The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation has put together a Top 10 List of requirements for a quality tile installation. Make sure your installer considers (and understands) all these factors for your upcoming installation. OR, skip to the bottom of the list and ask Neuse Tile to oversee numbers 10-2 for you ;).
10. Adequate Cure Time: Allow an installation to cure sufficiently before exposing it to moisture, traffic, temperature changes or overlaying products. The amount of time required will vary based on site conditions and the specific materials being used.
9. Controlled Site Conditions: Jobsite conditions can have a serious impact on the success or failure of a tile installation. Many products used in tile installations require that the temperature be maintained within a specific range and duration. Be certain to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure a long-lasting installation.
8. Crack Isolation Membrane: Cracks in concrete and other areas of movement should be treated with a crack isolation membrane to help eliminate cracked tiles. Check with the membrane manufacturer for specific use and application recommendations.
7. Premium Materials: The use of premium quality bonding materials is money well spent. Tile Industry experts agree this is one of the easiest insurance policies for preventing installation problems. All types of setting materials are available in various performance grades to meet the requirements of the job. Contact the setting material manufacturer for products with the specific product characteristics and performance levels necessary for success
6. Flat Surfaces: In order to provide a flat ceramic or stone tile installation, carpenters, masons, concrete installers and other trades must meet the tile industry standards for flatness tolerances. If substandard surfaces are encountered, they must be corrected before the tile installation begins.
5. Rigid Surface: Ceramic tile installations require a stiff or rigid surface. In some cases, installations, including natural stone, may require additional subflooring, wall studs or bracing. Contractors should follow the applicable recommendations of the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation, the ANSI, American National Specifications for the Installation of Ceramic Tile as well as the recommendations of the manufacturer whose products are being used in the project.
4. Correct Methods and Materials: Not all installation methods and/or materials are suitable for all applications. Be certain that your contractor will use the TCNA Handbook method rated for the intended application or a method that is recommended, fully specified, and warranted by the product manufacturer. Research manufacturers’ websites to determine suitability, application recommendations and product warranty information. Review the manufacturer’s product data sheets and recommendations for the tile, backer board, bonding materials, membranes and grout which will be used on the job. Just because a product is available doesn’t mean that it is appropriate for a given installation.
3. Mortar Coverage: Tile industry standards require minimum mortar coverage of 80% in dry areas and 95% in wet (showers) or exterior areas. This refers to the contact area of the bonding material (thin-bed mortars, large and heavy tile mortars or epoxy adhesives) with both the back of the tile and the surface being tiled.
2. Movement Accommodation Joints: All tile installations, both residential and commercial, will move with temperature and humidity variations. To accommodate this expansion and contraction activity, the use of expansion joints per the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation method EJ171 must be incorporated into the tile work. Be certain that all parties involved in the project including the architect, the specifier, the designer, the salesperson and the tile installer know and understand the critical use and placement of expansion joints.
1. Skilled Installers: Only well-trained and experienced tile installers can produce installations of the highest quality which provide long lasting beauty and functionality. In order to differentiate this quality oriented tile installer from others in the field, consider hiring a CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI). CTIs have proven that they have the knowledge and skills which meet industry standards and best practices. Click here to go to the CTI overview page.