How to Install DuraCeramic Tile
DuraCeramic tile, a product of the Congolueum company, offers the finished look and feel of regular ceramic tiles, combined with the durability of a laminate or hardwood application. DuraCeramic can be installed on any floor or wall surface as long as the proper preparations and application steps are taken.
If you are ready to tackle the project yourself, Congoleum offers installation guides and tips to help you on your way to a successful and long-lasting DuraCeramic installation.
Clean the subsurface that will support the DuraCeramic tile with a solvent cleaner such as mineral spirits. This cleaner will remove surface dirt, dust, wax, grease, oil and other contaminants that can ruin the way the tile bonds to the subsurface.
Run a level across the surface to determine flatness. The level cannot vary by more than 1/16 inch for every 1 inch of space. If you find variations, fill in low points with surface-specific filler compound – such as wood filler or concrete patch compound -- or grind the high points down. An uneven surface will crack or damage the DuraCeramic tile.
Measure to the center point of each of the four walls surrounding the installation area and make a pencil or chalk mark. Then use a chalk line to connect the marks, forming a “+” shape on the floor. The point where the lines cross is the direct center of the installation area.
Use DuraSet Adhesive DS100 for flooring and wall installations. Spread the adhesive over one quadrant of your installation area with a notched trowel that features notches 1/16 inch wide, 1/32 inch deep and 1/32 inch apart. Wait while the adhesive dries to tacky before continuing; the adhesive will turn completely clear when it is tacky.
Set the first tile firmly into the adhesive at the center point, so that one edge of the tile touches a vertical line and another touches a perpendicular horizontal line. Firmly press the tile into place; do not slide it, or you will create a mess and the tile will be out of place. The tile will bond as soon as it touches the adhesive.
Place spacers between each tile if you desire a grout line; the size of the spacer will determine the size of the grout line. Grout lines are generally 1/16 inch larger than the spacer. You do not need grout for DuraCeramic tile; this is an aesthetic choice that is completely up to you.
Set tiles firmly up against each other, or against the spacers as desired. Press each tile firmly into place, working in a stair-step pattern from the center point outwards. Continue until you have installed all full tiles in the first quadrant and then complete the procedure in the other quadrants as well.
Cut tiles to fit along the edges of your installation. Measure the distance between the last full tile and the wall. Subtract 1/8 inch expansion gap, as well as the distance of the grout line, if you chose to use it.
Score the surface of the tile at the required size with a sharp utility knife. Apply pressure to each side of the score line until the tile snaps along the line. Repeat cutting and gluing partial tiles into place until the installation is complete.
Roll the floor or wall with a 100-lb. floor roller or a wall roller within one hour of setting the tiles to help them bond fully with the adhesive. Allow all adhesive to dry for 24 hours before grouting or allowing pressure or moisture onto the surface.
Things You Will Need
- Solvent cleaner
- Filler compound
- Measuring tape
- Chalk and chalk line
- DuraSet adhesive
- Notched trowel
- Utility knife
- Floor or wall roller
Subsurfaces for DuraCeramic tile must be clean, level and structurally sound. Some surfaces will require primer or underlayment installation; this varies from project to project. If you are unsure of your surface's ability to support the tile installation, consult the manufacturer's instructions for details.
If you are installing DuraCeramic on a wall, turn off all electricity flow to any outlets on the wall while you install. The moisture from the adhesive and any grout used can cause electric shocks if you do not take precautions.
Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.