Many people think that cement mosaic tiles are not resistant to moisture, that’s why for bathrooms, kitchens and pools they choose to use ceramic mosaic tiles or other coverings. Today we tell you if hydraulic mosaic tile is really waterproof and why.
Can I use cement mosaic tiles in areas that are highly exposed to moisture?
The simple answer is yes, but be careful! because for hydraulic tiles not to suffer any kind of damage with humidity they have to be perfectly well laid and sealed.
What is the difference between a ceramic tile and a cement tile in terms of water resistance?
Cement tile is more porous, but it is much more resistant and thicker. In other words, it can absorb more moisture, but it is much more difficult for moisture to “bounce off” it. On the other hand, ceramic tiles are more impermeable, but the moisture that seeps through mortar or tile adhesive bounces them and breaks them very easily.
If for some reason cement tiles show saltpeter stains even if they are well sealed, there may be a moisture issue in the substrate.
What are the reasons why cement tiles become vulnerable to moisture?
1.- Poor installation
If the joints, grout, or the way the mortar was installed was improper, moisture can seep under the cement tile and cause it to lose its bond to the floor. Unlike ceramic tiles, it is very difficult for a cement tile to break due to poor mortar installation, but it can happen.
2.- Lack of proper sealing
Cement tiles are more porous than their ceramic competitors, but any professional installer knows that part of the process is to apply resin or some other special sealing material. If this is not done, not only does the tile become damaged or pitted more easily, but saltpeter and moisture stains can appear.
3.- Use of abrasive products
Many people do not know that it is a mistake to clean hydraulic tiles with aggressive substances such as solvents, chlorine, muriatic acid and other abrasive chemicals. This only causes the resin layer that seals the tile to weaken and consequently moisture and stains can get into the tile.
The proper way to keep this tile clean is to clean it with soap and water, polish it lightly when necessary and reseal it immediately.
So can I use cement mosaic tiles in bathrooms and backsplashes?
Yes, they are one of the best alternatives as they last a lifetime. But especially if you are going to use them in showers or areas exposed to frequent wetting, you have to consider keeping the sealing in top condition at all times.
At Studio Cement Tiles we love to offer you one of the highest quality and most versatile coverings available. If you thought that cement mosaics had gone out of fashion or were only for floors, you should take a look at our catalog: you will see that there are hundreds of original, modern and unique models for all kinds of surfaces, from the walls of your bathroom and the counter of your kitchen, to that small interior patio you want to remodel.