1. Preparing the worksite.
Find a place to work with enough room to move the tiles freely.
Prepare a working surface that is flat and stable, with dimensions that are equal to or larger than the tile.
Make sure that you have a completely flat surface to work.
2. Treating the surface where the tiles are to be laid.
There are many different kinds of substrates: concrete, conventional partition walls, plasterboard partition walls, existing tiled surfaces, natural stone, wood etc. In each case, special recommendations and a particular type of adhesive apply.
The substrate should be stable and flat, with no cracks.
Any remains of dust, lime, cement or dirt should be removed and the substrate should not be at all damp.
The flatness of the substrate should be checked, using a spirit level or similar. If necessary, level it with a suitable levelling product.
The substrate should be given a coat of primer using a roller, whether it is newly made or an existing one.
4. Spreading the cement adhesive.
The floating and buttering method should be used, covering both the substrate and the underside of the tiles with cement adhesive. In this way, the whole surface will be covered in bonding material.
Spread the cement adhesive over the entire underside of the tiles, using a 3mm / 0,12”, notched trowel. Do not forget to apply sufficient adhesive on the corners and edges of the underside of the tiles.
Using a 10 mm / 0,39’’ - 12 mm / 0,47’’ notched trowel, comb the floor with cement adhesive.
Once the tiles have been laid, the final thickness of the adhesive should be about 6 mm / 0,24”.
In both cases, always perpendicular to the long side of the piece so that any air that may be below can escape.
5. Tile-laying large slabs.
For placing the pieces using the frame and two operators.
The levellers and spacers should be positioned between the tiles, pressing down on the former with the gun supplied with the levelling set. Several different levelling systems can be found, such as Raimondi, Tile Level by Rubí, the Tuscan Levelling System or Planfix Italmond.
The number of levellers used on each side of the tiles will depend on the tile format.
Thanks to this kind of product, it is quicker and easier to lay the tiles.
6. Tapping the tiles lightly in place with a rubber trowel.
To remove any air bubbles in the cement adhesive, move the tile horizontally and then tap it into place with a rubber trowel.
Leave the cement adhesive to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not tread on the tiles while the cement adhesive is drying.
Once it has set, remove the levellers with the aid of a gun.
7. Grouting with suitable grouting material for slimline
The joint (> 2 mm / 0,08”) between the tiles should be free of dirt. Once grouted, remove any surplus grouting and leave the grouting material to set as per the drying time specified by the manufacturer.
It is important to comply with drying times, removing any surplus material within the stipulated time limits.
When grouting polished porcelain tiles, do not use grouts coloured with “lamp black”, since the pulverized coal used to formulate them will penetrate the surface pores of polished porcelain tiles, making it very hard to remove.
8. Cleaning (see cleaning advice).
Removing cement remains
When the tiles have been laid and grouted, the surface will be covered in an opaque cement film that masks its real appearance.
The surface must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any surplus grouting material or dirt from the tile-laying process.
A slightly acidic detergent should be used (such as Fila Deterdek) which does not give off any toxic vapours, damage the tile joints or tiles, or have a harmful effect on users.
Follow these steps in all cases:
- Before proceeding to clean the surface, wait until the tile grout is fully set. The manufacturer will specify the required setting time.
- Mop the surface with plenty of clean water.
- Dilute 1 part of cleaning agent in 5 or 10 parts of water, depending on the amount of dirt. Spread the solution over the floor and leave it to act for a few seconds.
- Use a clean sponge. Do not use a scouring pad or other materials that might scratch the surface of the tiles.
- Rinse the surface several times with lots of clean water to remove any waste material or dirt.
- If the dirt (cement) remains are very dry or there are a lot of them, repeat the above procedure as many times as necessary.
Always carry out a prior cleaning test on an unlaid tile before cleaning the tiled surface.
Protection porcelain tile flooring during building work.
After laying and grouting the tiles, it is crucial to protect the tiled surface by covering it with sheets of cardboard to prevent direct contact with the remains of building materials, tools, work machines etc.
Do not drag furniture, electrical appliances or any other heavy object directly across the floor, as it could get scratched.
For more information on fitting your tiles or speak to opur expert tile fitters please call us on 01604 419894.