Ceramic and Porcelain Installation, Care & Maintenance Guidelines

When properly installed and maintained, ceramic and porcelain tiles can be enjoyed for many years. Please be sure to familiarize yourself and the installer with these instructions prior to starting the job. You and your installer are responsible for ensuring proper installation of the tiles. If you have any questions, contact info@spui.net before moving forward.

Recommended Installation, products, & tools


Recommended Adhesives

For large format porcelain/ceramic tiles (any one edge greater than 15"), a high quality, large-format thinset mortar (formerly medium-bed mortar) is recommended. For porcelain/ceramic tiles that are not large format, a multi-purpose thinset mortar is recommended. For porcelain/ceramic tile mosaics, a premium thinset mortar is recommended. White or grey mortar is commonly recommended for all porcelain/ceramic tile installations. Ensure you follow the thinset mortar Manufacturer's guidelines with precision.

Recommended Sealer and Grout Release

Polished and honed tiles are not pre-sealed at the factory. Therefore, use of an impregnating or penetrating sealer must be applied to these tiles prior to grouting or grout release must be used. It is recommended to use a grout color that matches the most predominant color of the tile.

Recommended Grouts

Avoid using setting materials from different production batches and check for bag-to-bag color consistency. A urethane non-pigmented grout such as Bostik TruColor is highly recommended for polished or honed porcelain tile.

For any non-polished or non-honed porcelain/ceramic tile, a cement, urethane, or epoxy grout may be used. Most commonly, cementitious grout is used. For cementitious grout, to minimize staining and discoloration over time, treat the grout joints with a penetrating sealer like Grout Shield.

Preparation and Installation Instructions


Porcelain and ceramic tiles may be installed in many different applications. It is not recommended to use polished or honed porcelain/ceramic tiles on exterior floors or areas subjected to water or oil/grease exposure. Visit bedrosians.com for information pertaining to specific product collections.


Pursuant to the TCNA, for tile installations, special attention should be given to substrate stability, rigidity and preparation. Substrates should be sufficiently flat to allow uniform coverage and avoid excessive mortar thickness. Clean the surface well to remove all dirt and residue and remediate all cracks or unlevel areas in the substrate to ensure it is smooth and flat prior to installation. Install over a cured concrete surface or suitable sub-floor like Hardibacker or Ditra.  Wall installation on drywall is acceptable when installed with appropriate non-sag setting materials.


Please see the latest edition of the TCNA Handbook for further instruction.

  • Prior to installation and any cutting, inspect your order carefully. Ceramic and porcelain tile is subject to color and shade variations and it is strongly recommended to blend tiles from different boxes to achieve an even distribution of color range
  • Installer must conduct a dry mock layout under proper lighting conditions prior to installation by placing tiles on the floor for quality and color inspection. It is imperative that the end user inspect the product prior to installation. Once installed, the product is deemed accepted.
  • Before laying the tiles in thinset, wipe the back of the tiles with a damp sponge to remove any dust residue and enable proper adhesion.  
  • Mark out grid lines on the surface to be tiled.
  • The minimum recommended grout joint for any large format tiles (any one edge is greater than 15”) is 3/16”. Smaller grout joints void any warranties.
  • Install large format tiles with a large format thinset mortar and no more than a 33% offset.
  • Use of a leveling system is recommended to ensure tiles lay flat and level.
  • Key in thin-set over the substrate with the flat side of a trowel. Use a square-notched trowel at a 45° angle to spread the adhesive evenly over the substrate in straight lines. For mosaic tiles only, use the flat side of the trowel to smooth or flatten out the ridges in the thin-set.
  • Use the flat side of the trowel to back-butter the tile. Ensure the mortar adhesive is applied to the full back of each tile (100% coverage).
  • Set the tiles into the adhesive according to the marked gridlines, starting from one end and continuing to the other.
  • Tiles are fully embedded when the thin-set is 1/3 the depth of the tile.
  • Immediately remove any excess adhesive from the surface with a damp cloth or sponge. 
  • Wait the thin-set manufacturer’s instructed time before grouting.
  • Note: You can use profiles to frame and protect the edges of the tile installation. Ensure you follow Manufacturer’s instructions completely.


Please see the latest edition of the TCNA Handbook for further instruction.

  • If installing polished or honed porcelain tile, once the thinset has cured, use a grout release or seal the tile prior to grouting. See above for recommended products. Follow the Manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Then, spread grout with a rubber float, completely filling the joints. Joints should be full and free of voids and pits. This step should not be completed until the thinset has cured.
  • Grout small areas at a time or an area you can comfortably grout within 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not spread grout over the entire floor.  Grout that sits too long will cure on the surface of the tile and create haze issues.
  • Follow the grout manufacturer’s instructions. Immediately clean all grout and residue from the tiles using a sponge and clean water. Acidic or alkaline cleaners should not be used on the tile or the grout joints.
  • Rub all joints to ensure even levels of grout within each joint.


  • Once the grout has dried, cover the tile immediately with a protective covering to prevent staining and damage during the remainder of construction.

Care and Maintenance Instructions

Routine Cleaning

Specific cleaning and maintenance requirements vary depending on the tile’s surface and texture and any present contaminants.  Below are some general cleaning and maintenance guidelines.

  • For ongoing maintenance, sweep or vacuum the tiles. 
  • Clean the tiles regularly with a pH neutral cleaner and rinse with clean water. Use only neutral, non-abrasive and non-acidic cleaners. Avoid use of any harsh cleaning products that contain bleach or acidic chemicals. Acid-based cleaners and harsh chemicals may etch the surface of the tile, especially tiles with polished or honed finishes.
  • It is important that the cleaner is a non-oil, non-soap and non-animal fat based product. These products act like a magnet, attracting dirt and dust.
  • Always test cleaning solutions on a small inconspicuous area before proceeding to clean the entire surface area.
  • For hard to remove residue, a single disc floor machine with a white pad may be used. Be sure to wet the surface first when using a floor machine.