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Specialist tiles

Generally, the three most common types of tiles used are ceramics, porcelain and natural stone. Occasionally though, other more specialist tiles are used on jobs and these quite often require special adhesives and preparation.

Problem

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic tiles can be made out of a variety of materials from glass to natural stone and can be supplied in a variety of shapes and sizes. The mosaics are supplied on sheets for ease of fixing and these sheets are usually in 2 forms, face down on paper or face up on synthetic mesh. If the mosaics are supplied on synthetic mesh, the mesh and mesh adhesive should not cover more than 25% of the back of the tile otherwise it could affect final adhesion. Each of these 2 forms requires a slightly different application technique.

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles are becoming more popular, especially in more modern designs. They do, however, cause some application problems. Glass, by its nature, is very smooth and non-porous meaning it can be difficult to adhere to. Also, when frosted glass tiles are used, grouting can leave unsightly marks on the surface which are very hard to remove. If a dark adhesive is used with glass tiles it can show through as a shadow on the tile body. This is also the case if a spot-fixing method is used.

Metal or Metallic Tiles

Metal tiles come mainly in two forms. These are either sheet metal or metal formed around a solid background such as tile backerboard or MDF. These tiles are often pressed so have a textured surface which causes problems when grouting. Metallic tiles often react with cementitious grout and tend to discolour unless the correct product is used.

Resin Tiles

Resin tiles can come in all sorts of designs, shapes or sizes. Nearly any design can be made to make a feature in a house or commercial project. Resin tiles can be very smooth and can be very difficult to adhere to.

Solution

Use the correct methods, adhesives and grouts

The outstanding aesthetic qualities of certain specialist tiles can often hide the fact that extra care will be needed when fixing. Generally, the backs of specialist tiles can be very dense or smooth thus meaning that higher grade adhesives are needed to bond the tile sufficiently.

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaics which are face down on paper should be pre-grouted from the back prior to fixing onto the wall. This will result in a smooth, flat grout joint. weber.grout Tile Grout WB33 is ideal for this as it is very easy to use. Starting at the top, a 6 mm x 6 mm tiling trowel should be used to spread weber.set Mosaic-Fix onto a small area and the mosaic sheet pushed into the adhesive bed. To help achieve the desired contact area on the back of the tile, a flat trowel can be used to push or tap the mosaics into the adhesive. weber.set Mosaic-Fix should be used for floors and for walls. Mesh-backed tiled should also be applied in a similar fashion but should not be grouted until the mosaics are in place and the adhesive set. When a section of pre-grouted paper-faced mosaics is in place, the paper face should be moistened with a wet sponge and peeled off. Any final adjustments should be carried out prior to the grout and adhesive setting.

Glass and Resin Tiles

Glass and resin tiles have very smooth non-porous backs that are difficult to adhere to so usually require a highly polymer-modified adhesive such as weber.set White. This adhesive gives excellent adhesion and also reduces the stresses caused by differential thermal/moisture movement between the tile and the substrate.

weber.grout Tile Grout WB33 is available in several colours to match or contrast any tile design. Frosted/rough surface glass tiles can also be very difficult to clean after grouting and will require extra cleaning to remove the grout residue. Grout should not be allowed to dry on these tiles as it can cause staining. It is advisable to carry out a test on a spare tile before grouting.

Metal or Metallic Tiles

weber.set White should be used for metal tiles that are formed around a backing block such as resin backed filler MDF, ceramic tile base. This adhesive gives excellent adhesion and also reduces the stresses caused by differential thermal movement between the tile and the substrate. Solid metal tiles are usually made from thin sheets of stainless steel and they should be adhered and grouted with weber.grout Tile Grout WB33 in conjunction with weber.ad Bond-it WB183.

Solution with the following weber products

Solution 1

weber.set Mosaic Fix

A white cement-based adhesive and grout for all types of Mosaic.

weber.set White

A white cement-based, fast setting tile adhesive for all Marble and Natural Stone tiles.

weber.grout Tile Grout WB33

A cement-based grout for tile joints on walls and floors. (2 - 8 mm joint width)

weber.ad Bond-It WB183

A latex-based liquid additive specifically formulated for use with Weber’s cement-based adhesives and grouts.