It is very important to adhere to the British Standard when fixing large size thin porcelain tiles and panels, as they are fragile and easy to damage during handling, and they can crack if they are not laid correctly leading to failure of the installation. Handle the tiles using suitable lifting equipment taking special care with corners and edges.
For floors, the substrate should be totally level and stable. Laying on top of an existing sound tile installation is ideal, otherwise the use of a self-levelling compound such as Keratech Eco R10 which hardens rapidly is recommended. Adequate time should be left to ensure that all substrates are properly cured to avoid movement after tile installation.
Care should be taken when fixing to ensure that there are no air cavities under the tiles and that the back of the tile is entirely covered by adhesive. The Standard recommends the use of both back buttering the tile and a layer of adhesive spread across the floor, spreading only enough adhesive for one tile at a time to avoid a skin forming on the adhesive which could prevent proper adhesion. Biogel adhesives are perfect for this sort of installation, as they thoroughly wet the back of the tile, do not shrink and hold their shape meaning that the tile is fully supported. Biogel No Limits has an open time of up to 60 minutes at 23°C making ‘skinning’ before the tile is laid extremely unlikely.
Grout joints should be at least 5mm for 3m long tiles to allow adequate room for potential movement and avoid damaging fragile edges and corners. Movement joints should also be built in to allow for shrinkage of, or movement in the substrate. Under no circumstances should the tiles be butt-jointed. Kerakoll recommends the use of Fugabella Color grout which can be used on joints from 2 – 12mm, and is extremely durable, waterproof and colourfast with low Volatile Organic Compounds (GEV-Emicode 1). All joints should be clear of adhesive as far as possible to avoid cracking of the grout where there is not adequate depth of coverage.
Movement joints should be filled with Silicone Color.
The same principles apply for wall tiles. It is imperative that the substrate is totally solid and not flexible. Tiling onto plywood is now outlawed by the British Standards and a suitable tile backer board should be used instead. Any of the Biogel adhesives can be used to fix the tiles with Fugabella Color and Silicone Color for grout and movement joints in the same way as for floor tiles.
More details on the products can be obtained from the Kerakoll team, who will also be delighted to answer any questions and offer technical advice on particular projects.
T: 01527 578000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.kerakoll.com
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