Ceramic tiles — Guidelines for installation — Part 1: Installation of ceramic wall and floor tiles

ISO/TR 17870-1:2015 defines the quality of ceramic tiling and provides guidance for materials selection, installation and use, to achieve required levels of quality and performance. It considers aspects related to the specification and installation of the tiling project, in terms of: - manufacture and distribution of the materials (ceramic tiles, adhesives, grouts, etc.); - specification of the tiling; - installation of the tiling (tile fixing operations). It is applicable to internal and external floor and wall ceramic tiling, installed by either cement mortar or other adhesive methods. NOTE The quality of ceramic tiling depends on the following general characteristics: - regularity; - durability; - safety. The durability of the tiling can depend on its use and management.

Carreaux et dalles céramiques — Lignes directrices pour l'installation — Partie 1: Installation des carreaux et dalles céramiques au sol et aux murs

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Publication Date
12-Aug-2015
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
13-Aug-2015
Completion Date
13-Aug-2015
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TECHNICAL ISO/TR
REPORT 17870-1
First edition
2015-08-15
Ceramic tiles — Guidelines for
installation —
Part 1:
Installation of ceramic wall and floor
tiles
Carreaux et dalles céramiques — Lignes directrices pour
l’installation —
Partie 1: Installation des carreaux et dalles céramiques au sol et aux
murs
Reference number
ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
ISO 2015
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2015, Published in Switzerland

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior

written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of

the requester.
ISO copyright office
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Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
copyright@iso.org
www.iso.org
ii © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2.2 Components of ceramic tiling .................................................................................................................................................... 2

2.3 Tiling techniques and operations ........................................................................................................................................... 3

2.4 Characteristics/aspects of ceramic tiling ......................................................................................................................... 4

3 Exchange of information .............................................................................................................................................................................. 4

4 Materials ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

4.2 Basic materials ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

4.3 Basic information .................................................................................................................................................................................. 6

5 Specification .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 7

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.2 The project data ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.2.1 Installation location and working conditions ......................................................................................... 7

5.2.2 Backgrounds ........................................................................................................................................................................ 7

5.3 Selection and specification of the materials .................................................................................................................. 9

5.3.1 Criterion of performance .......................................................................................................................................... 9

5.3.2 Criterion of compatibility ......................................................................................................................................... 9

5.3.3 Criterion of safety.........................................................................................................................................................10

5.4 Specification of the tiling .............................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.1 Tiling system ....................................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.2 Tile joints .............................................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.3 Movement joints ............................................................................................................................................................11

6 Installation ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................11

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................11

6.2 Analysis of the specification and planning of the work ....................................................................................12

6.3 Control of environmental conditions ................................................................................................................................12

6.4 Storage and control of the materials .................................................................................................................................12

6.5 Control and preparation of the background, preparation of the bedding material,

application of bedding and tiles ............................................................................................................................................13

6.6 Installation of movement joints ............................................................................................................................................13

6.7 Cleaning and protection ...............................................................................................................................................................14

7 Quality of ceramic tiling: characteristics and requirements ...............................................................................14

7.1 General characteristics of ceramic tiling .......................................................................................................................14

7.2 Guidelines for the specification of requirements and their recommended tolerances .........14

7.2.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................14

7.2.2 Regularity ............................................................................................................................................................................14

7.2.3 Durability ............................................................................................................................................................................17

7.2.4 Safety .......................................................................................................................................................................................17

8 Initial cleaning, protection, and maintenance ....................................................................................................................18

8.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................18

8.2 Initial cleaning ......................................................................................................................................................................................18

8.3 Protection .................................................................................................................................................................................................18

8.4 Treatment .................................................................................................................................................................................................19

8.4.1 Surface waterproofing treatments ................................................................................................................19

8.4.2 Temporary tile sealers .............................................................................................................................................19

8.5 Maintenance ...........................................................................................................................................................................................19

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................20

© ISO 2015 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity

assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the WTO principles in the Technical

Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: Foreword - Supplementary information

The committee responsible for this document is ISO/TC 189, Ceramic tile.

ISO/TR 17870 consists of the following parts, under the general title Ceramic tiles — Guidelines for

installation:
— Part 1: Installation of ceramic wall and floor tiles
— Part 2: Installation of thin ceramic wall and floor tiles and panels
iv © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
Introduction
There are currently International Standards available for
— ceramic tiles, and
— adhesives and grouts for tiles.

