Common Tile Applications

Tile has a wide variety of practical and decorative uses and is common in many homes. Adding ceramic or glass tile to an existing home can increase both aesthetic appeal and home value. In high-moisture and high-traffic areas of the home, such as the kitchen and bathroom, tile surfaces are the natural choice for their durability and water resistance. However, because of its many colors, textures, and finishes, tile can form a unique design element in any part of the home. 

Tile is commonly installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and foyers because it is versatile, durable, easy to maintain, and relatively impervious to dirt and water. Different areas of the home may require slightly different tiling processes. The Tile Council of America, Inc., publishes The TCA Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation, which outlines installation specifications that all tile installers should follow.

When tiling a space that will be frequently splashed by water, such as a shower stall or a shower and bathtub combination, homeowners should keep in mind that the grout between the tiles is not waterproof. Some water penetrates the grout to run down the face of the backer board behind the tile. Correctly installing the waterproof backer board before the tiles are attached is key to preventing leaks and wall damage in a shower environment.

Installing tile to walls that will normally be dry is relatively easy. Around fireplaces or in kitchen backsplashes not near a sink, tile is simply attached directly to the drywall with special adhesives. Additionally, for bathroom walls that will typically remain dry, tile is usually attached directly to a mildew-resistant board or green board.