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Fixing of Central floor tile

Large tiles flooring example

Fixing of Dorset floor tile

Leveling Spacer System

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ALL ABOUT FIXING VIVES BY GROF TILES

The fixing of our ceramics and porcelain will depend on the finish, function and material, for which we have prepared for you different textual and multimedia material below for your easy understanding.

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How do you cut a tile?

To cut the tile precisely, you can use the following tools:

1. A manual tile cutter with a glass blade.

2. A tile cutter with a diamond jigsaw blade which is cooled down using water.

3. A low-powered tile cutter (500-700W) with a continuous diamond blade

To cut different shapes such as around columns, doors, etc. the following cutting machines can be used:

  1. A tile cutter with a diamond jigsaw blade which is cooled using water.
  2. A low-powered tile cutter (500-700W) with a continuous diamond blade (not segmented.)

What can I use to drill a hole in a porcelain tile?

To drill and make a hole in a porcelain tile, it is recommended that the tile is first correctly fixed. In order to achieve this, it is necessary that the drilling takes place at least 24 hours after the installation.

A special diamond drill is available on the market specifically designed for porcelain tiles. Electric drills are recommended with the hammer action turned off. You can check Vives’ video on cutting, drilling and manual smoothing for further information.

What is the least amount of adhesive required to stick new tiles over existing tiles?

The material thickness will depend on the teeth of the trowel used for this purpose; a general estimation would be 5mm. However, it must be taken into account that the adhesive manufacturer indicates the maximum thickness depending on the properties of the cement adhesive. Another point that would have to be discussed with the manufacturer is the fact of making the installation on an existing tile.

Is it possible to install a porcelain tile or gres outdoors over stamped concrete?

To install ceramic tiles over stamped concrete, first we must clarify that when a placement is made with the so called ‘thin layer’ it has to be made with cement adhesive and not with conventional mortar as the surface must be perfectly levelled. Usually, stamped concrete surfaces do not have the flatness required for this type of installation; perhaps because of the placement technique or the printed pattern itself, so using mortar to level the surface would be more appropriate. If it is levelled, It would be best to consult with the manufacturer of the glue the possibility of adherence to these sub-structure to ensure a correct installation.

What kind of material is best for under floor heating, gres red body floor tiles or porcelain tiles?

Gres red body tiles and porcelain tiles are materials with different heat transfer rates and different porosity but it is considered that to heat a house with under floor heating, there is no significant differences to choose one product or the other. It has to be noted however, when there is a variation in thickness from one to another as this will affect the heat transfer, the thicker the tile the slower the heat transfer will be.

Can you install under floor heating with a porcelain or ceramic tile?

Porcelain and ceramic material are perfectly apt to be used with under floor heating. The only thing that should be taken into account is that a grout joint of at least 1/16” is necessary for the installation.

Is the use of a joint-line necessary for a correct installation?

It is necessary to respect a minimum grout line of 1/16” between tiles and a greater joint is advisable for tiles which are medium and large size so they can absorb the structural tensions that take place between the substrate, the adhesive and the tile.

How should you grout a pre-cut or scored tile?

You should always grout a scored tile with the correct grout paste. This means using a specific grout and not an adhesive. As the name suggest with a scored tile, the incision does not go right through the tile and therefore using an adhesive for grouting would not be suitable and it would soon fall out. Having said this, Vives always recommends using grout and not adhesive to grout between tiles due to its better performance. The Vives’ Hanami tile is a perfect example of a pre-cut tile that would require grouting over each piece.

Does the thickness of a tile have any bearing on its installation?

Usually, the thickness of a tile does not have any bearing on the installation and the thickness itself is dictated principally by the actual size of the tile. Frequently, a larger tile has a greater thickness. It is worth highlighting that as a measure of caution, it is important to check the thicknesses when mixing tiles of different sizes. A minimum difference in thicknesses between different tiles would not affect a project if installed by an experienced fixer.

Can any adhesive be used with Porcelain tiles?

We recommend that you use an adhesive which has a high adherence, does not deteriorate, and resists any damage caused by water. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before installation.

Can you install a floor tile as a wall tile?

As a general rule, a floor tile can always be used on a floor or a wall.

Is it a good idea to resurface and level the substrate before fixing the tile?

