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Cement tiles are one of the major trends of the moment, but their installation is not easy. With a ceramic imitation, the work is much simpler.

False ceramic cement tile

Fake Ceramic Cement Tile (Design Collection, Elios Ceramica)

Necessary material

  • pencil
  • metre
  • square
  • spirit level
  • mason rule
  • bucket
  • mixer
  • drill
  • stainless steel trowel
  • trowel
  • rubber roller or squeegee
  • notched spatula
  • rubber mallet
  • tile cutter
  • Universal pliers
  • cloth
  • joint sponge
  • cotton wick
  • chipper
  • glazed porcelain stoneware (20 x 20 cm) imitation cement tile
  • primary hooking
  • quick-release mortar (25 kg bag)
  • high performance adhesive mortar
  • colored joint mortar
  • spacing braces 4 mm thick
  • detergent degreaser for porcelain stoneware

Difficulty: 2/4
Cost: approx. 500 € (for 5 m²)
Time: 2 to 3 days

These cement tiles are characterized by a patchwork of geometric patterns, generally floral inspiration. They are suitable for all rooms of the house and can dress walls like floors. Just find the right chords.
However, if the random format of the products "handmade" contributes to their charm, it complicates singularly the calepinage. The advantage of industrialized tiles is as much in the regularity of the elements manufactured in large series as in their implementation.

Replacement of bathroom tiles

In enamelled porcelain stoneware of 20 x 20 cm, the chosen coating (Elios Ceramica's Design Collection) replaces the old tile in this bathroom while in length. It is packaged in boxes to cover 1.20 m2 (about thirty tiles per carton). The latter exist in off-white, brown ocher or different shades of gray (taupe, anthracite...).
Depending on the reference, the patterns appear more or less neat or faded. By mixing them one can obtain a unique overall effect.

Favorable impression

The old tile, laid on a cement bath using the traditional method, is removed from the chipper. The mallet and chisel would have required too much effort and time. But the formidable efficiency of this power tool has left some hollow, which force to equalize the floor before installing the new tiles.
The construction site takes place in floor, the cement floor is not exposed to the rise of humidity, only to the conditions of use of the bathroom.
It is sufficient to apply a primer attachment compatible with the support, a prerequisite for the work of equalization.
The product used (Cegeprim RN from Cegecol) is a ready-to-use liquid based on synthetic resins in aqueous phase.
Respectful of indoor air quality, he combines the EC 1 classification of the GEV-Emicode eco-label and A + on the VOC label (very low volatile organic compound emissions).

Accelerated leveling of the floor before tiling

Soil leveling is carried out by means of a rapid dressing and equalization mortar (Cermiform de Desvres, Weber.niv more than Weber...).
This powder product to be mixed with water is suitable for wet rooms and rooms, as well as swimming pools, outdoor terraces... Fluid tempered, it is applied in a continuous layer (5 to 25 mm max. ) and allows spot catches up to 40 mm thick.
In addition, it is recoverable after 3 to 4 hours, while a self-leveling leveling plaster requires waiting 48 hours.

With or without SEL?

The rules of the art provide for the implementation of a liquid waterproofing system (SEL) or protection under tiled water (SPEC) for wet rooms (kitchen and bathroom). The former is mainly used for waterproofing very exposed floors. The second is applied to some vertical supports before laying the tiles...
To know more: duitdesign.com/ffbatiment

Selection of imitation stoneware tile tiles

Cementine series tiles, Comptoir du Cérame.

Cementine series tiles, Comptoir du Cérame.

Multicolored patchwork.
Assortment of nine glazed stoneware tiles for wall mounting.
Size 20 x 20 cm, ep. 8 mm. Sold by cardboard of 1 m2 and proposed with 23 colors of joint mortar. 29 € / m².

Decor Guell Tiles, Saint Maclou.

Decor Guell Tiles, Saint Maclou.

Art Deco Geometry.
Back to the roaring twenties with these tricolor trompe-l'oeil rhombuses: beige, blue and gray.
In glazed porcelain stoneware. Size 20 x 20 cm, ep. 8 mm. Possibility to match plain tiles (7 colors). 28 € / m².

