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Proper installation and protection of cement tile is key. Please ensure that tile is laid by a licensed tile installer. Zia Tile is not responsible for any issues that arise due to improper installation or care. DO NOT LET THE BOXES GET WET! Moisture can seep into the tiles, which may result in staining or efflorescence in which a residual powdery limestone layer is deposited on the surface of the tile.Read article
We do not recommend installing our tiles outdoors in places that experience frost/freeze in winter. Care must also be taken in areas that may get wet as the surface may cause a slip hazard. Cement tiles are unable to withstand the weight of vehicles and therefore should never be used in driveways.
Wall tiles can be affixed to plaster, drywall, cement block, and cement backer board.
The installation surface should be flat and dry with any loose paint removed and cracked surfaces patched. New construction foundations should cure at least 30 days prior to installing any tile.
We recommend 511 Porous Plus by Miracle Sealants for all cement tile installations. This penetrating sealer protects the original matte finish of the tile. For commercial projects and high traffic areas, a matte finish topical sealer such as Fila Surface Solutions Matt Wax can be used for an additional layer of protection. Always test a topical sealer on a sample or small area first to ensure that the desired finish is acceptable.
For placing the tiles:
1/16” tile spacers
High quality medium-bed thin set mortar
Trowel with ½” semi-circular notches
Un-sanded, neutral color grout – We recommend Mapei Flexcolor CQ
Water-cooled tile saw with diamond edge blade
For cleaning and sealing cement tiles:
pH neutral cleaner such as Miracle Sealants Heavy Duty Cleaner (Acid Substitute)
Paint roller, paint tray, sponge and water bucket
Lint-free cotton cloth
511 Porous Plus Sealer from Miracle Sealant – A gallon covers approximately 200-250 sqft, a quart covers 150 sqft
Please inspect your order thoroughly as Zia Tile cannot be held responsible for tiles that have been installed.
Ensure that the subfloor or sub-surface under the tile is completely dry and free of moisture. Any moisture underneath the cement tile will surface over time and can create a chalky white deposit known as efflorescence. Efflorescence can permanently damage the tile, so installers must test and verify that sub-surfaces are completely free of moisture before installation begins. If moisture is detected in the sub-surface, the installer must use a waterproof membrane. Once the subfloor is even, dry, and in good condition, a high quality medium-bed thin set is sufficient to set the tiles.
Evenly apply the thin set mixture to the subfloor using a trowel. Wet the back of each tile with a sponge before applying the adhesive to the back of each tile, making sure to apply the mixture in the same direction in order to prevent air pockets from forming.
Using only the palm of your hand, press the tiles into place. Use of a rubber hammer or mallet will result in small cracks that will grow over time. Ensure the tiles are perfectly flat during installation as uneven tiles cannot be ground down.
Immediately wipe off any residual thin set from the surface of the tiles. It can be incredibly difficult to remove without damaging the tiles if left too long.
Use 1/16” tile spacers to separate the tiles.
All saw cuts must be made with a water-cooled tile saw. After the tiles have been laid, allow the thin set at least 48 hours to cure before sealing and grouting. Grout in small 2’x2′ sections removing the excess immediately using Mapei Flexcolor CQ grout in a NEUTRAL COLOR ONLY. Neutral grout colors are lighter shades of white and light grey from the Mapei grout color range.
Cement Tiles must be sealed on-site. Use a pH neutral cleaner before sealing; products made to clean natural stone are usually suitable.
We recommend using 511 Porous Plus Sealer from Miracle Sealants or other high performance cement tile sealers. After laying the tile and prior to grouting, apply sealer in thin layers until the tiles become saturated, wiping off any excess sealer before it dries. Thick or excessive application of sealant can dry unevenly, and result in an undesirable waxy film on the surface of the tiles. Allow sealer to cure, typically 1-2 days; always follow the sealant manufacturers application instructions.