It is practically always essential to resurface and level the substrate before fixing the tile with adhesive as the installation often requires little adhesive and due to this it doesn’t allow for irregularities behind the tile. If the substrate is the floor, an auto leveller can be used.

Can you install rectified tiles without a grout line?

It is not recommended to install rectified tiles without a grout line as the grout absorbs the stress movements once it is laid which will help to prevent the tile from chipping.

Can porcelain tiles be fixed with mortar?

Due to the fact that porcelain tiles have a very low water absorption rate, it is not viable to fix them with any kind of cement and sand as the tile does not absorb the water in these materials and therefore no mechanical fixing is possible causing the tile to remain loose.

Can I use black grout with a polished tile?

The use of black grout on a polished tile can darken the surface and sometimes it is impossible to clean it back to its initial state. However, it can be used with care and always following the grout manufacturer’s installation guide. You can see Vives’ Arue 24x48 polished tile installed with black grout in our KSS Bethesda store

What are expansion joints?

An expansion joint is used to subdivide tiles to relieve them from the structural stress that the tile and/or substrate will suffer caused by building movement.

Are there any recommendations when installing tile in an interlocked pattern?

We do not recommend interlocking the tiles by more than 15% of the length in order to avoid differences in levelling.

Can I install tiles on an outside terrace?

To install the tiles correctly, it is important that the substrate is stable and resistant and is slightly sloped to help water disperse. It is recommended to use a porcelain tile with a certain degree of anti-slip resistance. For the US it is required that a product achieves a DCOF coefficient of at least 0.42. Vives’ offers a wide variety of anti-slip products, including cement and wood look. The Vives’ Seine collection is a great example of a product suitable for terraces that comes in two different anti-slip grades depending on the requirements of each project.

How is a small tile installed and grouted?

To guarantee a correct installation and to facilitate cleaning of grout residues, it is recommended to use a product that can be used to fix and grout the tile at the same time.

How can I install large format tiles on an old existing floor?

Until now, to tile on a floor already tiled, it was necessary to pull up the old floor and level the substrate. This resulted in increased costs and took longer to install the new floor.

To avoid this, new cement adhesives are available (cement mixed with resins) which provide a perfect adherence for the new tiles on the older, existing ones.

How can I install a new tile on an old tile?

An adhesive that is guaranteed to adhere the tile to the existing tile is necessary. Ensure that the existing tiles are still well adhered to the substrate. Spread the adhesive in small amounts using a trowel with teeth of 6x6 to regulate the thickness of the adhesive. Fix and press the new tiles leaving a grout line of 1/16”. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours before grouting.

Can you place the ceramic material on a surface previously covered with plaster?

The placement of a wall tile on a support that has been plastered is viable but previously applying a product, which creates a film that prevents the plaster dust itself detaching, thereby preventing the falling of the gripping adhesive which would cause the detachment of the ceramic material.

How do you cut a tile?      

To cut the tile precisely, you can use the following tools:

1. A manual tile cutter with a glass blade.

2. A tile cutter with a diamond jigsaw blade which is cooled down using water.

3. A low-powered tile cutter (500-700W) with a continuous diamond blade

To cut different shapes such as around columns, doors, etc. the following cutting machines can be used:

  1. A tile cutter with a diamond jigsaw blade which is cooled using water.
  2. A low-powered tile cutter (500-700W) with a continuous diamond blade (not segmented.)

What can I use to drill a hole in a porcelain tile?     

To drill and make a hole in a porcelain tile, it is recommended that the tile is first correctly fixed. In order to achieve this, it is necessary that the drilling takes place at least 24 hours after the installation.

A special diamond drill is available on the market specifically designed for porcelain tiles. Electric drills are recommended with the hammer action turned off. You can check Vives’ video on cutting, drilling and manual smoothing for further information.

What is the least amount of adhesive required to stick new tiles over existing tiles?

The material thickness will depend on the teeth of the trowel used for this purpose; a general estimation would be 5mm. However, it must be taken into account that the adhesive manufacturer indicates the maximum thickness depending on the properties of the cement adhesive. Another point that would have to be discussed with the manufacturer is the fact of making the installation on an existing tile.

Is it possible to install a porcelain tile or gres outdoors over stamped concrete?

