Tile floors are once again very popular due to ceramic tile’s advantages over other flooring materials. But how many times have you seen issues with tile layouts? Tile installation problems are common, and even experienced tilers may encounter issues when dealing with challenging installation projects.
Tile professionals always look for the best layout or little things to make their installation perfect. We will cover in this blog the worst tile installation near me problems related to floor layout, proper use of materials, tools, and bonding. Avoid these common mistakes to lower the cost for flooring installation.
ARE YOU LAYING OUT THE FLOOR USING TECH GADGETS?
Typically, a tile setter completes a layout analysis before getting started to understand how the shape affects the installation process. However, many tile installation near me problems come from inaccurate floor layouts. Knowing your tile and room dimensions is the first step to completing a flawless project. Utilizing tile layout software is the finest thing you can do. It will help you measure and complete the layout, but use a laser measurement tool to get the correct room dimensions.
TILE INSTALLATION NEAR ME: THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS
We all have heard that tile installation near me is relatively easy and can be completed without issues unless something throws you off. This could be something simple like irregular shapes, subfloors, existing surfaces, or material issues. It is usual to observe the same tile installation issues repeatedly. Here is a list of the worst tile installation issues and how to avoid them.
1. LOOSE TILE
Sometimes the existing tiling comes loose from the substrate, and you will only notice it with some investigation. To determine whether the current tile is in good condition and can accept another tile on top of it, use a tool to hit the tile gently. A hollow sound indicates that the tile does not adhere properly. If so, the consistency of the substrate should cause the entire floor to sound hollow. Before starting the installation, check the floor and, if needed, remove the loose tiles.
2. CRACKED TILE
Sometimes tile will crack without you noticing. Professionals tend to think the tile cracked because something fell on top of it, but this is not always true. Cracked tiles may occur because the joists tend to move, and tiles may be located mid-span between posts. Before starting the task, ensure the floor is level, and the subfloor sufficiently strengthens. The maximum deflection allowed needs to be in the range of 1/360th of the span length.
3. NOT ENOUGH EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION
Curing concrete and the chemical reaction process are two critical items affecting the expansion and contraction of tiles. The lack of good joints, especially against adjacent surfaces or materials, can cause tiles to pop into the air. Make sure to leave at least ½ inch separate the final tile line from the following surface or material (on the floor or wall) so that both surfaces can expand and contract appropriately, as the tiles will do both. Remember, smaller joints are susceptible to failure if not done adequately.
4. IMPROPER CLEANLINESS AND WORKMANSHIP
Sometimes tile setters will not take proper precautions in cleaning the tiles and preparing the surface. Properly cleaning the back of the tile will help obtain better bonding between the adhesive and the surface. Using the right joint and caulk is a best practice to facilitate installation work. It is essential to highlight that proper inspections should take place at least 6 feet away from the tile. Anything closer than that does not follow standards and might create additional issues.
5. IMPROPER ADHESIVE
Sometimes, the amount of adhesive needs to be increased or only on the corners and the center of the tile. The adhesive must be spread uniformly underneath the tile, creating an even layer. The tile must adhere to at least 80% of the contact surface on residential installations. Comparatively, commercial tile installations should have 95% adhesive on the contact surface.
What happens if the adhesive is overly potent? Although it may seem odd, there are times when the adhesive bonds better with the substrate than with the tile, creating a weak spot in the tile’s adhesion. To avoid this, follow the manufacturer’s recommendation and use the suitable adhesive for the type of substrate and tile you are working with. The performance and characteristics of the adhesive may change depending on the setter’s methods and materials.
6. USING THE WRONG UNDERLAYMENT
The general rule of thumb when installing tile is to have at least 1 1/4″ of subfloor sheathing underneath to provide the necessary strength. The underlayment should be placed over a mortar bed. This mortar bed is essential but not a substitute for the tile adhesive. Its main goal is to close gaps and provide a workable, level surface. Now that the underlayment is in place, attaching it to the subfloor is the next step.
7. APPLYING THE WRONG GROUT
Using the right amount of water when mixing grout will prevent it from being too dry and help you get the right consistency during installation. A good tile setter is aware of issues with grout coloring and buys the necessary amount of grout all at once, avoiding multiple orders of grout. Grout manufacturers can use different materials causing changes in the grout color. We recommend using sanded grout, which offers more consistency and better results than non-sanded grout. Two hours after finishing the grouting process, remove the excess grout from the tile. Two hours is typically enough time for the grout to dry.
8. INSTALLING TILE OVER POORLY PREPARED SUBFLOOR
Many tile installation near me problems happen because the substrate or subflooring is not ready or lacks the proper preparation. If you can’t avoid it, make sure to double-check the following before laying tile over another type of material:
· Check for any loose or damaged tiles on the previous tile that could obstruct adequate adhesion.
· It is essential to level the surfaces. You can use a grinder, sander, or tile level system to level the surface.
· Create a rough surface to improve bonding. The existing surface needs some roughness that will facilitate the bonding between the new adhesive and the old surface.
· Use a vacuum to remove all dust, clean with water, and remove all dust particles and debris from the surface.
· Use epoxy or another adhesive material recommended for this installation and surface. This can help you avoid common tile installation near me problems later.
Now that you have verified these issues check the following points:
· Tile Over Wood Subfloor – Ensure no moisture or water affects the wood, apply a thin-set adhesive, and install the backer board. Use leveling compound to level the surface to minimize cracks in tiles over time.
· Tile Over Existing Tile Floor – Be sure to break or create a rough surface so the adhesive can adequately bond both surfaces. If possible, remove the tiles or at least be sure to make a rough surface.
· Tile Over Hardwood Flooring – This is not the best option. It’s a mistake. If possible, don’t do it. If you don’t have another option, remove the polyurethane membrane of the hardwood flooring to create a better bonding surface. Before starting, verify the condition and spacing of the joists, as they might change from older to newer constructions. Also, use a modified thin-set type of mortar for better results.
· Tile Over Vinyl Floor – When a vinyl floor has been installed over concrete, take extra time to ensure the vinyl is clean and ready to receive the thin-set mortar.
When installing tile, it is essential to avoid common mistakes to ensure the project goes smoothly. Tile installation near me is easy, but irregular shapes, subfloors, existing surfaces, or material issues can throw you off. Loose tile, cracked tile, improper cleanliness and workmanship, improper adhesive, using the wrong underlayment, and applying bad grout are the most common problems.
Are you looking for a reliable tile installation service? Contact Floors Touch today to get a flawless tile installation near you! Our reliable experts are here to help you avoid common tile installation mistakes and make your flooring dreams a reality.