Tile is among the most difficult type of flooring to install with so many moving pieces.

​Many of us want to have a home that we can feel proud of. If any small detail is out of place, it might not seem like a big deal to guests, but it can be an absolute eyesore to the inhabitants who tried to prevent the mistake from the first place. Are you looking to make sure your new tile flooring was properly installed with a careful hand, a good eye, and all-around high-quality craftsmanship?​ Not sure what signs are dead giveaways of a shoddy tile installations?

​Allow us to break it down for you – here are some of the best ways to know if your tile flooring was properly installed (or not), and some tips for hiring a tile installation contractor contractor you know you can trust!


Even if you’re not an interior designer yourself, you should be aware of the criteria that good tile installation will meet. This will ensure that your home meets the aesthetic that you have in mind, and that your time and money are not wasted on poor craftsmanship. Here are some things that you should notice after a high-quality tile installation.

  • Color, pattern, and design details match those that you had discussed
  • All tiles, underlayments, and subfloor units should be equally buffed and polished before grout is laid
  • Tiles are centered and symmetrical according to the unique layout and features of your home
  • Transitions between different materials, such as tile against drywall, tile against hardwood, or glass and granite, should be clean and seamless
  • Grout is laid evenly, matches the color samples you had agreed on, all wall boards were properly recessed
  • High-traffic areas are covered or blocked off temporarily as the grout settles to make sure that all the tire surfaces are flush
  • If half-tiles have to be used around the perimeter of the room or in corners, the flooring team ensures that the pattern is consistent throughout the room
  • If working in a shower or bathtub, the pan or drain should be flush with the floor seamlessly to ensure proper drainage


Poor tile installation might be a nuisance or unsightly to look at, but it can also pose some hidden dangers to yourself and your family. Uneven spacing or a failure to lay all of the tiles in a flat, flush, and even manner can can result in people tripping and falling, and improper sealing can result in water damage, leaks, and mold growth, which, if unchecked, can cause significant health risks. You should be on the lookout for the following warning signs that your tile installation was subpar.

  • Obvious mistakes such as crooked lines, corners not aligned, or uneven grout line spacing
  • Excessive lippage, overhangs, jutting, or popping up of corners
  • Tiles are loose or corners have lifted upward
  • Water is not draining or continues to leak
  • The tile is cupping or bowing inward or outward
  • Tiles are perpetually slippery or easily cracked (pertains more to a low-quality tile sample rather than the installation of those tiles)
  • Tile edges are butted up against doorjambs instead of tucked underneath them
  • Excessive caulking around corners or other difficult areas is usually a sign that the contractor made a mistake and is attempting to cover it up
  • Sloppy tile cuts
  • Lifting or separation of the tile
  • ​Cracked, separated grout

Many of the mistakes listed here are common on any given tile install. This is the reason that we have created our own inspection checklist for all our tile installations which we complete as we progress the the various phases of the job.


Even one crooked line or some other small error can be extremely irritating to look once it’s there. A minor misplacement can skew an entire pattern and completely ruin the effect. That’s why it’s important to seek out the best tile installation you can find – a worthy investment for your time and money should return results that are no less than perfect.

It might seem overwhelming, but you should narrow down your search by reaching out to commercial contractors and seeing whether they are willing to work on a residential home. These are the most experienced professionals who have laid very complicated tile design patterns and are sure to do a great job on your home. If you can’t find a commercial contractor to work on your residence, be sure to ask lots of questions to any potential contractor to make sure that the services they provide can suit your needs.

When you’re considering hiring one contractor over another, you should ask for physical evidence of their completed projects. Whether they show you pictures or take you to a site so you can inspect their job, be sure to watch out for all the items listed above. You should check for consistent spacing, symmetry, and color matching.

For more information on choosing a contractor for your installation check the regulations set forth by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA),

Buyer BewareTile FlooringTips

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