CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Scott Carothers

Scott Carothers

Recent Posts

ANSI Standards: A Tile Installer's Best Friend!

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 1, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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How familiar are you with the ANSI Standards for the Installation of Ceramic Tile? (ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute.) If you aren't, and you're in the tile installation business, it's time you pay attention. ANSI Standards are a tile installer's best friend! 

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How To Select the Right Trowel Notch To Obtain the Required Mortar Coverage

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 11, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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If you're in the tile business, you're surely aware of how important it is to obtain the required mortar coverage.

And, you've probably noticed that achieving that coverage has become more challenging as tile sizes and the diversity in tile types increases.

Diversity is wonderful for enabling stunning tile installations. However, each of these products has different requirements in order to achieve the required mortar coverage, and that's where selecting the right trowel notch comes into play.

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Do You Ignore Grout Manufacturer Directions?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 9, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott

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I certainly hope you don't ignore grout manufacturer directions which just about guarantees that your tile installation will fail. In fact, that's true for just about all the products tile installers use. For the sake of this article, though, I'll focus on grout and more specifically High-Performance Cement Grouts.

Here's why you need to take the grout manufacturer's directions seriously.

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Substrate Preparation 101: Banish All Tile Bond Breakers!

[fa icon="calendar'] May 24, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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How concerned are you with protecting your tile installations from the horrors of bond breakers? If you're serious about it, you will spend time inspecting and preparing your substrate so as to prevent any situations from developing. Yes, substrate preparation includes determining whether the floor or wall surface will be bondable, and, most importantly, this needs to be completed prior to installing tile.

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Why You Need to Eliminate Spot Bonding When Installing Ceramic Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] May 10, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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I hope you don't use spot bonding or "five spotting" when installing ceramic tile. It's a problem that's high on the list of failure questions received by the CTEF offices when things go wrong. 

It’s also one we featured at Coverings 2018 in the Installation Experience Hall of Failures.

In case you didn't read How to Correctly Trowel Mortar When Installing Tile? or you still think it's okay, let's review in detail why you need to eliminate even the thought of using spot bonding for your ceramic tile installation projects.

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Is Your Tile Layout Centered and Balanced, With No Small Cuts?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 26, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Do you spend time ensuring that your tile layout is centered and balanced, with no small cuts? I hope so since this is the most effective way to ensure that a tile installation has a professionally installed appearance.

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Getting the Coverage You Need Under Large Wall Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 5, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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What challenges have you encountered getting the coverage you need under large wall tile? There are two aspects to this question. 

The first has to do with size. Many projects today call for ever-increasing tile sizes, many of which are rectangular shapes such as 12” x 24”, 18” x 36”, 24” x 48”, and larger creating difficulties for the installer when bonding the tile to the substrate. 

>> See Do You Have Enough Mortar to Accommodate Most Tile Warpage?

The second has to do with walls.

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The Ultimate Guide to Underlayment for Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 30, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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.

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How to Deal with Flooded Tile Installations

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 19, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Installing Tile TIps

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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. 

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Have You Added Tile Edge Protection to Your Installation Project?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 14, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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. 

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Certified Tile Installer Mike Corona says,

You don't become a tile installer or a business owner overnight. It takes time, enthusiasm, pride, reliability, respectfulness, a willingness to learn, and dedication. No two jobs are the same; each one has its own unique nuances. As a qualified installer, you need to be able to communicate how to deal with those nuances and qualify yourself to not only meet but exceed expectations. Being qualified will exponentially increase your value and you will have endless opportunities.

Mike Corona CTI #923 Corona Marble and Tile

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Mike Corona CTI #923
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