Our premises are completely ready for work. The floor is perfectly clean, the screed is made to match. We get down to work, having previously noted that it is not recommended to lay the seamless tiles in question on a wooden base, only concrete. So let’s start.
The first thing to do is prime the floor once or twice. It is recommended to use the usual Ceresit CT 16 primer or CT 17 deep penetrating primer. After allowing the primer to dry, apply Ceresit CR-65 waterproofing paint. It is a special rubber-bitumen emulsion. It must be applied in small portions on different parts of the floor, and then smoothly and evenly spread with a brush..
While the waterproofing material dries, all the necessary tools can be prepared. We will need:
- mixer (or perforator with a nozzle for mixing the solution)
- notched trowel (preferably with a step equal to the thickness of the tile, and a length equal to its width)
- even one and a half meter spatula
- two levels (meter and forty centimeter)
- wide container for mixing glue
- rubber mallet
- plastic hard spatula for cleaning seams
- crosses with a minimum thickness of 1.5 mm
- dry rags or sponges at the rate of approximately 2-3 per square meter
After collecting all the necessary tools and making sure that the waterproofing is dry, let’s start marking the floor.
There are many options for how best to perform this operation. We offer the most reliable, albeit somewhat inconvenient, method. In order to make the most accurate markings, it is necessary to draw parallel lines along the width of the tile with a marker or a bright pencil, starting the markings from the wall to which the slab will be adjacent without cutting. You can use a meter level or a long ruler for this. Then, using crosses, we consistently lay out the tiles all over the floor to make sure once again that the trim is correct and the exact match of the quantity.
Let us immediately draw your attention to the fact that some manufacturers, especially, this applies to Chinese factories, mark on the reverse side the direction in which the tiles should be glued. This can be an arrow or other sign that is always indicated on the package. If at least one tile is placed in the wrong direction, the whole drawing may go astray.
After laying out the entire tile, using a special device for marking (it can even be an ordinary knife if the floor surface has not yet hardened enough), draw lines perpendicular to those drawn earlier along the seams between the lying tiles. Only after that, we remove the tiles. At the same time, it is recommended to number each of them and the place on which it lay, since, despite the most accurate measurements, a difference in a fraction of a millimeter can subsequently spoil the whole picture.
If the collection contains skirting boards, borders and corner inserts, before removing the tiles, carry out the same procedure with them, be sure to take into account in advance how you will glue them, on the floor or on top of the tile surface.
After removing the tile, folding it in order for the convenience of gluing, we proceed to prepare the solution. With the help of a mixer, we make small portions of 2-3 kilograms, and if you are distracted for a while, stir the already prepared solution, not letting it dry out. The adhesive is applied in a 7-8 mm layer to the floor with a notched trowel across the entire width of the tile..
Put the first tile from the corner and press it in by 2-3 mm. After that, using a short level, carefully check the flatness of the surface in all directions. Only, having achieved the ideal position of the first tile, it will be possible to start gluing the rest, since it will be along it that the entire floor will be aligned.
Here, we will make a small digression regarding borders. If, according to your project, they will not be on the tiles, but on the base of the floor, then they will have to be glued together with the tiles along the wall. And in the case of diagonal gluing, all the work will need to start with the borders. There will be no difficulties with them, all procedures are similar to gluing tiles. The only thing to remember is to immediately remove the remaining solution protruding over the curbs with a rag or sponge. When the glue is dry it will be much more difficult to do this..
After you have made sure that the first tile is perfect, put the rest in sequence. We check each new tile with a short level, and apply the meter one every one and a half to two meters. With the help of a mallet, we align the tiles where necessary. In cases where in some places the tile protrudes above the required level, using an even spatula, gently lift it and remove the excess solution.
Moreover, we try to do this right away, until the tile glue has hardened, but it hardens within 5-15 minutes. The thickness of the seams is adjusted using crosses, and with a plastic hard spatula we completely clean the seams from glue residues.
Most of the work has been done. Now, while the solution under the last tile dries up, arm ourselves with a brush or rags and a bucket of clean water, go to that part of the room where the glue has already dried, and begin a thorough cleaning. It is necessary to remove all the smallest residues of glue, since if they get into the grout, the appearance will be spoiled.
Now let’s move on to the final part of the process, grouting. There is a misconception that the joints should be rubbed immediately after gluing the tiles. The fact is that the glue drying process takes about 18-20 hours. During this time, it gives minimal shrinkage, which cannot be noticed with the naked eye. However, it is capable of deforming the joints, which leads to cracks in the grout already introduced there. Thus, no earlier than 20 hours after gluing, we start grouting. As mentioned in the first part of this article, we will be talking about high quality epoxy grout. In particular, we can recommend Litochrom Starlike made by the Italian company Litocol. This product is the only one in the world to be certified for UV resistance. This means that unlike other grout, which sooner or later becomes dirty gray on the floor, Litochrom Starlike will retain its color for the longest time..
So, we mix the components of the grouting material strictly according to the attached instructions. Depending on the color, there will be different concentrations. This mixture hardens very quickly, therefore, it is best to work together. One person applies the ready-made mixture to the tiles with a trowel and fills the joints tightly with the compound using a flat rubber trowel. The second participant follows him and, using a sponge, completely removes the remains of grout from the tile surface. For removal, you can use a special Litonet rinse, manufactured by the same company. One of its packaging options has a spray nozzle, which will maximize convenience and economy. It is better to repeat the procedure for cleaning the seams 2-3 times. Before each of them, wet the seams with water.
In any case, using the grout of this or that manufacturer, carefully read all the recommendations, since there are a lot of differences.
The grout hardens very quickly, the work is over. Now a few tips for tile maintenance.
Thanks to the development of modern technologies, many manufacturers offer a lot of different tile care products. It is best to consult about the choice with those who have already tested the tool in practice. From personal experience, we can recommend Litoclean cleaning powder or its liquid analogue Litoclean Plus, produced by the same aforementioned company. Both of these products remove all contaminants quite well, including those of acidic origin, and also have a low consumption, which will significantly save your money..
And the last tip. If you have small children and pets, after each cleaning with such products, thoroughly wash the floor with clean water before letting them into the room..