Installing A Ceramic Mosaic Tile Floor To Match Existing Tile

Procedure code:
The Old Customs House, New York - Gsa/Pbs
Ceramic Tile
Last Modified:




    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

    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

         3.   Submittals

         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 North America, Inc. (TCNA), 

    B.   American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 

    C.   American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI),


    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.

    C.   Samples:

         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
              variations expected.

              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


    A.   Qualifications:

         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
              and workmanship.

         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.


    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.


    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.

    B.   Bostik Construction Products 


    A.   General:

         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.), or approved equal.

         2.   Glazed Wall Tile:  Provide flat tile to match
              original (American Olean Tile Co., Inc.), 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
                   where applicable.

              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
                   indicated below:

                   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.

2.02 MIXES

    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
              curing compounds.

         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
         before installing.


    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:  TCNA "Handbook for
              Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation"; comply with TCNA
              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
              overlap tile.

         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
              dimensions indicated.

         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
                   ANSI A108.10.

    B.   Floor Installation Methods:

         1.   Ceramic Mosaic Tile:  Install tile to comply with
              requirements indicated below for setting bed
              methods, TCNA 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:  TCNA 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
         foreign matter.

         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

Last Reviewed 2014-11-12