Below, Laticrete offers advice for tiling and grouting in cold weather.
Conventional Portland cement tile setting beds, thin-set mortars, grouts 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 significant loss in strength, flexibility and durability. Subsequent repairs to the damaged work and resulting site delays can be extremely costly.
There is a simple rule to follow when the temperature is low during installation: The 8ºC Rule – for every 8ºC 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 product being used during the installation and cure period. Consult the individual product data sheet and How to Install guide for more information.
- Tent around and heat areas that will be subjected to the elements or freezing temperatures during installation and cure periods.
- For multiple storey 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 storey buildings will allow the natural rise of heat to warm up these areas.
- Vent all temporary heating equipment in accord with Worksafe Practices and within occupational exposure limits and local building code regulations