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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Why You Need to Eliminate Spot Bonding When Installing Ceramic Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] May 10, 2022 8:30:00 AM EDT / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

11 Comments

I hope you don't use spot bonding or "five spotting" when installing ceramic tile. It's a problem that's high on the list of failure questions received by the CTEF offices when things go wrong. 

It’s also one we featured at Coverings 2018 in the Installation Experience Hall of Failures.

In case you didn't read How to Correctly Trowel Mortar When Installing Tile? or you still think it's okay, let's review in detail why you need to eliminate even the thought of using spot bonding for your ceramic tile installation projects.

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Is Your Tile Layout Centered and Balanced, With No Small Cuts?

[fa icon="calendar'] April 26, 2022 8:30:00 AM EDT / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Do you spend time ensuring that your tile layout is centered and balanced, with no small cuts? I hope so since this is the most effective way to ensure that a tile installation has a professionally installed appearance.

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Should You Install Tile Under Cabinets?

[fa icon="calendar'] April 12, 2022 8:30:00 AM EDT / 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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Getting the Coverage You Need Under Large Wall Tile

[fa icon="calendar'] April 5, 2022 8:30:00 AM EDT / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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What challenges have you encountered getting the coverage you need under large wall tile? There are two aspects to this question. 

The first has to do with size. Many projects today call for ever-increasing tile sizes, many of which are rectangular shapes such as 12” x 24”, 18” x 36”, 24” x 48”, and larger creating difficulties for the installer when bonding the tile to the substrate. 

>> See Do You Have Enough Mortar to Accommodate Most Tile Warpage?

The second has to do with walls.

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Where Do You Find Porcelain Tile Installation Standards and More?

[fa icon="calendar'] February 1, 2022 8:30:00 AM EST / 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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The Ultimate Guide to Underlayment for Tile

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

23 Comments

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 Deal with Flooded Tile Installations

[fa icon="calendar'] October 19, 2021 8:30:00 AM EDT / by Scott Carothers posted in Installing Tile TIps

5 Comments

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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Have You Added Tile Edge Protection to Your Installation Project?

[fa icon="calendar'] September 14, 2021 8:30:00 AM EDT / 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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Installing Large Format Glass Tile in a Shower: 10 Steps to Follow

[fa icon="calendar'] August 31, 2021 8:30:00 AM EDT / 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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NTCA Reference Manual: An Invaluable Tool for the Tile Industry

[fa icon="calendar'] August 17, 2021 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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Are you familiar with the NTCA Reference Manual? It's an invaluable tool for the tile industry and a well-respected companion document to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation and ANSI standards. 

We caught up with Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) to learn more.

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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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