Balboa Tile Installation
The beauty of handcrafted tiles is in the variations - size, shape, and color. Because of these variations, please lay out your design before setting and blend in the colors by selecting from different cartons as you go. All handmade tiles must be sealed with a penetrating sealer before and after grouting, and again within a year.
Saint-Gaudens Balboa ceramic tile with metal inserts may be cut with a wet tile saw. If you are going to cut across an insert you must cut very slowly as the metal inserts are less easily cut and generate more heat when cut than the ceramic tile. Please note that it may be necessary to “dress” the saw-blade afterwards with a hard substance such as granite, glass or a dressing stone because some blades tend to “load” from cutting metal.
Due to aesthetic considerations, adhesive is not applied to the entire back of the metal inserts. If it is necessary to cut out very small sections of the inserts they may become detached from the ceramic part of the tile. The small sections may be reattached with an adhesive rated for glass and metal. Care must be taken to apply no more adhesive than is absolutely necessary to keep the adhesive from view.
As most of our metal inserts are very detailed, before grouting it is essential to cover the metal inserts with tape. You must ensure that the tape covers the insert entirely and is firmly adhered to the ceramic part of the tile on all sides. Avoid getting grout on or under the tape. This will save much time and effort in clean up.
Bronze Tile Installation
Bronze tiles are set using thinset or epoxy adhesive, but special care must be taken in the grouting process to keep grout out of the crevices. If the design allows a tape seal around a solid border, use tape to mask the tile before setting. If the edges of the tile are uneven, apply 2 heavy coats of Elmer’s Rubber Cement to the tops of the tiles before setting. The tiles cannot be warm before you apply the rubber cement, and must be kept out of the sun after the rubber cement is applied. Do not leave the rubber cement on the tiles for more 3 days. After the grout has dried and the rubber cement removed by rubbing it off with fingers, use Pledge furniture polish sprayed on a soft cloth and/or toothbrush to remove any grout haze.
Caution: Grout or grout additives that use “stain-proof”, “stain-guard” or other anti-stain and anti-mildew components may contain acids that can turn Bronze tiles and/or the grout green. If you are unsure if your grout or grout additives contain these components, please contact the grout or additive manufacturer for application information.
DO NOT abrade the tiles with sanded grout in the grout cleaning process, as this may remove the sealer and discolor the metal.
- Saint-Gaudens Avalon Glass should not be used in floor applications.
- Glass Tiles should be back-buttered to eliminate any bubbles in the thinset, which will show through transparent tiles.
- The installer should be experienced with cutting and setting glass tile.
- Glass Tiles should be set with latex additive or acrylic modified thinset in accordance with manufacturers instructions for maximum adherence.
- Large wall installations should be installed in accordance with “Movement Joint Design Essentials EJ171-05” in the TCNA Ceramic Tile Installation Handbook to prevent cracking.
- When installing Field and Granite tiles do not allow the mortar to rise above the “color line” in the middle of the tile as the color of the mortar may show through after grouting.
- When grouting make certain the grout joints have been packed down to the mortar bed because you WILL be able to see any voids from the sides of the glass tile.
- We do not recommend the use of a contrasting grout color with Field and Field Granite tiles, because the grout color may be visible at the color line in the middle of the tile
- We recommend that a special “glass” blade made for cutting glass tile be used.
- Whenever a glass cut side is exposed when set, the cut surface needs to be sanded lightly to remove any sharp edge or flaking.
- Avoid cutting across any air bubbles or pockets in Art tiles. The outside edges of the tile are firmly fused, however air pockets sometimes form during the manufacturing process, and cutting through them may allow moisture, cutting debris or grout into the center of the tile, which may show through.
- If Glass Tiles are installed in wet applications, be sure to follow industry procedures for proper drying and curing of concrete, mortar and grout (up to 28 days).
- Saint-Gaudens Glass Tiles can be used in all water applications as long as they are properly installed and grout is sealed. Use a high quality sealer after the grout has properly dried to insure moisture cannot get behind the tile.
- All backsides must be free of air and completely covered to prevent any water seepage behind the tile.
- The Granite series is not recommended for water installations unless epoxy grout is used. (See Important Note on Field Granite Tiles below.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Granite Tiles
- Granite tiles are a layer of textured glass “sand” between two sheets of clear glass. This textured layer is porous, and water may seep in. When installing Granite tiles in any wet area, do not use regular grout. Use an epoxy grout to create a seal around the tiles.
- The porous layer: During cutting and installing you will see moisture “picture frame” around each tile edge. Allow this moisture to dry out before grouting.
- If the epoxy grout is not applied properly (and completely) moisture can again get caught between the layers. It will eventually evaporate but if continued to be exposed, could stain or allow contaminates to form.
- Be sure the backing for glass tile is non-flexible and of proper material. Avoid installation directly into wood products.
- The use of a hardy backer or some other concrete type backer board is recommended.
- Any application allowing flexing or compression under the glass tile invites a failure.
- Always make sure the structural integrity of the application supports the weight.
- Translucent tiles in Field and Granite may vary slightly in color. Please check your tiles for color prior to installation. Installation constitutes acceptance.
- Shade and size variation is inherent with handcrafted glass tile. In order to achieve the proper blend of variation, please work from several different cartons for best results.
- Air bubbles and pockets between layers of glass in Art tiles are inherent to the design and manufacture of these tiles. Please see the “Glass Cutting” section of these instructions for additional information about air bubbles.