Prior to installation, the entire design should be laid out to confirm that all tile is accounted for and that glaze variation is well-balanced. The manner of installation should follow industry guidelines for specific site conditions, which can be found in the Tile Council of North America’s Handbook of Ceramic Tile Installation.
If you are installing the tile yourself:
- Make sure the installation surface is level.
- Use a trowel to apply thin-set or mastic to the installation surface and adhere the tile.
- Allow the area to dry.
- Once dry, the tile is ready for sealing and/or grouting.
Selecting a Tile Installer
We strongly recommend hiring a professional installer who will take extra time at the outset to check fit, spacing and glaze variation before gluing anything down! Motawi Tileworks or your building contractor may be able to recommend a professional tile installer.
Always test a sample before grouting, as dark grouts stain light-colored glazes and some light grouts may stain dark-colored glazes.
Protecting Your Tile
Prior to grouting, installers should apply masking tape or painter’s tape to all art tile and relief tile to prevent grout from adhering to the tile surface and/or staining.
All glossy and light glaze colors must be sealed before grouting, and any Motawi tile may be sealed with a penetrating sealer before grouting to help minimize staining. We like Miracle Sealants’ 511 Impregnator Sealer. We strongly recommend using two coats. Please note: Sealant may not completely prevent staining. Always test sealant (and any material you plan to use with your tile) on a sample to make sure you love the result.
Recommended grout spacing is 1/8" to 3/16". If the installation requires a grout spacing adjustment, always adjust to smaller spacing.
We recommend TEC Power Grout for virtually all installations. If TEC is not available, another sanded grout product may be substituted. Sanded grout is generally considered necessary for grout spaces over 1/8" and is recommended for all Motawi tile installations.
As a rule, grout should be darker than the tile being installed. Grout color recommendations vary depending on the installation and glaze color/s. Please consult the installation design department when selecting your grout color or visit motawi.com to reference grout color recommendations for each of our glazes.
Grout Color Recommendations
We recommend these coordinating grout colors with the following glazes:
The TEC Product Service Department can be reached at 800.832.9023.