All About Moroccan Handmade Cement Tile
Installing cement tile is a simple process, but it must be done with care in order to achieve the best results. Please follow these instructions to ensure a durable and long lasting cement tile installation.
Recommended products: Any thin-set mortar used for tile setting
Rhodium Floors uses: AcrylPro Ceramic Tile Adhesive
- Tiles can be installed either with a pre-mixed adhesive, or with regular thin- set. In either case use a high-notched comb trowel to spread the adhesive on the surface as well as on the back of the tile in order to achieve adequate adhesion.
- When using thin-set mortar the back of the tile should be dampened. When using a pre-mixed adhesive the back of the tile should be cleaned lightly to ensure adhesion.
- When installing a pattern we recommend installing the center design first, the borders, and lastly the field tile that will surround the center design.
- It is recommended that tiles be pulled from various boxes during installation to ensure a naturally rich installation.
- The tiles must be laid by hand and handled carefully to avoid damaging the edges.
- The tiles should be installed edge to edge (butt jointed) and laid on a perfectly leveled and clean surface.
- Lay the tiles with a 1/16-inch spacing between tiles.
- Once laid level, press on the tiles using your hands. Using a rubber hammer to do this could damage the tile’s surface. Cement tiles cannot be grinded after they are installed, so it is very important that they are perfectly leveled during installation.
- Any residue or mortar left on the surface of the tile must be cleaned immediately to avoid staining.
- Do not proceed with installation process until mortar has completely dried.
B. Cleaning the Tiles
Recommended products: Water, 220 grit sandpaper, Hydrogen Peroxide or oxyclean
Rhodium Floors uses: 220 grit sandpaper with water
- Wet the tiles with water.
- Lightly sand the tiles to remove any haze and dirt.
- If care was taken while installing the tiles, no other stains should exist.
- If stains are present, soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide and let sit on the stain for 15-20 minutes. This will not harm the tiles in any way.
- If tiles require more cleaning, it is acceptable to lightly scrub the tiles with Oxyclean.
Cement tiles must be sealed with one coat of sealer before grouting. This will help prevent any staining from the grout and will add to the strength of an installation. Please see the instructions for sealing on the following page.
Recommended products: Any non-sanded grout white or colored
Rhodium Floors uses: Polyblend Non-Sanded Grout in white or off white
- Make sure that the sealant is completely dry before grouting.
- Grout color should be equal to or lighter than the lightest color in the tile; we recommend that you take a tile with you when choosing the grout color.
- The grout should be fluid enough to completely fill the joints.
- Dampen the tile installation with water before grouting.
- Apply the grout with a rubber float or a rubber squeegee, always moving diagonally across the joints.
- It is important that any excess grout be removed with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries, Darker grout can stain the tile, so keeping the tiles clean while grouting is prudent.
Recommended products: In general, a penetrating or impregnating sealer is used, however not all provide the best results. The purpose, area and other factors of the cement tile installation may affect which type of sealant in best for your tiles. Please inquire with our sales team for sealant recommendations.
Recommended Sealers: We recommend using both V Seal’s 101 Penetrating Sealer and their TK6 NanoCoat Topical Sealer. You can buy these directly from the company. After testing many sealants this one has proved to work perfectly with our tiles and has a beautiful finish available in matte or semi-gloss. It’s also very easy to apply.
- Make sure the sealer is well mixed before applying to the tiles.
- Apply the sealer with a wool roller or sponge without excess. Apply a few layers until it saturates the tile.
- Allow each coat of sealer to dry before reapplying another coat.
- After each coat is applied, rub the installation with a dry cloth to equalize the tone.
- If tiles are installed before construction is finished, make sure you protect them appropriately by covering them with a large piece of fabric or tarp.
Cement tiles should be cleaned on a daily basis with water and a PH neutral soap or detergent.
DO NOT USE bleach or any chemical cleaners on cement tile.
Simply wet your tile and apply the soap/detergent with a sponge, Swiffer®, or similar cleaning tool. Rinse with water.
Many stains can be removed with Hydrogen Peroxide. Saturate a clean cloth or white paper towel and let it sit on top of the stain. Hydrogen Peroxide will not harm the tile.
Deeper and difficult stains can be removed using a poultice method. Place a poultice powder on top of a stain (indirectly, using a paper towel to place the powder on). The poultice will then draw out the stain by absorbing it.
Miracle Seal has a great stain removal guide using their products.
You may find more information on MiracleSeal.com.