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.
Experience is a cruel teacher, but beyond reproach.
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.”
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.
In warm climates particularly, builders have been using ceramic tile outdoors on buildings, walkways and even streets for about 6,000 years. 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.
Ceramic tile are the ideal floor covering for both indoor and outdoor applications anywhere in South Florida. Florida has a tropical monsoon climate. All it monthly mean temperatures are above 18°C and features wet and dry seasons. Frost is never an issue here when installing ceramic tile outdoors.
When water freezes or expands in or under tiles, the tile can not handle the pressure and often crack or breaks. Over the last several decades as tile setting and materials have improved that risk has diminished. With the introduction of recent porcelain productions methods and improved setting materials even freezing weather conditions no longer limit the use of high quality ceramic tile. In freezing weather conditions the “Certified Porcelain” label is important. In South Florida ceramic tile labeled as “Certified Porcelain” is probably overkill. Tile stores often claim a vast world of difference between standard, non-certified ceramic tile and “Certified Porcelain Tile.” They do that to justify higher prices for the perceived value that label provides. The truth is that porcelain and ceramic tile can have essentially the same characteristics.
Tips for setting ceramic tile outdoors.
Use high-quality materials. Expensive tile won’t necessarily outlast moderately priced tile, but with thin-set, grout, sealer and caulk, you get what you pay for.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix and use them as instructed.
Apply tile only to a stable, well-drained slab.
Allow the tile to expand and contract by placing expansion joints no more than 16 ft. apart and anywhere the tile meets a vertical surface.
Don’t give water places to enter or hide. That means densely packed and sealed grout joints, caulked expansion joints and no empty pockets in the thin-set.
Don’t delay maintenance. If grout cracks or a tile comes loose, replace it before a small problem becomes a big one.
Treasure Coast tile contractors enjoy a tile installation advantage. The vast majority of floor tile installations done here are over a concrete slab. 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.
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. 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.
“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.
“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.”
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:
For the professional tile contractor and the do-it-yourself consumer alike, the temptation to use mastic instead of thinset for backsplash 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. 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.
Considering DIY floor tile rip out to save money and then hiring a tile setter later to do the tile installation? Don’t do it!
Tearing out tile flooring to install new tile may sound like a quick and easy project, but it is not. Floor tile rip out is nasty, dirty work that will give little sense of accomplishment and probably save you little money in the long run.
As a Port St. Lucie tile installer I often get called to bid tile jobs started by DIYers who have removed, or started to remove, the old tile themselves. Their thinking was that their effort would, in the end, result in getting the complete tile job done for less money. Often, they are wrong. In a tile installation done property, every phase of the project must be completed perfectly. What is often “good enough” for the DIYer is not good enough to produce a well laid tile floor. Take a close look at image shown of a tile installation in progress . Note the condition of the concrete where new tile has not yet been laid. Until your work produces that level of preparation, your work is not complete.