SOLI Handmade Terra Cotta tiles are designed for almost any indoor/outdoor commercial and residential application, including floors, walls, patios and more.
All substrates should be firmly fixed, flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants such as dust, oil, paint, sealers etc. to ensure proper adhesion. Painted surfaces must be scuffed or sanded for the product and adhesive to bond correctly. Wet areas need special attention and require appropriate substrates, e.g. concrete, cement boards (compressed sheet), and/or treated plywood.
The use of reinforced waterproof membranes is suggested, and in the case of installation where drainage is required (i.e., shower floor pans or spas), there should be a slope-to-drain ratio of at least 1/2 inch per foot. Waterproof membranes prevent leakage of water through to the sub-floor framing and/or habitable spaces below. Particular attention must be paid to carrying the membrane up the wall, outside shower boxes, installation of bond breakers and sealing around penetrations. It is strongly recommended that membrane systems be used in all wet areas. Some systems involve the use of a primer.
Terra cotta tile can be easily cut with a wet saw.
Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions carefully. We do not recommend one brand of adhesive over another. Please check with your local tile supply store for alternative and comparable products. The manufacturer's literature will explain if the adhesive product is suitable for interiors and/or exteriors, as well as walls and floors. Most thinset mortars (multi purpose and polymer modified thinsets) are adequate for terra cotta tile. A cement-based adhesive is generally suitable on masonry substrates where no movement is anticipated.
Where slight movement could occur through thermal or pedestrian loads, a modified cement adhesive should be used as a minimum. A 1/4" – 1/8" notch trowel is recommended for most applications. It is important that each tile is embedded in the adhesive. To guarantee full adhesion, we recommend applying adhesive to the back of the tile (back-buttering) in addition to the surface the tile is being applied to.
Many handmade tiles are not completely flat. That's when you need to "back butter" the tiles individually. Spread the adhesive on the back of the tile with a notched trowel. If the tile is too small you can also use a margin trowel to spread the adhesive and scratch in notches with the edge of the trowel. Set the tile, giving it a little twist to insure good contact with the underlayment.
Allow tiles to sit for at least 24 to 48 hours if possible before grouting the surface.
Grout should be suitable for joints up to 3/4“ in width and designed for external or internal conditions whichever may be the case. Sanded grout is generally recommended for any grout joint larger than 3/16". It is important to wait the interval recommended by the adhesive manufacturer before grouting to minimize dirt ingress between the tiles and avoid the opportunity for dislodging of the tiles.
To bring your application to its full potential, we strongly suggest sealing BEFORE installation and AFTER grouting. Due to the porosity of this product, multiple applications will be necessary. There are various products available on the market, however, we recommend contacting your nearest tile supplier for the most appropriate sealer for your application. Whenever using sealants, please ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended method of application.
Care & Cleaning
SOLI Handmade Terra Cotta tiles must be regularly cleaned and maintained to extend the life and beauty of the tile. The tiles can be cleaned with a neutral mild detergent. For tiles in high traffic areas keep surfaces clean from abrasive dirt. Do not use abrasive cleaners, powders, scouring pads, steel wool or sandpaper. Do not let soap, bleach or other cleaning solutions set on the surface.