Tile Setting Materials
Purchasing the proper tile for your home does not ensure that you will obtain the desired look. Installation is paramount to the overall look of a product. Things to consider:
Only well-trained, experienced installers can produce the highest-quality installations. Many materials install differently, and often a “one size fits all” contractor might not be the best fit for your premium products.
Correct method and materials
Not all installation methods and materials are suitable for all applications. Make sure your contractor will use a TCA Handbook method rated for the intended application or a method that is fully specified and warranted by the manufacturer for the application. You can find suitability, recommendations, and warranty info for installation systems and materials on manufacturer web sites. Find the Product Data Sheet or other manufacturer recommendations for tile, backer boards, bonding materials, membranes, grouts, etc.
Use premium setting materials
Industry experts agree this one of the easiest "insurance" policies for preventing installation problems. All types of setting materials are available in various performance grades. Premium setting materials are designed to address the specific needs of the vast array of tile options today, and provide warranties to support their claims. Don’t let your contractor choose for you; ask your retailer to educate you about your options. Consider the following when talking with your contractor:
- Crack Suppression: cracked substrates can lead to cracked tile.
- Leveling: the first step to ensuring a proper installation.
- Waterproofing: make it premium now, you won’t have to repair it later.
- Sound Control: could this be helpful in your home?
- Floor Warming Systems: keep you comfortable while lowering energy bills.
- Thin Sets: created specifically for glass, large format tile, wet areas, etc., which ones is best for your products?
- Grout: premium grouts can inhibit the growth of mildew and resist stains.
Proper care and maintenance is essential to the life of your material. Make sure your contractor is using the right products at the right stage in your installation.
- Sealers: Stains on stone, tile or grout can be permanent. Protect your surface against both oil-based and water-based stains with the right sealer. Sealing also makes everyday clean-up easier.
- Cleaners: Cleaners that are acid-based may visibly damage or etch some types of tile and stone. Use everyday cleaners that are non-acidic and non-abrasive, or ones specially formulated for tile, grout and stone.