When it comes to handmade tile, additional installation steps may be necessary in wet areas. Due to their porous nature, certain tile materials can be prone to moisture absorption, which can lead to damage if not installed correctly. Although it's normal for surface texture or crazing to appear post-installation, proper sealing and installation will significantly enhance the tile's resilience to moisture. By following these steps, you'll ensure optimal results and enjoy your handmade tiles for decades to come:
Confirm that the surface that you will be installing your sealed clay tile on has been properly water-proofed. We recommend waterproofing with Laticrete Hydro Ban Cementitious Waterproof Membrane.
- Adhere the tile with a latex/polymer, fortified thin set mortar. Ensure that you evenly spread the mortar on the back of tile, leaving no air pockets. The TCNA (The Tile Council of North America) does not specify the types of tile that latex/ polymer-modified mortar is most suitable for, but it does say that latex/polymer additives allow “specific properties to be imparted to the cement; improved flexibility, and improved adhesion. There are also polymers used to make the cement waterproof or sufficiently elastic so that it acts like an anti-fracture membrane.”
- We recommend installing the clay tile with a 3/16” grout joint. Grout the joints with a polymer-infused mortar, such as Mapei UltraColor Plus. Keep in mind that this is a fast-drying grout, so do not allow the grout to rest on the tile surface, when applying it, for too long. To be safe, apply the grout in small sections to reduce the risk of over- drying.
- Once the clay tile has been installed and fully dried, apply between 1-2 coats, from the manufacturers instructions, of the penetrating sealer to the finished surface. Make sure to wipe away excess sealer from the surface prior to drying. We recommend regular upkeep of clay tile by resealing it at least once a year.
Disclaimer: since the installation of tile greatly determines the integrity of the project and the tile itself, Clay imports does not warranty this product and is not responsible for dissatisfaction of material following installation. Please inspect all tile upon receipt and notify us immediately if you have any quality concerns. This guide is meant to serve as a general resource. Because each project is unique, consult your tile installer before installing your tile.