Buying Tips for Ceramic Tile

The correct subfloor structure is critical
to performance

Ceramic tile, more than any other form
of flooring, requires the proper subfloor system and setting materials.
A double subfloor system with the total thickness of 1-1/4″, over
floor joists 16″ on center is required. The top subfloor layer should
be exterior grade plywood or an underlayment specifically designed for
ceramic tile installation like cementous backerboard.

Special setting materials are available which will allow ceramic tile installations
over existing floors that are solid and already meet the above requirements.
Failure to provide a sturdy base can cause grout to crack and release or
tile to crack.

Although many ceramic
tiles look the same, there are quality differences

The quality of raw materials, the firing process, and the sophistication
of glazing applications that create realism will determine the quality
of the finished product. These quality differences are often reflected
in the price.

Selecting the
right surface glaze is an important step when selecting floor tile

Floor tiles are rated for glaze wear and slip resistance, which are important
factors to consider. Glaze ratings should exceed 3 for residential applications
with the exception of bath areas that can use tiles rated 2. Tiles with
a slip resistant rating of 0.5 or better should work well in most indoor
residential applications.

Use caution when selecting
tile for installations outdoors. Unglazed quarry tiles, tiles with heavily
textured surfaces, or porcelain paver tiles, all with slip resistant ratings
of 0.6 or greater are possibilities. They must also be frost resistant.

Request the best in setting

New latex modified mortars and grouts provide
better strength while also allowing greater flexibility.

Special Caution
Dropping objects
on ceramic tile–particularly heavy ones–can chip even the best tiles.