To install ceramic tiles over stamped concrete, first we must clarify that when a placement is made with the so called ‘thin layer’ it has to be made with cement adhesive and not with conventional mortar as the surface must be perfectly levelled. Usually, stamped concrete surfaces do not have the flatness required for this type of installation; perhaps because of the placement technique or the printed pattern itself, so using mortar to level the surface would be more appropriate. If it is levelled, It would be best to consult with the manufacturer of the glue the possibility of adherence to these sub-structure to ensure a correct installation.

What kind of material is best for under floor heating, gres red body floor tiles or porcelain tiles?

Gres red body tiles and porcelain tiles are materials with different heat transfer rates and different porosity but it is considered that to heat a house with under floor heating, there is no significant differences to choose one product or the other. It has to be noted however, when there is a variation in thickness from one to another as this will affect the heat transfer, the thicker the tile the slower the heat transfer will be.

Can you install under floor heating with a porcelain or ceramic tile?

Porcelain and ceramic material are perfectly apt to be used with under floor heating. The only thing that should be taken into account is that a grout joint of at least 1/16” is necessary for the installation.

Is the use of a joint-line necessary for a correct installation?

It is necessary to respect a minimum grout line of 1/16” between tiles and a greater joint is advisable for tiles which are medium and large size so they can absorb the structural tensions that take place between the substrate, the adhesive and the tile.

How should you grout a pre-cut or scored tile?

You should always grout a scored tile with the correct grout paste. This means using a specific grout and not an adhesive. As the name suggest with a scored tile, the incision does not go right through the tile and therefore using an adhesive for grouting would not be suitable and it would soon fall out. Having said this, Vives always recommends using grout and not adhesive to grout between tiles due to its better performance. The Vives’ Hanami tile is a perfect example of a pre-cut tile that would require grouting over each piece.

Does the thickness of a tile have any bearing on its installation?

Usually, the thickness of a tile does not have any bearing on the installation and the thickness itself is dictated principally by the actual size of the tile. Frequently, a larger tile has a greater thickness. It is worth highlighting that as a measure of caution, it is important to check the thicknesses when mixing tiles of different sizes. A minimum difference in thicknesses between different tiles would not affect a project if installed by an experienced fixer.

Can any adhesive be used with Porcelain tiles?

We recommend that you use an adhesive which has a high adherence, does not deteriorate, and resists any damage caused by water. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before installation.

Can you install a floor tile as a wall tile?

As a general rule, a floor tile can always be used on a floor or a wall.

Is it a good idea to resurface and level the substrate before fixing the tile?

It is practically always essential to resurface and level the substrate before fixing the tile with adhesive as the installation often requires little adhesive and due to this it doesn’t allow for irregularities behind the tile. If the substrate is the floor, an auto leveller can be used.

Can you install rectified tiles without a grout line?

It is not recommended to install rectified tiles without a grout line as the grout absorbs the stress movements once it is laid which will help to prevent the tile from chipping.

Can porcelain tiles be fixed with mortar?

Due to the fact that porcelain tiles have a very low water absorption rate, it is not viable to fix them with any kind of cement and sand as the tile does not absorb the water in these materials and therefore no mechanical fixing is possible causing the tile to remain loose.

Can I use black grout with a polished tile?

The use of black grout on a polished tile can darken the surface and sometimes it is impossible to clean it back to its initial state. However, it can be used with care and always following the grout manufacturer’s installation guide. You can see Vives’ Arue 24x48 polished tile installed with black grout in our KSS Bethesda store

What are expansion joints?

An expansion joint is used to subdivide tiles to relieve them from the structural stress that the tile and/or substrate will suffer caused by building movement.

Are there any recommendations when installing tile in an interlocked pattern?

We do not recommend interlocking the tiles by more than 15% of the length in order to avoid differences in levelling.

Can I install tiles on an outside terrace?

To install the tiles correctly, it is important that the substrate is stable and resistant and is slightly sloped to help water disperse. It is recommended to use a porcelain tile with a certain degree of anti-slip resistance. For the US it is required that a product achieves a DCOF coefficient of at least 0.42. Vives’ offers a wide variety of anti-slip products, including cement and wood look. The Vives’ Seine collection is a great example of a product suitable for terraces that comes in two different anti-slip grades depending on the requirements of each project.

