4) Peel the Tape:
• Begin at the starting point of your layout and hold the tape tight to the tiled surface as you peel it back on itself. Do not lift straight away from the tiled surface or you may pull the tiles loose from their placement. Should this occur, “back butter” the tiles and replace them in their original position. Work gently and steadily through the job in the same order that the tile sections were placed.
• Any excess mortar can be cleaned from the grout joints at this time. You will note that the mortar is still green at the surface when the tape is peeled. This is because air has been denied access to the mortar by the Tile Tape, and the Thin-Set actually cures from the bottom up. Experiment with mortar removal tools – we’ve found useful value in everything from small blades, nut picks and pointing trowels to vegetable brushes and wire brushes, combined with either compressed air or a shop vac. Use caution with the air though, it can really blow things apart if you’re not careful!
• It’s Break Time! Allow your Thin-Set to cure in accordance with manufacturers instructions – usually at least 24 hours.
• Mix and apply sanded grout in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and allow to cure completely.
6) Acid Wash:
• Most of the rock we use is quite porous and will require an acid wash prior to sealing. Without it, the grout will fill all the micro-pores of the stone, stain the surface, and drastically mute the colors of the tile. A 10% solution of Muriatic Acid/Water and a stiff bristle brush will lift any grout residue from the pores of the tile. Then rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely.
• Seal with a penetrating sealer and/or color enhancer. Again, this material is quite porous and may require several coats. Apply in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and allow to dry completely before use. The final appearance will be greatly affected by your choice of a Matte, Semi-Gloss, or Gloss Finish. Also bear in mind that the higher the gloss, the lower the coefficient of friction will be; an especially important consideration in flooring applications.
8) Admire and Enjoy!
• At this point, it’s time to admire the beauty of another completed Idaho Rock Works project! We’d truly appreciate any comments you have on our product and the installation process – both positive and negative! Any tips for improving the system will be appreciated by those who follow in your foot steps. If you have the ability to take photos and send them to us, we’ll include your project in our website photo gallery! Before and after photos are ideal.
• We know you have a myriad of choices when it comes to building materials. Thank you so much for choosing Idaho Rock Works for your tile project!