Tile installation methods matter! Thinset coverage can make or break an installation - If your tile installer is using the wrong type of trowel, or the wrong type of thinset, you risk having an installation that will fail prematurely. You need a Toronto tile installation specialist who will do it right!
Tile needs to be properly supported or it will crack. When an installer or renovator tries to save time by not back buttering every floor tile (turning the tile over and skimming it with a coat of mortar before placing it in the bed of troweled thinset on the floor), the coverage may not be adequate. That is to say, portions of the tile underneath may not actually make contact with thinset, leaving voids and air pockets. Over time, this can affect the durability of the tile installation, resulting in tiles cracking, lifting, or more easily shattering if something heavy is dropped. If you think about the price that a renovation job costs - say for your bathroom or kitchen, be careful of selecting the contractor promising the lowest price. There are many corners to be cut in order to save money and time - and you certainly do not want to have these people in your home using these tactics.
A Few things to note to make sure your floor tile installation will be successful:
1) Ensure that floor tiles are back buttered prior to being placed - This contributes to durability and longevity.
2) Ensure that a proper medium bed thinset mortar is used, especially for large format tile. This will allow your tile to be fully supported after the thinset mortar cures.
3) Avoid the spot-bonding method. Using this method might save installers time, and make it easier to level the tiles to avoid lippage, but it is not recommended for a long lasting installation. If your installer is placing a few "blobs" of thinset on the tile and simply placing it down, they are doing it incorrectly.
4) Thinset mortar should be troweled in the same direction on the substrate. Swirls and other motions make it much more difficult to achieve full mortar coverage after the tile is placed.
5) Observe open times and ensure that mortar is mixed thoroughly and properly. Different mixing methods and preparations are required. Always follow the manufacturer's directions on the packaging for the best results.
This informative video put out by Custom Building Products explains the thinset coverage issue perfectly! If you are a curious homeowner and want to see the importance of installing your tile properly, check out the video below.