How to lay porcelain stoneware tiles

June 28, 2020

How to lay porcelain stoneware tiles

by Sara Costi

Thanks to the sophisticated and innovative production processes used to manufacture them, Casalgrande Padana’s porcelain stoneware tiles are exceptionally strong, non-absorbent products which can withstand virtually any external stress, as well as being environmentally friendly and anti-bacterial. The tiles combine superior technical attributes with stunning aesthetics provided by the stone-effect, marble-effect, cement-effect, metal-effect and wood-effect finishes. Available in a huge range of colours to ensure they pair well with other materials, Casalgrande Padana’s ceramic tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use in public and private spaces alike.

Yet the quality of the tiles alone isn’t enough. It’s important to take care when it comes to installation, too, and you need to consider a whole range of factors in order to achieve a truly impeccable end result. Moreover, the modular nature of our porcelain stoneware tiles means you’ll be able to play around with various different laying patterns during the design phase.

Let’s take a look at the different installation methods for porcelain stoneware tiles.

Internal installation

Installation on screed with glue

Screed is a layer of material that supports the flooring and plays an essential role in ensuring successful installation and longevity. Its main function is to provide resistance to mechanical stresses from both the flooring itself and use of this by distributing static and dynamic loads evenly across the surface area.

There are two types of screed used for laying porcelain stoneware tiles: conventional screed and heating screed, which incorporates an underfloor heating or cooling system. The modern technique of laying porcelain stoneware tiles has two phases. In the first phase, the screed is made from sand and cement and then spread out in a smooth, flat layer. The tiles are then glued in place during the second phase, which can only take place around a month after the first phase.

This installation method means that a new flooring, composed of tiles with a reduced thickness of just 4.9 mm, can be laid directly on top of an existing flooring without the need to demolish this.

Esempio di posa su massetto con colla
Pavimento: R-Evolution Black

Interlocking installation

The ArsRatio Casalgrande Padana dry system rewrites the rulebook on traditional porcelain stoneware flooring. Thanks to a simple locking system, each ceramic tile is attached to a support and a special perimeter border fitted with an effective gripping mechanism. This system makes it possible to produce a finished floor which can be walked on straight away. It means that an interlocking floor can be installed in a few moments, creating a stable surface that is resistant to loads and offers the ideal flooring solution for pop-up stores, showrooms, trade show stands, exhibitions spaces, historic buildings and museum installations.

Esempio di posa ad incastro in gres porcellanato

Raised installation

Internal raised flooring makes it possible to obtain a new flooring which is raised up from the solid ground, thus creating a sort of “technical space” which can be easily accessed and inspected. The size of this space can vary from a few centimetres to over a metre. This technique allows for the installation of electrics, telephone lines, IT cabling, air conditioning systems and any other type of engineering systems. Thanks to the ability to assemble and disassemble all of the elements without the use of grout or glue and the option to work on each individual panel without interfering with adjacent panels, raised flooring speeds up maintenance processes, keeping a lid on the costs and timescales involved in such interventions.

Pavimento: Marte Nero Acapulco

External installation

For external flooring such as terraces and walkways in gardens, on beaches, in public areas and in vehicle-accessible areas, it’s important to use porcelain stoneware flooring with elevated strength and resistance to loads. Tiles must also be able to withstand low temperatures, wear and tear and constant exposure to light.

Dry laying on top of existing surfaces

Tiles can be dry laid directly on grass, gravel or sand to create an easy-to-install flooring which can be walked on straight away, without the need to use screed, mortar or glue.

Pietre di Sardegna Caprera
Pietre di Paragone Gré Grigio
Posa su erba e posa su massetto - Kerblok Beige
Posa su sabbia - Parchi Yellowstone

Installation on screed with glue

The technique of laying tiles on screed with glue in outdoor spaces follows the same rules as for indoor spaces, provided the tiles chosen are suitable for outdoor use. Thanks to their thickness of 20 mm, the Extragres 2.0 porcelain stoneware tiles can be laid on screed with glue in order to produce a flooring that has elevated resistance to loads and offers exceptional results in any outdoor setting.

Pavimentazione: Pietre di Sardegna Porto Rotondo

Raised installation on supports

Generally speaking, raised floorings installed on supports use polypropylene supports available in a range of sizes (both fixed and adjustable). This makes it possible to obtain a raised flooring for an outdoor space, creating a compartment below for electrical cabling and water pipes.

Fixed supports are available in heights of 14 mm, 25 mm and 35 mm and offer the simplest and cheapest solution for raised floorings. They’re ideal for all settings in which a flooring that can be easily removed and inspected is required. Any irregularities in the flooring surface can be mitigated by levelling devices in order to ensure complete stability across every single tile.

Adjustable supports are also available in various heights ranging from 35 mm to 100 mm and ensure that the finished flooring can be easily adjusted thanks to a dry laying technique which involves no glue or grout. They're also perfect for levelling out uneven ground. If the ground you want to lay onto is uneven, we recommend that you use slope correctors to ensure stability and guarantee elevated resistance to loads by making sure that the ground is perpendicular to the tiles.

Pavimento: Country Wood Ice

In both cases, before starting to design the laying pattern and beginning with the raised installation, it’s vital that you check the condition of the subsoil, consider the end use of the flooring and ensure compliance with regulations regarding structural load, seismic activity and the influence of external agents. We advise against installing a raised floor more than 100 mm off the ground, unless proper precautionary measures are taken.

Our commitment towards sustainable development

Casalgrande Padana’s porcelain stoneware tiles are made exclusively from natural raw materials and contain no glaze, plastic or harmful substances. They are manufactured via a closed-circuit production process featuring sophisticated anti-pollution equipment which enables us to recycle and recover all components and virtually eliminate emissions and dispersion: 0% harmful emissions, 100% reduction in water impact, 99.5% of waste recovered, 74% self-generated energy and 100% environmentally friendly packaging.

Casalgrande Padana has also adopted an environmental management system that complies with the EMAS Regulation to continuously improve our environmental performance. We have also published the environmental statement validated by the certification body.

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