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»Refin   »Quality   »Skin installation   
Skin installation


Cutting and drillling recommendations

Skin is light and easy to handle, therefore it can be easily cut, drilled and worked.

Skin tiles can be cut and worked using machines and tools for traditional porcelain stoneware (specific horizontal cutters and diamond disks). During cutting operations using diamond disks, however, “continuous rim” disks must be used and it is essential to pay particular attention to the rotation speed, which must be higher than 2500 rev/min, and must never drop below 1mt/min.
Thanks to their reduced thickness, Skin slabs can also be cut using glasscutters, as long as care is taken to place the slabs on a perfectly clean and planar working top.
In order to carry out high-precision profiled cuts, hydro-jet cutting is recommended.

Skin tiles can be drilled using cup wheel cutters mounted on a drill or grinder for all drilling operations requiring a diameter greater than 8mm. When drilling requires a diameter smaller than 8mm, manual drilling can be carried out using glass or tungsten tips. It is recommended to cool the point being drilled with water and begin drilling at a low rotation speed, paying particular attention not to apply undue pressure on the tile. It is
recommended to avoid drilling too close to the edges of the tiles. For drilling operations carried out on-site, it is recommended waiting until the adhesive has
completely set.
We do not recommend using pneumatic drills.

Handlinge

Skin ceramic slabs have an average weigh of 11kg/sqmt therefore they can easily handled. It is recommended to pay particular attention to the edges of the slabs during handling.

Instructions for installation

Skin can be installed onto pre-existing floor and wall coverings and it allows for renovation projects without demolishing, thus reducing associated time and costs.

Laying on walls

Skin can be used to clad either inside and outside walls in residential, commercial and public buildings and it can be installed onto any kind of support suitable for standard thickness ceramic tiles (concrete, stone material, pre-existing ceramic coverings, metal, cement-based plasters, walls made of expanded cement blocks).

In particular, the slim thickness and lightness of Skin make it suitable for its laying on top of existing coverings without demolishing, as well as for walls which cannot bear too much weight on their surface (plasterboard and wood particleboard panels).

Instructions for the installation on ex novo wallse
For the installation on ex novo walls, it is recommended to check that the support is compact, with no cracks and that it is dry. Before proceeding with installation, it is always recommended to check that the hygrometric shrinkage is completed as well as the planarity of the wall and to level and clean the wall if necessary.

Instructions for the installation on pre-existing wall coverings
Before proceeding with installation, checks must be carried out to ascertain whether the existing covering adheres to the surface and that it is perfectly dry. Any cracked tiles, even partially, must be removed and the gaps created following their removal must be filled with appropriate cement products.

Method of installation

  • Use adhesives specific for porcelain stoneware, choosing the most suitable product according to the support being used.
  • Apply the adhesive full-bed onto the surface to be clad. Due to the slim thickness of the slabs and in order not to allow adhesive to escape via the joints, it is recommended to apply the adhesive using a tilted teeth trowel with 4-6mm teeth.
  • Lay Skin slabs making sure that the adhesive applied to the underside covers 100% of the Skin slabs.
  • The slabs must be pressed down using a rubber trowel in order to ensure they adhere properly and to avoid the formation of air bubbles or air pockets.
  • In order to obtain a better and functional result, Refin recommends joints of at least 2mm.

The layout of expansion joints must be calculated by the foreman of the site.

Laying on floors

Skin ceramic slabs can be laid as a true second skin onto pre-existing floors as they allow for a complete covering of old floors without demolishing, thus reducing associated time and costs and above all, avoiding all problems related to demolition.
Skin is particularly suitable for installation in residential and light-commercial floors and it can be used in all areas not subject to heavy loads or the passage of trolleys with hard wheels.

Instructions for the installation onto pre-existing floors
Before proceeding with the installation of Skin slabs, checks must be carried out in order to ascertain that the pre-existing floor is perfectly dry, stable and solidly anchored to the surface as well as that there are no movable parts that can, in some way, affect the adherence of the slabs. We recommend checking that the support to which Skin slabs are to be fixed is planar, and that the planarity check must be carried out using a straight edge (of at least 2m in length). Any cracked tiles, even partially, must be removed; the gaps created by the removal of cracked tiles must be filled with appropriate cement products.

Method of installation

  • Adhesive must be applied using the double-spreading technique in order to guarantee perfect adhesion and avoid the formation of air pockets.
  • Apply the adhesive full-bed onto the surface to be clad using a trowel with max 6mm teeth.
  • Apply the adhesive on the back of the slab using a trowel with max 3mm teeth.
  • The slabs must be pressed down using a rubber trowel in order to ensure they adheres properly
  • In order to obtain a better and functional result, joints of at least 2mm are recommended.

Warning:
Refin recommends the use of Skin slabs in renovation projects installing the product onto preexisting floors. In the case of installation directly onto the footing, it is necessary to check the complete seasoning of the footing itself as well as a state-of-the-art installation, in these cases Refin recommends the use of standard thickness porcelain stoneware tiles.

Installation

Laying on floors

For Skin slabs, we recommend adhesive installation as it guarantees better adherence of large size slabs, using high-performing adhesives specific for porcelain stoneware (Class C2 adhesives). The chosen adhesive must comply with the type of surface to be tiled (wall or floor), with the size of the tiles, the condition of use and it must guarantee a suitable “wettability”.
Refin recommends the use of the best companies available on the market, who have qualified operators able to suggest the most suitable adhesive for a specific job. Before proceeding with the installation, it is necessary to check that the substrate is stable, dry, mature and it is always recommended to carefully follow the instructions of adhesive and substrate manufacturers.
It is imperative to properly fill the gaps between the tile and the substrate with adhesive in order to avoid the formation of air pockets which can compromise the performance of the tiled surface.

Joints and grout lines

The width of grout lines can vary depending on the size of the tiles and of the destination of use. It is always recommended to plan a grout line of at least 2mm while Refin accepts no responsibility should joint-less installation patterns are used. In order to obtain a better aesthetic outcome, Refin recommends the use of grouts with the same colour shade of the ceramic material to be installed; the use of grouts with a different colour are not recommended.

Cleaning following installation

It is necessary to carry out the cleaning of the surface immediately after grouting, using acid detergents specialised in the removal of calcareous and grout residue, which catalyse dirt. The use of water alone or substances such as oil and vinegar is not sufficient to clean the surface. In order to obtain the best result, it is necessary to have previously carried out a general cleaning operation, then wait for the strengthening of the grout and subsequently apply specific detergents following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Maintenance

After having followed the instructions for post-installation cleaning, ordinary maintenance does not require special procedures, but only requires the use of water and neutral detergents. For everyday cleaning, we do not recommend using wax products and/or oily detergents and do not recommend impregnating and water-proofing treatments: porcelain stoneware tiles do not require these treatments.
For persisting stains and/or dirt, the use of more aggressive detergents, diluted depending on the type of dirt and following the manufacturer’s instructions, is recommended.

The products recommended for post-installation and everyday maintenance cleaning are the same used for standard thickness porcelain stoneware tiles.


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