FAQs

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  • If walls are out of plumb, can we flash the walls?

    No. Thin-set or adhesive set can’t be built up on a vertical surface.
  • How can cracks be prevented before the installation of tile?

    Use crack suppression or crack isolation membrane. A wide variety of membranes are available for different needs, including waterproofing. Contact with your supplier or consult the TCA handbook to determine which product best suits your project.
  • What’s the recommended substrate when installing dimensional stone on a wall?

    Crack isolation or suppression membrane is highly recommended when installing dimensional stone over any thin-set mortar.
  • What’s the minimum height for a mud job?

    ¾” is the industry standard. Mud refers to conventional mortar ¾ – 2” in thickness.
  • What is tile warp and how can I avoid it?

    This is generally a problem with larger-format tiles that have been misapplied. What happens is that when a thick (3/8” or more) mortar is applied and cures, the moisture from the mortar is absorbed through the ceramic tile, which is porous. When the mortar cures, there is movement as the water is absorbed through the tile. This causes upward force to move the tile out of plane and exert pressure on the adjoining tiles. To avoid warp, test the mortar thickness with a sample of the tile or stone to be installed, referring to the instructions set by the mortar’s manufacturer. When installing the tile, monitor moisture conditions carefully and follow TCA application guidelines.
  • How fast can I get tile? Should we wait to approve samples until it’s time to place the tile?

    Place orders as soon as possible, especially when dealing with natural stone. As one of our field supervisors says, “stone is an act of God.” There is a great deal of variability, even within tiles cut from the same quarry—even the same block. Know what you’re dealing with well ahead of schedule so you can place alternate orders or use other suppliers if necessary.

    TIP: Be flexible on supplies as far as delivery dates.

  • Is it feasible to lay tile over existing ceramic tile?

    Yes, provided that the existing tile, stone or terrazzo is sound. The tile or stone to be laid over must be well-bonded, free of structural cracks and thoroughly cleaned before installation can begin.
  • Can ceramic tile be laid over plywood?

    Yes, but only for indoor applications with limited water exposure. Exterior-grade plywood is required with a 1-½” minimum thickness, 1/8” spacing between sheets, and 16” on center joist spacing. Wood-based panels and soft plywood should not be used, as they expand and contract with changes in moisture conditions. Crack suppression membrane is recommended as per TCA guidelines.