The Layman’s Guide to Testing Moisture In Concrete
by Charles Milledge
Some days I think I spend about half of my work day answering questions about concrete moisture and test procedures.
Anhydrous Calcium Chloride Moisture Vapor Testing – The CaCl Test
ASTM – F1869-11 Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride is the guide that needs to be followed to correctly set a CaCl test. Here are the boiled down basics for doing this correctly. Read More
Impact of Plywood Underlayment Direction¹
By Frank Woeste and Peter Nielsen
Beginning in 2007, the TCA Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation listed in bold print the following requirement for two-layer wood sheathing installation methods:
- face grain of plywood shall run perpendicular to joists for maximum stiffness.
Should the tile contractor or other interested parties be concerned whether or not the plywood underlayment runs perpendicular to the joists? Read More
The Most Comprehensive Glossary of Ceramic & Stone Tile Terminology Online
Although this may be the most comprehensive list of tile terminology you can find, it is by no means complete. Glossaries and tile articles from around the Internet have been researched to compile this list and it is an ongoing project. If you know a term related to ceramic or stone tile that is not listed here, please use the comment form to add it. In return, we will link to your professional flooring related website. You might also spot a mistake in our glossary, or feel additional information should be provided. Please use the comment form below to inform us so we can continue to make this the finest place for flooring information on the web. Read More
Self-Leveling Cement & Radiant Heat Flooring
When installing electric radiant heated flooring, you will find that every manufacturer has slightly differing recommendations in their installation guidelines. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for installing the wires or mats is important. Following their guidelines for installing tile directly over these mats generally leads to frustration and in many cases an installation that has an inferior finish due to trying to set over a surface that is not flat, and sometimes one that has sensors that are thicker than the thinset bed you are trying to set tile into.
As a professional installer, I have found that installing the electric heat and following this with a Pour of Self Leveling Cement to a thickness of ⅜ – ½” provides an excellent flat surface for tile installation and additional mass to retain heat. Once poured it also protects the Heating System from damage while setting tile.
The following method is what I… what my company, Tilewerks, uses: Read More
The Ultimate Scraper Blade was introduced to the industry in 2004 by Skirted Blade Systems LLC of Lake Tahoe, NV. It was a hit with all who saw and used it, but like any new tool in this industry, it was slow to gain wide acceptance. Shown and demonstrated at Surfaces, the CFI Convention and other flooring events and seminars, it finally made national distributors late that first year and was available in the UK by November. But it wasn’t until May of 2006 that their latest incarnation of the little blade that could made its debut, the Ultimate Scraper Blade Spud Bar. Read More
Positioning Underlayment to Prevent Tile & Grout Cracks by Frank Woeste, P.E. and Peter A. Nielsen
The 2003–2004 Tile Council of America’s (TCA) Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation contains numerous details for a double layer wood floor system supporting ceramic tile. The thicknesses of the subfloor and tile underlayment are given in each case. Specific guidance on where to butt the underlayment end joints is not given for any detail. For example, for F142-03, the TCA Handbook states, “offset end and edge joints of the underlayment panels by at least two inches from the joints of subfloor panels; they should not coincide with framing below.” It further states, “underlayment fasteners should not penetrate joists below.” In the case of F150-03, the offsetting is not mentioned, but it does state, “underlayment fasteners should not penetrate joists below.” The same holds true for F155; however, it also states, “face grain of plywood should run perpendicular to trusses, I-joists, or sawn lumber for maximum stiffness.”
The purpose of this article is to propose specific guidelines Read More
Using Cement Boards Over Concrete Slab Construction
It seems that ceramic tile installation has an abundance of myths that pop up all too frequently regarding Do-It-Yourselfers on “help forums” and DIY websites. So-called tile experts offer advice and opinions based on, well… I’m not sure what some of the comments are based on or where some people get their (mis)information to tell you the truth. I want to address the subject of installing cement board products over a concrete substrate.
It is imagined by some that products like Durock, Hardibacker and others can be used to fix imperfections in the surface of concrete or to override a previously painted or sealed concrete surface. Installing tile over painted or sealed surfaces is usually not good practice. Read More
Of the entire inventory of floor covering products on today’s market, ceramic and stone tiles probably lend themselves more to do-it-yourself home improvement projects than almost any other flooring product but there are rules and special underlayments required to insure a proper and lasting installation.
Tile in its elementary form is easy to install. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it, however if you research installing ceramic tile you will find that the techniques are many and there are in fact absolute rules that should be followed to insure a suitable return on your investment. Read More
The Behavior of Concrete Slabs With Control Joints and Cracks
by A. Kester
A lot of architects, contractors, and even engineers, do not have a good understanding on the behavior of concrete slabs-on-ground (SOG). I am just one structural engineer and these are my thoughts based on my research and experience. I have worked with concrete slab construction my entire career, and have done a lot of investigations of cracks and settlement damage to SOG, and have a pretty good general understanding of them. This is a review of the subject and I hope it helps people in the flooring industry in dealing with different types of slabs with control joints and cracks. Read More
Ceramic & Stone Tile Over Vinyl Flooring
A Raging and On-going Controversy in the Flooring Community
In The Old Days…
ack in the early days of the first home improvement Advice Forums for Do-It-Yourselfers on the Internet, less than a decade ago, it didn’t take long to find out that if you were to choose a subject such as this (ceramic or stone tile over vinyl) and rub two tile installers together you could in no-time create fire. If not a raging flaming beast of a fire then at least plenty of smoke. This type of fire and smoke is hard to extinguish because in the minds of some long-time installers, for them to follow this advice would mean changing everything they had been taught by their mentors and fathers and grandfathers and godfathers. For some, these methods mean change and we all know how humans resist change. So, for this reason, this is not directed at any of the long-time professional installers in the flooring community. No sir, instead it is directed toward the Do-It-Yourselfer that is seeking sound advice from an experienced installer that has (trust me) “been there, done that”. You will find this ongoing argument everywhere on the help forums that you go to seek advice. Read More
MOISTURE VAPOR TESTING POSITION STATEMENT ADOPTED
Reprinted with permission, D. Christopher Davis, President and CEO, WFCA, July 30, 2006
After taking more than a year to build a coalition of virtually every key organization in floor covering, the Ad Hoc Industry Task Force on Moisture Emission Testing can now officially take the word “Draft” off the Floor Covering Industry Draft White Paper on Moisture Emission Testing. Read More