Installing tile may seem like a simple project. In reality, installing tile is tricky and labor-intensive. Tile setting has become more and more of a specialized trade and every aspect of a tile installation relies on the installer. Adherence to the best practices and industry standards is crucial. Hiring a professional is often a good idea and usually necessary when custom showers or complex patterns are required. How good the finished installation looks, how well it performs, and how long it lasts are in their hands.
The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) provides tile contractors with specific installation guidelines for tile installations. A professional installer will always refer to the TCNA manual for specifics regarding any given installation. Each installation will require a properly designed, constructed, and prepared substructure using materials and construction techniques that meet nationally recognized material and construction standards. All professional tile installations must conform to local building codes, ordinances, and trade standards and practices. These industry standards and practices are what separate a quality job from a poor one.
After painstakingly choosing materials and specifying the performance requirements of these materials, it just doesn't make sense to leave the rest to chance. A home or building is one of the few things still made by hand. Securing a qualified contractor or installer to execute your next project should always be at the top of the list.