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Proper Sub-floor preparation The hard fact is that your sub-floor is not flat or level no matter how contrary it looks. Sub-floors are simply held to a different standard than that of finish tile. They are allowed tolerances of about a 1/2 inch over a 10 foot span, which is in most cases worsened with the settling of your home. Tile floors on the other hand require 1/4" difference in 10' if the largest edge of the tile is under 15 inches and an 1/8" in 10' if any edge is larger. These numbers are an obvious discrepancy that have to be accommodated for. This whole process is typically known as "floating" a floor and would be of interest to any one wanting a properly laid floor. Keep in mind though that the acceptable tolerances above mention nothing about being level. A level floor is typically a luxury that is forgone due to the hefty cost to raise a floor and the complications that arise in transitions. Flat is the industry standard except for commercial applications when large areas are to be laid. METHOD ONE - Rails and Screed A simple and cost effective way to float a floor is to create parallel rails with identical slopes out of cement. Once they cure, you would use them to screed cement in the void between the rails. It is also always advisable to use a bonding agent when pouring fresh cement over sub-floors. Draw backs to this method is that it is labor intensive and requires a significant amount of time. METHOD TWO - Self-leveler This method is often times the quickest but the most expensive. The Sub-floor first has to be cleaned from any contaminates mechanically, if called for, and with water. Then primer is applied and preventative systems are used to contain the self-level within specified bounds. After the above, level screws need to be set to establish reference points when pouring the floor. Once every thing is prepped and ready to go mixing can begin and the self-level can be applied to the floor. METHOD THREE - Contour the tile This really is not the most advisable way to go about it but it is the most cost effective. There is no sub-floor prep and while the tile is being installed the setter adjusts tile plane slopes as necessary. This is done by using the grout lines as breaking points between the differing slopes in the planes and any time a high spot or a low spot is encountered the installer will adjust the slope of the plane in the next row of tiles. Basically the end result is a wavy floor. The floor will look flat and have minimal lippage but if there was a chair placed on the tiled floor it would rock and not lay flat. What cracks in the sub-floor mean Cracks in the sub-floor often times will transfer to the tile. To avoid this devastation you would have to use an anti-fracture membrane. There is a number of residential products found at local big box stores but the most reliable product I've used is from Laticrete. Their anti-fracture membrane uses a liquid coat applied above and beneath a felt sheet. They also have an impeccable reputation when it comes to reliability and durability in commercial biulding projects. Most times cracks are encountered this membrane will have to be applied to the entire floor.
Quality Assured From the foundation up we ensure that only top quality craftsmanship goes into your project. Having pride in all we do and refusing to leave anything but a top grade finish is our mantra. We always pull out all the stops, holding nothing back. Your home will be covered and protected, with levels being taken out at any chance to ensure a precision finish, by the book. With this level of commitment you can expect to live worry free and never have to deal with the hassles of poor workmanship and devastating mold outbreaks. READ MORE