How to install gypsum and concrete tiles? A step-by-step instruction

The Incana tiles – both gypsum and concrete ones – are designed for self-installation. In order to achieve the best possible result, both the wall and the tiles must be properly prepared. The following is a detailed installation manual. 

Before starting work, select and buy the right number of tiles, an adhesive (frost resistant for tiles to be installed outside), a primer, and a grout (if necessary). You should also prepare the necessary tools, including:

– a level, 

– a notched trowel, 

– a diamond blade for cutting concrete or a wood saw for cutting gypsum tiles,  – a wire brush. 

What to keep in mind before you start installing gypsum and concrete tiles?

To find out how many tiles you need to buy, you can use a special calculator that can be found next to the description of each tile range on the Incana website. All you need to enter is the wall area in meters square and possibly the length of the corner in running meters. 
You need to buy 10% more material than results from your measurements and calculations.

The surface on which the decorative tiles are to be placed should be properly prepared. The substrate should be dry, free of dust, dirt, oils, fats, and grease. The wall should also be primed. The Incana Primer  for paints, plasters, wallpapers, screeds, self-levelling floors, tile adhesives and putty improves their adhesion. It levels and reduces the absorbency of the primed substrate and protects it from the harmful effects of moisture. Thanks to its high penetration capacity, it penetrates the old and absorbent substrates, which have lost their original properties over time, and strengthens them.

Immediately before installation, it is advisable to place the tiles on the floor to arrive at the desired layout and adjust the shades. When arranging such test pattern, it is best to select tiles alternately from different packages.

How to install gypsum and concrete tiles? The basic principles

Each tile must be matted before the adhesive is applied, i.e. wiped on the adhesive side with a wire brush. This simple operation will help to remove the remains of the gypsum film formed during production. This way the tiles will better adhere to the wall.
The air temperature during and 48 hours after the process should be between 5-25 degrees Celsius.
The work should be planned so that it is not necessary to cut the tiles in the most visible places. It is best to start the installation from the corners or particularly exposed areas. This way you will avoid cutting the tiles and joining their parts together in the most presentable areas.   You should start from the bottom of the wall (leave an app. 3-4 mm gap from the wall, ceiling and above the floor), in the corner. The idea is to transfer the previously arranged test pattern onto the wall. If you cannot avoid cutting the tiles, remember to make the joints in the less visible spots or spots that will be covered (e.g. with furniture).
The best effect is achieved by offsetting the tiles in successive horizontal rows in such a way as not to install them exactly one above the other. The safest way is to apply an offset of about one third of a tile length.
Using a trowel, apply the adhesive over about 70-80 % of the tile surface. Then press the tile against the wall by gently moving it so that the substance is evenly distributed. At each stage make sure that the tile is evenly placed. Use a level to this effect. 

Immediately after installing a tile use a damp sponge to wash off any excess adhesive or dirt from its surface. Note: do not use any chemical agents for this purpose.
Gypsum and concrete tiles. What to pay attention to when installing them?
Until the adhesive dries, the wall should not be exposed to strong sunlight or excess amount of water (in the case of outdoor tiles it is good to protect them from rain).

After two weeks, it is recommended to protect the wall with appropriate impregnating agents, which will also facilitate keeping it clean (e.g. Incana water repellent impregnating agent). Before impregnation, it is necessary to check whether the purchased tile can be impregnated (the relevant information is printed on the product label) and make sure that no limescale bloom has formed on it (it is a natural phenomenon, independent of the manufacturer). If it appears, wash the tiles with warm water using a sponge. If necessary, repeat the activity several times.
The surface to be impregnated should be evenly porous, clean, and free of grease. Apply the product onto the substrate with a brush, roller, or by means of low-pressure spraying. Well and carefully applied impregnating agent provides protection against lime stains and efflorescence on concrete substrates such as artificial stone.