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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Why Do You Need Expansion Joints When Installing Tile?

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

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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.

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

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 8, 2021 8:30:00 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, 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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Does Your Tile Slope To the Drain?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 27, 2021 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 the 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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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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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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Gridlines vs. Spacers: Which is Better When Installing Tile?

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

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When you're installing tile, do you use gridlines or spacers? Why do you do so?

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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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