Tile Design by

Southern Art Ceramics

Please provide these installation tips to the person installing the tiles.

INSTALLATION TIPS - For our porcelain & stoneware handmade tiles:

Main Characteristics that may be applicable to your order:

Tile format: Handmade pressed and cut tiles.
Tile Size: Approximately 250x160mm
Thickness: Approximately is 8mm
Shape: Square or rectangular and reasonably precise
Cutting: A fixed bed tile cutter with water has to be used when cutting the tiles.


DO NOT commence installation without unpacking and laying out all the tiles on a template – TAKE YOUR TIME - plan the installation – think twice work once. All tiles and murals should be laid out prior to installation to prepare for spacing and fit.

Because our tiles are hand-crafted, the time you take with prep and placement will greatly impact the finished result. We suggest meticulously planning your layout, pre-sorting the tiles by size and colour variation, and strategically blending. And remember, no tile installations look good before grouting! Grout is the glue that pulls the entire installation together — make sure you choose the right colour.

Size & Length Variation

Our tiles shrink about 12% in the production process. The “about” means it’s not an exact science and variation in length and distortion can occur. You can expect variation, especially on longer tiles. Planning for some variation is the key to a beautiful installation. Pre-sort your tile by colour and size so you can distribute the range of variation throughout the installation.

Lengthwise Bowing & Surface Undulation

Clay is an elastic material. If you force an elastic material into a mould or extrude it, it will attempt to regain its original shape as it moves through the production process. For this reason, you can expect your tile to have what we deem to be an acceptable amount of lengthwise bowing or lateral distortion especially in our longer shapes.

Surface undulation can occur in our tile for the same reason that bowing occurs. Undulation can be anything from a slightly raised corner or edge to undulation across the entire surface. First, look at the positive. Surface undulation gives the light more surface area to play on, which means your installation becomes even more incredible (even with all-white tiles). To get a level surface, use a deeper comb of thin-set so you've got room to set certain tiles deeper than others.


  • Due to inherent characteristics of handcrafted ceramic products, certain tolerances as to size, colour and shade variations are normal.
  • The laying of handmade tiles will take longer. Unpack and mix the tiles. If you have received any diagrams from us - please view and study it.
  • On the floor or a table, draw out the dimensions of the area where you plan to tile, and arrange the tiles in this space, you will be able to guage the approximate grout spacing required to fit your tile into the space.
  • The tiles will have varying grout spaces – the aim is 3-5mm as the average over the total distance, but can be more by personal choice, depending on the look required. For example: The chunky tiles are often tiled with grout spacing of up to 20mm.
  • Where the tiles have large size differences (of 5 or more millimeters) try to avoid placing 2 large tiles next to each other; rather place the large tiles in the corners with the smaller tiles filling in the gaps.

Cutting of tiles

  • It is important to note that a fixed bed tile cutter with diamond blade and continuous water will deliver the best results, where cutting of tiles are required!


Do the tiling of back walls first and the side walls last.


  • The tiles will have varying grout spaces – the aim is 3-5mm as the average over the total distance, but can be more by personal choice, depending on the look required. For example: The chunky tiles are often tiled with grout spacing of up to 20mm.
  • Cut strips approximately 2cm wide x 2cm long from hard corrugated cardboard or plastic of varying thickness and use these as spacers to assist in aligning tiles.
  • The thickness of the cardboard/plastic will be the width of the grout. I suggest cutting spacers from different thickness of cardboard. Some of these strips can then be squeezed thinner when needed to align the tiles.
  • For heavy tiles or many rows above each other some plastic spacers will be needed for extra support.
  • Buy the commercial plastic tile spacer of the grout width best suited for the estimated grout space required for your installation - BUT – you must only use one leg of the cross shaped spacer – inserting it in at the point where the space is widest, this will help to support the heavier tiles.


  • Southern Art tiles are mostly semi-porcelaineous or vitrified terracotta clay bodies. The fixing of a dense, impervious semi-porcelain tile requires a high strength, rapid setting adhesive. This will ensure a quick, high strength bond onto the back of the tile that fixes it securely in place.
  • TYLON Superflex Exterior, a premixed adhesive is the most practical.
  • TYLON Porcelain Fix or CM 114 powder adhesive is the most economical.
  • Contact: Tylon, Customer Contact Centre on 08600 WEBER (93237) , Web www.weber-tylon.co.za

Low fired Crackle Glaze tiles (Please note: we seldom make low fired tiles)

Insure that Substate is sealed before adhesion of tiles. After installation seal with sealer (TFC Invisible Sealer), follow product advice. If in doubt phone Tile and Floor Care for advice (011 450 1774)

Always test a sample of tile before grouting- dark grout may stain light glazes, and light grout may stain dark glazes.


Replacing the water with Tylon Bond-it will seal the grout and make it more stain resistant.

Sanded grout is generally used for grout lines over 1/8 inch wide, and is recommended for most handmade tiles.

Grout Recipes

We recommend this mixture for a good white colour:

TYLON White for white tiles, that are slightly warmer than sanitary white glazes
TYLON Super White for very white tiles with Sanitary White glazes.

These Recipes listed below were all mixed using Weber -Tylon grouts, using varying volumes of Tylon-White, Tylon-Light Grey, and Tylon-Ivory.

  • Do not use "Super White" or any other "Grey" for these following recipes, as the results will differ greatly.
  • Preparing the blended grout colours: measure off the indicated grout powders, dry mix to blend them together, and store in a sealable container.
  • It is important to mix a test batch of grout as per the product instructions, and allow it to dry completely in order to see whether the particular grout blend will work for your installation. If not, you can adjust the blend to make it lighter, darker or richer in colour, before applying to the tiled surface.

Option 1:

Bone to off-white to use with our natural to off-white colours:

  • 4 Parts Tylon " White"
  • 1/2 Part Tylon " Ivory"
  • 1/2 Part Tylon " Light Grey"

Option 2:

Off-white to yellow cream to use with our "French Yellow" and rich creams:

  • 2 Parts Tylon " White"
  • 2 Part Tylon " Ivory"
  • 1/2 Part Tylon " Light Grey"

Option 3:

Very light grey to use with our aqua green grey colours.

  • 2 Parts Tylon " White"
  • 1 Part Tylon " Light Grey"

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Contact Details

13 Village Lane, 

Hemel & Aarde Village, 7200 Hermanus,

Western Cape


Mon - Fri: 10H00 - 16H00

Sat: 10H00 - 12H00

Tel: +27(0)28 316 3296 or
+27(0)83 232 9238 for an appointment
Email: projects@mytile.co.za

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