Nuts and Bolts: More on Installing Your Cement Tile Design

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Fez Biscuit Filmworks
 Granada Tile’s Fez cement tile design line the wall and cover the floor at Biscuit Filmworks—designed by the firm Shubin Donaldson. To create your own sensational concrete tile installation, read part two of our installation instructions below. Tile photo, Granada Tile.

Once you’ve installed your Granada Tile cement tiles and allowed the mortar to dry (usually between two and four days), it’s time to grout. The process is straightforward. If you’ve chosen tiles that aren’t presealed, you need to apply grout release following the the manufacturer’s instructions. (Grout release will keep the tiles from being stained by the grout.) Next, fill the small gaps between the tiles with your grout, using a rubber float. It’s critical here that you also remove any excess grout immediately with a damp sponge or cloth, since it may become difficult to remove or stain your new cement tile surface.

From here,  you’re almost done. The next step, once your grout is dry (give it around 48 hours or so), is to use a 17″ floor polisher fitted with a sand screen pad (a #220 sand screen pad should be able to cover around 50 square feet). Let any remaining water drain away and finish drying with a cloth. If it appears that the color is running, don’t worry—it’s not. In reality the sand screen pad removed a fine layer of the concrete tile’s surface because the surface layer also has color. It gives the impression the color is running. Nonetheless, it’s very important to rinse this away and fry your concrete tile surface thoroughly. The good news at this point is that you’re almost done installing your new cement tile surface. All that’s left is to seal it, using a high-quality penetrating sealer. To begin with, make sure it’s impeccably clean. That means there’s absolutely no grease, oil, dirt, wax, leftover grout release, or other material on the surface. Following the sealer manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll then apply a penetrating sealer for cement and concrete tiles. Be sure not to put anything on the tiles until the surface is dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At this point, you can buff the tiles with a floor polisher and white pad in a back and forth motion to get the shine you want. As a reminder, please bear in mind that these general guidelines should be taken 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. [subscribe2]

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