Serving Wichita and the
surrounding areas since 1994.

Notes from a Remodeling & General Contractor for the Wichita, KS Area

Guide to Understanding the Tile Installation Process

If you are dreaming of a kitchen or bathroom remodel in the Wichita, KS area, an understanding of the basic terminology and important components of tile installation is key to a smooth running project.

Being Tile Ready

At S&A Construction, a tile project begins with where the installation will take place and what it is being installed on. Not every surface is “tile ready.” Tile can be directly bonded to concrete, drywall, and plywood substrates or foundations. Concrete is the only substrate that does not require any further considerations for the intended use. An example of this would be a basement floor.

If the area for your tile project does not have a concrete surface, considerations for how wet the area may get after installation must be taken into account. For example, a kitchen backsplash is drier than a shower area and different underlayments are needed for each.

Choosing the Right Foundation

Foundations for tile projects are fiber cement board, which is sometimes referred to as backer board. These cement boards allow for excellent tile adhesion while preventing the tiles from moving and allowing water between the grout lines. The two most common sizes of cement boards are one-quarter inch and one-half inch. The area of installation determines the size cement board to use.

¼” Fiber Cement Board

  • Made for wet area such as floors and countertops, tub and shower areas (not surround showers), and more
    Protects against moisture and mold
  • Non-combustible due to high concentrate of Portland cement
  • Many brands, such as Durock or Jamees Hardie, are suitable for interior or exterior applications for tile

½” Cement Fiber Board

  • Used in wall applications such as surround showers where showers meet other ½” drywall adjacent to areas
  • Will not rot, warp, or disintegrate

Mortar & Spacing

Once the surfaces are prepped for tile installation, S&A Construction uses thin-set mortar to apply the tiles in both interior and exterior locations. An advantage of thin-set mortar is that it is typically completely dry within 24 hours.

Finally, tile are laid using tile or grout spacers to ensure a consistent spacing of the tiles. These come in a variety of sizes including 3/16”, 1/4”, 1/8” and 1/16”. S&A Construction can provide spacing suggestions or examples to the homeowner for any tile project.

Herringbone Tile Settile shower installation

Need Tile Installation in the Wichita, KS area?

S&A Construction helps guide, design, and install new tile for homeowners in the Wichita, KS metro area. If you need a remodeling contractor with tile experience, feel free to give us a call or e-mail.