How do you find a Qualified Tile Installer?

Insights into finding a Qualified Tile Installer.

Finding a qualified tile installer can be an exhaustive process. To help assure you are working with someone that has the verifiable experience and using proper methods and materials, we have outlined a few key elements to look for when enlisting tile installation services.

In recent times, resources such as Angi and Houzz have become increasingly popular for finding contractors across various disciplines. There is something to be said for ease of use among platforms like these, but there has been a history of gripes against such outlets coming from service providers for the entry cost and unfair treatment across businesses. 

Alternatively you can search specifically for qualified tile installers through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation Portal which ensures a significant amount of contactor vetting for your peace of mind. Depending on your situation however, you may find that certain providers may be outside of your price range or do not service your particular area.

There’s also nothing wrong with knowing someone who “knows a guy.” After all, there have been countless tradesmen that have found success by word of mouth alone. Regardless of exact origin, there will always be additional questions to be asked where the information may not have been available online. 

Resources currently exist walking you through generic facets of hiring a general contractor. Things to consider would be business licenses when applicable, liability insurances, warranty information etc. Before adding new tile work to your home or business there are some things you should consider with a narrower view to assure you have a bona fide quality tile installer:


Surface Preparation

Ask your prospective installer how they plan to tackle the area in question. If you are looking to add a new tile floor, self-leveling underlayments, moisture barrier systems, and uncoupling underlayment could all be pivotal in whether or not tile is properly installed in an area. 

For custom showers, proper surface preparation is even more important because a lack of addressing continual moisture can lead to total failure and costly damages.


Material Selection

Some seasoned installers unfortunately have failed to adapt to modern procedures. It is imperative that you gain at least a base level understanding of the products that will be used to ensure you are getting a tile installation that will last. Thin-setting mortar formulated for large format tiles when needed, caulking with mildewcide for areas that will be exposed to moisture, and perhaps most importantly - a tile leveling system. Leveling clips incur an extra expense on every tile job, but to ensure the finest quality possible there is no reason to sacrifice installation quality for the added cost or time saved. 



Lastly there are a few things that set truly qualified tile installers apart from the rest of the pack, and here’s what to look out for: 

Are they using a high - quality (wet) tile saw with a fresh diamond blade for every job?

Many tile manufacturers will recommend that any cut be done with a high-quality tile saw to ensure there is no chipping on the face of the tile. Even in situations where it may be partially covered with grout or caulking a true craftsman will not cut corners. 

Are they going the extra mile to protect areas of your home or business that aren’t being worked on?

It doesn’t take much to roll out floor covering paper to preserve your existing floor where they have to enter and exit the building. Additionally, any process that creates dust “grinding or mixing” should be done within a dust wall with a HEPA filter system or outside.

Finding a qualified tile installer is no easy task, although we hope the information provided can help you find someone you can count on to do exceptional work. 

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