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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Scott Carothers

Scott Carothers

Recent Posts

Back Buttering Tile: How Important Is It?

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

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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:

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Are All Tile Installer Certifications Created Equal?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 2, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Certified Tile Installer Program

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Are all tile installer certifications created equal? The short answer is NO!

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How to Correctly Trowel Mortar When Installing Tile?

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 8, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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.

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Honoring Expansion Joints in a Concrete Floor

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 10, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Do You Honor Expansion Joints in a Concrete Floor?

You do, right? Honoring expansion joints in a concrete floor is critical to the success of a ceramic tile floor installation.

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Is Your Floor or Wall Flat Enough for Large Format Tile?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 27, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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How prepared are you for installing Large Format Tile (LFT) or Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels (GTPT) and ensuring you have a surface that is adequately flat?

It's a big deal and worth considering before you get started

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How To Protect Your Installation With a Tile Edge Profile

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 6, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Do you use an edge profile to protect your tile installation? It's particularly valuable when transitioning from tile to another flooring surface material. However, to work, the profile must be installed correctly. Let's explore.

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How to Install Floor Tile When It's Natural Stone Rather Than Ceramic

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 29, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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If you're considering how to install natural stone floor tile, be aware that there's a significant difference between natural stone and ceramic tile especially when it's over wood framing.

Unfortunately, many consumers, builders and even some tile installers share the mistaken idea that natural stone tile products may be installed over a wood-framed floor in the same way as is ceramic and porcelain tile. This is completely untrue and will many times lead to a very costly replacement.

Why? Because tiles made from natural stone do not have the same strength as ceramic tiles and they require a floor system that is twice as stiff as what is required for ceramic floor tile.

Let's explore in more detail.

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Five Self-Leveling Underlayment (SLU) Requirements

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 25, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Are you familiar with SLU or Self-Leveling Underlayment?

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Dealing With Ramps and Level Changes on Tile Jobsites

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 21, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Have you had to deal with ramps and level changes on your tile jobsite? How have you addressed them?

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Six Steps for Mixing Mortars and Grouts

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 7, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Would you agree that mortars and grouts matter to a successful tile installation project? And that you need them to be properly mixed?

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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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