Care for your tile

Installation and cleaning

Argelith may produce the hardest tiles on earth, but even the best product requires proper installation and maintenance. Here’s how to care for your vitrified tile floor.

Installation

After investing in quality flooring, make sure you hire a flooring contractor qualified to bring your vision to life. Argelith ceramic tiles can be laid using either the vibration or the thinset method.

If you're not sure where to begin, contact your account manager for a list of installers experienced in installing Argelith tiles in your industry.

Thinset

thinset installation of vitrified tiles

In thinset installation, ceramic tile is bonded directly to the substrate. Because of this, any imperfections or movement in the slab can affect the tile.

A thinset installation will give you a wider range of setting materials and experienced installers from which to choose. It is typically faster than installation using a tile vibration machine; the floor can be fully cured within 48 hours.

Thinset is ideal for renovation projects, as the floor can be laid over existing concrete and there is no need to build entry ramps or adjust doors or trench drains.

Thinset Advantages

• Wider selection of experienced installers
• Wider selection of setting materials
• No risk of mortar bed failure
• Typically lower material costs (provided concrete floor is prepped properly)
• No need to build entry ramps or to adjust doors or trench drains
• Less cure time

Vibration installation

installing vitrified tiles with a tile vibration machine

Vibration installation is also called mortar bed installation. In this method, a mortar bed is laid over the substrate. Ceramic tile is laid on the level mortar bed and pressed into place using a tile vibration machine. The vibration settles the tiles evenly and forces mortar up into the grout joints, so when grout is applied, it bonds directly to the mortar bed.

Vibration installation is ideal for new construction. Tile can be installed over fresh concrete, with a slip sheet to speed up construction. The floor will be unaffected by any imperfections or movement in the concrete slab; the mortar bed will actually reinforce and protect the substrate.

Vibration installation makes it easy for installers to perfect the slopes to trench drains. The use of the vibration machine guarantees 100 percent adhesive coverage of the tile and provides smooth transitions between adjacent floors. When performed by a qualified installer, this method often results in the most even floors and the narrowest grout joints.

Vibration Advantages

• Can be installed over fresh concrete
• Tile is unaffected by movement or imperfections in the concrete slab
• Protects and reinforces concrete slab
• Slopes can be perfected to drains
• 100% guaranteed adhesive coverage
• Smooth transitions to adjacent floors
• Grout joins with mud bed for added strength

Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

cleaning vitrified tiles

Argelith's heavy duty vitrified tiles have low absorption, making them stain resistant and easy to clean. Our unique baked finish contributes to their cleanability. Here are steps you can take to keep your tile looking like new.

The following information is for guidance only; your needs may vary. Talk to your account manager about the unique needs of your facility.

Spot Cleaning

Spills on a vitrified tile floor can be spot cleaned with a mop and bucket, though these are not the best tools for whole-floor cleaning. In wet areas, spills can be washed to the drain with a hose. While Argelith ceramic tile is stain resistant, spills should be addressed promptly to avoid staining the grout.

The Right Tools

Vitrified tile floors should be regularly cleaned using a floor-cleaning machine. Mop and bucket cleaning is not recommended outside of spot cleaning. After a mop and bucket has been used, the floor should be machine cleaned at the end of the day to remove any cleaner residue.

For best results, equip your machine with scrubbing pads, not brushes, and the hottest water possible. Use a concentrated industrial cleaner formulated for the type of soil your floors encounter. Dilute the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use more soap than recommended.

Facilities that use caustic soda to clean machinery and stainless steel pipes can use the same soda to clean the floor.

Argelith vitrified tiles are temperature resistant and can be cleaned with steam jets.

Hard-to-Remove Marks

Often, hard-to-remove marks are caused by soap residue. When you wash your floor, even using a vacuum squeegee, some moisture is left behind. As the floor dries the water evaporates, leaving behind a thin film of soap that attracts and holds dirt.

If your floor has dirty spots that remain after the floor has been cleaned, try making several passes with only hot water in your scrubbing machine to break up any soap that has dried to the floor.

To prevent new marks from forming, make two passes with the scrubbing machine every time you clean the floor. On the first pass, use the cleaning solution to remove soil from the floor. On the second pass, use hot water only to thoroughly rinse the floor.

Tips

  • Talk to your account manager about your slip resistance needs. Tiles with a lower slip resistance are  easier to clean. Your account manager can help you choose a surface with enough slip resistance to keep people safe.
  • Do not use sealants or surface treatments on your Argelith ceramic tile. Because the absorption rate is so low, these treatments will just sit on top of the tile and make it more difficult to clean.
  • Do not use more or less than the recommended amount of detergent. Too little soap will fail to get the floor truly clean while too much will leave a sticky residue.
  • Use scrubbing pads, not brushes.
  • Always use the hottest water possible.
  • Thoroughly rinse the floor after using a cleaning solution.
  • Keep your scrubbing machine properly maintained. We recommend a weekly maintenance check in which the machine is rinsed out and pads are checked for wear.

Download Argelith's cleaning instructions as a PDF.