Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles
Encaustic cement tiles are handmade, decorative, colorful tiles used primarily as floor coverings. Floors or walls covered with these tiles are noted for their multi-color patterns, durability and sophisticated look. Cement tiles are not fired and derive their durability from the combination of finely dehydrated ground Portland cement layer and a more coarse layer of sand and Portland cement. The pigment layer is hydraulically pressed into the surface and becomes a part of the tile, not a glaze or paint layer on the surface of the tile. Sealing encaustic tiles is recommended for stain resistance and maintenance purposes.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

Pre Sealing Encaustic Tiles

Pre sealing encaustic tiles is generally not required, however it is always best to consult with your tile supplier to verify whether your tiles require this treatment. If required, sealing encaustic tiles on all six sides using Aqua Mix® ProBlock a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation.

Aqua Mix® ProBlock is a water based penetrating sealer designed to resist staining caused by water soluble minerals (including picture framing effect) which are normally absorbed through the back of the tile during installation. It also helps resist efflorescence migration.

If applying an Enhancing Sealer as the final surface seal, DO NOT apply any ProBlock to the top surface as it will stop the penetration of enhancing sealers. Please contact Aqua Mix® prior to installation if an enhancer is specified for use.

Pre-Grout Sealing Encaustic Tiles

Sealing Encaustic Cement TilesIf the tile does not require to be pre-sealed, it is highly recommended to apply a coat of the final sealer on the surface prior to grouting. This is to act as a grout release and assist in the grout clean-up process. This is very important as acidic cleaners cannot be used to removed cured grout residue.

IMPORTANT: It is not recommend to use pigmented coloured grouts on cement tiles, as they can become embedded into the surface of the tile. This can be very difficult to rectify as acidic cleaners cannot be used.

If a pigmented coloured grout is desired, we recommend that you apply a coat of Aqua Mix® Grout Release to the surface prior to grouting.

Grout Haze Removal

It is important that all of the grout haze is removed between 3-10 days. A minimum of 3 days for the the grout to cure and harden, and no longer than 10 days or it may need to be mechanically removed.

Grout haze can be removed using Aqua Mix® NanoScrub®, if Aqua Mix® Grout Release was used, the grout and Grout Release can be removed using Aqua Mix® Heavy-Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner. If epoxy grout has been used you can remove using Aqua Mix® Sealer & Coating Remover. Acidic cleaners should NEVER be used to remove grout haze from Encaustic Cement Tiles.

Sealing Encaustic Tiles

Sealing Encaustic Cement TilesIn most cases you should only be sealing these tiles using either a Natural Look Sealer or an Enhancing Sealer. The best sealer for encaustic tiles is Aqua Mix® Sealer’s Choice® Gold – Rapid Cure, however we have a range of sealers to suit your requirements:

Sealing Encaustic Tiles with a Natural Look Penetrating Sealer:

Sealing Encaustic Tiles with an Enhanced Look Penetrating Sealer:

Note: Sealing encaustic tiles with a penetrating sealer will not alter the slip resistance. For more information regarding slip resistance, click here

If the surface is an internal textured floor you also may use a Topical / Coating Sealer. However we do not recommend Topical / Coating Sealer to be used in wet areas. Applying a Topical / Coating Sealer can be difficult on these tiles as they are generally very smooth. It is recommended that a experienced professional is employed to apply a Topical / Coating Sealer to these tiles.

Maintaining Encaustic Tiles

Countertops and Walls

Sealing Encaustic Cement TilesCountertops/Bench-tops, vanities and walls should be regularly cleaned using any of Aqua Mix® Routine Cleaners.

Regular use of Aqua Mix® Aqua Shield™ Cleaner & Resealer will ensure that your encaustic tiles always maintains maximum stain resistance.

Floors

Floors should be regularly cleaned using Aqua Mix® Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner. If the surface is allowed to build up, then scrub the surface using Aqua Mix® Stone Deep CleanAqua Mix® Heavy-Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner or Aqua Mix® NanoScrub® and an Aqua MIx® AquaScrub.

 

Stain Removal

Sealing Encaustic Cement TilesIf you have a stain that you wish to remove, Aqua Mix® Poultice Stain Remover should be used. This product is a blend of absorbent clays that can be mixed with water or an appropriate chemical to extract the stain from within the stone.

Stain Removal Guide