Tile collection Gatsby Artens, Leroy Merlin.

Tiles collection Gatsby Artens, Leroy Merlin.

In black and white.
Glazed porcelain stoneware for walls and floors. Size of 10 x 10 to 25 x 25 cm, ep. 8.2 mm.
The set includes ten different patterns, plus a plain tile, which can be combined at will. € 20 / m².

1. Soil patching

clean soil before patching

The floor removed from its old tiles requires a thorough cleaning, before receiving the primer.
Ready to use, the product is applied by roller and dries in 2 hours.

level the floor before tiling

The equalizing mortar is prepared by mixing 25 kg of powder with 4 l of water.
Mix at low speed until a fluid and homogeneous paste (without lumps) is obtained.

quickly spread the mortar

The open time of the mortar is short: 20 to 30 minutes (between 5 and 25° C ambient temperature).
Spread it immediately with a toothed spatula with 6 or 8 mm teeth.

equalize the mortar

Equalization can be done locally or over the entire surface of the soil.
Pour the dough directly with the bucket.

pass the trowel

Spread the dough with the stainless steel or trowel, then adjust the thickness to the ruler.
A single pass is enough to fill holes on 20 mm thick. Beyond this, it is recommended to add to the mortar 40% of its weight in sand with a particle size of 0-4 / 0-8 mm.

2. Laying tiles

laying tiles blank

Lay two rows of tiles blank to balance their distribution across the width of the room.
Take into account the thickness of the joints: in principle 4 mm.

Practical advice: in which direction to lay tiles

order for laying a tiled floor

The installation begins at the threshold of the access door and continues in two rows to the bath, installed in the bottom of the room.
From there, you just have to go back to be able to finish and come out the door.

laying of adhesive mortar

Prepare the adhesive mortar and let stand for 10 minutes.
The service life after mixing is about 3 hours.
Spread the adhesive mortar with a notched spatula on a surface equivalent to two squares.

laying of the first tile with a mallet

Present the first tile by tapping the mallet to crush the glue, then check its flatness to the spirit level.
The tile must totally adhere.

lay the tiles on the glue

Once the glue is spread out, we have about half an hour to place the elements and make the adjustments; That's why we should not try to ask too much at once.

control of the alignment of the floor during tiling

Insert the braces as you go.
Provide two per side.
They must be removed before the glue has set.
Regularly check flatness and alignment.

Lay tile imitation cement tile: cement

The adjustable legs of the bathtub are reassembled in turn to slide the tiles underneath.
No need to go far: the rest of the floor will be hidden by the apron.

3. Adjustment cups

spot the border cuts on a tile

Border cuts are marked and then marked in pencil on the elements to be trimmed.
The operation is done tile after tile to follow the alignment of the wall.

cut tiles

Cut the tiles to the tile.
Position the element aligning its line on the axis of the wheel and scratch it by pushing.
Then break it with the moving part of the lever.

lay tiles on the edge of a room

Proceed backwards to cover the entire edge of the room.
Practical, the tile allows to perform all kinds of straight cuts.

4. Grouting and finishes

grout the floor tiles

Remove the braces before the glue hardens and take the opportunity to clean the joints.
If the braces break, extract them with a small flat blade screwdriver.

grout a tile floor

Wait 24 hours to grout.
Spread the joint mortar with a rubber spatula diagonally.
Press firmly to fill the interstices deeply.

clean the tiles after grouting

Quickly clean the tile surface preferably with the slightly damp foam float.
After complete hardening of the joints, iron a dry cloth on the tiles.
A waiting time of 24 hours is necessary before reinvesting the room and walking on the tiles.

Info +

with which product to clean the ground

The degreasing detergent is suitable for different ceramic, cement, natural stone or reconstituted floor coverings. Diluted, it lends itself to daily cleaning of porcelain stoneware. Concentrated, it removes stubborn stains without harming it.


Video Instruction: How to Lay Cement Tiles