Can you believe winter is just around the corner!? With temperatures already starting to drop in some parts of Australia, it's time to start preparing for working in colder conditions. We've put together some helpful tips and hints for tiling and grouting in cold weather to ensure your tiling projects look great for many years to come.
Conventional Portland cement tile setting beds, thin-set adhesive mortars, groups, and cement plasters are often permanently damaged when subject to below freezing temperatures immediately after installation. The water content of a mortar turning into ice often results in Portland cement gel structure rupturing with a significant loss in strength, flexibility, and durability. Subsequent repairs to the damaged work and resulting site delays are extremely costly.
There is a simple rule to follow when the temperature is low during installation: The 10ºC Rule – for every 10ºC below 21ºC, Portland cement, and epoxy based materials take twice as long to cure.
- Work during warm periods of the day.
- Ensure that the surface temperature is within the suggested temperature range for the LATICRETE® or LATAPOXY® product being used during the installation and cure period. Consult the individual LATICRETE or LATAPOXY product data sheet and How to Install guide for more information.
- Tent and heat areas that will be subjected to the elements or freezing temperatures during installation and cure periods.
- For multiple story buildings – areas to receive tile and stonework may be heated from below to aid in “warming up” cold concrete slabs and rooms. Simply placing temporary heating units in areas under rooms scheduled to receive tile and stone finishes in multiple story buildings will allow the natural rise of heat to warm up these areas.
- Vent all temporary heating equipment in accord with Occupational Health and Safety regulations and local building code regulations