20mm Porcelain Installation
Porcelain Tiles with a thickness of 20mm guarantee a high resistance to stress and loads. They are Frost-proof, resistant to chemicals and atmospheric agents, easy to clean, making them an ideal choice for residential and commercial outdoor spaces and colour match your internal tiles.
The major benefits of porcelain paving are as follows:
20mm Porcelain has revolutionised the use of porcelain for outdoor flooring – from residential outdoor living areas to large commercial areas that are subjected to very heavy pedestrian foot traffic, porcelain can handle just about anything with multiple install options available to suit all installation demands
2. Easy to Maintain
High porosity leads to dirt and staining. Our porcelain tiling and paving products have a porosity level of almost zero (< 0.05%). This means no sealer* – and, therefore, minimal maintenance – is required. Our paving slabs and tiles do not stain because they do not allow moisture into the material, so all that’s required is a wash with warm soapy water once a year to remove any debris and organic matter (grass, soil, leaves, etc.) from the surface. If used indoors, your porcelain tiles should be mopped over on a weekly basis to keep them pristine. For stubborn dirt both organic and non organic a number of product are now available please see below File range of products.
2. Indistinguishable from Natural Stone
The latest advances in porcelain manufacturing techniques have enabled the production of porcelain materials that are indistinguishable from natural stone. This technology allows us to emulate the characteristics of natural stone (colour shading, veining, etc.) but with none of the drawbacks or maintenance requirements . The high-quality reproduction is converted into numerous variations of each design to avoid the repetition that’s commonly seen in standard ceramic tiles.
3. Unrivalled Quality and Aesthetic Beauty
The materials used to create our porcelain products are of an exceptionally high quality, with an aesthetic beauty that’s indistinguishable from natural stone.
5. Slip Resistant
Our porcelain tiles are all anti slip (Min R11).
6. Fade Resistant
Porcelain materials resist colour fade caused by UV. As all the raw materials are fired at at 1200°C, it is not affected by the sun’s UV or normal weathering and the colour will resist fading.
7. Stain Resistant
Because our porcelain paving is virtually non-porous, all spillages remain on the surface and do not soak into the product. All spillages can simply be mopped up, leaving no visible staining.
Porcelain is highly frost resistant. Porcelain can tolerate sub zero temperatures, and this important quality makes it an ideal solution for external applications such as patios, swimming pools and hard landscaping in cold climates.
You also have the versatility of several fixing methods on the outside area meaning there is now no reason to not install the beautiful looking ranges available in 20mm Porcelain.
The very simple rule of installing external porcelain tiles is to consider, application, final usage and post install cleaning/ remove any residue as you progress your project.
1. Dry Installation on Grass
For gardens and green areas, this type of installation makes it possible to create pathways and add a personal, stylish touch to common areas. The installation procedure consists of preparations of the bed and application of a layer of gravel, on to which the slabs of 20mm will be placed. The gravel bed grants more stability and compensates for any differences in level. It is recommended to leave an enough gap between the slabs to allow grass to grow through.
2. Tile adhesive onto a solid base (Conventional Install)
Essentially this method is the same as internal tiling and can be used for patios and driveways. It does require the concrete base to be fully cured and expansion joints will need to be added where necessary. It’s easy to achieve a level and even surface with a solid base but keep in mind that falls will need to be added to help rain water drain away. Ensure you are using a polymer modified cement-based adhesive that is suitable for external use. On a solid base you can install rectified porcelain paving with a narrow joint for a semi-seamless finish.
- Solid concrete base with suitable adhesive and grout
- Suitable for patios and driveways
3. Wet bed onto prepared sub-base
This method is favoured by landscapers and paving installers, however it does require some extra steps when used with porcelain. Because the tiles are vitrified it makes the material non-porous so it will not adhere to a traditional wet bed. With this method on installation we recommend using a primer to the underside of the tiles. If using a primer you need to be very careful to remove this from the surface and sides of the tile immediately. Check falls throughout installation and adjust by tapping the tiles with a rubber mallet. Care must be taken to avoid any voids beneath the tiles as residual moisture can collect and has nowhere to escape.
- Sand and cement bed with added primer
- Suitable for patios
4. Raised Installation on supports
Easy to install and immediately transitable, raised installation creates an underlying gap between the upper surface and the substrate that can be easily inspected, this allows for effective water drainage and offers space for electrical equipment and plumbing facilities.
- Count the total number of full pavers required for the desired area.
- Count the total number of perimeter pavers.
- Take the total number of perimeter pavers and divide by 2.
- Now add the divided number of perimeter pavers with the total number of pavers.
- Factor in 5% wastage
- You now have the estimated number of pedestals required for your project.
- Please note this is an estimate only for a simple rectangular install and addition support may be required depending on the dimensions of your paver.
