Category Archives: Tile Installation

Tile Installation – Quality Work is My Trademark.

New Silica Dust Rules From OSHA

Silica Dust Rules Finalized by OSHA.

OSHA and its new silica dust rules.
OSHA’s New Silica Dust Rules.

In March of 2016 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the final silica dust rules for silica dust exposure on construction sites. The rules take effect on June 23, 2016 and construction employers have until June 23, 2017 to comply.

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Porcelain Tile Installation Grouting

Porcelain Tile Installation Grouting Process.

Once tile has been installed and has dried properly, the grouting process can begin.  But, allow tile to set firmly before grouting. Grouting tile too soon, before the setting material has set-up, can lead to problems. Uncured setting material may bleed through the joints and discolor the grout.  There is also the risk of destroying the bond by shifting tiles, so allow as much time between setting and grouting as feasible. A day is advisable, but as much as four days might add a level of assurance.

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Ceramic Tile Outdoors – Patio Tile Installation

Setting Ceramic Tile Outdoors.

In warm climates particularly, builders have been using ceramic tile outdoors on buildings, walkways and even streets for about 6,000 years.

Ceramic Tile outdoors using large format tile on a patio.
Tile Installation Using Ceramic Tile on a Patio.

Tile offer a range of colors and designs unmatched by any other material.  It’s also amazingly tough when not exposed to freezing weather.  In places like Italy and Mexico you can find exterior tile in good condition despite centuries of wear and tear.

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Bond Breakers | Concrete Slab Bond Breakers

Concrete Slab Bond Breakers.

Treasure Coast tile contractors enjoy a tile installation advantage.  The vast majority of floor tile installations done here are over a concrete slab.

Ceramic Tile Installation Using Large Format Tile.
Straight Lay Pattern for Ceramic Tile Installation Using Large Format Tile.

There is no better substrata over which to lay ceramic tile than a concrete slab. That said, the success of any installation over a concrete slab, where tiles are directly bonded in a thin-set application, can go wrong.

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ANSI Specifications – Large Format Tile Mortar

ANSI A118.15 – Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar.

While the ANSI A118.4 Dry-Set Cement Mortar specifications have served as the standard for residential tile installation for several years, many past complaint mortar have improved their capabilities beyond that ANSI standard. ANSI So, a new ANSI specification had to be established to distinguish standard performing mortars from high performing mortars. Thus, in 2013, came the birth of the new standard known as “Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar – ANSI A118.15 .” This new standard provides another level of classification for thin set mortars.

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Residential Tile Flooring: Mud-Set vs Thinset Method

Residential Tile Flooring Installation Methods.

“Mud-Set” or “Mud-Bed” are terms used for a 3/4″ Portland cement and mason sand sub-surface for ceramic, porcelain & natural stone residential tile flooring. “Mud-Setting” the floor to accept tile is the ideal substrate: to provide a sound, flat and level floor, to provide a water-resistant base, and to add structural stability to new and old floors.Residential Tile Flooring - Marble Inlay above mub-pack.

“Thinset” is an adhesive mortar made of cement, fine sand and a water retaining agent such as an alkyl derivative of cellulose. It is usually used to  attach tile or stone residential tile flooring to surfaces such as cement or concrete. The application of the mortar adhesive is usually 3/8″ thick or less, thus defining the procedure as a “Thinset.”

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Mastic vs Thinset – Tilers Concensus

Mastic vs. Thinset –  A Tilers’ Consensus Can Be Wrong.

If you did a “Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”  type survey on the subject on Mastic vs. Thinset, with the stipulation that only 30 year tiling professionals need respond, I expect you might get a list that looks like this:

Mastic vs Thinset in Wall Tile Installation
Use Thinset for Bathroom Tile Installation.

Mastic vs. Thinset.

  1. Shower floors – Thinset.
  2. Shower walls – Thinset.
  3. Bathroom floors – Thinset.
  4. Bathroom walls – Thinset.
  5. Kitchen floors – Thinset.
  6. Kitchen walls – Mastic.
  7. Kitchen counter-tops – Thinset.
  8. Kitchen back-splashes – Mastic.
  9. Other floors – Thinset.
  10. Other walls – Mastic (where moisture is not present).

That should settle the issue, right?  Well, no not really.

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Mastic Vs Thinset for Back-splash Installation

Mastic Vs. Thinset for Back-splash Tile.

For the professional tile contractor and the do-it-yourself consumer alike, the temptation to use mastic instead of thinset for back-splash tile installation is appealing.  For the do-it-yourself consumers, who have never worked with thin-set, the appeal  of mastic is all the more attractive.

Mastic vs Thinset - First impression count.
Mastic vs Thinset – First impression matter.

Working with thin-set for the first time is an intimidating process compared to working with an mastic adhesive.

First Impressions Matter;  Mastic is Peanut Butter.


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