<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

Do You Ignore Grout Manufacturer Directions?

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


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.

Read More

Substrate Preparation 101: Banish All Tile Bond Breakers!

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

1 Comment

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.

Read More

Why You Need to Eliminate Spot Bonding When Installing Ceramic Tile

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


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

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

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


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.

Read More

Getting the Coverage You Need Under Large Wall Tile

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


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.

Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Underlayment for Tile

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


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

How to Deal with Flooded Tile Installations

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


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. 

Read More

Have You Added Tile Edge Protection to Your Installation Project?

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


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

Why Do You Need Expansion Joints When Installing Tile?

[fa icon="calendar'] June 22, 2021 8:30:00 AM EDT / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps


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.

Read More

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

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


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. 

Read More

Subscribe to Email Updates

Prevent Problems: Read the Homeowner's Guide  to Hiring a Qualified Tile Installer
Donate Now!

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

[fa icon="quote-right"]
Mike Corona CTI #923
Click Here to Volunteer

Blogs Written By CTEF Sponsors & Friends

The Coverings Blog

Crossville's Latest News and Views

Daltile's Trend Hub

Joseph Lundgren Consulting In the News Blog

MAPEI's Tech Talk Blog

Neuse Tile Services Blog

TEC Specialty's Expert Advice

Explore Beautiful Tile Installations  Created by  Certified Tile Installers