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Unread 05-24-2021, 09:51 AM   #1
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Advice for Installing SUPER THIN porcelain wall tile

Hi all,

The tile we are thinking about installing in the shower is a "thin porcelain with a reinforced fiberglass mesh backing" from DECORANDUM called Pluma. ( I have inserted the manufactures information & pic below as extra reading ). It seems to be chasing installers away. I would love to get some recommendations on how best to install this tile. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much!!

DECORANDUM Pluma - 50x100 / 19.6”x39.2”


DECORANDUM is produced using a “cold” digital printing technology that does not involve firing at high temperatures as with traditional tiles.
This procedure allows the highest aesthetic and chromatic results to be achieved, which are greatly superior to those that can be obtained using conventional ceramics industry technologies. At the same time however, there are some critical issues associated with them.
The softness of the glazes means that instruments, sharp tools or hard surfaces could damage the product irreparably.

Below you will find some important information that you must read BEFORE YOU START TO LAY THE MATERIALS:
Pay the utmost attention when laying the product if the conditions in the place in which it is to be installed could contribute towards it becoming damaged.
In particular, do not use abrasive sponges, acid- alcohol- or solvent- based products.

It is essential to work on a clean flat surface.
The material can be cut and drilled using machines and tools that are normally used for the incision of glass, marble and laminated stoneware slabs.
In order to obtain good results, never lift the blade from the slab during cutting.
After making the incision, simply bend the slab to split it into two pieces, cut the glass fibre backing using a cutter and finish the edge of the tile using DIAMOND PADS.
Take great care when doing this so as not to damage the slabs by hitting them against sharp objects.

The product can be grouted using either cementitious and epoxy grouts. Do not use ACETIC CURE SILICONE to fill or seal holes in the slabs.
Before starting to grout the joints, protect the part of the slab that is closest to the edge using masking tape.
Remove the masking tape before the grout is completely dry.
Only use water to remove any residues of epoxy grout. Do not use specific cleaners for epoxy grouts that could cause irreparable damage to the product.
If cementitious grouts are used, clean any residues using water and a NON-ABRASIVE sponge.

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Last edited by cx; 05-24-2021 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Add Link
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Unread 05-24-2021, 03:32 PM   #2
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Any imperfections in the wall will likely project through the panel so you'd see it. Getting it properly embedded in the thinset or grout they recommend might be tough while keeping it all flat could be a big hassle. If you were to use those panels, I think you'd want to use a slant-notched trowel to minimize the ridges. Pressing down on it could cause the whole section to dimple, and you'd never get it off to correct it without damaging it...placing it and then fine tuning the position might be a major pain. All this is just speculation based on some of their warnings.

Just moving the stuff around seems risky as it seems it's more similar to a thin piece of glass.

If it can't take anything but water for cleaning off the epoxy grout, should you use that, that implies the printed on material isn't very robust, so that could be a major issue...what are you supposed to do if the panel does eventually get dirty and you want/need to scrub it down? Lose the printed pattern?
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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Unread 05-24-2021, 06:11 PM   #3
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Welcome, Mac.

I've added a link to your post. If that's not the corrrect tile, please let us know.

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Unread 05-25-2021, 09:01 AM   #4
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Thank you

Thank you jadnashua and CX.

jadnashua - You just confirmed the nightmare install I was afraid of....I am saddened but for almost $50 SF I cannot take this risk. (It was my dream tile and only needed about 50 sf in total so I saved up)

CX - yes that is the correct link. much appreciated.

Thank you both!
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Unread 06-03-2021, 07:14 AM   #5
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This is not a DIY product. Call someone who does thin panels installs, you might even save some money on the panels and put it towards the installation.
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Unread 06-04-2021, 06:18 PM   #6
Karls tile Inc
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I do large panel tiles like this quite often. Having the correct tile cutter is essential as well as a rack to hold the tile. Walls need to be flat and plumb. If you can install the tile on the wall and then cut any holes i the tile after it has dried. Sometimes this isn't possible. If you are cutting any kind of box into the tile drill the 4 corners out to relieve the tension. Tile and wall need to combed with thin set mortar in the same direction preferably let to right on the short side as to let air out when you push the tile onto the wall.

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