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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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Where Do You Find Porcelain Tile Installation Standards and More?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 24, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps, Hiring a Tile Installer

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If you're having porcelain tile installed and you're looking for confirmation or validation that the project will be completed correctly, where do you go?

We recommend two paths:

  1. Know where to find porcelain tile installation standards
  2. Know where to find tile installation experts for the project

Let's explore.

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How to Evaluate a Finished Tile Installation

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 17, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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What goes into evaluating a finished tile installation?

At times, this can be the most frustrating part of the project - for both the installer and the homeowner or project owner. Why? Because of finished tile expectations, naturally-occurring variations and other unexpected situations that fall within industry standards.

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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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How to Deal with Flooded Tile Installations

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 20, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Installing Tile TIps

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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. 

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Addressing Low Grout Joints with Tile Installation Standards

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 5, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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Have you looked at the photos in this article and noticed a real problem?  They all demonstrate low grout joints which do not meet the tile industry standards.  To meet these standards, the grout must adequately fill the space which obviously these examples do not. 

And yet, when the person who took these photos shared them with his builder on the job site, the builder did not believe that any standards existed or that there were any organizations that develop them.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation?

If yes, here's how to deal with low grout joints and understand tile installation standards.

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Installing Large Format Glass Tile in a Shower: 10 Steps to Follow

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 22, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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If you're installing large format glass tile (per ANSI A137.2, any tile larger than 3” x 3” or nine square inches) in a shower, do you know what steps to follow and questions to ask? As we've mentioned in previous articles, installing tile in showers requires careful preparation given the extreme environment working showers create. Large glass tile can add to the complexity.

>> See How to Deal with Tile Discoloration in a Shower

In this article, NTCA Technical Trainer Mark Heinlein CTI #1112 shares his advice on how to prepare for this project which involves 3x12 glass tile (aka subway tile) which is considered a large format for glass.

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How to Deal with Tile Discoloration in a Shower

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 11, 2017 9:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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Showers, because they are inherently and intensely wet, tend to be harsh environments. They also tend not to be forgiving of uninformed installations. That's why employing Certified Tile Installers is so important. They know to anticipate situations such as tile discoloration in a shower because they take very seriously the TCNA Handbook, the ANSI Standards and manufacturer instructions.

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