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Other stories by Michael Byrne

  • Q&A: Backerboard vs. Plywood as Tile Substrate

    If the plywood subfloor is already in place, what makes a better setting bed for a floor tile installation: backerboard underlayment or plywood underlayment?

  • Lightening Traditional Mud Flooring

    A reader asks about lightening a traditional floor mud mixture with vermiculite and sand.

  • Layout for Tile Floors

    Proper layout doesn’t just mean a good-looking floor; it can save you material and installation time as well.

  • Q&A: The Best Way to Repair a Hole in a Concrete Slab Before Tiling Over?

    Michael Byrne, a veteran tile installer and consultant, explains two scenarios: The hole is to be covered up by something (such as a shower pan), or it will be covered directly with floor tile.

  • Q&A: Tips for Grouting Slate Tile

    Use these simple cleaning techniques when working with the textured surface of slate tile to make sure there is no haze left on the surface.

  • Pros and Cons of Epoxy Grout

    Today's epoxy grouts are less prone to sagging and discoloration and are easier to install and clean than earlier versions

  • Fast, Safe, and Accurate Tile Cutting

    How to choose and use the right tool for the task

  • Q&A: Hot-Mopping Health Risks

    Q: I received the new JLC book "Tiling for Contractors," by Michael Byrne, and was dismayed to see that there is no section that addresses hot-mop shower pans, including framing, backing, and pan installation. Why not?

  • Tiling Over Plywood Subfloors

    For crack-free floors, limit joist deflection and install two layers of 3/4-inch plywood and a thinset membrane.

  • Sealer Failure on Saltillo Tiles

    A past customer purchased Mexican Saltillo tile from a distributor and had it installed by a tile installer I referred her to. The tile came presealed and was installed - per instructions on the shipping boxes - using thinset mortar. Within a day or two, the sealer began to fail, appearing as a...