What happens when you inject something with ingredients designed to make it stronger? In the movies or comicsyou get characters like Wolverine. But real life has some stories to tell as well.
Most of these mortars are available in either gray or white. If you intend to use a dark-colored grout, choose a gray mortar; choose white if your grout will be a light color. Achieving a white color requires modifications in the manufacturing process, so expect to pay a few more dollars for white mortar than gray.
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Literature from Noble Company and others in the tile industry contains references to mortar bed and thin-bed methods. Following are descriptions of those methods with a focus on shower waterproofing applications. Mortar bed methods have been used for centuries and have proven to be dependable. They are also referred to as thick bed, full mortar bed or mud bed methods.
The difficulty is that tile can be installed over a number of substrates, and each requires specific preparations to ensure a long-lasting tile floor. To determine the requirements for a tile subfloor, I partnered with Jim and Rich from Diamond Tile located here in Maryland. Jim and Rich are professional tile installers with over 27 years of experience and have worked with a variety of tile substrates.
This finished tile floor is installed over a plywood and cement backer board subfloor. Installing tile over a wood subfloor is a lot easier today than it was when I started my remodeling career. The old-fashioned mud method of floating a thick mortar bed in preparation for the tile has given way to using cement backer board over a plywood subfloor.
Unfortunately, there many ways that a tile installation can fail from the wrong setting materials to inadequate back-buttering of large format tiles. One thing that can always help an installation go more smoothly, however, is using the right underlayment. One of the first questions that many people before installation is whether to use plywood or cement board under tile. While you can technically install most tiles on any smooth, clean substrate, using cement backerboard will give you superior results every time.
No matter how firm the subfloor; the plywood will expand and contract at a different rate as the tile, causing cracks to develop in the grout lines or tiles over time. When applying cement backer board over a plywood subfloor, be sure to adhere the two surfaces together with thin-set adhesive; and screw the cement backer board down with special screws that countersink into the backer board, such as Backer-On screws available at The Home Depot. You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.
If you are installing ceramic tile over another surface, it is important to follow specific recommendations and steps to make sure there will be proper bonding. Ceramic tile over wood, tile, concrete, or vinyl should be installed by using appropriate products that will allow the right adhesion between surfaces. Always be sure the existing surface has been cleaned and leveled. Installing ceramic tile over concrete requires repairing all cracks and voids in the concrete prior to the installation process.