Care, Maintenance & Warranty
kinney block products are manufactured with concrete and are delivered unsealed. Upon delivery, it is important to keep the material out of any weather conditions, construction dust and contaminants. kinney block advises that all tiles stay in their original packaging, covered, until ready for installation to prevent any damage or exposure to contaminants.
kinney block tiles are porous by the nature of their material and subject to staining or discoloration until sealed. Keep the tiles away from any grout, paints or stains until they are properly sealed. kinney block products can be sealed prior to installation or before they are grouted for a cleaner installation and easier cleanup.
Grout, mortar, or other products can bond with sealed surfaces if not cleaned in a timely manner. We recommend using a grout bag to properly fill joints and to minimize staining. “Smear” grouting is not recommended, even if products are presealed, because the large amount of water required for cleanup may affect the performance of the grout and mortar. The installation process may change the color of kinney block products. This is entirely normal but if you prefer the color of the product as delivered pre sealing is highly recommended, especially for lighter colors.
Sealing is important to protect the finish and for improved stain resistance (please refer to SEALING guide for detailed information and recommendations). If properly sealed, water should bead up on the surface. If not, another coat of sealer is necessary. Keep in mind that sealers are not designed to provide a permanent barrier to staining or as a waterproof layer. Instead, the goal is to provide reaction time to clean up stains before penetrating the surface. For example, if a glass of red wine is spilled on the kitchen floor make sure to clean up as soon as possible as it will eventually penetrate the sealed surface.
kinney block CLEANING & MAINTENANCE
It is also important to have realistic expectations of how the tiles will wear over time. kinney block products are handcrafted, rustic, and will age gracefully and develop a beautiful patina over time. The rate and extent of the wear/patina process will vary widely based on a range of considerations, including installation location, quality of the initial seal, and if the products are cleaned regularly and resealed when necessary (when water no longer beads on the surface).
Clean regularly with a pH-neutral cleanser like Mira Clean #1 by Miracle Sealants. Test on a loose piece on an unobtrusive area if there is any doubt about the cleaner’s suitability. Make sure to read all directions and consult the cleaner manufacturer or kinney block if necessary. Do no used muriatic acid, hydrochloric acid or other harsh chemicals to clean. If more aggressive cleaning is required, kinney block recommends Restore by DuPont Stonetech. This is a mildly acid cleaner so make sure to start with the highest level of dilution and, once again, test if there are any doubts. Some customers will employ a tile and stone restoration specialist to clean the tiles. Make sure they are aware of the concrete composition of kinney block products and also what sealer was used to initially seal the tiles. Please do not hesitate to refer them to kinney block for questions or additional information.
kinney block products are porous and will develop a unique patina over time. The effect will be more pronounced with penetrating sealer and even more so if products are not properly sealed. Use a high quality sealer designed for tile and stone. Select carefully as sealers from big box stores are sometimes lower grade versions of the same brands. We recommend Desert Brand Master Seal 100VOC - Clear from Hill Brothers.
APPLICATION NOTE: Make sure to test sealer first on a loose piece or small unobtrusive area before sealing the installation. Once sealed, the appearance of the tiles will change permanently. Stripping the sealer is a labor-intensive process that can damage tiles and may not be possible with some sealers. Sealer can change the color and sheen so make sure to test first to ensure the finished look is as desired. Test sealer on loose pieces, a mockup, or a small, unobtrusive area.
- Concrete tiles are porous and must be sealed for best performance.
- Cover pallets or store indoors to protect from the elements and other trades.
- Water intrusion can damage tiles and the installation. Waterproofing membranes are strongly recommended for exterior installations and mandatory for wet areas.
- Concrete tiles should never be used in waterline or submerged applications.
- Do not use acids, alkalis, or other harsh chemicals to clean tiles before, during, and after installation.
- The substrate is the surface to which your kinney block tile will be stuck.
- Approved substrates include cementitious backer boards, concrete masonry units, concrete panels.
- Bonding directly to drywall or wood substrates is not recommended.
- Gypsum backer boards should not be used for exterior applications, wet areas, or anywhere moisture is a concern.
- Concrete substrates must be clean, dry, and free of contaminants.
- Concrete substrates should have a roughened surface for best bonding.
- Large format mortar is recommended for most concrete tiles. Thin set mortar may be used for thin brick veneer or smaller tiles.
- Do not apply mortar thicker than recommended in order to repair substrates, level tiles, create transitions, or for any other purpose.
- Mix mortar and clean cool water using a variable speed electric drill or mixer with a birdcage mixing attachment.
- Stir occasionally with a trowel to keep fluffy. Do not retemper (add water) to already mixed mortar. Use ½” square or ¾” rounded notched trowel to spread mortar on the substrate using the flat side of the trowel
- Form grooves in one direction under each tile using the notched side of the trowel.
- Using the flat side of the trowel, spread mortar on the back of each tile to achieve 100% mortar coverage.
- Place tiles by moving them perpendicular to the mortar ridges so that the ridges collapse and all voids are filled.
- Make sure the grout selected is appropriate for grout joint width.
- Unglazed tiles and textured glazes can be presealed to ease grout clean up.
- Clean grout promptly with wet sponge to avoid staining.
- Using a grout bag is recommended to fill the joints rather than floating or smearing grout.
- Fill the grout bag and twist until slack is taken up. Roll the bag tighter to maintain constant pressure.
- Squeeze bag in order to completely fill each joint slightly higher than the tile surface.
- When the grout begins to set up, tool the joint to compact the grout.
- Clean excess grout before it hardens on the tile surface.
- Do not use too much water when cleaning as it can weaken grout and cause cracking
- Damp curing by misting the grout joints two or three times daily is strongly recommended. This will help minimize grout shrinkage and cracking.
- Allow grout to cure for 72 hours.
- Seal tiles with penetrating or topical sealer depending on application and desired appearance.
- Make sure the sealer selected is appropriate for installation type and location.
- Apply sealer per the sealer manufacturer’s instructions.
- Two coats of sealer are typically needed.
- Make sure to allow sealer the recommended time to cure in between coats and before allowing traffic.
- Water should initially bead up on the surface when tiles are sealed.
- Stains should be cleaned promptly, sealer does not waterproof tile and stains will eventually penetrate or etch sealer.
- Floor polish, wax, or other finishes can be used indoors to protect sealed tiles but will need to be reapplied regularly.
- Clean regularly with warm water and pH-neutral cleanser.
- Do not use acids, alkalis, or other harsh chemicals for regular cleaning.
- A mild acid or alkali cleanser may be used for spot cleaning. Make sure to test first on a small, unobtrusive area to ensure desired results.
- Do not use chemical or mechanical abrasives including stiff bristle and wire brushes, sandpaper, or power washing.
kinney block warrants that when it delivers the Products to the carrier they will materially conform to their specifications. kinney block shall, at its discretion, either repair, replace or provide a credit for any Products that fail to conform to this warranty if notified in writing within five (5) days from the date of delivery of the Products.
Incoming freight costs for Products returned under warranty shall be paid by Buyer and return freight costs (if any) shall be paid by kinney block. The forgoing remedy is Buyer’s sole remedy for any breach by kinney block of this warranty. Buyer must report any shortages of Products within five (5) days from the date of delivery of the Products.