In construction, there are two main types of laying porcelain stoneware, which are technologically different from each other.
– cladding of hinged ventilated facades, raised floors, which require the use of special structures. Porcelain stoneware slabs are attached to these structures.
– external and internal facing of floors and walls. In this case, the tiles are laid on special adhesive mixtures.
Installation of hinged ventilated facades and raised floors must be carried out by qualified specialists. The cladding of walls and floors can be carried out by the owners of country houses, apartments and other repair or construction facilities on their own. If you are such an owner, then let me give you recommendations for laying porcelain stoneware slabs on the adhesive composition.
1. Preparation of porcelain stoneware slabs for laying
First, sketch out a plan of the surface on which you will lay porcelain stoneware. Having estimated the number of expected slabs per 1 sq.m., calculate the total laying area and the total volume of the required porcelain stoneware. When you buy porcelain stoneware, purchase an additional 10% of the total number of tiles to insure against calculation errors and beating during transportation. In addition, remember that some part of the tile will inevitably be cut off.
When buying porcelain stoneware, make sure that the pattern, format and shade of the entire batch of tiles are identical.
Before starting work, clean the surface of the tile from the protective layer that most manufacturers apply to protect the tile from damage during transportation. Technical wax can be easily removed with warm water with the addition of conventional detergents, and technical paraffin can also be easily removed with a spatula.
2. Preparation of the base for laying porcelain tiles
The surface of the walls or screed on which you will lay ceramic granite should be as even and dry as possible. To do this, it must be primed, using the most suitable primer for your base. First of all, this applies to loose substrates (drywall, plaster, cement). The primer should be applied with a wallpaper brush or paint roller in an even layer. The surface treated with a primer must be immediately leveled with putty, while smoothing it with a trowel.
Immediately before laying the tiles, clean the substrate of oils, dust, old glue residue, paint (to improve the adhesion of the tiles to the surface), and be sure to check the tiles for cracks and strength.
3. The choice of adhesive mixture for laying ceramic granite
Ceramic granite has the property of low water absorption. Therefore, you will need an adhesive with a higher degree of adhesion to the surface (adhesion) than when laying ordinary ceramic tiles. From this we see that cement mortar is contraindicated for ceramic granite tiles. We recommend that you use only high-quality adhesive mixtures with the maximum amount of polymer additives. When choosing one or another adhesive composition, consider the nature of the base and the recommendations in the instructions.
4. Laying porcelain tiles
Divide the cladding symmetrically so that either cut or whole slabs are obtained at the edges of the surface. To achieve this, we recommend that before laying in the center of the base, mark a line that should be parallel to the long sides of the base. Lay the tiles to the left and right of the center in such a way that either the middle of the whole tile or the junction of two tiles falls on the intended line. Provided that the edges of the cladding are not external, the cut boards must lie along the edges of the cladding.
After that, apply the adhesive solution well mixed to a creamy state with a trowel on the prepared base of the floor or wall, or pour it onto the floor (if porcelain stoneware slabs are large) and level first with a smooth trowel, and then with a notched one. Lifting a freshly laid porcelain stoneware tile once makes it possible to check the adhesion of the adhesive solution to the tile surface. Maintain grooves of the same width with the help of crosses for laying porcelain stoneware.
So that the tile in the room with increased loads on the floor does not crack during operation, do not allow the formation of voids in the adhesive layer between the base and the tile.
5. Grouting and surface cleaning
When you have laid the tiles, remove the remnants of the adhesive solution from the grooves, and, after making sure that the adhesive has gained strength, you can start grouting the joints. For porcelain stoneware, the grout mixture is selected depending on the width of the porcelain stoneware gap and on the color of the cladding. For the floor, we recommend using grouts in gray tones (lighter colors get dirty faster).
Dilute the grout with water to the desired consistency and rub it with a rubber spatula over the facing surface. After you have evenly filled all the grooves, remove the excess grout with a spatula with a glued sponge. After that, sprinkle the laid porcelain stoneware with a thin layer of dry grout and rub it over the surface again (this will remove excess moisture). Thoroughly wipe the finished porcelain stoneware cladding with a sponge, after wetting it in a special detergent. At the same time, try not to wash out the solution from the gaps. Within 3-5 days from the moment of laying, we do not recommend walking on the lined surface. It is possible to wash the cladding with conventional means after two weeks after cleaning the tiles.