Common Tile Installation Problems | Desert Tile and Grout

Watch Out for These Common Floor or Wall Tile Installation Problems

We have been talking a lot about how to properly care for tile, once it has been installed, but even the best tile cleaning treatment is futile if the initial tile installation has been shoddy, flawed or is lacking expertise. While installing tile seems to be a straightforward process, most DIYers discover sooner or later that laying tile in your own San Tan Valley home is slightly more challenging than initially anticipated. To ensure that your tile is going to stand the test of time, we want to take a look at common tile installation issues and problems.

Watch Out for These Common Floor or Wall Tile Installation Problems

Here are the top problems routinely encountered during tile installation:

Unstable Sub-Floor

Tile is hard, so why should I care about the sub-floor? Well the problem is that while tile is certainly hard, it is also brittle. That means that when it experiences pressure it doesn’t flex or bend, but breaks. The odds of this happening increase the less stable the substrate is. If you are tiling over a wood floor, for example, you need to reinforce it before laying tile to ensure that it does not move or shift when it is weight down. Any professional and experienced tile contractor will know for how much movement he or she can allow for the tiles to not crack.

Common signs of unsuitable sub-floors are cracked grout and cracked tiles. And what a pity it would be to invest in beautiful tile and see it crack. Not even a professional San Tan tile and grout cleaning can save your ceramic tile then.

San Tan Valley Tile Cleaning and Sealing Services

Spacing and Aligning Tile Wrong

Calculating and figuring out how to properly space your tile can be a tricky task. Inexperienced DIY tile installers often miscalculate how to space out tile which can cause one of the following scenarios:

  • full tiles on one side of the room and small pieces or tile slivers on the other
  • lopsides and crooked tile layout
  • uneven grout lines to make up for wrong layout calculation

Any of the above is a surefire way to ruin your tile floors. Tile floors should enhance the beauty of the room, not detract from it.

Grout Problems

And there are many ways that grouting your floor can go wrong.

  • The top mistake many DIYers make is mixing the grout with too much water. This means that the grout won’t set right and is prone to get brittle and break away from the tile over time. It also means that the color pigments won’t fully develop making the grout appear pale.
  • Not using the right grouting tools is another mistake many San Tan Valley homeowners make.. The right kind of grout float can make or break your grout project. While most lay tilers use the floats with ridges, any experienced tiler will tell you that grout floats with smooth edges are much better to get the job done right. Using smooth faced grout floats rather than grooved ones, means there won’t be any weird wiggly lines in the grout after you are done.
  • Grout needs to slake. What? Professional tilers let the grout sit in the bucket for about 15 minutes or so. This ensures that the chemicals have plenty of time to interact with each other.
  • Don’t overclean the grout. Also don’t let it set for too long before you wipe it up. Clean the grout sponge frequently or you will have grout sediment on your tiles, which will be next to impossible to remove. And then not even your San Tan Valley tile and grout cleaning professional can help to make it look better.

Common wall and floor problems in San Tan Valley.


Ever heard of tile lippage? It is very much what it sounds like. If you are focusing mostly on the proper tile spacing (with those nifty little tile spacer thingies) you may overlook other important factors. Lippage occurs when tile is set at different levels, meaning tiles may be spaced evenly in width but not in height. This in turn does not only make the tile job appear to be done poorly, but is a safety hazard. Walking on tile with lots of lippage makes the floor feel uneven and can be cause for tripping and falling on the tile.

Shower Tile

In San Tan Valley we love nice showers, especially during the long and hot summers, what could be better than an easy to clean tile shower? – A travertine tile shower makes a stunning addition to any bathroom, if it is done right.

Call us today!

Josh Parkhouse – Owner
Desert Tile and Grout2917 E. Park Avenue
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
Office: 480-288-4475>
Posted: July 6, 2016
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Desert Tile & Grout Care

2917 E. Park Avenue
Gilbert, Arizona 85234

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Desert Tile & Grout Care provides floor cleaning services for ceramic tile, marble, stone, Mexican tile and brick floors in the Phoenix metro area including Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert.

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