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Installing Antique Tiles - How to Install Old World Tile
Granada Tile's Antique Collection of Old World, waxed tiles are hand made with cement, sand, and color pigments and then waxed to deepen and enrich the color. Because of the nature of the cement, sand, and pigments, these tiles are subject to color and tonal variation (which is part of their natural charm). When installing, we recommend blending tiles from several pallets and boxes.Separate and save tiles with a lot of warpage or high raised edges for cuts and low traffic areas (close to walls, etcetera)
Granada Tile provides these general guidelines as suggestions to installers. Since applications and job site conditions vary, the installer is ultimately responsible for ensuring proper installation and sealing of the tiles.
For more detailed information and instructions about installing your tile, we highly recommend consulting the Cement Tile Manufacturers' Association's excellent and free Handbook (concretetile.hypermart.net/docs/Handbook_en.pdf). The Tile Council of North America also produces a very detailed publication entitled the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation that is for sale at www.tileusa.com/publication_main.htm.
I. INSTALLATION EQUIPMENT and MATERIALS:
Thinset Mortar (For light colored tiles, use white color thin-set and for darker colored tiles, use gray color thin set material.)
Do not use ceramic tile adhesive.
Tile Spacers (1")
Trowel with 1/2" with semicircular notches
Wet Tile Saw with Diamond Blade
Grout Float or Grout Bag
Floor buffing machine using a soft tampico brush (recommended) or white buffing pad
Extra Antique Wax (provided with tiles at purchase)
II. FLOOR AND WALL PREPARATION:
A. Prepare a perfectly level, clean, dry, slightly rough surface in concrete 15/16" below the desired finished floor height (13/16" for the tiles and 1/8" for mortar).
B. Let the concrete slab surface dry completely before installing the cement tiles.
Do not lay cement tiles directly onto fresh (uncured) concrete.
IMPORTANT: Some slabs may continue to release moisture on the surface even after fully cured. Test your slab by taping a small piece of plastic (polyethylene film) to the area to be tiled. Make sure all edges are thoroughly taped down. If moisture accumulates on the underside of the plastic, you should apply a waterproofing membrane before proceeding with the installation.
C. To prevent cracking or fracturing from the movement of the substrate and ultimately the earth itself, be sure to include expansion, construction, isolation, contraction, generic and perimeter joints where appropriate. Consult your architect or engineer.
D. Wall tile can be installed over drywall, plaster, cement block, cement backer board (for moist areas). The surface should be flat, smooth, and dry and any loose paint or cracked surface should be scraped off and patched. Be sure to use thinset behind the backer board, not to adhere the backer board but rather to fill voids beneath the backer board.
III. TILE SETTING:
E. Decide on the layout of the tiles and put them in position to ensure the result before installing them. If you choose a traditional carpet style pattern, start with the center pattern, then lay down the border tiles. Finally, lay down the outside tiles and cut them to fit using a wet saw with a diamond blade.
F. Using a sponge, wet the back of the tile completely to enable the thin set to adhere to the tile. For more complete instructions, follow the thinset manufacturer's guidelines for laying floor tile.
G. Evenly apply the adhesive mixture to the floor subsurface, using a trowel with 1/2" semicircular notches. Then, cover the entire back of the tile with thin set material.
Always brush the adhesive in the same direction, otherwise air will be trapped and the tiles may lift up.
H. Lay the tiles, and press them into place with the palm of your hand, ensuring that they are perfectly level with each other. If needed, gently beat the tiles with a tool, such as a rubber hammer to help in leveling.
Be sure that that the tiles are perfectly level throughout the installation. If any of the tiles are not level, remove them and backfill with a small amount of mortar to make them level.
I. Use the 1" tile spacers to separate each tile.
J. Move the tile back and forth so that the new tile is leveled with the first tile you installed. Bring the tiles together to a grout joint of an inch and continue laying them until all tiles are set in place.
K. Immediately clean thinset or mortar off the face of the tiles. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to clean it off.
Do not let thinset or mortar dry on the face of the tiles or it will be very difficult to remove without damaging the tiles.
L. Let the thinset mortar dry completely, usually 2 - 4 days, before grouting.
M. Completely fill the gaps between the tiles with grout, using a rubber float or a grout bag.
N. Immediately remove any excess grout with a clean damp cloth or sponge.
Do not let any excess grout dry on the surface as it may be difficult to remove and may stain the tiles.
O. Mist the grout with water two to three times per day as it cures to slow the hydration process and minimize grout cracking or shrinking during the 48 hours it typically takes the grout to dry.
V. FINISH CEMENT FLOOR TILES WITH A FLOOR BUFFING MACHINE:
P. Make sure the tiles are clean and dry. They will probably have lost their luster but will regain it at this stage.
Q. Apply Extra Wax to tile surface by hand with a pad or cloth. Start in grouted areas and spread excess to tile surface in a circular move. As tile surface is already protected, VERY LITTLE WAX is needed. For large or commercial type jobs, wax can be applied by machine.
Do not over apply wax as it will make the tiles harder to buff.
R. Ventilate the area as much as possible until the wax is completely dry and the fumes are gone (typically at least 30 minutes). Wait until the wax feels dry.
S. Use a 17" floor buffing machine with a white tampico floor brush (preferred) or white pad to buff the cement floor tiles thoroughly.
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