How is a small tile installed and grouted?      

To guarantee a correct installation and to facilitate cleaning of grout residues, it is recommended to use a product that can be used to fix and grout the tile at the same time.

How can I install large format tiles on an old existing floor?

Until now, to install a tile on a floor already tiled, it was necessary to pull up the old floor and level the substrate. This resulted in increased costs and took longer to install the new floor.

To avoid this, new cement adhesives are available (cement mixed with resins) which provide a perfect adherence for the new tiles on the older, existing ones.

How can I install a new tile on an old tile?

An adhesive that is guaranteed to adhere the tile to the existing tile is necessary. Ensure that the existing tiles are still well adhered to the substrate. Spread the adhesive in small amounts using a trowel with teeth of 6x6 to regulate the thickness of the adhesive. Fix and press the new tiles leaving a grout line of 1/16”. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours before grouting.

Can you place the ceramic material on a surface previously covered with plaster?

The placement of a wall tile on a support that has been plastered is viable but previously applying a product, which creates a film that prevents the plaster dust itself detaching, thereby preventing the falling of the gripping adhesive which would cause the detachment of the ceramic material.

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Is it possible to repair the surface of a damaged or worn-out ceramic tile?

Once the glaze of a ceramic or porcelain tile has been damaged, it is not possible to repair. The only alternative is to replace the damaged tile for a new one. However, there are options such as full-body tiles that can dissimulate this damage since the body and the glaze are very similar. Vives’ Seine collection is a great example of a full-body tile with a wide variety of deco tiles to combine with.

Do high polished tiles scratch?

As they are highly polished, they are more susceptible to scratches and due to this they are recommended for domestic use. They should therefore be protected throughout their installation and afterwards once installed. Vives’ offers a well curated polished tile collection named Marble·lous.

What do I need to clean Porcelain tiles with?

Cleaning of tiles is simple as they can be cleaned with a mix of clean water with an alkaline-based detergent.

Can a porcelain tile be polished once it has been fixed?

Once the porcelain tile has been fixed, it is not possible to polish its surface.

Is it recommended to use a hydrochloric acid-based cement remover to clean any cement residues?


No. Many chemical cleaning manufacturers now produce stain-removers and cement-removers which are produced from other chemicals (organic acids) so that any residue can be cleaned without any problems.

Hydrochloric acid-based cement remover can damage the metals that are used on the tile. Hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid are so strong that they can damage any kind of ceramic product.

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What does "SPR" mean?

The acronyms come from Rectified Semi-Polished, and it is used for those porcelain tiles that have a satin or semi-gloss effect on their surfaces with the rectified edges to minimize the joints.

What is a Porcelain tile?

Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles made using high technological glazes which make it the best choice for demanding environments. They have a water absorption rate which is less than 0.5% which make them perfectly suited for exterior environments as they are frost resistant.

What properties do Porcelain tiles have?

Porcelain tiles have technical characteristics (hardness, frost resistance, resistance to pedestrian ware, resistance to cleaning products…) which make them more versatile than other tiles.

Where can I install Porcelain tiles?

Due to their technical qualities, porcelain tiles can be used on the floor as well as the wall, in interior environments as well as exterior environments.

Is it possible to place a porcelain tile like high ground?

Placing porcelain tile for raised floors is perfectly viable. Porcelain flooring provide a wider range of designs in terms of aesthetics that other types of materials cant.

Is additional treatment necessary for porcelain tiles to be able to be used as a raised floor indoors?

For this type of placement, the ceramic material must have an additional treatment to give the product a greater thickness, which translates into an increase in strength and a significant improvement in its acoustic properties. The treatment can consist of a calcium sulphate panel or an agglomerate. A perimeter edging pvc is added in the process in order to help place the material on its elevated structure.

What finishes does a Porcelain tile have?

Vives’ porcelain tiles are available in a natural finish, rectified, semi-polished and polished finishes.

What is the resistance of abrasion rating (PEI Rating)?

Abrasion on the tile is caused by the friction created by the sole of a shoe (or tyre) coming into contact with abrasive dirt particles (such as sand, soil etc.) on the tile’s surface.

