Installation instructions

Victorian tiles – assembly instructions

In this guide you will find useful information on how to proceed with the project. It’s divided into the following sections:

  1. Tools
  2. Planning
  3. Installation
  4. Maintenance and cleaning

Please note that this manual is merely a reminder of how to install Victorian tiles. If, after reading this manual, something is unclear for you, please contact us or an official distributor of Victorian tiles. You can also consult a professional tiler.

We recommend that our tiles were laid by an experienced tiler.

An appropriate preparation of the foundation is necessary (even and clean!) and the use of appropriate adhesive – as is the case in ceramic tiles.

Laying tiles directly onto wet cement is not recommended.

1. Tools

Suitable tools will help you perform the installation in a professional way. They are widely available.

Tape measure – for the accurate measurement of the surface
Pliers  – a tool for “chipping” unwanted portions of tiles
Diamond cutter – is the best way to cut the Victorian floor tile
Gloves, safety googles and dust masks – are necessary and very important during each cut.
Always use personal protective equipment, as prescribed by safety regulations.
Pencil – used to mark tiles for cutting. Never use felt-tip pens because they can permanently stain the tiles.
Plastering trowels of different sizes (e.g.. A small bladed adhesive container).
Spatulas of various sizes.
“Combs” of corrugated edges to ensure even distribution of the adhesive.
Spacers – small plastic pieces that are placed in the corners of the respective tiles.
Spirit levels  – a long one is necessary to ensure a level surface, and a short one for tight spaces.
Filler rubber (clean) – used for grouting, a properly sized joint and solid execution grouting (clean and neat) will lead to the correct result.
Mortar finish tool – this tool is conducted in a type of grout, before positioned to provide a consistent, clean finish.

Choosing victorian tiles:
This is obviously the most important and the most enjoyable task! With so many tile designs and colours, samples are helpful which are available in showrooms or architectural studios. It is important to match tiles with the house decoration and furniture.
If you’re not sure about the suitability and the selection of Victorian floor tiles we’re happy to offer advice.
Design and planning of the Victorian floor can be a time-consuming and complex task.
We hope that through this guide and our tips your floors will become unique.
Following the instructions will help you calculate the required amounts, the choice of tiles, the selection of shapes and colours.
Of course, we are at your disposal.

How to carefully lay the tiles on the floor horizontally and evenly relative to each other?
To do this, follow the rules and have an even surface.
Some surfaces are ideally suited for tiles, others require additional preparation.

Important note:
Surfaces (concrete floors) must be completely dry. Moist surface may cause the tiles to peel off.
On the new concrete floor we can lay tiles after it’s completely dry, ie after at least 6 weeks.
Wood floors and beams must be rigid and stable. The best way to achieve this is the use of waterproof plywood, for example 18mm (7/8 “) or thicker over the entire floor, screwing it every 150mm (6”) in each direction.
Old stone, stoneware, ceramic tiles and vinyl floor tile is best removed. If this is impossible or impractical, and they are completely healthy, they should be thoroughly cleaned of oily deposits.

Outdoor use:
Original Victorian floor tiles are suitable for outdoor use and are frost resistant; provided they are arranged in such a way that rainwater flowed freely through them. The water must not penetrate under and between them.
Tiles should not be applied on flat surfaces covered with asphalt in areas prone to frost. Tiles laid out should be impregnated with repellent HG to increase their resistance to water absorption.

2. Planning

The key to achieving beautiful Victorian tiled floor geometry with Winckelmans’ tiles is to adequately plan the area.

Below are brief guidelines applicable to the typical rectangular floor with the model central and external decor.
1. Measure the dimensions of the area to cover.
2. Calculate the width of the external décor, mindful of 2 mm (1/16 “) of the grout for each joint.
3. Calculate the length and width of the area available for the central pattern by subtracting twice the external decor.
4. Decide on the size of the selected tile pattern that will fit in the space calculated in point. (3) – symmetry, be sure to trim.
You do not have to use whole tiles.
It is permissible to cut victorian tiles along the edge (see Pic. 1A and 1B)

Pic. 1A
Pic. 1A
Pic. 1B
Pic. 1B

5. Calculate how many tiles you need to fill the space between the border and the wall (see Picture 2). Decide on the colour/colours.
6. Consider a larger space, eg. at the door.
7. Order a greater number of tiles of each size and colour for the cutting.
This reserve will help you avoid the delay caused by re-ordering small amounts of tiles in a short time.

