Ceramic and porcelain tiles are paradoxical. On one hand, these are so tough they are impossible to break. On the other hand, they can be quite delicate, making the installation process difficult.
Tile flooring lasts for decades, but much of that depends upon the underlayment used. The underlayment is not the subfloor but, rather, part of an overall underlying flooring structure that consists of joists, subfloor, and underlayment. If it isn't installed correctly, there will be all kinds of issues, such as adhesives not sticking, cracked grout, or moisture build-up. All of this resulted in a ruined installation.
While all of this might sound a little technical, and maybe even a little boring to you, it?s important to understand. The wrong underlayment doesn?t just result in a sub-par installation but makes the installation process take longer; longer translates to more expensive.
Ask your service provider what kind of underlayment will be used
Cement-based backboards are considered to be the best for this type of installation. If the professional laying the tile says something else, ask why.
It?s really like it sounds, a layer of cement-like material faced with mesh on a sheet. It was introduced in the 1970s; previously, a wet mortar was used, but this method made the process faster and cheaper.
Other good underlayments include:
?Concrete slab. This mimics the wet mortar that was previously used. Keep it stable, though, by being sure it's completely even and smooth.
?Wet mortar. This is just a thin layer of cement. There?s also usually some mesh mixed int. Your tile flooring service might prefer this because it can help with little flaws in the subfloor.
Can I place new flooring over the old?
You can, says the Tile Council of North America, as long as the original is not damaged, and is still firmly attached. Removing existing tile flooring is laborious, so your service provider might do it this way if possible.
There are some inappropriate materials including Interior-grade plywood which expands with water contact.
For more information, and to learn about our free estimate, visit the CW Floors showroom in Rockwall, Denton or San Antonio, TX.