02 Installation of ceramic tiles

  1. Is it possible to INSTALL ceramic tiles without JOINTS? What are the recommended grout lines?

    Atlas Concorde strongly recommends not installing tiles without joints.
    The width of grout lines must be decided during project-planning and keeping in mind the following considerations:

     

        • Dimensional characteristics of tiles (rectified joint-less products: 1-2mm depending on the size or not-rectified open-joint products)

        • Type of support/substrate
        • Destination of use of the material (indoor/outdoor floor or indoor/outdoor wall cladding)
        • Any standard and/or regulation in force in the country where the tiles shall be installed

     

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  2. How can I choose the correct GROUT COLOUR for a product?

    Atlas Concorde staff are always at your disposal to advice you and choose the best grout colour according to tiles to be installed, providing you with the product codes of grouts.


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  3. In a worksite, how can the ceramic material be PROTECTED after installation and before delivery to final customers?

    In the period between installation and consignment, the ceramic tiled surface must:

     

        • Be kept clean and free from any cement, sand or other dirt residue which can cause stains and/or mechanical abrasion to the surface
        • Be protected from any damage caused by the presence of other operators (painters, electricians, carpenters, etc.)

     

     
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  4. How does WASTE following installation have to be disposed?

    Any fragments resulting from the demolition of ceramic tiles are “inert” materials (non-reactive, chemically and physically stable, resistant to the exposure to extreme thermal, hygrometric and chemical conditions).

     

    In order to safeguard the environment, Atlas Concorde recommends taking the waste and residue deriving from demolition of ceramic tiles to an authorised re-cycling depot in order to allow for their disposal in a correct and eco-sustainable way.


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  5. How many tiles should be ordered?

    Atlas Concorde staff are always at your disposal to advice you on the quantity of tiles to order.

    As a general rule when calculating the quantity of tiles necessary for the project, it is important to:

     

        • know the area of the surface to be tiled
        • have already decided the technique, the installation pattern (straightforward, staggered, etc.) and the size of grout lines

     

    Then, it is necessary to allow for a certain amount of waste, considering that even a batch of first grade tiles can contain some faulty pieces (industry standards allow for the 5% of faulty tiles in a first grade batch) and that some tiles must be cut or drilled. Moreover, it is good practice to keep, at the end of installation, a reserve of tiles for any maintenance or replacement.

    In light of this, Atlas Concorde recommends to order an excess 10-15% of tiles. The quantity must also be evaluated during order placement as, should further orders be required, the available products may have some very slight variations compared to those initially ordered.


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  6. What recommendations should be followed for the installation of porcelain stoneware tiles on HEATED FOOTING?

    The seasoning period of the footing varies depending on the type of binder used and once this period is over, it is necessary to carry out the heating start up cycle to check the functioning of the system and complete the seasoning of the footing.

    Install the tiles:

     

        • using high-performing deformable cement-based adhesives (class C2E-S1 in compliance with EN 12004)
        • using the “double spreading” technique
        • allowing a grout line of at least 3mm regardless of the size of the tiles

     

    Moreover, along the perimeter of the area and around pillars, columns and raises, it is necessary to put a layer of compressible material such as expanded polystyrene with a thickness of 1cm and carefully plan expansion joints, at least 5mm of width and carried out every 20-25m² into the footing.


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  7. What recommendations should be followed for the INSTALLATION of STEPS and L-SHAPED ANGULAR elements?

    During installation it is necessary to leave a 3-4mm space for the movement of the bull-nose, this to avoid adjustments of the finished structure due to subsidence or thermal shock, which could cause the breakage of the piece (detail A in the figure).
    It is recommended to use an elastic material to grout bull-nose pieces (detail C in the figure).

     

     

     

       

       

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

        A = avoid mortar voids in the internal corner

        B = in the case of adhesive installation, it is recommended to use high-performing deformable cement-based adhesives (class C2E-S1 in compliance with EN 12004) using the “double spreading” technique and spreading the adhesive both on the substrate and on the rear of the tile.
    This ensures 100% wetting of the back of the tiles to avoid the formation of air bubbles between the back of the tile and the substrate that can cause breakage of the tiles in the following cases:
            • shocks or concentrated loads
            • infiltration of water (if installed in the outdoors) leading to a volume increase due to the formation of ice

     

    The vertical edge must adhere to the mortar or adhesive too.
        C = polyurethane bi-component elastic joint
        D = concrete slab
        E = raise

     


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  8. What kind of ADHESIVES should be used for the installation of WHITE BODY MOSAIC TILES?