NOTE ISO 13007-5, dealing with liquid-applied waterproofing membranes for use beneath ceramic tiling

bonded with adhesives, is under preparation.

For these products to give satisfactory service, they need to be selected and installed competently, and

they have to receive appropriate initial treatment, protection, and maintenance.

Some countries have published standards and/or guides that specify the design and installation of

ceramic tiling. The purpose of ISO/TR 17870 is to foster good installation practices for ceramic wall and

floor tiles, internationally.
© ISO 2015 – All rights reserved v
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TECHNICAL REPORT ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
Ceramic tiles — Guidelines for installation —
Part 1:
Installation of ceramic wall and floor tiles
1 Scope

This part of ISO/TR 17870 defines the quality of ceramic tiling and provides guidance for materials

selection, installation and use, to achieve required levels of quality and performance.

It considers aspects related to the specification and installation of the tiling project, in terms of:

— manufacture and distribution of the materials (ceramic tiles, adhesives, grouts, etc.);

— specification of the tiling;
— installation of the tiling (tile fixing operations).

It is applicable to internal and external floor and wall ceramic tiling, installed by either cement mortar

or other adhesive methods.

NOTE The quality of ceramic tiling depends on the following general characteristics:

— regularity;
— durability;
— safety.
The durability of the tiling can depend on its use and management.
2 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
2.1 General
2.1.1
ceramic tiling
ceramic tiles installed, together with its associated bedding and jointing
2.1.2
design (of ceramic tiling)
specification (of ceramic tiling)

selection of ceramic tiles, backgrounds, fixing methods, and fixing and jointing materials as appropriate

for the structure and intended use
2.1.3
installation (of ceramic tiling)
tile fixing
application of ceramic tiling in accordance with the specification
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
2.2 Components of ceramic tiling
2.2.1
background
material system used as a base over which the ceramic tile is to be fixed
2.2.2
filling out layer

separate application of material to achieve the required vertical flatness (walls)

EXAMPLE Plaster, render, proprietary tile backer boards.
2.2.3
fixing surface
plane rigid surface upon which the tile is fixed
2.2.4
insulating layer
layer included to obtain sound or thermal insulation
2.2.5
intermediate joint

movement joint to divide large areas of tiling into smaller, approximately square areas

2.2.6
levelling layer

layer applied to compensate for unevenness and differences in height of the base or to accommodate

services (floors)
2.2.7
movement joint
joint in tiles, backgrounds, or substrates, designed to accommodate movement

Note 1 to entry: Types of movement joints: structural joint, perimeter joint, intermediate joint.

2.2.8
perimeter joint
movement joint to isolate the ceramic tiling from adjacent building elements
2.2.9
primer

fluid material, used separately or mixed with binder to form a slurry, applied as a thin layer to improve

adhesion of the bedding to the background, or to isolate the bedding material from the background surface

2.2.10
separating layer
material which separates layers within the tiling system
2.2.11
structural joint

movement joint in ceramic tiling to correspond with structural movement joint in the background

2.2.12
tile bed
bedding

layer of specified materials in which the tile is set and which bonds the tiles to the background

2.2.13
tile joint
space between adjacent tiles
2 © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
2.2.14
waterproofing membrane
continuous layer of impervious material to resist the passage of water
2.3 Tiling techniques and operations
2.3.1
bonded method

floor tiling laid with a system which ensures that the bedding is bonded to the background

2.3.2
buttering method

adhesive or mortar applied to the back of the tiles, just before the tile is placed

2.3.3
contact area

proportion of the tile back and/or background support that is in contact with the bedding after the tile

has been fixed into position
2.3.4
direct bedding
tile fixing directly onto a structural background
2.3.5
floating method
adhesive or mortar applied to the fixing surface, just before the tile is placed
2.3.6
floating and buttering method

adhesive or mortar applied to the fixing surface and to the back of the tile, just before the tile is placed

2.3.7
grouting
operation of filling the joint space between tiles other than at movement joints
2.3.8
maintenance (of ceramic tiling)

all aspects of the cleaning, treatment, and periodic repair of damage to the ceramic tiling

