Ceramics and the Techniques for You

The joints deformation should be considered in the design stage. The deformation joints that are part of the building structure must not be covered by any element such as tiles, but must be respected when laying the cladding, allowing them to remain outside. All deformation joints must be clean of any dirt or adhesive residue and will be filled with a suitable sealant.

You can also choose to partially fill the joint with a more economical material, such as polyethylene foam tape, and complete the closure with a sealant.

Adhesive Placement

The most widespread technique is to spread the adhesives with a notched trowel, the adhesive is applied to the surface to be coated with a layer with a thickness of 3 mm. and then the serrated trowel is brushed through the surface. This trowel can have 6mm x 6mm teeth and a center distance of 25mm.

This trowel forms parallel strings of adhesive on which dry tiles are placed and pressed. In this way, a large part of the back of the piece is in contact with the adhesive. In best diy ceramic coatings this is important.

Another way is by the continuous layer technique, where the entire back of the tile makes contact with the adhesive, without leaving any gaps. This is achieved by spreading the adhesive on the surface to be coated, in a layer 3 mm thick or slightly more, if there are small irregularities on the surface.

The working time cannot be extended for more than 20 minutes, it can vary according to the ambient temperature and humidity conditions, but in general terms, this is the usual period of time for placement after the adhesive is spread. Do not spread more adhesive than will be used at the moment.

Placement Techniques

It is practical to locate the first tile by firmly pressing it into position and then tear it off to see if the adhesive has a good grip. This check operation should be carried out from time to time to ensure that the adhesive is working correctly.

When universal tiles or spacers are used, the spacing between pieces will be produced automatically. Otherwise, a 1 or 2 mm joint must be taken around each piece.

The tiles allow slight scrolling to adjust and align the joints within 5 minutes after laying.

If there is excess adhesive build up on the faces of the parts or on the joints, it should be cleaned with a rag before it hardens.


Grouting does not start until the adhesive hardens. Otherwise, by rushing times, the positions of the pieces can be modified and the adhesion achieved may be impaired.

Grouting is carried out with a rubber spatula or with a grouting trowel . The material is compressed with back and forth movements until the joints are completely filled.

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