Tile Treatment
LAYING AND TREATMENT OF TILES

PREPARE BEFORE LAYING
  1. Soak tiles well in water and lay them wet to prevent them from absorbing salts from the cement which will cause efflorescence, this will also prevent the cement from drying too quickly. Tiles should be soaked for 15 to 30 mins. This step is very important!

LAYING AND TREATING
  1. Lay the tiles in a 4 to 1 sand / cement mixture checking the joint spacing between 25 and 35 mm and making sure that the tiles are level. Tile adhesive can also be used.
  2. Clean any cement marks immediately with a clean sponge and clean water (change the water regularly). If the cement has hardened on the tiles it can be cleaned with concentrated hydrochloric acid, applied to the tiles only (not the grouting) and using a brush to remove the cement, RINSE WITH WATER AFTERWARDS AND REMEMBER TO WEAR RUBBER GLOVES.
  3. After the cement has set pointing is done using 50% sand and 50% cement mixture (the sand / cement strength can be weaker) and using fine sand for a smoother finish. Tile grouting which comes in various colours, can also be used again. Be sure to clean the tiles immediately with a clean sponge and water.

FINAL TREATMENT
  1. Oiling is done about 4 to 6 weeks after laying, during which time you will get a white powder appearing on the tiles, this is normal, it is the salts from the cement coming through the tiles. Do not try to wash it off just sweep it off with a broom, it will stop as the tiles get dry. Be sure that all the moisture in the tiles has evaporated and will not stop the oil from penetrating the tiles properly.
  2. Once the tiles are dry make sure they are clean, if necessary wipe with a damp mop to remove dust and oil well with a 40% raw linseed oil and 60% mineral turpentine mixture, which can be spread over the floor with a paint roller. 3 to 4 heavy coats may be necessary. Allowing each coat to soak in well before the next is applied.

NOTE:

The above method of treating tiles is only 1 of many, and we recommend that you experiment with other treatments on spare tiles before deciding you can try Eg: Nova 3 followed by Nova 13 or brick sealer mixed with thinners or just diesel etc. The final treatment is very personal and what one person likes may not appeal to another.
There are also a number of companies that specialize in treating floor tiles. One that I have had very good service and feedback from is Talent Terracotta. They can also give you very good advise, as they have a lot of experience. Their telephone number is 021-5570689.