Prepare your surface by filling in any holes or areas that will prohibit you from laying tile. It is advised that the surface is clean of debris and be flat.
Talavera tile can be installed on virtually any surface such as drywall, cement, plaster and the like.
Lay out your Talavera tile design. Find the center of your surface. Dry fit the first row of your design starting at the center and working your way out. It may take a few tries to line up your tiles just right. A dry run will allow mistakes without wasting product.
If it helps you can use a carpenter’s line or a caulk line to layout your lines. This will allow you to work quickly without having to guess where your lines are to match up.
Starting at the center on the side of your chalk line, apply a coat of thin-set. Be careful not to cover your chalk lines. Spread the thin-set with a trowel for an even coverage. Be sure to use a trowel with ridges. This allows for the perfect amount of adhesive.
Press your Talavera tiles down firmly and twist it to make sure that the adhesive sticks well.
Please note that Talavera tiles can vary from ¼” from tile to tile. This is normal of any handmade tile.
When you find that you need to cut or trim a piece of Talavera tile, it is advised that you use a wet saw. This will prevent chips, cracks and unnecessary breaks to your tiles. If you do have slight edge chipping, your grout will cover it up.
If you need a little off a tile, you can use a tool for “nipping”. This also is a great tool for cutting shapes or curves to go around fixtures.
After your Talavera tile is installed, let it sit at least overnight.
Now you are ready for grouting your Talavera tile. Depending on the width of your tile spacing, you will either choose a sanded or un-sanded grout. If your spacing is more than 1/8”, you should use a sanded grout. Sanded grout allows for a stronger holding grout.
If you have used a dark grout on your Talavera tile, the grout will amplify any craze lines.
If you are using Talavera Tile in your bathroom, outside or your kitchen, please remember to use a grout that has waterproofing agents. You may also need to seal your grout lines with a sealant.
Using a rubber trowel, work in small areas at a time applying the grout. Make certain that you work the grout deep into the grout lines. Use warm clean water to wipe excess grout clean.
Let the grout dry for about 30 minutes. Then go back and with new clean warm water wipe down your areas. Making sure that all residues are cleaned. This may take a few times.
With a dry clean cloth, polish the “grout haze” away with a buffing motion.
Remember to use a silicon caulk to seal edges of kitchen and bathroom areas to prevent mildew or other water damage.
Sealing Your Tile and Grout:
Sealing is done to strengthen tile or grout's defenses against dirt, spills, and erosion.
Penetrating and topical are the most common sealers. Topical sealers only seal the top layer of the tile grout, and are effective at keeping tile grout clean, but only until foot traffic wears the sealer off the surface. Penetrating sealer seals all of the tile grout. They are more expensive, but will keep tile grout looking good longer.
Each sealer is applied differently. Follow the manufacturer's
instructions. Pay particular attention to the amount of time the tile
grout must be allowed to cure before the sealer can be applied.
"Mex Seal" is designed primarily as an overcoat (topical) sealer for softer tiles: Mexican saltillo, clay and cement tiles. It is a very durable product, eliminates the need to constantly reseal.
For more information, visit sparkssw.com.
How To Maintain Talavera Tile:
Once Talavera tile is properly installed, it is quite easy to maintain.
For routine cleaning of Talavera tile use a mild cleaner and water. Never use abrasive cleaners or bleaches because they will wear down the glaze of the tiles.
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