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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
Installing A Ceramic Mosaic Tile Floor To Match Existing Tile
The Old Customs House, New York - Gsa/Pbs
Installing A Ceramic Mosaic Tile Floor To Match Existing Tile
INSTALLING A CERAMIC MOSAIC TILE FLOOR TO MATCH EXISTING TILE
A. This procedure includes guidance on installing a new
ceramic mosaic tile floor to replace lost or severely
damaged portions of existing ceramic mosaic tile, or to
enlarge or alter an area of existing/historic tile
floors. GENERALLY, THIS WORK SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED BY
A EXPERIENCED CONTRACTOR.
B. Ceramic mosaic tile was introduced in the early 1900s and
was commonly used through the 1930s. These tiles were
most commonly used in entrance foyers and public lobbies,
as well as bathrooms.
C. Tiles were typically small, white, unglazed, and laid in
a bed of mortar. With advancements in technology, the
individual tiles were eventually pre-mounted on 12"x12"
sheets of paper in decorative patterns. This paper was,
at first, face-mounted and removed after the tile sheets
were set. This method was later replaced by the use of
a fabric mesh backing to hold the individual tiles
together. This change made it possible to realign
crooked tiles more easily.
D. Various shapes were available, including round, square,
octagonal and hexagonal. Various colors were also
created using clay pigments (for unglazed tile) and
colored glazes (for glazed tile).
E. Ceramic mosaic tiles were usually no larger than 2 1/4"
and no thicker than 1/4".
F. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
A. The Tile Council of America, Inc. (TCA), P.O. Box 326,
Princeton, NJ 08542-0326, 609/921-7050, FAX 609/452-
B. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 100
Barr Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428, (610) 832-9585
or FAX (610) 832-9555.
C. American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI), 1430
Broadway, New York, NY 10018.
A. Product Data: Product data for each type of product
B. Shop Drawings: Shop drawings indicating tile patterns
and locations and widths of expansion, contraction,
control, and isolation joints in tile substrates and
finished tile surfaces.
1. Locate precisely each joint and crack in tile
substrates by measuring, record measurements on
shop drawings, and coordinate them with tile joint
locations, in consultation with RHPO.
1. Samples for initial selection purposes in form of
manufacturer's color charts consisting of actual
tiles or section of tile showing full range of
colors, textures, and patterns available for each
type and composition of tile indicated. Include
samples of grout and accessories involving color
2. Samples for verification purposes of each item
listed below, prepared on samples of size and
construction indicated, products involve color and
texture variations, in sets showing full range of
a. Each type and composition of tile and for each
color and texture required, at least 12 inches
square, mounted on plywood or hardboard
backing and grouted.
b. Full-size units of each type of trim and
accessory for each color required.
D. Quality Control Submittals: Qualification data for firms
and persons specified in "Quality Assurance" article to
demonstrate their capabilities and experience. Include
list of completed projects with project names, addresses,
names of architects and owners, plus other information
E. Design Data/Test Reports/Certificates:
1. Master grade certificates for each shipment, type
and composition of tile, signed by tile
manufacturer and installer.
2. Material test reports from qualified independent
testing laboratory indicating and interpreting test
results relative to compliance of tile and tile
setting and grouting products with requirements
1.04 QUALITY ASSURANCE
1. Installer Qualifications: Engage and experienced
installer who has successfully completed tile
installations similar in material, design and
extent to that indicated for project.
2. Single-Source Responsibility for Tile: Obtain each
color, grade, finish, type, composition, and
variety of tile from a single source with resources
to provide products of consistent quality in
appearance and physical properties without delaying
progress of the work.
3. Single-Source Responsibility for Setting and
Grouting Materials: Obtain ingredients of a
uniform quality from one manufacturer for each
cementitious and admixture component and from one
source or producer for each aggregate.
B. Mock-Ups: Before installing tile, erect mock-ups for
each form of construction and finish required to verify
selections made under sample submittals and to
demonstrate aesthetic effects as well as qualities of
materials and execution. Build mock-ups to comply with
the following requirements, using materials indicated for
final unit of work.
1. Locate mock-ups on site in location and size
indicated or, if not indicated, directed by RHPO.
2. Demonstrate the proposed range of aesthetic effects
3. Obtain RHPO's acceptance of mock-ups before start
of final unit of work.
4. Retain and maintain mock-ups during construction in
undisturbed condition as a standard for judging
completed unit of work.
a. When directed, demolish and remove mock-ups
from project site.
1.05 DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING
A. Packing and Shipping:
1. Deliver and store packaged materials in original
containers with seals unbroken and labels intact
until time of use. Comply with requirement of ANSI
A137.1 for labeling sealed tile packages.
2. Prevent damage or contamination to materials by
water, freezing, foreign matter, and other causes.
B. Acceptance at Site: Handle tile with temporary
protective coating on exposed surfaces to prevent coated
surfaces from contacting backs or edges of other units.
If despite these precautions coating does contact bonding
surfaces of tile, remove coating from bonding surfaces
before setting tile.