Picture 2
Picture 2: Floor plan

Plan your floor area on which the victorian tiles are to be installed.

Calculating main area (pattern)

Calculate the width of the border of the perimeter of the floor surface. This will be the area of the main pattern.

Positioning main pattern

Tiles of the main pattern must be within it. The outer edges of the main pattern should not breach the space intended for the border.

Finishing the main tile pattern

Using appropriate tiles (cut if necessary), make the outer edges of the pattern.


Fit Frame around the main pattern, leaving a gap between the border and the wall.

Fitting the border

Plan everything carefully. Remember the tiles with an angle of 45 °. Remember the prescribed joints 2mm (1/16 “) and the fact that every corner should have a full tile. Enlarging or reducing the joint will help you avoid cutting the tiles at the borders.

Finishing the installation

Finally, fill the remaining space around the outer edge of the border with tiles trimmed to the appropriate size.

3. Installation

Below is information on how to install step by step Victorian geometric tiles.
This is not a complete tiling manual.
We recommend that Victorian tiles be installed by an experienced tile fitter.
Satisfactory results of tile installation depend on a good, level surface, and the correct use of the adhesive surface. Laying directly into wet cement is not recommended.

Please note:
Since the original Victorian tiles are made of natural clays, there may be differences in shade between tiles of the same colour. It is therefore important to check them and evenly distribute them (eg. dry) before sticking.
Before you start laying make sure the tiles are clean and free of dust.

Varying sizes
Due to the process of firing the clay dimensions of Victorian tiles may vary with a tolerance of 1 percent. Installers should be aware that some patterns composed of tiles of same nominal size and two different colours may require an increase in grout and tile spacing to facilitate their arrangement.

Original Victorian floor tiles should be impregnated. Eg. in a commercial kitchen and outside – impregnation sealing is recommended, such as HG Impregnator. Please remember not to apply more than tiles can absorb. Any excess must be removed.

(Note: One of the methods used by installers is spreading impregnation on the floor with a roller. Due to the low porosity of newly produced tiles this is no longer necessary and will cause problems if the excess impregnation is not removed).

  1. Make sure the floor surface is even and clean (free of dust and grease). Wooden floors should be very stable.
  2. Measure the floor, including the dimensions of the door, etc.
  3. We set the exact center of the floor and chalk main lines of the grid assembly.
  4. Lay (without adhesive) a row of tiles along each grid line assembly (width and length), leaving about 2 mm (1/16 “) between each tile. You have to match tiles in order to achieve symmetrical arrangement.
  5. Spread the appropriate amount of adhesive using a float with a “comb”. On average it’s 3-6mm thick. You need to use an adhesive of reputable brand, taking into account different conditions: the surface of the floor inside, outside, etc.. Important: Do not lay tiles directly onto wet concrete as this may cause “bloom” on the tiles’ surface.
  6. We begin by laying large floor tiles with 2 mm (1/6 “) grout.
  7. Place the smaller tiles, leaving spaces between them.
  8. Lay the border tiles. The best result can be achieved by starting from corners towards the center. Using small pieces can help avoid additional cutting by making small alterations in the distribution of tiles. In justified cases the cut is made in the central point of the border (eg., halfway between 2 corners). This  way you can achieve a symmetrical finish.
  9. In the case of irregular sides (many internal and external corners), you should cut and match tiles. A good equipment for cutting hard tiles is necessary.

Victorian tiles should be arranged with a 2mm (1/16 “) space between them and filled with the appropriate grout.

Inadequate mortar for grouting tiles can stain and are not recommended.

Victorian tiles are designed for floors with underfloor heating. Please refer to the heating system’s instruction manual.

Regular, proper use of suitable sealants and cleaners will help keep Victorian tiles in a very good condition.

Adhesives: You should ask renowned distributors of adhesives about which ones would be suitable for this type of tiles.

Concrete must be at least 8mm thick.
The concrete surface is covered with a mixture of PVA glue and sand.
Final result.

Martin Mosaic is not responsible for the faulty installation of the tiles.

