Installation of flooring using grand-format ceramic tile

Large-format pieces impose a series of constraints to their application, in order to ensure the correct union between the cladding and the substrate.

One of the complications posed in this type of use is the necessary planimetry, both of the substrate and of the tiles.

It is important to correctly lay the pieces on the adhesive mortar, ensuring total impregnation of the ceramic tile and avoiding the presence of cavities.

It is also recommendable to correctly use a toothed trowel, respecting the open time at all times.

Preliminary analysis

In this type of application, it is important for the both the substrate and the cladding to maintain perfect planimetry to ensure correct settling.

The problem posed by large-format pieces is that, in order to obtain full impregnation of the back of the tiles, they must be homogeneously packed.

The union will be damaged if we do not exert pressure homogeneously on a well-leveled adhesive during the process.

This action improves, if we use materials that facilitate the complete wetting of this type of pieces, for which we will find an adhesive material that provides us with:

  • Deformability which, to the extent possible, absorbs the movements of the substrate, which is more of a determining factor in these cases.
  • Chemical adherence
  • Fine granulometry, which allows correct settling of the tiling.
  • Ample open time in which to securely install each piece.
  • Great wetting capacity.

Technical considerations

In this type of application, different factors must be taken into account to correctly choose the adhesive and installation system. Therefore, we must decide:

  • Whether the surfaces to be cladded are interiors (suffer less atmospheric aggressions) or exteriors.
  • The format of the ceramic to be installed and the substrate is important.
  • Before installing the floor, the public or private use thereof must be considered, in addition to the loads it will support (a supermarket is not the same as a car dealer, as a clothes store or a house).
  • Once all these options have been analysed, and taking into account that the union we expect in these materials is only by contact, we must always ensure that the entire surface of the cladding and the substrate is impregnated, without leaving any cavities.
  • We must rule out the possibility of executing the application using the spot or gob technique; in this way, the stress would be grouped together in these contact areas, significantly reducing adherence.
  • Furthermore, the areas that will remain hollow will act as levers as a result of the passage of people or objects, lifting the piece in its entirety. 
  • In all cases, it is advisable to apply a thin layer of flooring and execute the double-adhesive technique (application of the product using a toothed trowel, both on the substrate and on the back of the piece), for formats larger than 2,000 cm2.
  • If using GECOL Flexible fluido, it is not necessary to execute the double-adhesive technique on being a product with great wetting capacity. The simple weight of the cladding alone will ensure adherence across the entire piece.
  • The packing process must be executed with caution, exerting pressure in the most homogeneous possible way, in order to prevent the force exerted at one end of the piece from lifting the opposite area, consequently reducing the contact.


A second consideration, but nonetheless essential, to be taken into account is the design of the joints, making sure to:

  • Leave at least 3 mm joint spacing between tiles.
  • Execute perimeter movement joints in corners and changes in plane, height or material.
  • Execute expansion joints between door and structural cavities of the building.
  • All expansion joints should be filled with elastic mastics such as GECOL Elastic-MS.
  • Execute intermediate movement or partition joints that constitute maximum surface areas of 50 m2 in interiors, 25 m2 in exteriors and 16 m2 with dark colors in exteriors.


Jointing mortar must be applied in accordance with the times marked in the Technical Data Sheet of the adhesive.

Commissioning will take place 48 hours after executing the joint.

Recommended products


High deformability

Quick setting

Ultra-fast setting

Joint mortars

From 0 to 20 mm quick setting

Up to 6 mm

From 3 to 15 mm

Flexible mastic

Elastomeric Mastic

Warnings: The data provided by this Constructive Solution were prepared based on standard onsite installation processes. However, we recommend that you consult our Technical Department in the event of any specific circumstance


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