C. Storage and Protection: Extra Materials: Deliver extra
materials to owner. Furnish extra materials that match
products installed as described below, packaged with
protective covering for storage and identified with
labels clearly describing contents.
1. Tile and Trim Units: Furnish quantity of full-size
units equal to 3% of amount installed, for each
type, composition, color, pattern, and size.
1.06 PROJECT/SITE CONDITIONS
A. Environmental Requirements:
1. Maintain environmental conditions and protect work
during and after installation to comply with
referenced standards and manufacturer's printed
2. Vent temporary heaters to exterior to prevent
damage to tile work from carbon dioxide buildup.
3. Maintain temperatures at 50 degrees F. (10 degrees
C.) or more in tiled areas during installation and
for 7 days after completion, unless higher
temperatures are required by referenced
installation standard or manufacturer's
A. American-Olean Tile Co.
1000 Cannon Ave.
P.O. Box 271
Lansdale, PA 19446-0271
B. Bostik Construction Products
Middleton, MA 01949
800/726-7845, FAX 508/774-7376
B. U.S. Mosaic Tile Co., Inc.
4275 Steve Reynolds Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30093
404/634-0629, FAX 404/921-4520
1. ANSI Standard for Ceramic Tile: Comply with ANSI
A137.1 "American National Standard Specifications
for Ceramic Tile" for types, compositions, and
grades of tile indicated.
2. ANSI Standard for Tile Installation Materials:
Comply with ANSI standard referenced with products
and materials indicated for setting and grouting.
3. Colors, Textures and Patterns: Where
manufacturer's standard products are indicated for
tile, grout, and other products requiring selection
of colors, surface textures, patterns and other
appearance characteristics, provide specific
products or materials complying with the following
a. Provide selection made by RHPO from
manufacturer's full range of standard colors,
textures and patterns for products of type
4. Factory Blending: For tile exhibiting color
variations within the ranges selected during sample
submittals, blend tile in factory and package
accordingly so that tile units taken from one
package show the same range in colors as those
taken from other packages and match approved
B. Tile Products:
1. Unglazed Ceramic Mosaic Tile: Provide factory-
mounted flat tile to match original (American Olean
Tile Co., Inc., U.S. Mosaic Tile Co.), or approved
2. Glazed Wall Tile: Provide flat tile to match
original (American Olean Tile Co., Inc., U.S.
Mosaic Tile Co.), or approved equal.
3. Trim Units: Provide tile trim units to match
characteristics of adjoining flat tile and to
comply with the following requirements:
a. Size: To match original, coordinated with
sizes and coursing of adjoining flat tile
b. Shapes: To match original, selected from
manufacturer's standard shapes.
C. Setting Materials (American Olean Tile Co., Inc., Bostik
Construction Products), or approved equal.
1. Latex-Portland Cement Mortar: Provide materials
complying with ANSI A108.1,
a. Reinforcing Wire Fabric: Galvanized welded
wire fabric, 2 inches by 2 inches - W0.3 by
W0.3 (16 ASW gage or 0.0625 inch diameter);
comply with ASTM A 185 and ASTM A 82 except
for minimum wire size.
b. Expanded Metal Lath: Provide diamond mesh
lath complying with ASTM C847 for requirements
1) Base Metal and Finish for Interior
Applications: Fabricate lath from
uncoated or zinc-coated (galvanized)
steel sheet, with uncoated steel sheet
painted after fabrication into lath.
2) Configuration Over Studs and Furring:
3) Weight: 3.4 psf.
2. Dry-Set Portland Cement Mortar: ANSI A118.1.,
Manufacturer's standard latex type (water emulsion)
serving as replacement for part or all of gauging
water, combined at job site with prepackaged dry
mortar mix supplied or specified by latex additive
3. Thin-Set Portland Cement Mortar Installation:
Where thin-set portland cement mortar applications
are indicated, use Latex-portland cement mortar,
complying with TCA requirements for installation
method designated, unless otherwise required.
D. Grouting Materials (American Olean Tile Co., Inc., Bostik
Construction Products), or approved equal.
1. Dry-Set Grout: Comply with ANSI A118.6.
2. Commercial Portland Cement Grout: Proprietary pre-
blended compound composed of portland cement and
additives formulated for type of tile installation.
3. Latex-Portland Cement Grout: Proprietary pre-
blended compound composed of portland cement,
selected and graded aggregates, color pigments, and
chemical additives gaged with latex additive to
comply with manufacturer's directions.
E. Miscellaneous Materials:
1. Organic Adhesives, Type I (American Olean Tile Co.,
Inc., Bostik Construction Products), or approved
2. Metal Edge Strips: Zinc alloy or stainless steel
terrazzo strips, 1/8 inch wide at top edge with
integral provision for anchorage to mortar bed or
substrate unless otherwise indicated.
