Laying Terracotta tiles

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Mike Conroy
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Laying Terracotta tiles

Postby Mike Conroy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:36 pm

Hi. I have recently bought a finca near Coín and I want to lay 380 x 380 rustic terracotta tiles over an existing concrete path. The path runs beside the house and is also a course for flood water in storms with a 3% gradient to the garden at the rear. The path is raised along its length in the centre falling both towards the house & away from it. The concrete is degraded in places. I plan to lay the tiles directly on the existing path.

I plan to lay on a wet mortar mix (3 sand to 1 cement with some platiciser added).

1. Am I correct that the tiles need soaking well before laying? How wet do they need to be?
2. Should I use the same mix for the grout?
3. I believe the tiles will stain if the grout gets on the surface? What is the best way to apply the grout and to deal with spills?
4. The tiles will be exposed to the elements. Will they need any protective sealant?

Thanks

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Trooperman
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Re: Laying Terracotta tiles

Postby Trooperman » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:09 am

3:1 is a very strong mortar. You could go to 5:1 or split the difference at 4:1. but I'd use 5:1.

Soak them beforehand - it improves the ability of the mortar to adhere to the underside of the tile - can't give you "degrees" of wetness - I put them in a wheelbarrow of water and take them from it to lay after a mere few minutes

Uniformity of colour is important for grout and 5:1 is quite strong enough. Do it carefully by hand. It's a painstaking process on hands and knees. Spillages and excess can be removed when dry with acid based brick cleaner - can't recall what it's called in Spain - but it's basically hydrochloric acid slightly diluted. Sulphuric acid for drains will also do it I seem to recall.

Most terracotta tiles in Spain are fired at a low temperature and thus will degrade over time - and not a great deal of time either. In shady areas you will get moss appearing which needs bleach and a scrubbing brush, but try to avoid pressure washing as that WILL remove the surface. Sealing will improve matters but I'm struggling to remember what to use.
nil illegitimum carborundum

Mike Conroy
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Location: Cártama

Re: Laying Terracotta tiles

Postby Mike Conroy » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:12 am

Thank you Trooperman

DTG_LDN
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Re: Laying Terracotta tiles

Postby DTG_LDN » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:14 am

Very insightful Topperman.


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