Tiling Craftsmanship Requires Defensive Pessimism.

Experience is a cruel teacher, but beyond reproach.

Installing large format tile.

If you’ve been in the tile contracting trade for any length of time you have got to have become a defensive pessimist, or you have not been paying attention.  A tile contractor’s motto must be “Be Prepared.”

The theory of defensive pessimism suggests that imagining, and planning for worst-case scenarios is more effective than trying to think positively.

Prefactual thinking is an essential component of defensive pessimism.  Synonymous with anticipation,  it describes a cognitive strategy in which people imagine possible outcomes of a future scenario.

In the world of construction there are immutable laws.

Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” applies here.   And Sod’s law “if something can go wrong, it will”, with the further addendum, that it will happen at “the worst possible time”.  The more variables you add to the equation, the more likely the project will turn out badly.

For instance, consider large format tile.  A tile or stone larger than 16” x 16” is generally defined as “large format.”  Installing 24×24 tile properly requires a flat base under the tile.  Any high spots will result in an uneven lay, with lippage a likely issue. Installing 24×24 inch tile in a brick pattern will make the issues that much worse.  Improper preparation will insure installation failure of one sort or another.

Then there is the issue of the quality of the tile you have to work with. Cheap tile are a major source of grief.  If it’s made in China or purchases from your local big-box store, expect more problems with a brick pattern installation.

Rectified tile has a very sharp edge on all exposed sides. A high spot (lippage) will expose an edge as sharp as a knife. The reason to purchase rectified tile is to make it possible to get the grout joint really tight. Rectified cut tile solve none of the issues with uneven height in the tile.

Large format porcelain tile are known to be problematic.  And, rectified tile make the issue of lippage a more serious problem.  A pillow edged tile with a wider grout joint presents less of an problem. The edges of the tile are not as sharp and the grout joint can act as a ramp to glide the foot over the edge.

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My tiling service areas include Port St. Lucie (PSL), Fort Pierce, Stuart and Vero Beach, FL.

In St. Lucie County Boyer Tile LLC. services Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie West, Tradition, Torino, Tesoro, Lake Charles, Lake Forest, Magnolia Lakes, PGA Village, The Vineyards, St James Golf Club, The Cascades, and Fort Pierce, FL.

In Indian River County Boyer Tile LLC. services Vero Beach, Indian River Shores and Sebastian, FL.