Installing handmade tile requires some special skills: diligence, patience, accuracy, an artistic eye and appreciation for the beauty of handcrafted materials. We want you to enjoy your cement tile floors and walls for many many years! In other words, make sure that your tile is installed right.
Clay Imports Installation
We love to install our tiles. Clay Imports supervises two crews of reliable, experienced and dedicated tile installers. If your project is in the Austin area, please contact us for an installation quote.
Cement Tile Installation and Maintenance
Please keep in mind that concrete cement tiles are handmade. Therefore, they show variation in colors and design and will not be identical piece to piece. Prior to installation, we advise a blending of the tiles to create a more aesthetic appearance. Please note treatments must be done after installation and when tiles are completely dry. Also, we recommend making a test on a single piece to check the desired finish.
Download our pdf Cement Tile Installation Roadmap.
Required Materials for installing tiles:
- Flexible tile glue, suitable for natural stone
- Flexible grout, suitable for natural stone
- Tile spacers, 2mm
- Water-cooled tile saw
- Grout trowel, glue trowel glue pot
- Breathable foil or colorless drapery
Required Materials for cleaning, impregnating and maintaining cement tiles:
- Grout stain remover (cleaner)
- Sealant (impregnation)
- Tile oil or color intensifier (impregnation)
- Soap (maintenance product)
- Paint roller, paint tray, sponge and water bucket
- Lint-free cotton cloth
Care and inspection
- Do not let cases or cement tiles get wet. Store material in a dry area because moisture or dampness can cause tiles to get stain, color fades or damage the surface tile showing cracks and pitting.
- Inspect your order carefully. Clay Imports 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, edges, and corners of the tiles.
- Color and shade variations are characteristics of cement tile, a product of cement and natural materials. Hence, we recommended mixing the tiles from the different cases. In addition, allow tiles to get dried in their final environment prior to installation.
- Cement Tile is a cement-based product and may have residue on the surface. Before starting the installation, we highly recommended cleaning all tiles with clean cloth to remove any residue and get a clean tile surface.
- Glue the tiles on a flat, dry surface with a flexible tile adhesive of your choice. A primer will help amplify the adhesion. Use a trowel with recesses of 10-20 mm (½ - ¾ in). Use 2 mm thick tile spacers for best results. Remove excess glue and dirt from the tile quickly since glue will require at least 24 hours to dry properly.
- Clean the floor with water after bonding using a sponge and/or cloth. (Mix a small amount of select tile stain remover through water- 3 bottle tops for best results). Also, wring the sponge every time while cleaning the floor. Avoid getting tiles too wet because this may affect later steps. Allow the floor to dry completely.
- Impregnate the tiles at least once (we recommend to seal twice) with tile sealer before grouting and ensure the floor space is clean. Use a paint roller to apply the sealer and follow with a sponge to remove any excess bubbles. Do not perform any pressure. Repeat this step. Then leave the sealer treatment to dry for 6 hours before you proceed to the next step.
- Use a waterproof grout. Avoid the use of charcoal or black colored grouts on cement tiles (may stain cement tiles). Remove any excess grout while grouting. Clean tile with tile stain remover after the top of the grout has hardened (occurs after 1 hour usually). Then, wring your sponge frequently and renew your cleaning water regularly while cleaning your tiles. Allow the grout to dry for at least 12 hours.
- Next, impregnate the tile at least 2 more times for best results. Please note for a matte finish, rub indirectly with a cotton cloth. For a satin finish, leave as is when rolled
Finally, maintain your tiles periodically (recommended once a week) with soap and water or cement tile specific cleaner.
- Please be sure to read all instructions on the products used.
- For safety purposes, always work in a well-ventilated area.
- Remove heating sources that may affect the temperature of the floor.
- Mixing tiles from different boxes leads to the best results.
- During a renovation, covering the floor with a breathable foil for best results. Avoid the use of plastic or cardboard (non-breathable materials).
- Avoid cleaning agents that contain acids.
- If you are uncertain about what steps to take for your installation, feel free to contact Clay Imports where we can provide our expertise on next steps required.