It's a brand new year and just the time for you to make tile installation resolutions for 2017. If you're already in the know, consider these a refresher. And, if you're new to the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and the Certified Tile Installer Program, then consider this your introduction to a bold, new standards-based, methodical approach to installing ceramic tile.
Tile Installation That's All About Quality
By now, you must know we take quality tile installation seriously. Situations such as How Not to Install Tile on Floors, Walls and in Showers make us ill; we break into hives and get very ugly. No homeowner should ever, ever find such poor tile work in his or her home.
Assuming you, too, feel the burn for quality, you'll take these 10 tile installation resolutions to heart for 2017!
10 Resolutions to Make for 2017 About Tile Installation
1. Create a Tile Installation Mockup
In the tile world, mockups should be used by the tile contractor as a tool to obtain the approval of the owner, the architect, designer and general contractor - all important specifier constituents for the end project.
Establishing how the finished tile installation will appear "before" the work begins is a wise choice which can save time and money.
>> Read Why a Tile Installation Mockup is Really Necessary to learn more.
2. Study the TCNA Handbook and the ANSI Specifications
For continued success, tile installers should study the TCNA Handbook and ANSI Specifications, retaining as much as possible or at least knowing where to find the answers. These two books can and should be your best friend.
3. Understand the Top Requirements for a Quality Tile Installation
What does it take to ensure that you have a quality tile installation? Based on our experience, knowledge and work with the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook, we have identified ten requirements.
4. Plan for Expansion Joints in Your Tile Installation
Expansion joints are also known as Movement Joints or Movement Accommodation Joints. In ceramic, porcelain, glass and stone tile installations, they are critical to the success and longevity of the installation.
5. Never Use Spot Bonding When Installing Ceramic Tile
Spot bonding either floor or wall tile places multiple globs or dollops of mortar (about the size of a golf ball) on the back of the tile. Doing so with larger sized ceramic tiles means placing a glob of mortar on each corner with one in the middle of the back of the tile and is commonly known as “five spotting.” This process fails every time because the majority of the tile is not supported or bonded by the mortar to the substrate.
Additionally, the void areas between the globs collect and hold moisture which can be fatal in exterior and wet area applications.
6. Learn How To Trowel Mortar Correctly
The way you trowel mortar for setting tile makes a big difference. Porcelain tiles, in particular, can withstand extra heavy service conditions by taking a lot of impact or point load (think of high heel shoes, pianos, refrigerators or pallet jacks) when installed correctly over a sound substrate. When the mortar isn't properly troweled, it can create unsupported spaces under the tiles which become weak spots that can be easily damaged by the same impact or heavy loads.
7. Have Enough Mortar to Accommodate Tile Warpage
When you install tile, do you ensure that you have enough mortar to accommodate inherent (actual) tile warpage associated with large format tile?
Tile sizes are changing; getting larger, longer and proportionately having more inherent warpage. Likewise, changes are being seen in tile installation methods, using thin set and large and heavy tile mortars to accommodate most tile warpage.
8. Understand What Leads to Efflorescence
We've all seen it: that really ugly white powder that can grow on cement grout, particularly when it's installed in areas where moisture is present (i.e., in a basement, shower area, or outdoors). That white residue is called efflorescence.
Many times, it's not the fault of the tile installation. If you understand what causes it to occur, youcan take steps to lessen or eliminate efflorescense. This is what identifies a true tile installation professional.
9. Attend Training Events That Provide New Skills and Knowledge
Industry groups such as CTEF, NTCA, and manufacturers have stepped up to this challenge by providing training events to increase your skills and knowledge in quality tile installation. These include; CTEF Educational Programs, the NTCA Workshops, regional events such as the Remodeling Show in Baltimore and Portland, Total Solutions Plus, COVERINGS, TISE, and manufacturer’s training on the proper use and installation of their products.
10. Become a Certified Tile Installer (CTI)
If you already provide top quality workmanship in all of your projects, boost the confidence level of your consumers, architects, designers, and general contractors with the only credential recognized and promoted by the tile industry. Become a CTI!
Are You Ready to Start the New Year as a True Quality Tile Installation Professional Does?
Let us know what resolutions you have made for the New Yar.
Have a Prosperous and Happy New Year!
From all of us at CTEF