Product and service quality are among the basic principles underlying the ARIANA philosophy.
All the materials’ specifications are guaranteed by internal and external laboratory tests, which establish compliance of the chemical and physical parameters with international standard ISO 13006.
Compliance with safety and environmental regulations, waste reduction, minimisation of costs, continuous improvement, and accountability at all organisational levels are just some of the benchmarks that are constantly checked in order to endure our products meet market needs.
In accordance with the quality policy, the institution that handles the testing and filing of both standard specimens and the current production samples constantly monitors the technical and aesthetic characteristics of the items manufactured and their compliance with the reference standards, thereby ensuring our supplies offer maximum quality and precision.
Other than the technical and aesthetic features of the material itself, state-of-the-art installation is a result of a series of other aspects (substrate, binding layer, expansion joints, etc.) that create a system. The installation procedures, carried out in the correct order, must be considered as much an influencing factor as the choice of ceramic tiles.
When choosing the most suitable adhesive and installation method, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Moreover, it is recommended to pay particular attention, especially when using coloured grouting, to first check that they do not stain the ceramic surface or that the grout is not difficult to remove: it is recommended to carry out a test on a small portion of the surface before proceeding with grouting.
The installation project of a surface must be supervised by an expert technician who, depending on the structure of the surface itself, on its destination of use and on the mechanical, thermal, physical and chemical stresses suffered from the surface, must then adapt substrates, cement layers, setting bed, ceramic tiles, inclination and the entire installation system as a whole.
Moreover, the installation technician must state every single detail of the project in the technical specifications, for example the installation pattern, the material, granulometry, dosage, grout line dimension, structural joints, perimeter joints, etc.
- Carefully choose the technical and aesthetic features of the ceramic tiles (depending on the destination of use and characteristics of the surface), their sizes, the installation pattern, the dimension and colour of grout lines.
- Place some of the chosen tiles (at least 3 square meters) onto the surface to check the final effect before proceeding. When installing the tiles, pick them from different boxes and check their work-size, their shade and sorting grade.
- Check ceramic tiles before starting installation. This is because, once installed, any complaints relating to already-installed tiles will be rejected.
- Joint-less installation is not recommended, as the high level of vitrification of Ceramiche Ariana tiles leads to moderate work-size tolerances, therefore, it is recommended to allow at least a 3mm grout line between adjacent tiles.
- Carry out a “state-of-the-art” installation following the instructions of the technicians, of the building foreman and the technical specifications to the letter.
- In order to improve the works, it is of fundamental importance to respect the working times of the materials used, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Do not mark the front side of the tiles with pencils or felt-tip pens.
- Wait 48-72 hours before using the floor. Any colour shading differences between the tiles represents an added value of the ceramic product that can be enhanced by the skills of an expert layer. A beautiful product that is not correctly installed does not produce a good final result.
- Pay particular attention to glossy, honed, polished ceramic tiles that must be covered during building works.
INSTALLATION SUGGESTIONS FOR RECTIFIED TILES
The installation of rectified tiles with minimum grout line (not with a joint-less installation) requires particular attention and precision by the person laying the tiles, both in terms of planarity of the surface and of continuity of grout lines.
For a perfect final result, Abk recommends allowing at least a 1mm to 2mm grout line for the installation of ceramic tiles with the same size and at least 2mm to 3mm when installing tiles with different sizes.
Ceramic tile manufacturers do not recommend using minimum grout line installations for large size tiles, for the following reasons:
- Difficulty of tiles adapting to structural adjustments of the surface in absence of compressible elements;
- Different dilatometric behaviour between the tiles and the footing in case of thermal shocks;
- Difficulty in administering a correct and durable grouting.
Ceramiche Abk strongly recommends to avoid using joint-less installation patterns.
In such cases, the company refutes all responsibility should problems arise.
- Should a grout made of cement and sand not be used, the use of shade-on-shade grouts is recommended (do not use dark grouts, such as black, blue or red, on bright materials).
- Fill the grout lines with the grout only when the floor has sufficiently set to be ready to tread on, removing any residue from the gout lines.
- Carry out a “state-of-the-art” grouting following the layer and technician’s instructions and the technical specifications.
- Grout small areas of the surface at a time (4m² to 5m²) and remove excess grout with a sponge or a wet cloth (with clean water) or use the suitable machines for removing excess grout.
- Non-added cement grouts: at the end of the working day, clean the surface with a wet sponge. Except when instructions specifically express the contrary, post-installation cleaning must be carried out after 4-5 days (thus allowing for a correct seasoning of the gouts), wetting the grout lines with water and then using suitable acid detergents. Do not carry out the cleaning if the temperature of the tiles is high and in summer, carry out the cleaning during the coolest hours of the day.
- Epoxy grouts or added grouts (with latex, etc): follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter as rapid hardening can lead to difficult cleaning operations, especially in case of anti-slip, rough or textured tiles.
CLEANING AFTER INSTALLATION
The cleaning after installation is of fundamental importance for all the subsequent steps and for a correct maintenance.
