Cement tiles can produce an attractive, enduring and easily maintained surface lasting many years, as long as basic care is taken during installation. Installation care involves keeping the technical guidelines in mind during the laying process and following good practices. Please use this information only as a guide – it is recommended to consult a professional tile contractor for laying of your tiles. Tempesta Concrete will not be held responsible for faulty installation.
Cement tile, as a product of natural materials, is subject to slight imperfections and variations in colour and design – they will not be identical piece to piece. This is a result of its handcrafted nature and enhances the beauty of the product. It is recommended to mix tiles from different boxes during installation to achieve a uniform effect.
Inspect your order carefully. Tempesta Concrete will not be responsible for material that has been cut or installed. Throughout the installation process and handling of the tile, be careful not to damage the finished surface or corners of the tiles.
Do not let the cement tile boxes get wet! Store material in a dry area.
Care should be taken to ensure that there is no moisture in the tiles before installation. Moisture or dampness can cause staining, fading, pitting, cracking or efflorescence (a white powdery effect) on the surface of the tile.
Cement tiles must be installed on a well levelled, clean and dry surface.
2. Installation using cement/mortar
Laying should normally start from the centre of the room going outward to the periphery. Dry laying out tiles in the desired pattern before fixing in mortar is advisable to avoid errors.
Fix tiles on an average of 2cm to 3.5cm bed mortar with ratio not lesser than 7:1 (sand: cement) with a neat cement slurry on top.
Ensure water is sprinkled on the tiles for at least 3 days to enable cement to set.
Do not cover the tiles to allow breathing & evaporation. Do not step on the tiles until the mortar bed is dried.
3. Installation using adhesive
Use a high quality adhesive, such as (but not limited to) a Laticrete or Mapei product. Follow adhesive manufacturer’s instructions.
It is recommended to wipe the back of the tiles with a damp sponge prior to placing, to remove concrete dust residue and enable proper adhesion.
Apply the adhesive evenly on the surface the tile is being laid on, using a large-toothed comb trowel. Also apply adhesive fully on the back of each tile.
Remove any excess adhesive from the surface with a damp cloth or sponge while it is fresh. Tiles should be cut using a sharp diamond blade in conjunction with water to avoid chipping of edges. Recommended grout joint width is a tight joint of 1/16″ – 1/8″. If using spacers, we recommend a soft, flexible spacer.
Once the tiles are installed and the cement adhesive dry, clean the surface and clear with water. It will remove the thin layer of pigmented dust that can still cover the tiles.
Tempesta’s CEMENTILES come pre-polished and pre-sealed from the factory. However after grouting, it is highly recommended to seal the clean floor, including grout, a second time with a penetrating sealer. Again, tiles and grout must be thoroughly dry prior to sealing.
Sealing with an impregnating or penetrating sealer for natural stone is crucial to protect against stains, fading and natural elements.
Apply sealer in thin layers, until the tiles will not soak up any more. Wipe off any excess sealer before it dries, and allow the sealer to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When properly sealed, water should bead on the surface of the tile.
Use Laticrete, Mapei or an equivalent unsanded grout, using manufacturer’s instructions. Joints should be full and free of all voids and pits. Wipe the tiles with a moist sponge before grouting.
Grout should be applied in small areas at a time (3-4 square feet) and immediately cleaned. Do not spread the entire floor with grout like a porcelain or ceramic tile. Once grout has been applied and starts to dry, remove excess grout immediately by wiping with a wet cloth/sponge. Grout that sits too long can be difficult to remove from the tile. Do not affix duct tape directly onto cement tiles surface. Tape can discolor or stain your cement tiles. Never use acid (cement dissolver) to remove the excess or stains of grout.
Typically cement tiles are grouted with white or light colored grout. If you decide to use colored grout we recommend that it be a color that is the same, or lighter than, the lightest color used in the pattern. Dark coloured grout is not recommended, as it can cause stains on the tile that can be difficult to remove.
Apply sealer only after 72 hours of this step.
Care & Maintenance
For ongoing maintenance, clean regularly with a mild PH neutral detergent and buff tiles with a soft, non-abrasive white pad. A natural patina will occur as the floor is maintained and experiences natural wear. Water spotting will be eliminated through an ongoing maintenance routine.
The use of properly sized doormats at entrances and sweeping or dust mopping is important to remove abrasive grit that may cause wear.
No abrasive or greasy substances, dirty water, paint, wine, chemical solutions, etc. should be allowed to fall on the floor.
Never clean with harsh detergents, acid, bleach, chlorine or alkaline.
No heavy articles should be dropped or dragged across the floor.