Best Tile Installation
As a professional remodeler with more than 45 years in the business, I have noticed that tile installation is by far the most least understood trade by clients. As long as it looks good and both the materials and installation are cheap, life is great! In similar fashion, everyone thinks it is an easy and simple DIY project. All you need is a rented tile saw, tile, cement, YouTube video, and all is grand. Until it’s not.
Laying tile is easy. However, laying tile and doing it well is very difficult.
Google “tile installers”. What pops out at you?
- Almost 32 million results.
- They have less than 1-year experience.
- There are significant numbers who are not licensed.
Unfortunately, in today’s climate of “the cheaper the better” many folks are starting to find out that construction and remodeling are not commodities. Experience and professional competency combined with high moral character is the path to success. Granted, you will never have a problem finding legions of trades people to do whatever you want at any price. That alone should be a clue. How on earth can something so “uniform” differ so much in price and performance? How do you get the best tile installation? I am going to tell you.
Education and Experience are super important when getting the best tile installation.
Becoming a professional and competent licensed tile installer requires between 7-10 years of experience under the watchful eye and guidance of a tile craftsman. All building trade education still operates under the same apprentice, journeyman, craftsman structure as hundreds of years ago. After a hard day’s work, study begins through the local Tile Council of America (TCA) chapter. It’s important to ensure lessons learned can be correctly applied in the field. Therefore, apprentice and journeyman tile installers are tested on the job over multiple projects. It is pass or fail. There are no B or C grades. It is right or wrong.
After about 5 years, successful candidates begin studying another 1-2 years to take the very comprehensive and difficult C-54 examination. The first-time passing rate is less than 70%.
Wait a Minute! The best tile installation requires a lot of training?
Yes! The best tile installation requires someone having 7-10 years of experience which includes:
- On the job training
- Technical instruction and schooling
- Rigorous testing by both private and government entities
- Testing schools for licensing
- Demanding experience requirements prior to examinations administered by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB)
- Difficult to pass license testing by the CSLB
- Bonding requirements
- Continuing education
My floor tile is cracked and my shower/bathtub tile looks funky. Why is my shower leaking after only a few years?
Yes, the mystery. Here is the answer. You did not hire a professional tile installer. Rather, you hired the cheap guy. You engaged one of those “less than 1-year experience” installers or someone who simply does tile. I seriously doubt you use the services of someone who simply does hair. Most people are very picky who they let cut, dye, and style their hair. Experience, skill, results, performance, and look matter when it comes to your hair. Your hair says a lot about you! You want it to say great things! It is the same for a doctor, auto mechanic, and buying a pair of shoes. When it comes to your home, an almost $1 million asset here in South Orange County, why would you not afford it the same consideration as a haircut?
The easiest part is cutting and installing the tile. The rubber meets the road in knowing how to:
- Correctly lay-out the patterns.
- Properly determine, construct, prepare, and install the right substrates.
- Select the correct setting and grouting compounds.
- Install straight and level tile in a very imperfect environment.
- Calculate the correct amount needed for materials and tile for all patterns and situations.
- Choose the right installation tools and saw blades.
- All materials and products installed in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements.
For every item listed above, each is different for ceramic, porcelain, glass, mosaic, quarry, paver, natural and simulated stone. Mastering these skills requires years of training.
If the tile installer is removing old tile, additional skills are required. Let’s look at an example. Removing old tile from a shower requires significant knowledge about plumbing, electrical, water proofing, and fire transmission. All this experience is extremely valuable. This is where you need a professional and experienced shower contractor, such as DAD’s Construction.
Does all this really matter to get a beautiful and lasting tile job?
Without question it does. The number one trade problem I encounter in every home is the tile. What do I find?
- The tile is cracked due to no Crack Isolation Sheet (CIS) and/or Moisture Isolation Sheet (MIS) being installed or incorrectly installed.
- Water gets under the substrate and/or tile causing lots of expensive structural and Mold damage.
- Tile installed directly over the concrete, making removal expensive while damaging the substrate.
- Wood floor cement backer boards are installed using the incorrect hardware and/or setting compounds. Moreover, incorrect cutting, use, and sizing of cement backer boards is also common.
- Using cement backer boards when a wet set application should have been used.
- Using anything other than a wet set application for bathtubs, showers, and saunas.
For the best tile installation, remember, experience, professional licensing, and strong moral character counts for everything. Don’t just remodel on the cheap. Using a highly experienced and professional company such as DAD’s Construction will pay big dividends down the road.
How Can I Receive More Information?
If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at email@example.com for a free in home consultation. DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California. This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.