It can be interesting to recycle old terracotta tiles by using them to tile an outdoor terrace. If you do not have a stable surface for laying tiles, you will have to make a concrete screed first.
- Brush broom
- Brush with hard bristles
- Bubble level
- Thick cord
- Terracotta tiles
- Hydrochloric acid substitute
- Laying tiles
1. After carefully taking off, without breaking, the terracotta tiles from their support, clean them on both sides before reuse. If they are very dirty, wash them one by one to remove grease. Brush them, if necessary, with a brush with hard bristles; use a hydrochloric acid substitute more or less diluted to gnaw the dry cement residues, glued underneath, and the important stains on the siding side. Rinse thoroughly with clean water by brushing with the stiff bristle brush. Clean the tile support, that is the concrete slab of the terrace. Sweep it vigorously to remove the dust, which would prevent the adhesion of the tiles. Prepare the mortar, spread a layer about 1 cm thick on the clean slab. Equalize the layer with the trowel, without straightening it, starting the coating of the slab by an angle.
2. Before starting to place the terracotta tiles on the spread thin-set mortar, a final preparation of the elements is required. Indeed, the terracotta tile is porous. When pouring joints, liquid cement and its milt can impregnate the terracotta in its mass and defile it permanently. It is best to protect the tiles by spreading a fatty substance on their facing side. Pass a brush impregnated with this fat on each tile; do not overflow on the edge of the tile, it would not adhere to the joints. Place the tiles on the glue, aligning them with the edge of the deck. Leave joints about 1 cm wide between the tiles.
3. Using the bubble level, check the horizontality of the tiled surface and adjust the tile position, if necessary. With the trowel handle, tap each tile to sit properly on the fresh mortar.
4. Insert a thick bead into the spaces left between the pavers. Tighten all the tiles, arranged in rows. Hit the edge of the tile as needed to adjust the thickness of the joints to that of the cords. This system, which may seem obsolete, is still used by many craftsmen because it has proven itself and its cost is practically nil.
5. When the joints are even and aligned, remove the cords row by row before filling the gap of the joint thus released with a mortar preparation sufficiently liquid to fill the space between the tiles. Trowel first, taking care not to move the tiles.
6. Complete the filling of the joints by filling the mortar with the hard bristle brush.
7. Allow the mortar to begin hardening, then remove the larger one from the tiles with a damp sponge. Do not scrape with the trowel to avoid moving a tile until they are completely caught. Refine the cleaning by a second pass. Let it dry for at least 3 to 4 days depending on the ambient temperature before using.
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