Installation and Care of Custom Tiles and Murals
Installing custom tiles is nearly identical to techniques for unprinted tiles. Install the tile mural using conventional tile adhesives and tools (note: for glass tiles – link here). Care must be taken not to scratch the face of the tiles with hard objects, such as other tiles or metal tools. Normal use of tile backerboard and leveling materials are required as with conventional tile, particularly where moisture or possible leakage could occur. It is best to be sure that no air pockets are left under the tile in the adhesive ‘bed.’ Brief tile installation video.
Custom tiles for large murals are numbered on the back and marked for layout with a printed grid picture. Small murals may simply be laid out and transferred to the wall for attachment.
Use denatured alcohol, mineral spirits or glass cleaner for clean up, with a soft cloth or sponge. Do not use extremely strong chemicals such as muriatic acid, acetone, gasoline, or lacquer thinner for cleaning the tiles.
Custom tiles may be used in any interior commercial and residential environment for wall installation (see our Exterior Grade tiles for extended sun exposure). Installations subject to moisture or temperature fluctuations should be grouted to prevent seepage around the tiles. Note that our Ceramic floor tiles also install with conventional tile adhesives and tools and should be grouted. Observe all usual precautions for preparation as with conventional floor tiles (leveling, stability, cleanliness).
For Interior Tiles – Use silicone grout or non‑abrasive (unsanded) tile grout (outdoor tiles – may use any type grout, due to superior scratch resistance). Set your tiles with adhesive and grout them in after the period of time recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. Only porcelain or glass tiles should be considered for exterior use in climates subject to frost. Avoid prolonged direct sunlight exposure. For the best in exterior durability, order our kiln-fired outdoor tiles rather than interior wall tiles.
As with any tile, custom imaged tiles should be cleaned using a non-abrasive cleaner, such as Scrubbing Bubbles, Lysol Tub & Tile, Fantastik, glass cleaner or denatured alcohol with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. The tiles are resistant to dilute bleach. Do not use extremely aggressive chemicals such as muriatic acid or acetone. Tile generally requires little care beyond regular cleaning with a soft cloth and gentle soap that contains no acids. We recommend avoiding the use of cleaners that contain any acids that may cause etching and damage to glazes.
Floor tiles: Tile floors are actually rather easy to care for and are nearly maintenance free. Proactively, keep debris such as sand and/or dirt off of the floor. Debris can be abrasive to a tile floor surface. Regular vacuuming and/or sweeping with a dust mop will prevent surface scratching. Deeper cleaning of a tile floor can be accomplished using a damp mop and non-abrasive cleaning solution. React to spills by wiping them up and then cleaning the spill area using a sponge, with a tile cleanser and water mixture, if necessary. This will protect the tiles’ appearance and prevent any potential staining from occurring.
Place walk-off mats at entryways and area rugs in high traffic or water susceptible areas to collect dirt and debris. The mats and rugs should be shaken out as necessary to remove debris. Depending on what type of furniture you have, you may want to install foot protectors. Be careful when moving furniture, ensuring the piece is lifted up and then carried to its location. Dragging furniture across a tile floor will result in surface scratches.
Q: What if there’s breakage during tile installation?
A: Custom Tiles can supply replacement tile. For this purpose, we keep a digital file of every mural produced for at least one month. Shipping on replacement tiles is not included.
Q: Can these murals be installed outside?
A: Periodic or intermittent sun exposure will not damage the image. Imaged tiles should not receive prolonged direct sunlight and can be placed under awnings and on north-side exposures. Our Tumbled Porcelain Tiles and Glass Tiles are perfect for climates that experience freezing temperatures due to their frost resistance. For extended sunlight exposure, we have Exterior Grade tiles which are also perfect for swimming pools and saunas.