Common Tile Problems and Applications

Because Atlanta tile installation can be challenging, homeowners should hire professional installers who follow installation specifications outlined in the Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation, a manual published by the Tile Council of America. Many problems with tile floors or walls can be overcome with careful planning prior to construction.

Dry floors. Cracking is the biggest problem with tiled dry floors. Tile is generally very brittle and fractures instead of flexing when subjected to load. It should only be attached to a solid, nonflexing subfloor. Since a standard wood subfloor flexes slightly when walked upon, it should be reinforced prior to tile installation.

Wet floors. On the other hand, wet floors are routinely exposed to modest amounts of water. Wet floor installation methods include installing tiles over a cement mortar and metal lath. The cement mud bed provides support for the tiles to prevent cracking, and it also protects the wood subfloor from modest amounts of water.

Shower stall walls. Well-constructed tile shower walls consist of individual tiles glued to waterproof backer board, with grout used to fill gaps between the tiles. Since grout is not waterproof, some water penetrates the grout to run down the face of the backer board behind the tile to the tub. Correctly installing the water-proof backer board before the tiles are attached is the key to preventing leaks.

Since waterproof backer board is more expensive than drywall, some Atlanta tile contractors do not use it. This common shortcut creates a potential leak problem when water gets through the tile to the board. Wet board also creates a potential mold and mildew problem, as the grout between the tiles is kept continuously wet from the damp board behind it.

By choosing a Best Pick™ Atlanta tile contractor, you can be confident that the job will be done using the proper application techniques.