Professionally lay porcelain stoneware tiles

Since the advent of porcelain stoneware in the 1980's, the popularity of these special ceramic tiles has been rapidly increasing because of their superior properties. However, when laying tiles made of porcelain stoneware, the special features of these ceramic shards must be taken into account. This is reflected in the laying technique as well as in the additionally used building materials such as the tile adhesive.

Porcelain stoneware - worth knowing before buying and laying

Porcelain stoneware tiles look like traditional ceramic tiles, but are different

Tiles and plates of stoneware and stoneware

Basically you can differentiate between three different variants of ceramic tiles, which show a different production technique. Conventional ceramic tiles are usually stoneware or stoneware, with earthenware having the inferior quality features. Stoneware tiles are fired at 950 to 1,100 degrees Celsius.

In addition, flux is missing, which take the shard the porosity. Therefore, a stoneware tile absorbs over 10 percent of water, which is why it is not frost-proof. Also, it is not as hard and dense (based on the physical density of the material) as stoneware. Stoneware is fired at about 1,150 to 1,300 degrees, and flux is added. As a result, these tiles absorb a maximum of 3% water.


Significantly tougher are porcelain stoneware tiles. They are pressed extremely hard and fired at at least 1,200 degrees and 1,300 degrees. This process achieves the quality of sintering. Hence the pronounced hardness. The absorption of water in conventional porcelain stoneware tiles is less than 0.5 percent. For these reasons, they are now preferred over many ceramic tiles in many living and working areas.

However, the low water absorption also suggests a low porosity. When laying porcelain stoneware this means that traditional tile adhesives can not be used. Normal tile adhesive penetrates into the pores and attracts there. Like needles, there is such a firm connection to the adhesive in the adhesive bed. For porcelain stoneware tiles, however, this only works inadequately.

Lay tiles and slabs of porcelain stoneware

The tile adhesive for porcelain stoneware

That's why you need to use a highly flexible adhesive for the long-term successful laying of porcelain stoneware. The specialist trade often speaks of a special tile adhesive for porcelain stoneware. However, most of the time it's about promoting your own product accordingly efficiently. This adhesive is then described as being specially tempered with plastic. But this is nothing else than a flexible adhesive for tiles.

Nevertheless, you should not resort to "no-name" product, because only the renowned manufacturers ensure the necessary high quality of compensation that is needed. The glue itself is then necessarily applied in the buttering-floating process: on the ground with the combing of webs with the tooth trowel or notched trowel and on the back of the tile with webs transverse to those on the ground.

Installation techniques for porcelain stoneware interior and with underfloor heating

In addition to the tile adhesive, the laying technique is also important. Especially with existing underfloor heating systems, you should only lay square tiles or porcelain stoneware tiles. If you decide for rectangular tiles, they should never exceed 1.5 times the width. A particular problem arises in uniform dressing, ie from one tile row to the next one quarter, three quarter or half offset.

The expansion of the tiles makes the porcelain stoneware usually with. At the latest, however, when it cools, cracks will form. For conventionally laid tiles (from row to row at the same distance), the invisible cracks form in the joint. For rectangular tiles in the offset, however, the cracks form through the tiles.

Laying technique of porcelain stoneware outside and on surfaces with significant temperature fluctuations

If you are laying porcelain stoneware tiles without underfloor heating, you should take this into account in areas where there is a lot of heating and cooling. Typical areas would be outdoor areas or especially in front of southern, large window fronts. Use a flexible brand tile adhesive, pay attention to the tile joints and the circumferential expansion joint and choose the appropriate tile format (if possible square), you will have long-term enjoyment of your tiles or porcelain stoneware tiles.

Tips & Tricks

Also note the special features of polished porcelain stoneware. Polished porcelain stoneware on tiles means nothing more than sanding the surface during the manufacturing process. As a result, these tiles or plates are now porous and must be impregnated immediately after installation. Also test the grout on test tiles to see if you can easily remove the grout (as it will after grouting). In this case, you should also approve the joint compound on the porcelain stoneware and choose from the specialist dealer the joint mortar recommended for the tile. For the [impregnation of porcelain stoneware] you will find further informative articles in the house journal.

Tiles are said to have a thickness between 0.8 and 1.2 cm. They are no longer called tiles but plates.

Laying porcelain stoneware on soft or vibrating floors (wood, chipboards, partial floorboards) carries the risk of cracks. In the information here we assume a level, clean screed surface, as it is standard in newer houses.

Video Board: Large wood plank tile installation