Post-installation cleaning using acid detergents with a padding action such as Fila Deterdek, Mapei Keranet, Kerakoll Delta Plus or Faber Cement Remover must be carried out only once and only if this would result in the added bonus of giving the surface a more uniform aspect.
Acid-cleaning will remove all residue associated with the installation and building works in general, such as mortar, adhesive, paint and dirt.
It is important to underline that 90% of complaints are due to a bad, or even inexistent cleaning after installation.
In order to make sure that an acid detergent used for the cleaning does not compromise the filling of grout lines, it is necessary, before proceeding with cleaning, to wet the floors so that the grout lines are impregnated and protected from the corrosive action of the acid.
It is recommended to follow these steps:
-First, remove any grease or similar substance from the floor using alkaline detergents
-Proceed with the cleaning of the surface
-Rinse the floors with an abundance of water
-The cleaning must be carried out 4-5 days after grouting (the grout must season) and within a maximum of 10 days after grouting, as, beyond this period of time the cleaning can be difficult, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use of detergents.
It is always recommended to carry out a test on a sample tile (not installed), in particular in case of honed or polished products.
It is recommended to clean the floor using a neutral detergent diluted in hot water. Avoid the use of acid, alkaline, waxing and/or impregnating products.
During ordinary cleaning procedures, it is recommended to limit the use of abrasive means such as scouring pads, iron and/or steel sponges.
Taking this precaution is a must on glossy tiles, as they are more liable to scratching.
In case of intense dirt or textured surfaces, use an alkaline detergent, rinsing the floor with an abundance of water.
It is important to underline that certain types of dirt (dust, sand) increase the abrasive effect of foot traffic on the surface.
Try to prevent this kind of dirt coming from outdoors by placing a door mat at the entrance.
REMOVAL OF FILMS ON THE FLOOR
The standard detergents available on the market sometimes contain waxes or polishing additives that, cleaning after cleaning, create a film on the floor and cause rims. This type of film can also develop when using certain types of grouts. Every-day stains on the floor, such as cola, wine, water, etc. remove this film and reveal the original, more opaque aspect of the tiled surface.
On a glossy floor, these areas with no wax appear as rims but, in actual fact, they are the only clean areas of the floor itself.
In such cases, after having carried out a test, it is necessary to:
- Remove the film from the floor using an alkaline detergent.
- Use neutral detergents, which do not contain wax or polishing additives for everyday cleaning.
In case of stains that are resistant to standard cleaning operations, it is recommended to use a specific detergent depending on the type of dirt and, every single time before using such detergent, to carry out a test on a non-installed sample tile.
The chart “REMOVE STAINS” indicates the recommended detergents that are effective for certain specific stains.
METALLISED FLOOR AND WALL COVERINGS
For the cleaning and maintenance of metallised tiles, it is recommended not to use acid or alkaline detergents.
Use products with neutral PH such as Fila Cleaner or Faber Floor Cleaner.
Every single time, test the product on a sample tile that has not been installed and do not leave the detergent on the tiles for more than 10-15 minutes.
Always rinse the surface with an abundance of water.
TREATMENT OF HONED AND POLISHED TILES
Honing and polishing are manufacturing processes that remove the superficial part of the glaze or of the body of the tile itself. All honed and/or polished ceramic tiles available on the market have a micro-porous structure that, even when using low absorption vitreous materials, are vulnerable to attack from certain types of dirt that can attack the micro-porous structure and make cleaning operations very difficult.
After post-installation cleaning using an acid detergent, Ceramiche Ariana recommends an anti-stain treatment using specific products (suggested products: Fila, Mapei, Kerakoll, Faber).
Never use hydrofluoric acid-based detergents or its derivatives, such as rust-preventing products or spray stain-removers that often contain hydrofluoric acid.
The use of hydrofluoric acid will irreparably damage the surface, as no ceramic tile floor available on the market is resistant to this acid.
The cleaning features of materials considerably vary depending on the installation pattern, the conditions of use and the type of surface. As a general rule, as the anti-slip value of ceramic tile increases, the cleaning operations become more difficult. The professional technician in charge of the cleaning and maintenance must always carry out a preliminary test on a sample tile that has not been installed before proceeding with any cleaning operation.
In case of special conditions of use, incorrect installation or inadequate cleaning, Abk will not be responsible for the effectiveness of cleaning and maintenance procedures. It is agreed that Abk will not be responsible for any damage or defects that are due to incorrect installation, cleaning and maintenance or due a wrong choice of materials and adhesives.
The above-stated instructions are merely indicative. For in-depth information, please consult the specific documents that are available on the catalogues and web-site of the manufacturers of detergents for ceramic floors, in particular:
Fila Industria Chimica S.p.A. (www.filachim.com).
Faber Chimica S.r.l. (www.faberchimica.com).
Mapei S.p.A. (www.mapei.it).
Kerakoll S.p.A. (www.kerakollgroup.com).