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To give the best of themselves, cement tiles must be laid in the state of the art. Indeed, these handcrafted tiles have a character of their own that should be respected when they are laid.

Before laying cement tiles

Before you even buy your cement tiles, make the layout that will allow you to accurately determine the square of each tile and their number. This step is even more important than you wish make a drawing.
Although handcrafted, cement tiles are calibrated. You will have no problem to place them. However, you can meet variations of shades or colors. This natural phenomenon is the hallmark of their craftsmanship. During the white pose, think to mix the tiles of different cartons.
Cement tiles settle with marble joints, that is to say very fine joints.

The laying of cement tiles

The pose can be done in two ways:

  • Traditional laying on fresh screed. At the same time that you make the screed, you put the tiles. It is the most difficult and the longest to dry (1 month minimum).

On well leveled and hard ground, pour a cement mortar screed. Prefer a cement with a high silica content to limit laitance during drying. As you make the screed, spread out a slip (mixture of cement and water) and put the tiles on it. It is good to moisten the back of tiles before laying. Position the tiles and check the levels and flatness by pressing firmly by hand.

  • Laying with mortar sticks on dry screed. This is the most common and the easiest. It is also the fastest to dry (1 week minimum)

Choose an improved adhesion adhesive mortar. Directly on the screed, dry and clean, spread a thick layer of glue using a notched spatula. Glue each tile after wetting and place them. Position the tiles and check the levels and flatness by pressing firmly by hand.
Cement tiles should always be positioned by hand. Never hit them with a mallet as this can cause microcracks.
Between each tile leave a space of 1 or 2 mm for the joint.

The realization of the joint between the cement tiles

It is a very fine joint in order toensure continuity of reasons. It is realized with a cement joint white or gray. Do not use a colored seal because their pigments would stain the tiles which at this stage are always porous and likely to clog very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to proceed in small steps and as much as it can spread as little cement as possible on the surface of the tiles. Thoroughly clean the surplus immediately, with a damp sponge.

After laying cement tiles

When the site is dry, you can clean it to remove the cement laitance and prepare the tiles to receive the protective treatment.

  • Start by removing the cement laitance. Milt is the white veil that appears during drying. Never use acid directly to unclog your cement tile. On the other hand you can find cleaners for cement tiles which certainly contain an acid but in acceptable proportions. Follow the instructions carefully.
  • Then sand the tiles to complete this cleaning. Work directly on the persistent traces with a fine sandpaper (bodywork paper). For large areas and to treat the entire floor, use an electric floor machine.
  • Apply a waterproofing, water-repellent and oil-repellent treatment. This treatment will act as a protective layer that will prevent your soil from clogging and facilitate its cleaning while giving it a nice patina. The products you can find on the market are waxes and protection for concrete floors.

Learn more about laying a tile.

Video Instruction: How to Install Cement Tile