10 most common flooring installation mistakes
As a substrate for tile installation, concrete presents more issues than you might think, with the potential for reflective cracking that happens when concrete cracks through shrinkage related to curing, or because of shifting sub layers below it. These cracks can create stress that cracks the tile layer too.
Laurent “Frenchy” Billaud, who owns a tile installation company, says he often sees floors where the installer skips putting down a crack isolation membrane. As its name implies, the membrane isolates the concrete (or plywood) from the tile layer, allowing it to float unaffected by whatever movement and stresses happen below. When properly installed underneath an entire floor, manufacturers “will often warrant the entire installation, including the cost of replacing and installing new tile.”
Beware: A crack isolation membrane does not take the place of expansion joints in a tile flooring installation. It works in tandem with them.