For a beautiful and long-lasting tile installation, you need to ensure that every facet of the job is completed properly according to tile industry standards and best practices. The key element here is the foundation of the installation and that's where underlayment for tile solves a multitude of problems.
Flooded tile installations have been top-of-mind lately given two extreme hurricanes within two weeks. In anticipation of questions, we're pooling together advice about how commonly dry area tile installations act as a submerged swimming pool-like installation for a period of time.
Since we don't have all the answers, we anticipate this article being a work-in-progress. As we come upon new information, Robb Roderick CTI #727 and Mark Heinlein CTI #1112 - both National Tile Contractors Association trainers - and I will add to this discussion.
How often are you including tile edge protection in your tile assembly specifications? Although not required for all installations, edge protection absolutely provides better results.
Ultimately, if you're serious about delivering only high-quality installations of ceramic, porcelain, and stone tile, you must have the hand-skills to put the entire tile assembly into place along with the knowledge of what products are available to finish the project successfully.
Thinking about protecting tile edges is a perfect example.
If you're wondering why you need to include expansion joints when installing tile, you've come to the right place. Let me explain why they are so important.
For perspective, we originally published this article in August 2016, and expansion joints continue to come up in conversation, during training sessions, and also in comments.
Does the word flat have the same meaning as the word level when it comes to floors and, more importantly, tile installation? If we look in various dictionaries, flat and level can have almost the same definition which can be confusing.
When you install tile in wet areas, do you ensure that everything slopes to the drain? If not, please read below.
Let's consider showers. Showers can be a beautiful part of the bathroom especially when the tile is part of the finished product. The beauty, though, will not be long-lasting if the installation standards and best practices for tile installation are not followed.
Do you back butter your tile?
Back buttering tile is a highly opinionated and widely-debated topic among tile installers. Although it's recommended for natural stone tile, it's not always necessary or required to get adequate mortar coverage on ceramic and porcelain tile. So, how important is it?
To begin this discussion, we first need to define several words. According to the NTCA Reference Manual:
Are all tile installer certifications created equal? The short answer is NO!
If you're asking how to trowel mortar when installing tile, realize that you are asking a fundamentally critical question. It's so critical that readers like you have made this CTEF Blog article the one with the highest readership since we originally published it on June 7, 2016.
You see, when thin set mortar is incorrectly applied, the installation will many times fail. More likely than not, the tile will break - as you see in the image below.
Not a good situation for the customer and a terrible one for everyone involved in installing tile correctly.
Let's focus then on how to properly apply the mortar.