Bert & May recommend advice is sought from a certified trade professional. This document is designed as a guidance note for certified trade professionals. Please note that it is essential to wear suitable protective eyewear and clothing when cutting or drying tiles.

CUTTING

Bert & May recommend that either a diamond cutter or an angle grinder is used to cut encaustic tiles. Whilst cutting or drilling tiles, the surface of the tile may become wet and/or dirty. Wipe the tile clean immediately after cutting.

PRE-INSTALLATION PREPARATION

Bert & May recommends that the tiles are the last material to be installed during a building project. The top layer of encaustic tiles is very delicate and should be handled with care. Before installing encaustic tiles, the floor must be clean, free from dust and moisture.

INSTALLATION

Apply adhesive to the floor using a notched trowel, working in small areas in parallel lines. Spread only enough adhesive that remains workable. Then, apply the adhesive in the same method to the back of the tile. Bert & May recommend using grout spacers with minimum 1mm between tiles, although the tiles can be butt jointed if required. However, if the tiles are being installed outside, a minimum spacing of 2mm between tiles is recommended.

Ensure the tiles are level by using a spirit level and do not step on the tiles for a least 6 hours (if using rapid set adhesive) or preferably overnight. Once set, buff lightly with an 80-grit sandpaper and then a second buff/sand with a 150 to 180 grit sand paper to remove any dust particles or marks that may be present. Wash the tiles with Lithofin MN Power Clean, which should be diluted with water as per the instructions on the bottle. After this, all moisture must be released from the body and surface of the tile prior to sealing. Bert & May recommend that they are left to dry for a minimum of 7 days. The longer you can leave the tiles, the greater assurance you have that they have dried out, that the adhesive liquid has evaporated out through them and they are acclimatized to your home.

Once the tiles are dried impregnate with Lithofin Impregnator/Stain Stop, according to the instructions on the bottle x 1 coat. The first coat should be applied using very little sealant at a time but really working it into the surface of the tile using a clean dry paintbrush. This prevents streaks being left on the surface of the tile once the coat is dry. Once finished, leave the tiles to cure for at least 12 hours.

GROUTING

Ensure the surface of the tiles are free from dust and adhesive before you begin the grouting process. Sponge the area to be grouted with clean water before applying the grout, working in small areas. Replace the water when needed; it is essential that the water and sponge are always clean. The grout needs to be wiped off constantly to ensure that it does not dry on the tile surface. The tiles must be kept clean throughout the process. Bert & May recommend point grouting as spread grouting is likely to soak into the tiles. The grout should be left to dry fully.

A final coat of Lithofin Impregnator/Stain Stop should be applied once the grout has dried to complete the process. An easy test to see if the floor is fully dry after sealing is to place a few drops of water on the tiles, if it forms a bead then it has worked, if the tiles absorb the water then the sealing process needs to be repeated. If you choose to add a satin finish to your tiles, you can use Lithofin Multi Seal to do so. Wash and dry the tiles a final time before applying it as your final step.

Please note – Multi-seal should always be used when installing a kitchen splashback but should not be used in a bathroom environment.