The tiles should be checked prior to installation. After installation any claim as to the quality of the tiles will not be considered. Please note that the start of assembly means acceptance of quality, colour, texture and tone of the tiles.

The tile manufacturer guarantees that the tile are made in accordance with European standards and as described, and are suited only for their intended use.

Please note that the use of chemicals other than the ones recommended by the manufacturer can cause changes to the tiles (colour, etc.)

4. Maintenance and cleaning

I. Cleaning fully vitrified tiles

First step : After placing (or when removing colour stains)

Removing cement stains

To remove smears and stains caused by cement, calcium deposits, scaling or dust, use a cleaning fluid and a soft brush. Scrub and leave for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove excess using a squeegee mop.

At this stage, we recommend using the Winckelmans’ product:  “CEMENT STAINS CLEANER ”

Second step

Waterproof and stain-resistant product for sealing tiles can be used for kitchens and bathrooms. This protects tiled surfaces from discolouration, without changing their appearance. This product should not be used in new surfaces which are less than two weeks.

We use the spray, brush or roller and distribute the sealant until the tiles are saturated (surface appears wet). We maintain 6 to 24 hours interval between the layers.

At this stage, we recommend using the Winckelmans’ product:  “STAIN RESISTANT WATERPROOF SEALANT”

II. MAINTENANCE of fully vitrified floor tiles not coated with glaze

Since the laying, fully vitrified unglazed tiles require only minimal maintenance, which includes daily rubbing the surface with a damp mop, sometimes using a small amount of mild detergent, which should be thoroughly rinsed afterwards. Due to the highly refined production technique, such tiles aren’t much susceptible to discolouration.

However, sometimes it may seem that this type of tiles is coated with a thin whitish coating. This happens when the excess soft cement is distributed onto the tiles already laid because it has not been removed by the tile fitter after the joints have been finished.

It is imperative that the tile fitter leaves the tiles free of any stains and marks. This should be stressed during tile laying. Please also note that the tiler is rarely the last person who walks over the newly laid tiles and should therefore protect their work by spreading sawdust or through other suitable means. Such precautions are very rarely taken in practice, resulting in the tile surface being discoloured before it reaches the owner.

To identify a suitable means of removing this kind of discolouring (which is both inherently random and infrequent), some tales are routinely tested using the colouring of various kinds of food, and cleaners and industrial substances.

Winckelmans tested various cleaning methods to establish the appropriate technique of removing stains. The test result found for example, that Benzene is generally effective in removing Formica adhesive stains and paint, although it is not effective against oil-based paints. In this case, the stain becomes less visible, but do not disappear. On the other hand, Benzene is of little help in removing stains of table and linseed oil, putty mass or gasoline. Generally speaking, fresh stains are more easily removable than those left for longer.

Another approach that can be adopted, and sometimes effective when the cause of the stains is unknown, is the use of the following measures in the order they’re listed:

– Benzene
– Alcohols (Methylated spirits)
– Denaturated alcohol (Surgical spirits)
– Tetrahydrofuran
– In extreme cases, K2R can be used. It is available in gel form.

If after a thorough cleaning of tiles using one of these substances spots remain visible (albeit to a lesser extent), it is recommended to cover the entire surface with paraffin oil or vaseline. It will help improve the overall appearance of the entire surface, while also provide some protection against future discolouration.

These preventive measures are most suitable for rustic tiles where, in addition to facilitating future maintenance also provide partial protection for the cement joints. For best results, paraffin oil or vaseline should be left for 24 hours to be absorbed.

Then you should perform the following procedure:

– Thorough cleaning of the floor tiles with a mild detergent
– Scattering heated pieces of soft soap on the floor
– Thoroughly scrubbing tiles with a hard brush
– Washing the floors with a damp mop, being careful not to use too much water

Other tile cleaning products are available from wholesalers, who also provide guidance on their use and effectiveness.

It is extremely important to re-emphasize the adverse impact of the use of plastic-based coatings and varnishes on the quality of fully vitrified tiles. As stated in the beginning, these tiles do not need such protection apart from the measures listed above.  In fact, water droplets leave visible marks on varnished surfaces, and also it’s virtually impossible to remove the varnish.

If, after reading this guide something is unclear for you, please contact us by phone or email.