How to lay cement tiles?

Our advice …

Regardless of how simple the laying is, we strongly advise you to hire an experienced professional who will be able to adapt and even out the initial surface to cover (wooden surface, underfloor heating, plaster …) and for the desired use (kitchen tiling, splashback, shower trays and walls, patio …)

It is important to lay the tile in small area of the floor one after the other, also making sure to clean the tiles as you go, especially while untreated.

A professional contractor will also be able to realise fine joints of 1mm to 1.5mm thick.
He will finish by sealing the cement tiles, using a protector for unpolished surfaces and making the tiles water and oil proof, protecting against stains.

We advise you not to treat cement tiles before laying them to avoid entrapment of moisture from the glue, as this could create permanent round mark stains.

Tiling
Cement tiles must be laid on a levelled, clean and dry base. A damp sub-base would cause, through
evaporation, a chalky deposit to form on the surface of the tiles.
Evenly apply the cement fixative (adhesive) with a wide-notched trowel. Apply some adhesive to
the area to be tiled as well as to the whole of the underside of the tile (double spread gluing).
Position by hand without any hammering motion, leaving a very small space between tiles (1 mm
to 2 mm or the thickness of a spatula) for joints.
Clean the tiles as you lay them.
Once they have all been laid and the cement fixative (adhesive) is dry, wash the floor by rubbing in
copious amounts of water (up to saturation point). This will remove the fine layer of pigment dust
that may be left on the surface of the tiles.
Grouting
2 to 3 days after the tiles have been laid with adhesive mortar.
Grout a small area at a time. Repeat.
Never use coloured grout, the pigment solution in the grout might stain the tiles irrevocably.
Choose white or light grey grout.
Fill the space between the tiles with a spatula, without spreading the grout on the
tile.
Any surplus paste must be immediately cleaned off with a damp cloth.
Do not use an acid substance to remove stains or marks from grout.
Cleaning after laying the tiles and before treating them
Surface-filling treatment
The surface-filler reduces water and grease penetration, protects from stains and preserves the
natural matt look of the cement tiles.
The surface-filler must be applied about a week after the tiles have been laid, so that the moisture
from the adhesive and the grout has time to evaporate. Tiles must on no account be treated before
tiling.
The treatment must be applied with a brush or a roller on a clean and dry surface. Apply one or
more coats, until the tile is saturated. Allow 24 hours of drying between each coat.
Do not apply excessive amounts. The un-absorbed surface-filler would dry on the surface of the tile
and leave shiny brush marks. Remove any excess with a dry cloth.
Tiles have reached saturation when a drop of water sits on the surface without penetrating it.
Cleaning
Wash with pH neutral soap (such as “black soap”) and water.
Never use harsh detergents, acidic or alkaline products. Caution: some natural products may be
harsh (white vinegar for instance).
Stubborn stains may lessen if they are rubbed away with water and a very fine abrasive, or a
Scotch-Brite type sponge, with or without soap.
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