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ask the experts
Guiding consumers to access the NTCA Consumer Education Resources; Drywall patch before tile
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Ask the Experts Q&As are culled from member inquiries to NTCA’s Technical Team. To become a member and make use of personal, targeted answers from NTCA's Technical Team to your installation questions, contact Jim Olson.
This question came from a “desperate consumer” seeking information on cost. NTCA generally doesn’t answer consumer technical questions, but NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein took the time to offer some guidance to this inquiry. –Ed.
Help please! Is it true that using Hardibacker board – as opposed to lath and concrete – costs the same? Is one better than the other?
I am not able to comment on the cost of labor and materials for a tile installation because that may vary by location and the contractor you hire. Generally speaking, a highly-qualified professional tile contractor with the knowledge, skills, experience, resume, certifications and qualifications that is well connected to the tile industry through their professional association (NTCA) and continuously improves themselves and their business through training and professional development may likely be more expensive than a less-involved contractor or installer.
There are many methods and systems using a variety of materials available to create beautiful tile installations that will be long-lasting and enhance your structure and life. The key is to interview and select an installation contractor with the abilities I listed.
An adage says: “There is always time and money to do a project the second time.” I don’t want you to fall into that situation. Please read through the brochures NTCA has developed to help you locate the right type of contractor that can provide you with solid information and proven ability to create an excellent installation for you. You will want a contractor who owns, understands and utilizes tile industry standards, methods, best practices and manufacturer instructions to guide the installation.
It is a wise choice to hire an NTCA Member Contractor who has our technical team to support them with any questions they have. Please search for an NTCA Member Contractor here: https://tinyurl.com/NTCAmembersearch. When you interview them, let them know we spoke. – Mark Heinlein, NTCA Training Director
The NTCA publishes resources developed by its Consumer Education Committee to guide consumers to the best tile installation experience. Find out more at https://www. tile-assn.com/page/trade-professionals-consumers.
I have a drywall kitchen backsplash that will be tiled with 3"x12" subway tile. One area has a concave bow about 3' across and 3/8" deep at the worst area. Is it acceptable to fill in the bow with USG Setting type drywall compound, two coats of Kilz2 primer, then tile?
The quick answer to your question is that I would not recommend filling the low spot with drywall patch/compound. I recommend using a rapid-setting patch material designed specifically for this purpose. All of the major manufacturers of tile setting materials have at least one patch material designed for filling low spots on a vertical application for setting tile. Please check with the website of your setting material manufacturer to look for their substrate prep/wall prep/patch materials designed specifically for tile. A void as deep as 3/8" may require more than one "lift," but these materials are designed to cure rapidly so as to not take a lot of time, and to allow for the setting of tile to continue without a long delay for cure time. – Mark Heinlein, NTCA Training Director