Tile Installation Mistakes to Avoid

June 8th, 2024 by imdad Leave a reply »

When it comes to tile installation, there are several common mistakes that DIYers should avoid. Here are some of the most important ones:

1. Mismatching the Trowel Size: It’s crucial to use a trowel that matches the size of the tile. Larger tiles require a deep layer of thin-set, so a trowel with deep notches is necessary. When shopping for thin-set for larger tiles, look for terms such as “medium bed,” “large tile,” or “large format” on the bag label.
2. Cracking the Tile: Tiles, especially those made of materials like porcelain, can easily crack. To prevent cracked tiles, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques when cutting them. A diamond wet saw is the best tool for cutting tiles, and slow, even pressure should be applied to create precise cuts.

3. Improper Underlayment: The underlayment plays a crucial role in tile installation. It provides a stable and level surface for the tiles. Using the wrong type or thickness of underlayment can lead to problems such as cracked tiles or uneven surfaces. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific type of underlayment being used.
4. Insufficient Tile Quantity: Not buying enough tiles is a common mistake that can be easily avoided with proper planning. Take accurate measurements of the area to be tiled and calculate the square footage. Divide the square footage by the square footage that comes in a box of tiles to determine how many boxes to buy. It’s also important to account for extra tiles to cover cuts, breakage, and waste.

5. Neglecting Expansion Joints: Expansion joints are essential to accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of tiles due to temperature and moisture changes. Failure to include expansion joints can lead to tile failure. It’s recommended to leave at least a 1/4 inch gap between tiles and fill it with an appropriate flexible sealant.

6. Inadequate Waterproofing in Showers: When installing tiles in showers, it’s crucial to ensure proper waterproofing to prevent water damage. Simply relying on grout, tile, and sealers is not enough. Following the guidelines provided by the Tile Council of North America and using compatible components from the same manufacturer are important steps to achieve a waterproof shower. Additionally, calculating the proper amount of slope for the drain is essential to ensure proper drainage.


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