Il Ferrone
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  laying, treatment and maintenance  

Notes on laying and fixing outdoors
Separation and slippage layer
Expantions joints




Il Ferrone cotto can be laid and fixed by the following methods:

• GLUING SYSTEM, for COTTOFINE and uniform thicknesses.
• FOUNDATION SYSTEM, an alternative to adhesive, using a bed of sand and cement.
• MASONRY SYSTEM, for large tile sizes and thicker materials.
Once the tiles are in place and firmly bonded, the gaps between adjacent edges are filled by grouting.

IL FERRONE cotto is guaranteed and certified frost-resistant, and therefore suitable for outdoor applications.
Nonetheless, when floors are laid outdoors, the work must be carried out to proper professional standards, as the fact that the material is guaranteed frostresistant will not be sufficient in itself to prevent damage caused by incorrect installation.

Points to remember when laying Cotto outdoors:

Gradients must be incorporated beneath the waterproofing layer and can be as steep or shallow as appropriate, but no less than 1.5 – 2 %. If gradients are not properly incorporated, water will collect underneath the tiles and cause problems in freezing temperatures. The formation of ice could even cause the tiles or the screed beneath to lift.

When laying floors on a slab or deck, the surface must be rendered waterproof before putting down a substrate. The waterproof membrane can be applied using whatever proprietary product may suit the application, but whatever system is adopted, it is essential that the water running off the membrane should be channelled into a drain. To ensure that water drains properly from the substrate, it may help to add an additional layer of material over the waterproofing layer, consisting of a sheet with a dovetail-channelled sectional profile especially designed for the purpose.

This is needed for any floor laid over a waterproof membrane, and can be provided by an ordinary sheet of polythene. The function of this interfacing layer is to prevent direct contact between the waterproof membrane on the one hand, applied normally to the substrate or slab, and the screed on the other. Without it, the opposing forces of shrinkage may cause the membrane to tear and this inevitably will mean that water cannot be kept out.

Expansion joints serve to accommodate any background movement in the fabric of the building; they must be incorporated both into the main structure and into the screed and floor covering. A flexible joint must also be included around the entire perimeter of the tiled area, where the floor meets the walls.



The surface of cotto is not finished until it has been properly treated and protected. For certain types of cotto, this treatment is applied before the material leaves the factory, and the tile is supplied as a finished product (COTTONOVO, LUCE and MAIOLICATO are finished tiles). All other cotto products are untreated, and the operation of treating and protecting the surface is done on site. This is essential indoors, whereas outdoors it is not necessary and even inadvisable, as it robs the material of its
natural breathability and prevents potentially damaging moisture trapped under the floor from evaporating freely.

“Treatment” is an exact process involving certain distinct steps:

The first two steps are carried out generally by the flooring contractors, once only, whereas the third is a simple operation repeated periodically by the user throughout the life of the cotto surface, and will serve also to keep the floor clean.

This operation is fundamentally important to the success of the following treatment step, and must not be carried out until the bo nding interface has dried (20-30 days are needed typically for cement mortar, and 10-15 days for tile adhesive, depending on weather and seasonal conditions).
1) Wet the floor with water and wash down, then proceed to rub the surface with a Buffered Acid for a few minutes. Be sure to remove all traces of lime, cement or adhesive from the tiles.
2) Rinse the surface thoroughly (until the water runs off clean), and before the floor has time to dry after being cleaned with acid.

Treatment is carried out on the floor when dry (the room should be well aired during these operations, even in winter, so that moisture can evaporate more easily); the floor will need between 3 and 10 days to dry after being washed, depending on the season, the type of cotto and the method of installation.

There are many types of treatment, and no lack of good proprietary products available, traditional and modern alike.

Traditional treatment using paste wax:
1) Using a sponge or flat brush, spread a first coat of wax (liquid consistency, serving to impregnate and level the tile surface)
2) Wait 24 hours, then apply a more creamy coat of wax, this time working-in with a brush to ensure the product is absorbed by the tiles.
3) Wait 48 hours, then apply a second creamy coat of wax.

Treatment using liquid waxes:
With these products, the procedure is much simpler than with traditional paste waxes. Liquid waxes are self-levelling and
self-polishing water emulsions applied in successive coats with a brush or rag (no “elbow grease” required).

The floor will now need no further treatment, but it can be freshened up periodically, depending on the level of wear and tear, with a proprietary liquid wax available from stores everywhere.
For normal cleaning purposes, use neutral detergents or simply wash with clean water.









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