Toll Free: +1 877-439-9734 | +1 831-689-9734
MODWALLS CEMENT TILE INSTALLATION GUIDE:
CARE AND INSPECTION Inspect your order carefully. Modwalls® will not be responsible for any material after it has been installed. Installation of material constitutes full acceptance.
Store material in a dry area and do not let boxes or tiles to get wet. Moisture or dampness might cause stains, color fades, cracking, pitting or efflorescence* before installation and sealing.
During installation and handling, be careful not to damage the finished surface, edges and corners of the tiles. Carry tiles face to face to avoid scratches. This tile, as a cement-based product, may have residues on the tile surface. Before starting the installation, it is highly recommended to use a clean cloth to remove any residues.
This tile, as a product of cement and natural materials, is subject to color and shade variations and it is highly recommended to mix tiles from different boxes during installation. Installation must be made over a flat, level, stable and completely cured subfloor.
Moisture, water evaporation or excess of water can cause stains, pitting, cracking and efflorescence* to appear on the tile surface, this effect is a natural reaction of cement-based products. Isolation membrane is recommended to prevent cracking or fracturing from the movement of the subfloor. Never install cement tile over uncured subfloors.
Waterproof membrane is recommended in all wet areas to prevent leakage of water through to the subfloor or spaces below. Radiant heating systems can be used with cement tile and it is recommended to use a membrane. This concrete is a good heat conductor. Be sure that the subfloor, mortar bed and tiles are completely dried to avoid efflorescence*.
When installing, we recommend placing the center tiles first, then the borders and finally the field tiles that will surround the pattern. Use a high quality thin-set adhesive based in cement, such as a Laticrete or Mapei products. Contact adhesive manufacturer to recommend the appropriate product and follow their instructions.
A 3/8” mortar bed is recommended. Be sure to apply adhesive to the full back of each tile (100% coverage). Back buttering is recommended to get the best adherence to the substrate. Do not use a mallet or rubber hammer to set cement tile. This may cause breakage or form thin cracks that will show up when applying the grout or sealer.
You can level the tiles using hand pressure only. Cement tiles cannot be polished down. Remove excess adhesive from the surface with a damp cloth or sponge when it is still fresh to avoid any stains.
Cement tiles can be cut using a sharp diamond blade in conjunction with water to avoid the chipping of edges. Allow tiles and mortar bed to dry out completely before starting to seal and/or polish the tiles.
Do not cover the tile during this drying period. Allow breathing and evaporation. Do not step on tiles until mortar bed is dried.
For outdoor installations, a roof is highly recommended where cement tiles will be installed to avoid color fading caused by direct sunlight. Cement tile may also be polished with wax for extra protection and to repel direct sunlight.
1 After installation, wash the surface with a PH neutral detergent. If on floor, use a single disc floor machine with a white pad to remove any residues, remove excess dirt and water. Do not use any acids or alkalies** to clean cement tile.
2 Use a PH neutral cleaner and fine sandpaper to remove any stain or residues. Do not allow water or other liquids to spot, pond or ring on the surface of the tiles. 5 There are different types of sealers that offer different finishes. Matte, enhanced and gloss sheen are available. If you prefer a glossy finish cement tiles can be polished with wax. This process must be done by a professional. Never grind or buff Tiles with an abrasive pad or disc, this process will damage the colored surface. 6 After cleaning process has been completed. It is recommended to re-seal the tiles and grout lines for extra protection, especially in water places to avoid any water filtrations and moisture.
SEALING, GROUTING & WAXING
1 Cement Tiles are porous and not pre-sealed. Therefore, sealing with a penetrating sealer is necessary before grouting; we recommend Miracle, Stonetech, Fila and Drytreat sealers.
2 Treatments must be done after installation and when tiles are completely dry. It is highly recommended to make a test on a single piece to check the desired finish + Apply 2 thin coats of a penetrating sealer and a final coat of a Topical sealer to create a protection film over the tile surface, allow it to dry completely, refer to sealer manufacturer instructions. Use a dry absorbent white cloth, clean mop or a solvent resistant sprayer and remove all excess sealant from the tile surface. + For extra protection it is recommended to polish the Tiles with wax to avoid penetrating stains.
3 Do not use dark color or dyed grouts unless it matches the color of your tile, as they will cause staining especially in light colors, is recommended using un-tinted grouts on multi colored tiles. On solid colored tiles use grout of the similar color. We recommend making a test in a single piece to see the results before applying it to the complete area.
4 Cement tiles are installed edge to edge with a minimal grout line using un-sanded grout to allow expansion, for large grout line use a sanded grout. Recommended grout joint width is 1/16”-1/8”. Joints should be full and free of all voids and pits. Once grout has been applied and starts to dry, remove excess grout immediately. Do not affix duct tape, gaffer tape or acid tapes directly on to cement tiles surface this can cause discoloration or staining.
1 For ongoing maintenance, clean regularly with a neutral detergent and buff tiles with a soft white pad. We recommend to adding a capful of liquid wax to the water for extra protection.
2 Extremely heavy foot traffic or out-door installations may require additional maintenance. A natural patina will occur as the tile is worn and maintained.
* Efflorescence occurs when water is present on concrete, brick or natural stone. It sparkles. It’s white, sometimes grayish tone. It flakes off the surface and is present only on the surface. It’s actually salt deposits left behind by water.
** Alkalies feel soapy to the touch and have a PH over 7.0.