2.3.9
plastering
application of a gypsum plaster to a vertical background
2.3.10
rendering
application of a cement mortar to a vertical background
2.3.11
screeding
application of a screed on a floor background
2.3.12
tanking

application of an impermeable layer beneath tile and bedding to prevent water penetration into the

background
2.3.13
unbonded method

any method of laying floors which provides separation of the tiling system from the background

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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
2.4 Characteristics/aspects of ceramic tiling
2.4.1
durability
quality of tiling which maintains its characteristics over time
2.4.2
flatness

conformity of the surface of the tiling to a theoretical plane within an allowable tolerance

2.4.3
levelness

conformity of the surface of floor tiling to a fixed horizontal level within an allowable tolerance

2.4.4
lipping

deviation between tile surfaces either side of a joint (including movement joints)

2.4.5
plumbness

conformity of the surface of wall tiling, designed to be vertical, to a fixed plane within an allowable

tolerance
2.4.6
slip resistance

ability of a floor tile to provide sufficient friction to resist slipping by pedestrians

3 Exchange of information

In order for the correct floor/wall covering to be installed in appropriate conditions, at the right time,

etc., it is essential that all parties have a clear understanding of the requirements of the project. To

ensure that this is achieved, it is essential that there is wide consultation between all the parties

involved in the project, including client, sub-contractors, and materials suppliers.

As each project will be unique, it is impossible to give a definitive list of the information to be exchanged,

but the following are common examples.
a) Specification: the information required (see Clause 5).

b) Special attendances: access, unloading, hoisting and storage facilities, heat, light and power, and

any additional items considered necessary to expedite the work.

c) Materials: technical specification and instructions for transport, storage, use.

d) Backgrounds: type and age of construction; location within the building; type, characteristics

(mechanical strength, deformation, etc.), and regularity of background (see Clause 5); and any need

for an intermediate substrate or for movement joints.

e) Associated work: services embedded in or passing through the backgrounds and junctions with

other adjacent finishes
f) Finishes: type, size, and colour of tiles and layout requirements.
g) Installation: type and technique (see Clause 6).

h) Programme: a time schedule for the progress of the work taking into consideration drying and

curing periods of backgrounds and tiling until completion.
4 © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
4 Materials
4.1 General

This clause identifies and lists the materials that can be involved in a ceramic tiling installation, and

defines the main information and rules that apply to these materials.

The identification and selection of materials suitable for any given application are aspects of the

specification. The relative criteria are therefore set out in 5.3.
4.2 Basic materials
The basic materials for tiling are the following:
— finishing layer:
— ceramic tiles;
— cementitious grouts;
— reaction resin grouts;
— pre-prepared or proprietary grouts;
— bedding:
— mortar;
— cement;
— other binders;
— sand and aggregates (gravel, crushed stone, etc.);
— water;
— admixtures;
— adhesives;
— movement joints:
— sealants;
— primers;
— back-up materials;
— special components (profiles, etc.).
Additional intermediate layers can be the following:
— primers;
— separating layer;
— filling out layer;
— levelling layer;
— anti-fracture/de-coupling membranes;
— waterproofing membrane;
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
— insulating layers (sound, thermal);
— reinforced screed, etc.
4.3 Basic information
For each material, the following basic information should be provided.
a) Classification
With reference to the existing International Standards, see Bibliography.
b) Safety requirements
c) Materials transport, storage, use
d) Technical information

The technical information for a given material is usually in the form of a document, supplied by

the manufacturer, containing a list of the technical characteristics as specified in the standards

(where available, see Bibliography; otherwise, in other technical documents) and the results of the

respective measurements, carried out according to the standardized test methods.

The information document is a basic requirement for the correct and knowledgeable selection,

application, and use of materials for tiling.
— All materials
— The delivery of materials should be so arranged as to minimize handling.

— Adequate precautions should be taken to prevent damage. Products should be stored in

clean, dry, frost free (if necessary) secure storage to avoid theft and damage.

— The materials should be transported, stored, prepared and used strictly in accordance with

the manufacturer’s instructions (when applicable).
— Cement and cement-based materials
— Cement should be stored under dry conditions, and used in order of delivery.
— Cement that contains air set lumps should not be used.
— Grout

— In order to avoid colour differences, sand and cement used for mixing grout should be from

the same batch.
— Sand and aggregates
— Sand and aggregates should be protected from contamination.
— Any contaminated sand or aggregates should not be used.
— Water
— Water should be clean. Seawater is not suitable.

— All containers used for storing or carrying water or for soaking tiles should be clean.

