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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Understanding Efflorescence aka that Ugly White Powder on Your Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 5, 2017 9:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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.

This article goes into detail about efflorescence, including situations that readers have shared with us since the article originally published in September 2016.

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Does Your Tile Slope To the Drain?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 28, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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When you install tile in wet areas, do you ensure that everything slopes to the drain? If not, please read below.

Let's consider showers.  Showers can be a beautiful part of the bathroom especially when tile is part of the finished product.  The beauty, though, will not be long lasting if the installation standards and best practices for tile installation are not followed.

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

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Does the word flat have the same meaning as the word level when it comes to floors and, more importantly, to tile installation?  If we look in various dictionaries, flat and level can have almost the same definition which can be confusing. 

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Have You Added Tile Edge Protection to Your Installation Project?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 26, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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. 

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Have You Adequately Prepped the Substrate for Tile?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 8, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott

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The quality of the tile work seen by the consumer on the surface is only as good as what is underneath. This seems to be a simple statement, but if the appropriate prep work is not completed, the final appearance may not be acceptable.

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The Ultimate Guide to Underlayment for Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 6, 2017 9:15:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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.

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

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 11, 2017 8:50:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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.

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How to Prepare for Tile Shade Variation

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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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."

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Do You Ignore Grout Manufacturer Directions?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 14, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott

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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.

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

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 11, 2017 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) 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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