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Click here to download PDF file of Installation Recommendations Sept 2009

(for viewing the "Notice to the Installer" page click on the PDF link above)

New concrete slab: 
No sealers, curing compounds or other coatings shall be applied. Light broom finish is preferred. New slabs shall cure for minimum 2 weeks prior to tile installation. Appropriate movement joints must be present.

Existing concreteslab:  Test Concrete surface for curing compounds, sealers, adhesives, paint overspray and other potential “bond breakers”. Slab surface must be free of dust and debris contaminants prior to bond coat mortar application. Scarify contaminated, machine or steel-troweled slabs. Check for proper movement joint location.

Wood/resilientsub-floor:  Do not apply mortar bond coat directly on wood. Apply per TCA DOCUMENTATION. Mortar bond coat may be applied over resilient flooring in good condition. Remove wax residues and slightly sand resilient surface.

Tile preparation: Tiles are shipped unsealed. Pre-sealing is not required. Immediately before setting, wet backside of tiles with a sponge. Installation in dry hot climates may require soaking of tiles.

Prepare a rich mortar bond coat (2-3 parts graded, washed plaster sand to 1 part Portland Cement). Sacked, prepared suitable masonry mortar mixes and “thin sets” may be used. Add high quality acrylic additives per manufacturer recommendations. Acrylic and latex additives may not cure properly in consistently damp areas. Certain “thin sets” are not suitable for medium bed or exterior use. Contact manufacturer for details.

Setting tile:  Mortar must be applied using the flat side of the trowel first. Move notched side of trowel (minimum ½ x ½”, preferably “U” shaped) in a parallel pattern allowing for air to escape. Bond coat must be applied over the entire setting surface even in the grout joints. “Back-butter” paver tiles 100% with 1/8” thick mortar for full mortar to mortar contact.  Position tile on mortar bond coat using a slight back and forth motion. Mortar must “squeeze up” minimum 1/8” in grout joints along tile edges and corners eliminating air voids. Level tiles using a straight edge or taught string (tile thickness varies slightly). Color fading, mineral deposits and associated symptoms are caused by continued moisture vapor emission. Sealers can not prevent this phenomena. To significantly reduce or prevent moisture vapor emission, carefully eliminate bond coat and grout air voids plus set the paver tiles and bond coat over an ANSI compliant waterproof crack isolation membrane. Membranes are most pertinent in landscaping settings or interior and exterior desert climate installations.

BondCoat Curing:  Do not allow any foot traffic for 24 hours minimum. Premature foot traffic may cause bonding failure. If pre-sacked mortar bond coat is used follow respective manufacturer’s curing instructions.

Grouting:  Dampen grout joints prior to grout insertion. For jobsite made grout, mix 2½ parts graded plaster sand with 1 part Portland cement. Sacked, prepared, sanded grout mixes may be used. Wide joints may require modification of sacked, prepared grouts. Check with respective grout manufacturer. Do not exceed grout manufacturer’s recommended grout width. Install grout using a grout bag or a tuck pointer. Tool the joint with a round tool (“spoon”) or brick jointer. Allow excess grout to set up briefly until it can be swept off using a stiff brush or broom. For final cleaning use cheesecloth, clean damp sponge or when necessary, steel wool. Replace cleaning water frequently. Contaminated water may lead to permanent grout haze. Do not use any acidic cleaners to remove excess grout or grout haze (check “Cleaning” paragraph below).

Final curing:  To prevent cracking, grout may need damp-curing depending on local climatic conditions.  Do not allow foot traffic for a minimum of 24 hours. For sacked grouts follow manufacturer’s instructions.

\Cleaning: A neutral rinse or cleaner approved for concrete paver tile surfaces may be used.  WARNING: Under no circumstances use muriatic or other acidic cleaners.  Acid will permanently and visibly wear surface. Residual acid may conflict with sealers. Request detailed instructions from your sealer manufacturer or hire an experienced sealing professional.

Sealing:  Use sealer formulated for 7000 PSI concrete surfaces (sealers formulated for concrete slabs, interlocking pavers, brick and terracotta tile may not penetrate Cal-Ga-Crete surfaces). Choose sealer manufacturer with prior Cal-Ga-Crete experience. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Exterior applications require UV resistant and breathable penetrating sealer. Do not use “topical” sealers on exterior surfaces. Allow entire surface to dry before applying sealer. Color enhancing sealers (gloss, wax, patina finish, etc.) may be used on interior applications. Test sealer on a sample prior to application.

Post installation care:
Re-sealing cycles: Interior within 5 to 10 years, exterior within 1 to 3 years. Use mild cleaners and pressure washing for regular maintenance. Do not use acidic cleaners or abrasive machine cleaning devices.

Concrete paver tiles are installed according to CTMA, ANSI and TCA DOCUMENTATION. Only use installation mortar, thin set, grout, membranes or sealers complying with ANSI, the CTMA Handbook or Cal-Ga-Crete’s recommendations. This document intends to describe the “concrete paver tile method”. Do not use a “thin set method” a.k.a. “ceramic tile method” for installing Cal-Ga-Crete products. Check the above referenced manuals and DOCUMENTATION or contact the Cal-Ga-Crete factory for further details.
Cal-Ga-Crete accepts no responsibility for installations failing to conform to our “Notice to the Installer” and “Installation Recommendations”. To resolve any product quality or color issues after jobsite delivery, you must contact the factory prior to installation.