout cleaner or any acid cleaners, they will destroy the tile.
 
Cement Tile Sealing
We normally use an acrylic type sealer that penetrates, enhances and enriches the colour of the tile. We have 3 in 1 Sealer for a shiny finish, Inviseal Satin for a satin finish that enhances the colour but is difficult to get an even finish, and Invaseal Omega for a very even finish that will not change the appearance or non slip properties much. 
We are told by customers that an alternative sealant called 'Lithofin stain stop' can be used when trying to achieve a more even finish.  Please note this sealant will require more layers please allow for this, another sealer that works well is Dry-treat as per their manufactures instructions.  We do not sell these product and can not guarantee its suitability.
Use a Lint free cloth to apply sealer. Apply light coats of sealer ensuring each coat had dried fully before applying the next coat. Usually the tile requires 2 to 3 coats in total.  NB When putting on final coat clean off any excess sealer with lint free cloth, this will leave an even finish of sealer. A circular rubbing motion with the cloth helps distribute the sealer better.  When applying the sealer pour on cloth first then apply, pouring the sealer directly onto the tile can cause uneven distribution. Please note that too much sealant can cause staining. This is due to excess sealant sitting on top of the tile and absorbing dirt and stains. It is important that the sealant is applied thinly and evenly and allowed to absorb into the tile.
Sometimes there can be some small marks on these tiles as they are handmade. These may appear after sealing the tiles. It is advisable to use a very light sandpaper to help remove these marks. The area can then be resealed.
 
Maintenance
Clean with neutral soap such as our Routine Care Stone & Tile Soap.
Do not use any Acid or aggressive cleaners
Stains can be cleaned with a scouring pad or solvent.
Outdoor areas will require sealing with a product that contains a UV protection such as our Qualtz range, a freshen up with sealer every 1 to 2 years will keep the tiles looking their best. NB failure to maintain the products outdoors can cause colour fading and frost damage.

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