<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2223002471257760&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Scott Carothers

Scott Carothers

Recent Posts

Does Your Tile Slope To the Drain?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 13, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

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 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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Why You Need to Eliminate Spot Bonding When Installing Ceramic Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 5, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 6 Comments

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

The Ultimate Guide to Underlayment for Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] May 22, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 19 Comments

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

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

[fa icon="calendar'] May 8, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

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

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Getting the Coverage You Need Under Large Wall Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 3, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

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 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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Want Credit Card Grout Joints? First Check Tile Industry Standards.

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

Yes, credit card joints are popular, but given tile industry standards, they aren't possible, appropriate or even recommended.

Many installers have had customers who have seen tile installations in a magazine or brochure which is exactly what they want in their homes. Unfortunately, the “look” they want to achieve with credit card thickness grout joints most likely will not be possible using the tile that has been selected.

Let's explore why.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

How to Correctly Trowel Mortar When Installing Tile?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 23, 2018 7:00:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 20 Comments

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.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Understanding Efflorescence aka that Ugly White Powder on Your Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 5, 2017 9:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 22 Comments

We've all seen it: that really ugly white powder that grows on cement grout and also tile, stone, brick and concrete, particularly when it's installed someplace with moisture (i.e., in a basement or outdoors). That white residue is called efflorescence.

This article goes into detail about efflorescence, including situations that readers have shared with us since the article originally published in September 2016.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

A Flat Floor vs. a Level Floor: What's the Difference?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

Does the word flat have the same meaning as the word level when it comes to floors and, more importantly, to tile installation?  If we look in various dictionaries, flat and level can have almost the same definition which can be confusing. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Have You Added Tile Edge Protection to Your Installation Project?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 26, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

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. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Subscribe to Email Updates

Explore Beautiful Tile Installations  Created by  Certified Tile Installers
Click Here to Learn About  Becoming a CTEF Sponsor

Blogs Written By CTEF Sponsors & Friends

Crossville's Latest News and Views

DalTile's From the Floor Up

Joseph Lundgren Consulting In the News Blog

MAPEI's Tech Talk Blog

Neuse Tile Services Blog

TEC Specialty's Expert Advice

Looking for Tips on How to  Select  Your Next   Tile Contractor?   ~  Click Here to  Download! ~