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.
If you're considering how to install floor tile, be aware that there's a significant difference between installing natural stone tile 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.
How do you handle tile shade variation? Do you make a point of bringing it up with customers before starting a tile installation project? If you don't, I urge you to do so. You don't want to encounter what I refer to as the "Five-O-Five Surprise."
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 manufacturer's directions seriously.
How prepared are you for installing Large Format Tile (LFT) and ensuring you have a surface that is adequately flat? It's a big deal and worth considering before you get started.
When you install tile, do you ensure that you have enough mortar to accommodate inherent (actual) tile warpage associated with large format tile?
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!
Do you create a tile installation mockup for your customers? If you don't, we strongly encourage you to consider doing so.
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.
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.