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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.