Please discuss your installation options with your Landscaper/ Ground Worker before attempting any install and for balcony roof top installation please seek guidance on the latest building regulations
Handling 20mm Porcelain
Porcelain Paving needs to be handled with care. This is a heavy product each tile can weigh between 16 & 32 kg size dependant the product will generally arrive on pallets and each pallet can weigh up to 1 tonne. Multiple handling will increase the chance of damages so care and consideration should be given to handling the paving.
Cutting 20mm Porcelain
Firstly 20mm porcelain is an extremely hard material fired at 1200 degrees it is manufactured to with stand heavy loads, provide durability and increase aesthetic appeal for your outdoor space. It is essential you use the correct equipment to cut and fabricate this material. Using the correct equipment will mean you can cut the porcelain paving just as you would natural stone and concrete. Please also ensure you have the correct safety equipment available before you commence any cutting:
Firstly we for straight simple cuts we advise a bench saw which is ideal for straight cuts on any project alternatively a petrol driven cut off saw with a water filled dust suppression tank. We dont advise angle grinders for large cuts.
Continuous rim diamond cut blade is the only blade that we recommend for cutting porcelain paving we do not recommend a segmented diamond tip blade for cutting 20mm porcelain.
We only recommend a bench saw with a diamond blade should be used to cut 20mm porcelain tiles for example the Raimondi ZOE 150 or Rubi DC-250 850 Wet Tile Saw or tools of a similar standard all of which can be sourced from many tool hire outlets. We do not recommend over reliance on hand tools for cutting 20mm porcelain due to the gyroscopic effect that may be caused by the spinning blade.
External porcelain paving is a very hard material the high tensile strength of external porcelain means it is very important that the correct cutter and blade are used to avoid damages of both the tiles and cutting blade.
Incorrect cutting or the incorrect equipment usage will mean the tiles are damaged or being to crack.
Porcelain tiles are UV, scratch, stain and thermal-shock resistant and 100% non-porous and therefore do not require sealing products however some clients opt to seal the products but this is optional only . But while porcelain tiles are non-absorbent and stain resistant, the grout that surrounds the tile may not be. Cement based grout is a porous product that can absorb water and stain. We therefore advise that all cement based grout joints are protected using a dedicated grout sealer.
Porcelain paving is an extremely strong and durable material with extremely low levels of water absorption and post-laying cleaning is critical. Inadequate removal of the grouting used on the joints can leave marks that are difficult to remove and creates a cement film that can absorb all types of dirt, giving the impression that the tile surface has a residue or become dirty.
To remove cement based grouts, wash the floor with specialist cleaning detergent which is aimed at removing excess grout residue, post-application deposits and building grime. Always follow the manufacturers instructions.
General cleaning of porcelain tiles is a relatively simple process. Regular cleaning is the best way of preventing a build-up of dirt and unsightly stains. This can be accomplished with a simple sweep followed by mopping sparingly with warm water.
For more stubborn dirt or pre installation or post installation maintenance several products to help maintain porcelain tiles :
FILA – END OF WORK CLEANING for non organic dirt ( Grout – Adhesive etc)
FILA – PS87 – for organic dirt
FILA – CLEANER PRO – for general cleaning and maintenance
FILA – STOP DIRT – for post install cleaning and sealing
FILA – FUGANET/FUGA PROOF for grouting
Porcelain cladding/ wall tile
The following is an overview and relates to low level domestic / residential installations not exceeding 3m in height. This guide should not be used for XL format porcelain cladding or commercial installations.
The use of porcelain wall tiles or cladding tiles to create dramatic backdrops or refresh a old and tired wall or to simplify compliment the use of 20mm porcelain has increased over the last few years. Just like the benefits of using 20mm porcelain paving to create stunning external spaces porcelain cladding/ wall tiles have many additional benefits over alternative external decorative materials such as:
- Frost Proof
- Minimimal Maintenance
- Simple to Install
- Replicates natural stone
If you are tiling an external wall then firstly the product must be porcelain, ceramic tiles are generally not suitable for outdoor usage. Then you need to ensure that the substrate you are fixing the tiles to is suitable. Brick walls are fine but you must make sure that they are level and will bear the load of the tiles you are facing them to.
Priming is essential where absorption needs to be reduced on surfaces such as render, plywood, plaster, and sand:cement screeds. A number of adhesives are available for external wall applications such as Mapei Keraquick and also remember your grouting needed to adapt to the ever changing British Weather and again Mapei offer a number of products within the Mapei Ultra Colour Plus range. However in addition to Mapei a number of alternatives are now available on the market and the most important aspects to remember when tiling a external wall are:
- Ensure the substrate is suitable
- Priming the surface may be required
- Use a S1 cementeious adhesive
- Rapid setting grout suitable for exterior use