    Particularly suitable for the installation of ceramic mosaics of any size and type on traditional walls of cement plaster and plasterboard (provided they are reinforced), plaster supports (previous application of a primer) is an extended open-time cement-based adhesive with no vertical sliding (class C1TE or C2TE in compliance with EN 12004).

     

    The transparent film that protects the mosaic must be removed after at least two hours from installation of the tiles.

     
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  9. What kind of ADHESIVES should be used for the installation of PORCELAIN STONEWARE and WHITE BODY TILES?

    The use of an adequate adhesive is of fundamental importance for a state-of-the-art installation. Atlas Concorde recommends following the instructions of the adhesive manufacturers for the installation of ceramic tiles.

    As a general rule, the best adhesive can be identified taking into consideration various aspects:

     

        • type of substrate
        • type and size of tiles
        • destination of use (floor/wall cladding; indoors/outdoors)
        • weather conditions during installation
        • time elapsing between installation and use of the ceramic tiled surface


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  10. How can honed and polished porcelain stoneware tiles be CUT and/or drilled?

    In order to carry out linear or diagonal cuts, it is recommended the use of manual application cutters with hard metal rollers (widia). In the case that the use of these tools does not provide the desired outcome, Atlas Concorde recommends the use of electrical cutters cooling the diamond disk with water pump or via immersion.

     

    In the case of circular drills on porcelain stoneware tiles before installation, it is recommended to cool the point being drilled with water and to use diamond blades.

     

    In order to carry out circular drills on porcelain stoneware tiles after installation (necessary for the fixing of bathroom or kitchen accessories), it is recommended to use diamond blades adaptable to no-percussion electric drills equipped with suction cups in order to avoid the blade straying from the exact point to be drilled.

     

    Profiled drills, that are not linear, can be carried out exclusively with industrial machinery.


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  11. What precautions should be adopted when using epoxy grouts for porcelain stoneware?

     

     

    For a correct removal of excess grout, it is recommended to follow the instructions provided by the grout manufacturers.

     

    Moreover, it is recommended not to use this kind of grout (previous test on site) for honed/polished finishes or for slightly textured finishes.

     

    As a general rule, we advice following the suggestions below:

     

        • Epoxy grouts (Class RG – EN 13888): When the mixture is still fresh, wet the surface using a Scotch-Brite® pad being careful not to remove too much grout from the grout lines. The liquid residue of grout can be removed using a hard cellulose sponge (change it when it is saturated with excess resin).

     

    Epoxy grout residue must be immediately removed before it starts to harden as any delay in its removal makes it extremely difficult to shift.

     

    Should residue and/or stains of epoxy grout remain on the ceramic surface, use a specific cleaning agent of the kind FILA CR 10, strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions.


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  12. What RECOMMENDATIONS should be followed for the installation of porcelain stoneware tiles in OUTDOOR areas?

    It is recommended for the adhesive installation of Atlas Concorde porcelain stoneware tiles of sizes up to 30x30cm on:

     

        – cement footing
        – concrete substrates

        – water-proofing layers

     

    the use of high-performing, deformable, open-time cement adhesives (class C2E S1 in compliance with EN 12004).

     

    Increasing the size of the tiles, means using more high-performing, deformable, extended open-time cement adhesives (class C2E S2 in compliance with EN 12004).

     

    Apply the adhesive to the substrate using a teethed-trowel (the suitable trowel must be chosen according to the tile size and to the minimum thickness of the adhesive layer) in order to allow, using the “double spreading” method, 100% wetting of the surface and avoid the formation of air bubbles which can lead to the stagnation of water and the consequent breakage or detachment of ceramic tiles.

     

    For all flooring in the outdoors it is strongly recommended to use open-joint installation, that foresees the creation of grout lines of variable width depending on the tile size (from 3 to 10mm). With this installation method, the risk of detachment of ceramic tiles due to the subsidence of the various layers of the system can be reduced.

     

    Outdoor floors subject to direct sunlight are exposed to a daily/seasonally thermal shock of various grades that determines tensions and stresses due to the coefficient of expansion of porcelain stoneware that is lower than that of the substrate.
    In these destinations, it is very important to adopt an installation technique that, besides grout lines, foresees the presence of expansion joints to absorb the stress acting on the ceramic tiles and on the cement substrate, these expansion joints must be calculated depending on the tile size and on the future working conditions of the tiled surface.

     

    As a general rule, expansion joints must have a minimum width of 5mm and must be carried out every 9-12m² or, in the case of long and narrow areas, every 4-5 linear meters at the level of the tiled surface.


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