The long-term success of any tile floor installation depends on a number of factors: the adhesive bond that secures the tiles, the setting bed on which the tiles are installed, the structure that holds everything up, and a grid of flexible movement joints that help isolate the installation from normal, expected structural movement. Skimp on any one of these, and the installation is likely to fail.

This article will focus on the prep work that's required before any tile materials are installed. I will also limit the discussion to wood-framed floors -- solid-sawn or wood I-joists with plywood subflooring -- where problems with cracked tile are common.

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