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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Quick and Easy Movement Joints... the Right Way

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 1, 2019 8:45:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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If you understand that all tile assemblies move and that movement (expansion) joints are mandatory, you also know that they are the only way to ensure success.

However, do you think installing movement (expansion) joints in tile installations are a pain in the #?&? If so, here are two quick and easy ways to install high-quality and long-lasting movement joints.

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Offsets, Grout Joints and Customer Expectations

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 13, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Have you encountered situations where a tile installation called for a 50% offset and credit card grout joints? And, then, once installed it led to lippage problems, misaligned grout joints, and/or an unhappy customer?

I'm pleased to inform you that you can officially find guidance - and justification for avoiding a 50% offset - in the TCNA Handbook.

Ready to learn more?

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Understanding Efflorescence aka that Ugly White Powder on Your Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 30, 2019 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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Why a Tile Installation Mockup is Really Necessary

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 16, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps, Installation + Design

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Do you build a tile installation mockup for your customers? If you don't, we strongly encourage you to consider doing so.

Here's why.

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How To Install Glass Tile Correctly

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 2, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Do you know how to correctly install glass tile? After all, it's beautiful and on trend which usually means that customers will ask you about it for kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms, and showers. As you might imagine, this stunning product, when installed correctly, provides years of enjoyment. 

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Are Credit Card Grout Joints Specified? First Check Tile Industry Standards.

[fa icon="calendar'] May 28, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Yes, credit card joints - as in grout joints the thickness of a credit card - are popular, but given tile industry standards, they aren't possible, appropriate or even recommended.

Many installers have had customers who have seen tile installations in a magazine or brochure which is exactly what they want in their homes. Unfortunately, the “look” they want to achieve with credit card thickness grout joints most likely will not be possible using the tile that has been selected.

Let's explore why.

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Don't Patch Your Tile Substrate With Thin Set

[fa icon="calendar'] May 7, 2019 8:40:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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What Do You Use to Patch Your Substrate so It Is Ready for Tile?

You've surely been in the position as a tile installer to deal with jobsite conditions that require the substrate (floors and walls) to be patched making it “tile ready”.  No question, it's critical to get the substrate flat enough to accommodate tile.  This is particularly true if the tile is large format.

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Tile Over It or Take It Up?

[fa icon="calendar'] May 1, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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If you've been installing tile for a while, you've certainly encountered situations where you were asked about tiling over an existing tile installation rather than taking up the tile and/or underlayment and starting from fresh. How did you respond? 

Here are two situations Mark Heinlein CTI #1112 and National Tile Contractors Association
Training Director to  help explore possible responses.

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Addressing Low Grout Joints with Tile Installation Standards

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 23, 2019 9:15:00 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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Should You Install Tile Under Cabinets?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 19, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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If you're wondering whether it's better to install tile under cabinets or not, the answer is... it depends. It depends on the structure of your home as well as your kitchen and its subfloor, the materials selected and your own preference.

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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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Mike Corona CTI #923
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