Your installation requirements will vary depending on the specific product and application. However, these basics are common to all successful installations.
Experienced installer – it is a good idea to confirm with the contractor’s licensing board that your installers holds a current license and to review any complaints. Make sure that the installer has experience installing ARTO tiles or similar materials. ARTO tiles are handmade and will be thicker and have more variation than machine made ceramic or porcelain tiles, for example. An installer who specializes in terra cotta or natural stone for high end residences will do a better job than one who typically intalls machine made tiles for commercial installations
Appropriate substrate – the substrate is the horizontal or vertical surface to which your tiles are attached, pavers laid, and so forth. The substrate must be appropriate and properly prepared for the products installed above it. For instance, concrete slabs must be properly cured and rough enough in order to ensure solid bonding. Wood framed floors should be rigid enough to avoid excessive deflection (bouncing) that can lead to cracking and debonding.
Quality materials – all materials used should meet industry standards like ANSI A118 for mortars, grouts, and membranes. Do not use lower grade materials from big box home improvement stores – the same sealer bought there may be different from the one sold at a tile dealer or building materials yard.
Follow directions – even the highest quality materials will fail if they are not properly installed. Make sure to carefully read and follow manufacturer’s directions for grout, mortar, membranes, sealers, and any other products used. Feel free to contact ARTO for guidance if there are any conflicts with our installation recommendations.
Proper sealing – all ARTO concrete tiles require sealing and it is optional for unglazed terracotta tiles. Sealing well with a good quality penetrating or topical sealer will minimize staining and ease clean up. Tiles can be resealed over time but a high quality seal gets the installation off to a great start. Make sure the installer understands your expectations regarding which sealer should be used
Maintain properly – do not use harsh chemicals, abrasion, or power washing to clean tiles, pavers, and brick veneer. Clean regularly using pH-neutral cleanser and water. Test all products first on a loose piece or small unobtrusive area to ensure results are as desired. Use chair glides to minimize scratching on floors.