In this page you will find useful information for a correct laying of porcelain stoneware, indications for correct disposal of residual material and suggestions with respect to cleaning and the use of joints and grouting.
Laying of porcelain stoneware
Upon receiving the material, we recommend always to check the correspondence between the delivery documents and the goods received.
Before laying, it’s important to carefully check the correct tone, calibre and choice of material. It is also necessary to check that the material is free of obvious defects (as defined in the general conditions of sale), as claims on material already laid the defects of which were visible before installation.
Given that variation in tonalities is a characteristic of ceramic products, a check should be made of the V-shade value of the tiles to be installed. In any case, to obtain the best aesthetic result possible and an optimal mix, we suggest laying the tiles taking pieces out of a number of different boxes. For veined products, as well as for natural stones, it is recommended to arrange the slab veins in a way so as to obtain the best aesthetic and colour effect.
The final customer needs to ensure, as far as this is within their responsibility, microclimatic and lighting conditions that enable the installer to perform the laying operations in a reliable way, checking, therefore, the materials and the work in progress.
Laying tiles with glue
It is recommended to lay with glue using specific high-performance glues. It should be remembered that, when laying, the substrate must be stable, dry and mature. In all events, it is necessary to follow the instructions of producers of materials for the specific substrates and glues used. Cement adhesives must be applied at room temperature, generally between +5° C and + 30/35° C. The most appropriate glues for the laying of Ceramiche Keope-brand floors and coverings can be identified on the basis of the European Legislation currently in force, EN12004. During installation, it is necessary not to mark the material on the use surface with pencils (graphite) or permanent markers, in particular on polished porcelain stoneware.
Cleaning and protection of the material
While it is not necessary to wet the tiles before installation, if the back of the tile is very dusty, a rapid wash with clean water is, however, recommended. In the period between the completion of the installation and delivery to the final customer, the ceramic tiles must be kept clean and free of cement, sand, mortar and any other material that could cause stains and/or mechanical abrasions on the surface.
It’s necessary to protect the installation from damage or contamination potentially occurring further to a foreseeable presence of other operators such as painters, electricians, carpenters, etc..
“End-to-end” laying and with joints
In the event of “end-to-end” laying patterns, it is recommended to offset the tiles by 20cm at most.
For rectified porcelain stoneware, the minimum prescribed joint is 2mm. This type of laying allows for a greater grip of the grout on the sides of the slabs, greater absorption of any movements of the substrate and a compensation of the slabs. Ceramiche Keope does not accept claims regarding the laying of rectified material with joints smaller than 2mm.
For non-rectified material, a joint of at least 5 mm is prescribed.
Shaping and perforation
Ceramiche Keope’s porcelain stoneware products, while being very resistant, can be shaped (for the development of tops and stairs, for example), perforated for the installation of technical and sanitary systems, using specific diamond discs and suitable equipment.
Warning for laying and cleaning
For already installed material, Ceramiche Keope:
- Does not accept claims due to obvious defects.
- Does not accept liability for the quality of the tiled project, but only the characteristics of the material supplied. It is important to put aside a number of extra tiles at the end of the installation for possible future repairs or also to have a representative sample of the material in the event of a claim.
- Recommends the use of tiles of 6 mm thickness only for residential, and light-traffic commercial applications and, in any case, in contexts in which there is not a passage of heavy point loads or the transit of hard-wheel trolleys. Besides their use for coverings, they can also be used on pre-existing floors in marble, natural stone or ceramics, without the need to demolish the underlying floor.
- For application on screed, it is recommended to use porcelain stoneware of traditional thickness.
Warnings for lapped and Silky finishes
Lapped and Silky finishes are suitable for low-stressed residential or commercial floors, where anti-slip performance is not required. The shine and ease of cleaning of the surface are the result of extensive and detailed research aimed at guaranteeing persistence over time.
If the product is in direct contact with the outdoors, it is necessary to provide for moisture and dirt absorption devices to prevent the formation of scratches. Lapped and silky surfaces can be subject to scratches if in contact with hard materials, such as stones, tile fragments, metal and similar.
Management and disposal of ceramic material
In this guide we deal comprehensively with all the problems relating to the laying of the ceramic material, so as to provide correct indications to operators during the assembly phase in order to have a correct and long-lasting result.
It is important that whoever operates in the building site during the ceramic material assembly phases works in a clean environment, free of residues, scraps and anything else not relating to the assembly of the ceramic material. For example, empty packaging, pallets or wooden crates (in the case of large formats); it is important that they are managed in an appropriate and sustainable way.
With regard to empty cardboard packages, it is important that they are put into specific containers or bins suitable for separate collection; large wooden crates must be wither returned to Ceramiche Keope or taken to recycling depots for correct disposal. With regards to renovations, it’s important to take removed ceramic material and scraps to companies specialized in the collection and sustainable disposal of building material, so as not to disperse them in the environment.
In the Cleaning of porcelain stoneware page we give ample space also to the problem of cleaning at the end of installation, extraordinary cleaning and daily cleaning of the floor, for which it is important to avoid over-the-counter products or, in any case, products containing waxing or filming additives because they would only form a film that retains dirt on the non-absorbent surface of the porcelain stoneware.
Joints and grouting
In large-size environments it is extremely important to position expansion joints regularly; for small environments, on the other hand, it is sufficient to leave a small gap between the tile and perimeter walls, which will be covered by the skirting board.
In all events, the supervision of the designer or site manager is necessary, checking that the laying complies with the laws in force in single countries. For the use of epoxy fillers or with additions of resins or similar, it is recommended to carefully follow producers’ indications because their rapid hardening requires more attention.
We also believe that it is important to do a preventive cleaning test. In particular, for lapped and polished products, we suggest using fillers of a colour in line with the tile (e.g., avoid white tile with black filler).
After the grouting of the tiles, it’s important, with the filler still fresh, to immediately remove excess filler with a sponge and abundant water. It is absolutely essential, a few days after the laying, with the joints dry, to carry out a thorough clean using buffered acids (as specified in the section dedicated to Cleaning after laying) in order to completely remove all building site residues. A number of examples of “acid”-based detergents for leaning after installation are: