Like everything else in life; you get what you pay for, so you really must be careful with the product that you bond your tile to the floor. We will not do an installation with a cheap or even mid-grade setting material. Why? Well first, we warrant our installation from defect for as long as you own your home. If I were to use a cheap thinset to install your tile and it pops off the floor for no apparent reason (no flood, settling, etc.) then I’m responsible, and we will replace or repair your floor. Forget cost for a second, I do not want to ever receive a call from a customer saying, “My tile is loose”.

There are many manufacturers of setting materials, and some I’m not familiar with if they are not distributed in our geographical area; but I know that even within the manufacturers we work with, they have a range of product. They all have cheap thinset, I guess because they feel they will lose some business. Then they usually have a couple in the mid-range. Here’s where it’s best to go for the better of the two products. Why? For only a few dollars per bag, there are more polymers in the better grade, which means that the bond to the tile and subfloor will be stronger – and – the thinset itself will be more flexible. Flexible cement? Actually, yes. Remember you’re always going to have expansion and contraction in the floor and subfloor. The polymers add a certain amount of flexibility to the thinset so that it can move ever so slightly – but enough to retain the bond (except under more extreme circumstances).

Now there are also the top of the line, premium bonding products. There are instances when you absolutely need to invest in them; especially when certain tile products like glass tile are involved, or when you’re installing tile over plywood flooring, etc.

The important thing to remember is this: Many tile salespeople don’t have the knowledge, patience, or empathy for your welfare to explain and sell you the right product. Why? They will never have any responsibility once you leave the store and have someone else install the tile.