Italian ceramics: install your dreams | by Simone Ricci
Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with Assoposa has created a series of 5 short clips on large formats, which provide useful tips for safe installation. This series of videos is added to “XXL Tiles, the future is now“.
Packaging and transport
400 million square metres of tiles are produced in Italy each year: 350 million sqm. are porcelain tiles and one third of these are large-size tiles. They are packaged horizontally in dedicated wooden crates or upright on racks. The crates are offloaded using forklift trucks with extended forks or extra-wide forks. The corners must be aligned with the toothed plate connectors on the crate below. The crates are secured to the vehicle for safe transport.
Cleaning off packaging residues. The tile is removed from the crate using bars with vacuum suction cups. A 120×240 cm tile with a thickness of 10 mm weighs around 80 kg. Maximum load 25 kg per person. The tile is carried up to the floor of the building using a frame with suction cups. Tile corner protectors. Trolleys for tiles of various sizes.
Score-and-snap cutting using a cutting guide. Suitable pliers are chosen according to the tile thickness. Cutting can also be performed using a wet angle grinder. 45° angled cuts can be performed even on 2 cm thick tiles. Cutting a circular hole using hole saws of various diameters. Cutting a square hole: round holes must first be cut out at each corner.
Adhesive and Grouting
The substrate must be clean and flat. It’s advisable to apply a crack isolation membrane. Ceramic or magnesium dust is removed from the back of the tile using a sponge and a solution of water and acid cleaner. Adhesive is applied to both the substrate and the back of the tile. Movements for perfect bonding. Clip and wedge levelling spacers or screw type levelling spacers. The spacers are removed using a rubber mallet. Grouting with a rubber grout float. Sponge float to remove excess grout. The grout is allowed to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions prior to final cleaning.
Packaging residues are cleaned off before removing the tile from the crate. The substrate is cleaned prior to installation. Removing the levelling spacers. Excess grout is removed using a sponge float and if necessary an instant cleaning product. Post-installation cleaning with a single-brush machine and suitable cleaning agents.