F&D Start to Finish: Install Encaustic Cement Tile
Floor & Decor’s selection of hand-crafted encaustic cement tiles bring beauty and elegance to your flooring design through their unique natural variations in color and tone.
Encaustic cement tiles must be cared for and installed differently from ceramic or porcelain tile.
Follow these steps for installation:
What Supplies Will I Need?
Trowel (½” x ½”), wet tile saw, heavy cement mortar, tile spacers (1/16 – 1/8), grout, penetrating sealer, level, sponge & cloth, broom, and pH neutral cleanser.
It is essential to properly prepare the subfloor. If you’re installing over a cement subfloor, be certain it is clean, dry, level and free of any cracks or imperfections. If installing over a wood subfloor, you must install a ¼ inch cement board over the wood.
Prep Tips: Before installing, check tiles for manufacturing defects. You should store encaustic tile indoors only and keep them dry. Allow tiles to acclimate to your room for 24 hours.
We recommend dry laying the tiles first to achieve the look you want. Wipe each tile with a damp sponge to remove excess concrete dust. Then, spread mortar evenly and in straight lines over the subfloor with a trowel.
Thickness of encaustic cement tiles may vary. Adjust tiles accordingly during installation using a level and gentle hand pressure. Do not use a mallet to tap tiles.
Use spacers between tiles to create even grout lines. Remove any excess mortar from tiles while it is fresh.
Grout & Sealing!
Before applying grout, tiles will need to be sealed with a penetrating sealer and must dry for at least 24 hours.
Apply a non-sanded grout to your floor. Wipe excess grout immediately using a damp cloth. After the tile is set, sweep the floor to remove any excess debris and clean with a pH neutral detergent.
Note: Do not use a black or dark-colored grout, because it may stain the tile.
Allow floor to dry for 24 hours and then apply the same penetrating sealer used in the pre-sealing process (follow manufacturer instructions). Damp mop with a pH neutral cleaner and reseal as necessary to maintain optimal performance.
You can find a variety of encaustic cement tile options online and at your local Floor & Decor.
Watch the full video to see these installation tips in action: