Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Install Cement Tile

Installing cement tiles is a fairly simple process. To achieve the best results, proceed with care and following these steps. You can download a PDF version of this installation, maintenance, and care procedures from our site:

pdf Cement Tile Installation Procedures [67 KB]

Pre-Installation Notes

  1. Each cement tile is hand-made and you should expect slight variations in thickness, size, and shade. These characteristics add to the products natural appeal and do not compromise the performance of the tile.
  2. Make sure to pull pieces at random from different boxes in order to achieve a better blending of the material.

Installation Steps

  1. The tiles should be installed edge to edge (butt jointed) and laid on a perfectly leveled and clean surface.
  2. The tiles can be cut using a wet saw with a diamond blade.
  3. When installing a pattern we recommend installing the center portion first, the borders and lastly the field tile that will surround the pattern.
  4. Tiles can be installed either with a pre-mixed adhesive, such a Mapei Type I, or with regular thinset mortar. In either case use a high-notched trowel to spread the adhesive on the surface as well as on the back of the tile in order to achieve adequate adhesion.
  5. When using thinset mortar the back of the tile must be dampened. When using a pre-mixed adhesive the back of the tile should be cleaned lightly.
  6. The tiles must be laid by hand and handled carefully to avoid damaging the edges. Once laid level the tiles using your hands. Using a rubber hammer to do this could damage the tiles’ surface. Cement tiles can not be grinded down after they are installed, so it is very important that they are perfectly leveled during installation.
  7. Any residue of mortar left on the surface of the tile must be cleaned immediately to avoid staining.
  8. Do not step on the tiles until the mortar has dried.


  1. You may use colored or white grout. If you decide to use colored grout we recommend that it be a color that is the same, or lighter than the lightest color used in the pattern.
  2. The grout should be fluid enough to completely fill the joints.
  3. Apply the grout with a rubber float or with a rubber squeegee, always moving diagonally across the joints.
  4. Any excess grout should be removed with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries.
  5. If tiles are installed before construction is finished make sure you protect them appropriately by covering them with a large piece of cloth, fabric or a tarp.

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