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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
5 Specification
5.1 General

The specification of ceramic tiling aims to identify and define, in any specific situation, one or more

correct fixing methods suitable to achieve an acceptable finish complying with the general requirements

of regularity, durability and safety (see Clause 7).

Specification is considered to be a duty of the designer or specifier in consultation with the project

owner and with the specification approved by the project owner.
5.2 The project data
The project information constitutes the basis of the tiling specification.
5.2.1 Installation location and working conditions

The following criteria should be considered at the design stage as a basis for the specification of the

materials and the tiling system.
Information on the location of the installation:

— the position of the tiling: horizontal (floors), vertical (walls), other (for example, inclined, vault,

ceiling, etc.);
— the location of the tiling: outdoor/external or indoor/internal;
— the nature of the location: private/residential or public;
— the destined use of the location: domestic, commercial or industrial;
— the specific activities which will be carried out in the tiled area.
Information on working conditions:
— climate (for external tiling);
— location (for example, urban, industrial, etc.) for external tiling;

— expected traffic type (for example, pedestrian, wheels, etc.) and intensity (for floors);

— expected static and dynamic loads on floor tiling;
— presence of water or other fluids on the tiled surface;
— presence of chemicals on the tiled surface.
The information above should be used to anticipate:

— the expected level of mechanical, abrasive, chemical wetting, and thermal loads acting on the tiling;

— general (not individual) requirements regarding safety (for example, slip resistance, hygiene, etc.)

or other additional requirements.
5.2.2 Backgrounds

The nature of the background is a prime consideration in deciding on the fixing method (specification

of materials, in particular, adhesives, and of the tiling system, as well as of any intermediate substrate

or other preparatory treatment that may be necessary before tiling). The characteristics of the

background that influence the choice of fixing method are summarized in Table 1.
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)

The characteristics listed in Table 1 can be used as a framework in order to evaluate backgrounds in

the tiling design stage, as well as providing indications for the specification of the tiling system (5.4).

The following general rules should be adopted.
— Backgrounds for tiling should be sound and free from contamination.

— Cementitious backgrounds are subject to long-term shrinkage. The associated risks can be reduced

by selecting a suitable time schedule and materials used.

— Levelling and/or filling out layers should be used when desired by the project owner (especially

when tiling with adhesives) to achieve satisfactory surface regularity, to improve the background

flatness/finish, or to compensate for floors out of level and walls out of plumb.

— Special intermediate substrates can be used for waterproofing, or for sound /thermal insulation.

— Separating layers may, where appropriate, be used to avoid the effects of dimensional instability of

the background.

— In the case of deformable backgrounds, the application of a suitable layer (for example, a reinforced

screed) should be considered.
Table 1 — Background characteristics
Characteristics Description
Mechanical Mechanical strength — Compressive strength — Resistance to rupture
or damage under working
— Bending strength
loads
— Pull off strength
— Ability to support the
permanent load of the til-
ing (tiles, mortar bed, etc.)
Deformation under load — Compression — Tendency of the support
to deform under static and
— Deflection
dynamic load
— Creep
Deformation without load — Shrinkage — Movements due to non-
load factors
— Plastic deformation
— Chemical shrinkage
— Thermal and Damp
Conditions
Surface soundness — Ability to support the
weight (walls) of the tiling
system
Regularity Flatness — Departure from planar-
ity (depressions, protuber-
ances, bumps)
Surface finish — Texture of surface
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ISO/TR 17870-1:2015(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Characteristics Description
Chemical/Physical Water absorption — The amount and rate
at which the background
absorbs water from the
bedding
Water resistance — The behaviour of the
background exposed to
contact with water (both
during tile installation and
in use
Chemical — Compatibility between
the background surface
and the material or layers
laid on it
5.3 Selection and specification of the materials

The selection of the materials (ceramic tiles, adhesives or mortars, grouts) is a basic step in the

specification of ceramic tiling, since it can significantly influence the achievement of satisfactory

compliance with the general requirements of regularity, durability, and safety, which define the quality

of ceramic tiling (see Clause 7).

A very wide range of products are available on the market: products with different appearance (for

example, tiles having different format, colours, surface texture, decorations, etc.), different technical

characteristics, and associated different expected performance levels (for example, in terms of

resistance to mechanical loads, or to frost and other extreme conditions of temperature or humidi

...

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