Ceramic laminate tile fitting process

The process used to fit Absolut ceramic laminate tiles is based on the materials and fitting technology for ceramic tiles. Therefore, a professional tiler with training and experience should be responsible for fitting them by adapting the fitting technique to the characteristics and dimensions of ceramic laminate tiles.

In order to create a quality technical finish and appearance with ceramic laminate tiles, you must carry out the fitting process appropriately in accordance with these instructions:

1. Cleaning ceramic laminate tiles

It is a good idea first to clean the back of the tiles to remove any material left over during manufacture and rectification.

If they are supplied with fibre on the back, cleaning is essential in order to remove traces of adhesives and other materials. They can form a surface layer that makes it harde for the laminate tiles to stick.

2. Applying adhesive to the support

First apply the adhesive to the fitting surface. The adhesive should first be spread on the flat part of the trowel and then brushed in a straight line, perpendicular to the previously placed laminate tile. An 8 mm trowel is generally recommended.

It is very important to carry out this operation in as short a time as possible in order to avoid exceeding the adhesive’s maximum open time. Remember that the surface area of a single unit of ceramic laminate tile is 3.12 m2

3. Double gluing method

Secondly, apply the adhesive to the back of the ceramic laminate tile for double gluing. This can be carried out with the smooth part of the trowel so that the entire back of the ceramic laminate tile is covered with a thin layer of adhesive. If necessary, double gluing can be applied with a 3 mm notched trowel.

The application of double gluing must not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended thickness for the adhesive layer.

The double gluing method must be applied when fitting ceramic laminate tiles in order to optimise the moistness of the back of the tile and create a homogeneous contact on the entirety of the surface with a thin layer of well-compacted adhesive.

4. Placement of ceramic laminate tiles

Place the laminate tile after gluing the support and the back of the ceramic laminate tile, within the adhesive’s open time.

You must first show that there is no obstacle preventing correct handling of the tile from the work table to its final position.

This operation must be carried out by a team of at least two fitters.
Remember that a ceramic laminate tile has a total weight of 45 kg plus the weight of the double gluing adhesive.

Handling of the laminate tile on the work table can be performed manually or with an appropriate frame with suction cups.

Coordinated work by the team of fitters is important in order to place the laminate tile as closely as possible to its final position. This minimises the possibility of having to correct or readjust the unit.

5. After placement of ceramic laminate tiles

Once the unit has been placed and the adhesive is still fresh, laminate tile can be knocked to adjust it to its final position and ensure the adhesive is well compacted. Rubber floats should be used to do this, not rubber mallets.

Once the laminate tile is in its final position, the separation from the adjoining piece is adjusted with spacers.

Excess adhesive must be cleaned off the installation joints before the adhesive sets.

The adhesive must be protected from quick drying and damp.

6. Use of levelling systems

To correctly fit ceramic laminate tiles levelling systems must be used to help achieve an optimal flatness and finish and prevent tiles from jutting out, differences in level or gradient differences between units.

Bear in mind that levelling systems are used and applied by exerting pressure on adjoining ceramic laminate tiles during the fitting process while the adhesive is setting. So you must take precautions to prevent the force exerted from having a negative effect on the adherence.

Once you have the ceramic laminate tile properly positioned and compacted in its final position, insert the levelling system’s bases with the separation indicated by the manufacturer.

That is the moment also to fit the wedges in the join between the laminate tile just fitted and the previous one.

It is essential to apply the levelling system to each fitted ceramic laminate tile within the rectification or touching up time indicated by the manufacturer of the adhesives to prevent it from having a negative effect on the adhesive bond.

It is advisable to wait as long as possible before you remove the levelling system.

It is important to state once more that use of a levelling system is no substitute for using spacers or dividers between laminate tiles. They are different devices with different functions and must both be used.

7. Grouting process

Grouting is extremely important for the end result of ceramic laminate tiling in terms of both technical aspects and how well it looks.
Grouting must be performed using materials specifically developed for that purpose, as defined and classified in the UNE EN 13888 standard.

It is recommended to wait as long as possible before grouting the tiles. Due to the format of ceramic laminate tiles, there are few installation joints, so the adhesive needs longer to set properly.

The installation joints must be dry, clean of material and empty before sealing.

Apply grout in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Grout must be spread with a suitable rubber float. Fill in the joints to their full depth with diagonal motions in relation to the pattern of joints.

You must wait the length of time stated by the manufacturer before beginning the first cleaning operation, which must be performed with a damp sponge diagonally to the joints.