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THE SUPPORT SURFACE AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS

There are many reasons for which a surface may be considered inadequate for applying certain types of tiles with certain types of adhesives and with certain installation techniques.

To achieve the final goal, which is a high quality and durable covering, it is necessary to begin with a surface which is prepared in the best possible way prior to applying the adhesive layer.

CERAMIC BRICK SUPPORT SURFACES:

This type of surface is ideal for ceramic coverings. It is very absorbent and therefore the ambient temperature and humidity must be controlled.

A cement coating of sand mixed with Portland cement is recommended, as the surface is normally not level.

CONCRETE SLAB SUPPORT SURFACES::

When laying tiles onto this type of surface, it is recommended to first make a careful analysis of the surface, carrying out any necessary modifications to prepare the surface for the tiles. As a general rule, several layers, each having its own function, will be needed (insulating, levelling,…)

It is highly recommended that, in order to avoid the negative effects brought about by a lack of flexibility or dimensional stability, the tile should be isolated from the surface with an isolating layer. This could be a sand base, a polyethylene membrane…

Subsequently, it is a good idea to apply a levelling layer to correct any irregularities in the flatness of the surface and thus conveniently apply the adhering material.

PLASTER WALLBOARD SUPPORT SURFACES:

In order to adhere ceramic tiles to plaster wallboards, one must remember that the weight of the tile layer must not be excessive (the use of tiles larger that 30×30 cm is not recommended and adhesives should be applied in an evenly applied thin layer).

It is essential to ensure that the panels which are to receive the ceramic tiles are correctly reinforced and attached so they do not warp in any way or become deformed during installation, or afterwards.

In areas of intermittent humidity, bathrooms and kitchens, the support surface should be waterproofed, for which Type C2 adhesives are recommended.

PLASTER SUPPORT SURFACES:

Plaster surfaces must be carefully inspected before proceeding with any tiling work. It is essential that the fixing material bonds correctly to the plaster, so it is highly recommended to apply a sealant in order to close the pores, and use Type C2 adhesives when applying the tiles. Check the compatibility of the plaster adhesive and the primer.

OTHER SUPPORT SURFACES (Ceramic, terrazzo or natural stone, wood, metal):

There are certain surfaces which need maximum preparation prior tiling.

Ceramic support surfaces:

When applying ceramics in restoration work, they need to be thoroughly cleaned with specialized products to remove all traces of grease and dirt which have adhered to the surface over time. It is recommended to consult the adhesive materials manufacturers to see which procedure is best to follow, and the best products to utilize. Type C2 adhesives are recommended.

Terrazzo or natural stone support surfaces:

The surface must be thoroughly cleaned before laying any tiles; all traces of dust must be removed to ensure optimum adhesion and avoid any posterior detaching.

If the natural stone has not been smoothed and has a rough surface, it must be levelled and smoothed with a cement-rich mortar.

Recommended fixing materials for this type of surface are adhesive mortars with a high polymeric resin content and reaction resins (epoxy or polyurethane).

Wood support surfaces:

On wood surfaces it is a good idea to apply a waterproofing sealant. The recommended adhesive material is a reaction resin (epoxy or polyurethane).

Metal support surfaces:

The surface must be clean and in good condition, free of any rust. The recommended adhesive materials are reaction resins (epoxy or polyurethane).