Using only standard, neutral colored un-sanded grout, fill in the gaps between the tiles with a rubber grout float. DO NOT grout the entire floor at once, as the tiles can stain and excess grout is extremely difficult to remove later. Instead, grout small areas and immediately wipe away the excess grout as you go. Dark grout can stain lighter colored tiles and should be AVOIDED unless hand grouting or using a grout bag.
Before resealing, allow the grout to cure, usually 48 hours.
Clean the tiles with pH neutral detergent, removing any residual mortar or debris. Never leave spills, drips, footprints, or any other marks on the tiles prior to sealing.
Completely clean and dry the tiles before applying a second coat of 511 Porous Plus sealer over the tiles and grout.
Always cover the tiles during and after installation with RamBoard to prevent damage and/or staining of the tiles until construction is complete.
The guidelines above are for directional use only. Each customer is responsible for hiring a skilled installer that has both experience and expertise in installing cement tiles. Zia Tile is not responsible for installing, ongoing care, or problems arising from any orders after receipt of product.
Regularly clean the tiles with acid-free, pH neutral detergent. A natural patina can be expected to develop over time, as the floor begins to wear and age. Water spotting can be avoided with a regular cleaning routine, which includes resealing the floor every two to three years, depending on the conditions of wear. With interior high traffic areas and commercial spaces, discuss applying a topical sealer with your installer. We recommend Fila Surface Solutions Matt Wax sealer to bead water and provide an extra protection layer to the surface of the tile. Recommended Cleaning Products: General cleaning – Always use pH neutral cleaners such as Miracle Tile and Stone Cleaner. Heavy cleaning and stain removal – use Miracle Heavy Duty Cleaner -Acid Substitute and follow instructions on label.
We’ll ship handmade cement tile and zellige anywhere that FedEx, UPS, DHL, and any LTL carrier can reach! If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or anywhere outside of the continental United States, please email or call us for a custom freight quote as those are high cost delivery areas that will incur additional shipping costs.
All normal tile orders will deliver using LTL carrier service and are curbside delivery. The LTL trucking company that is contracted to deliver your order will contact you to arrange a specific date and time for curbside delivery.
During delivery, all customers are responsible for inspecting the shipment for shortages or damages against the packing slip and noting those damages with the driver on the Bill of Lading. Any issues with the delivery must be photographed and noted with the delivery driver on the shipping documentation in order to initiate a claim. The claims agents for the shipping company will request photos and written documentation to process the claim. Please take the time to ensure that this is done effectively during delivery in order to avoid any costs associated with replacement material for your order. Ensure that you have someone on-site to accept your delivery as any missed deliveries or delivery refusals will result in storage and redelivery fees to the trucking company. Contact us within 48 hours after your delivery and we will work to replace any items damaged in transit as quickly as possible! The Successful
Check all items against packing list during the delivery
Take photos and note any damage with the delivery driver on the BOL
Contact us immediately if needed
We encourage all customers to order samples through our website by clicking on the Request a Sample button each tile page. It is important to evaluate tile selections by first placing samples in the actual space where you plan to install to evaluate color, texture, and lighting in your space prior to placing an order. All cement tile and zellige sample orders are limited to up to 4 per tile design, and customers may order up to 10 samples total. We make every effort to ship all samples within the same shipment, but some samples may ship separately if specific samples are out of stock at the time the order is placed.
Some samples of special order tiles may be available and are limited to 1 sample per customer due to the limited amount of special order tile samples we have on-hand. Frequently, special order sample tiles will have a lead time that matches the order lead time listed on each individual tile page. All of our solid color cement sample requests are fulfilled in 4×4 solid sample color tiles.
The first 5 samples in our online cart are complimentary. Subsequent samples are $3 each and shipping is $8 for every 3 tiles shipped. Our samples typically ship out 2-3 business days after order receipt via FedEx, UPS, or USPS ground. For questions regarding samples, please email email@example.com.