Joe Grady, author of Ceramic & Stone Close-Up, is internationally respected for his floor covering expertise — particularly in the areas of adhesives, installation and moisture-related problems. During a career that spans more than 30 years, Joe has worked for the W.W. Henry Co. and A.Z. Bogert Co., and served on numerous industry committees. He currently works with Advanced Testing Services in Fullerton, CA, as an expert on flooring problems.
By now it's clear that concrete is, and will remain, one of the most popular construction products. And, why not? It has consistently proven to be one of the strongest, most durable building products ever seen. Its use pre-dates the Romans who used it to erect the Roman Coliseum.
Everyone, or just about everyone, has seen the television commercial of a shoe manufacturer with the tagline, "Just Do It." In fact, it has energized me to write about some of the tile-related problems I have seen during my years in the flooring industry.
The industry has come a long way since gypsum wallboard was introduced, especially since water resistant (WR) gypsum board was the primary choice of backing for bathrooms and shower walls. The gypsum boards, while marginally successful, had failures from moisture attacks from behind due to water leaks.
Development of sound-reducing technology is a continuous process that involves all components of the system -- especially with regard to the sound-abatement products now being marketed to reduce the impact noise in floors within, mainly, apartments and condominiums.
Mold is with us now and always will be. There's no way of avoiding or, at least, not sometimes noticing it -- especially since it has become the litigator's delight. At a recent lawyer's seminar held in Las Vegas, a banner across the stage read, "MOLD IS GOLD." And they meant it.
Before you begin to install ceramic tile or natural stone over gypsum concrete underlayment, you need to know a few things about the underlayment itself. Ignorance of these facts ultimately can result in an expensive installation failure.
Certain tile installation concepts are not well understood even by members of the trade. So in this month's column, I thought I'd discuss three topics -- deflection, vapor retarders and expansion joints -- that frequently cause problems for dealers and installers alike.