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Definition and reference documents:

Internal wall cladding in marble, stone, granite or ceramic tiles

The wall cladding can be attached or bonded depending on the thickness of the covering material.

The attached wall cladding installation is applicable for a cladding thickness of 2 to 3cm (marble, stone and granite). The cladding can be installed with mechanically fixed anchors, embedded anchors or embedded ties with plastering dabs while maintaining a 2cm air gap between the cladding and the support. Choosing the adequate anchoring system depends on the type of the support, the loads of the cladding… For further information, refer to the Unified Code of Practice (Documents Techniques Unifiés - D.T.U.) n° 55.2

Bonded wall cladding installation is adequate for thin claddings (marble, stone, of 10mm thick, ceramic tiles, glass mosaic). The reference document that regulates this installation method in France is the Books of Technical Specifications of Execution (Cahier des Prescriptions Techniques d’exécution - C.P.T) n° 3265 and n° 3266 of the CSTB.

Recommendations for installation:

The following recommendations apply to internal wall bonded cladding only.

Check the adequacy of the support (type, planeness, humidity…). For example, the planeness of the support should not exceed 5mm under a running rule of 2m for a plastered masonry wall.

Refer to the specifications of the reference documents mentioned above for the possible dimensions and the maximal surface areas by type of covering material. The maximal surface weight of covering material is of 40kg/m2.

Lay the tiles from different boxes or crates in order to distribute the natural shades of the material harmoniously. Verify that the mortar adhesive is adequate to the support and the type of covering material, that it doesn’t stain the covering material and that it has been granted a positive Technical Opinion.

Make sure that the expansion joints of the main structure and the subdivision joints of the cladding covering are executed according to the reference documents mentioned above.

The joints between tiles or slabs are filled with cement grout or ready-made jointing grout. For internal wall cladding, the width of thin joints is usually between 1.5 and 2mm for natural materials like marble, stone and granite. Thin joints should not be less than 1mm thickness since the edge-to-edge installation of tiles or slabs is forbidden. For full-body ceramic tiles with rectified edges, the joints are at least 2mm wide. For more information, refer to the reference documents mentioned above.

Cleaning, treatment and maintenance:

Allow the freshly installed wall cladding to dry completely. A long drying period is necessary for hand-made terracotta and natural materials like marble and stone in order to evacuate dampness’ rises (in the form of stains, laitance, salt…). During that period, ventilate the room without covering the finished wall cladding and clean the surface with a slightly damp floorcloth in order to prevent efflorescence from accumulating on the surface.

It is recommended after the installation and the complete drying of stone, granite, terracotta or slate cladding, to apply a water-repellent or an anti-stain product adequate to the covering material and the desired finishing (mat, satin, polished or wet effect). It is preferable to make a test on a small surface first. It is also advisable to repeat this treatment regularly (every year or two, depending on the covering material and its destination).

For the maintenance of natural materials and terracotta, clean the surface with clear water damped floorcloth or soft sponge. It is possible to use particular soaps or to dilute “Marseilles soap” in a large volume of clear water to avoid soap residuals. Never use aggressive products like scale remover detergents, bleaching water, solvents or abrasive sponges.

The above information is not exhaustive and is given for indication only. In no case does it replace the reference documents indicated above, namely the Books of Technical Specifications of Execution (Cahier des Prescriptions Techniques d’exécution - C.P.T) n° 3265 and n° 3266 of the CSTB or other ruling norms and technical instructions.

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