Resistance to surface abrasion is very important for floor tiles that are subject to the transit of people or vehicles. However, it is not important with wall tiles as they do not come into contact with this kind of stress.

The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) method is used to determine the resistance to abrasion with all kinds of glazed tiles used for flooring. You can find this information on each of Vives’ products on their datasheet which you can directly download from Vivesbygrof.com.

PEI 0

Glazed tiles in this class are wall tiles only and not recommended for use on floors

PEI 1

Floor coverings in areas which are walked on, essentially with soft-soled footwear or bare feet without scratching dirt (for example residential bathrooms and bedrooms without direct access from the outside).

PEI 2

Floor coverings in areas which are walked on by soft-soled or normal footwear, with, at the most, occasional small amounts of scratching dirt (for example rooms in the living areas of homes, but with the exception of kitchens, entrances and other rooms which can have a lot of traffic). This does not apply to abnormal footwear, for example hobnailed boots.

PEI 3

Floor coverings in areas which, with normal footwear, are walked on more often with small amounts of scratching dirt (for example residential kitchens, halls, corridors, balconies, loggias and terraces). This does not apply to abnormal footwear, for example hobnailed boots.

PEI 4

Floor coverings which are walked on by regular traffic with some scratching dirt so that the conditions are more severe than class 3 (for example entrances, commercial kitchens, hotel, exhibition and sale rooms).

PEI 5

Floor coverings which are subjected to severe pedestrian traffic over sustained periods with some scratching dirt, so that the conditions are the most severe for which glazed floor tiles are to be suitable (for example public areas, such as shopping centres, airport concourses, hotel foyers, public walkways and industrial applications)

What is Stains Resistance?

This is related to the cleaning of stains on the tiles and depends on the type of glaze that has been used.

Classification of the tiles is according to how easily can the tile be cleaned.

  • Class 5: The tile can be cleaned with hot water.
  • Class 4: The tile can be cleaned with normal detergent (PH6,5-7,5) and water.
  • Class 3: The tile can be cleaned with detergent (PH 9-10) and water.
  • Class 2: The tile can be cleaned with special products.
  • Class 1: The tile cannot be cleaned.

You can find this information on each of Vives’ products on their datasheet which you can directly download from Vivesbygrof.com.

What is the water absorption level?

All ceramic tiles absorb water. The less porous the tile, the less water that can be absorbed and the better technical characteristics it has. The following classification is used to classify ceramic tiles and absorption rates.

Group Classification of water absorption (%):

  • BIa from 0 to 0,5% 

  • BIb from 0,5 to 3,0%
  • BIII greater than 10,0%

What does shade variation mean?

It is a product that has many different shades which are part of the design.

What is a glazed floor tile?

A glazed stoneware floor tile is a ceramic product with a low water absorption rate, with one side that is glazed. It is perfectly suited for interior floors.

What is a glazed wall tile?

It is a ceramic tile with a high-water absorption level and with one side that is glazed. It is perfectly suited to indoor walls.

What is the difference between red or white biscuit?

Originally the colour of the biscuit depended on the origin of the clay. The clay mines with iron oxide components are located close to the areas where the ceramic industry cluster is (in Castellon, Spain). These components give the reddish colour. In other countries, clay has components such as kaolin, feldspar, etc., that give it its white colour. Due to globalization the manufacturers had easy access to the various clays using each according to their own judgment. The use of different types of clay is determined by the production process of each manufacturer, with the majority mainly choosing white body products for large format and red biscuit for medium to small format tiles. Both have very similar technical characteristics and are only distinguished by aesthetic finishes decided for each of the models.

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

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What is the Kyoto Protocol?

Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997 when the International Community became aware of the importance of the climate change and its relation with greenhouse gas emissions. Developed countries intended to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Kyoto protocol created a range of tools to ensure the fulfilment of the agreements, such us the emission trading. Through the Directive 2003/87/CE of the European Parliament establish the European Emission Trading Scheme, Law 1/2005 of 9th march in the Spanish Legislation.

How do we control emissions?

VIVES performs periodic official controls in all its emission points (atomisation machines, dryers, kilns, dust depuration filters) and voluntary inspections by accredited organisms to certify the fulfilment of the environmental legislation. You can obtain further information on our environmental policies on this link.

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