A. Mix mortars and grouts to comply with requirements of
referenced standards and manufacturers including those
for accurate proportioning of materials, water, or
additive content; type of mixing equipment, selection of
mixer speeds, mixing containers, mixing time, and other
procedures needed to produce mortars and grouts of
uniform quality with optimum performance characteristics
for application indicated.
A. Examine substrates and areas where tile will be
installed, with installer present, for compliance with
requirements for installation tolerances and other
conditions affecting performance of installed tile.
1. Verify that substrates for setting tile are firm,
dry, clean, and free form oil or waxy films and
2. Verify that installation of grounds, anchors,
recessed frames, electrical and mechanical units of
work, and similar items located in or behind tile
has been completed before installing tile.
B. Do not proceed with installation until unsatisfactory
conditions have been corrected.
A. Blending: For tile exhibiting color variations within
the ranges selected during sample submittals, verify that
tile has been blended in factory and packaged accordingly
so that tile units taken from one package show the same
range in colors as those taken from other packages and
match approved samples. If not factory blended, either
return to manufacturer or blend tiles at project site
3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Installation, General:
1. ANSI Tile Installation Standard: Comply with parts
of ANSI 108 series of tile installation standards
included under "American National Standard
Specifications for the Installation of Ceramic
Tile" that apply to type of setting and grouting
materials and methods indicated.
2. TCA Installation Guidelines: TCA "Handbook for
Ceramic Tile Installation"; comply with TCA
installation methods indicated.
3. Extend tile work into recesses and under or behind
equipment and fixtures to form a complete covering
without interruptions except as otherwise shown.
Terminate work neatly at obstructions, edges, and
corners without disrupting pattern or joint
4. Accurately form intersections and returns. Perform
cutting and drilling of tile without marring
visible surfaces. Carefully grind cut edges of
tile abutting trim, finish, or built-in items for
straight aligned joints. Fit tile closely to
electrical outlets, piping, fixtures, and other
penetrations so that plates, collars, or covers
5. Jointing Pattern: Unless otherwise shown, lay tile
in grid pattern. Align joints when adjoining tiles
on floor, base, walls, and trim are same size. Lay
out tile work and center tile fields in both
directions in each space or on each wall area.
Adjust to minimize tile cutting. Provide uniform
joint widths to match existing.
a. For tile mounted in sheets, make joints
between tile sheets same width as joints
within tile sheets so that extend of each
sheet is not apparent in finished work.
6. Lay out tile wainscots to next full tile beyond
7. Expansion Joints: Locate expansion joints and
other sealant-filled joints, including control,
contraction, and isolation joints, where indicated
during installation of setting materials, mortar
beds, and tile. Do not saw cut joints after
installation of tiles.
a. Locate joints in tile surfaces directly above
joints in concrete substrates.
8. Grout tile to comply with the requirements of the
following installation standards:
a. For ceramic tile grouts (sand-portland cement,
dry-set, commercial portland cement, and
latex-portland cement grouts), comply with
B. Floor Installation Methods:
1. Ceramic Mosaic Tile: Install tile to comply with
requirements indicated below for setting bed
methods, TCA installation methods related to types
of subfloor construction, and grout types:
a. Portland Cement Mortar: ANSI A180.1.
b. Tile Thick-Set Mortar Bed: ANSI A108.1
Specifications. For applications over
membrane waterproofing, setting shall be 1-1/4
inch minimum thickness and shall be reinforced
with mesh set midway in mortar bed.
c. Concrete Subfloors, Interior, Waterproofing
Membrane: TCA F121-90.
d. Grout: Dry-set.
2. Stone Thresholds: Install stone thresholds at
recommended locations; set in same type of setting
bed as abutting field tile unless otherwise
a. Set thresholds in latex-portland cement mortar
for locations where mortar bed would otherwise
be exposed above adjacent non-tile floor
3. Metal Edge Strips: Install at locations indicated
or where exposed edge of tile flooring meets
carpet, wood, or other flooring that finishes flush
with top of tile.
A. Cleaning: Upon completion of placement and grouting,
clean all ceramic tile surfaces so they are free of
1. Unglazed tile may be cleaned with acid solutions
only when permitted by tile and grout
manufacturer's printed instructions, but no sooner
than 14 days after installation. Protect metal
surfaces, cast iron, and vitreous plumbing fixtures
from effects of acid cleaning. Flush surface with
clean water before and after cleaning.
B. Finished Tile Work: Leave finished installation clean
and free of cracked, chipped, broken, unbonded, and
otherwise defective tile work.
A. Provide final protection and maintain conditions in a
manner acceptable to manufacturer and installer that
ensures that tile is without damage or deterioration at
time of substantial completion.
1. When recommended by tile manufacturer, apply a
protective coat of neutral protective cleaner to
completed tile walls and floors. Protect installed
tile work with kraft paper or other heavy covering
during construction period to prevent staining,
damage and wear.
2. Prohibit foot and wheel traffic from tiled floors
for at least 7 days after grouting is completed.
B. Before final inspection, remove protective coverings and
rinse neutral cleaner from tile surfaces.
END OF SECTION