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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

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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Substrate Preparation 101: Banish All Tile Bond Breakers!

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 6, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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How concerned are you with protecting your tile installations from the horrors of bond breakers? If you're serious about it, you will spend time inspecting and preparing your substrate so as to prevent any situations from developing. Yes, substrate preparation includes determining whether the floor or wall surface will be bondable and, most importantly, this needs to be completed prior to installing tile.

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

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 26, 2019 9:15:00 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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Do You Have Enough Mortar to Accommodate Tile Warpage?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 5, 2019 9:00:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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When you install tile, do you ensure that you have enough mortar to accommodate inherent (actual) tile warpage associated with large format tile?

Tile sizes are changing; getting larger, longer and proportionately having more inherent warpage. Likewise, changes are being seen in tile installation methods, using thin set and large and heavy tile mortars to accommodate tile warpage.

Let's review what's involved.

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The Top Ten Requirements for a Quality Tile Installation

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 22, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps, Hiring a Tile Installer

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What does it take to ensure that you have a quality tile installation? Based on our experience, knowledge and work with the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook, we have identified ten requirements. 

Note that these aren't all industry requirements. However, they all contribute to a quality tile installation.

Here they are.

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Never Assume You Have Sufficient Mortar Coverage. Check It.

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Ask Scott, Installing Tile TIps

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Is the mortar coverage under the tile you install really important? You bet. Do you just assume that you are getting sufficient coverage?  I hope not.

As often as mortar coverage comes up in articles about tile installation, you'd think that the problem would go away.  Unfortunatelyit hasn’t, especially in exterior and shower areas, for natural stone tile, and even high profile commercial installations.

If you want your tile installation to function as it should, then don't assume you have sufficient mortar coverage. Check it. That's the best way to avoid costly callbacks and ensure a successful installation .

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How to Install Tile with Electrical Radiant Heating

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 4, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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Tile is a natural for radiant heating.

However, installing tile with radiant heating can get overwhelming when you realize that the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook includes multiple methods that address this type of installation. The details vary somewhat depending on the structure you are working on and which type heat source your radiant system uses - hydronic or electrical.

  • On ground concrete
  • Above ground concrete
  • Wood subfloor / joist system

Fortunately, Mark Heinlein CTI #1112 and National Tile Contractors Association Training Director, Technical Trainer / Presenter shares his expertise in this article.

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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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