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Problems and Preventions




  • Any type of lighting located on or near tile walls accentuates irregularities by casting shadows on the tile surface joints. 

  • The appearance of a tile installation is especially affected by critical lighting particularly due to the rectangular units being used  brick bonded tile  and the practical tolerances allowed in the manufacturing and installation of tile.

  • Critical lighting problems occur when the tile wall is bathed in vertical light from the ceiling directly over the wall.

  • Critical lighting problems also occur when outside natural light, through windows and doors, casts shadows from slightly irregular tile surfaces.

  • Thin-set mortar installations over masonry walls with critical lighting produce an almost impossible condition for shadow free walls.




  • Locate light fixtures at least 24 inches away from the wall; preferably in the center of the room.

  • Requiring smooth, flat wall or floor surfaces within ANSI standards’ tolerances will reduce the shadows.

  • Installing the permanent lights prior to the tile installation will allow the tile installer to make some adjustments during the installation.

  • Changing the thin-bed installation to a mortar bed installation with the tile installed while the bed is soft will reduce installation shadows, but will not eliminate the shadows produced by the irregularities in the manufactured tile.

  • Where wall-wash lighting effects are desired, inspect the subsurface thoroughly prior to installation and require the responsible party to prepare the surface according to ANSI standards.

  • Consider using a 1/3rd or stacked layout  rather than a brick-bond for rectangular tiles.


Note , once the installation has commenced there  remediation ,which can be expensive , is the responsibility of the customer, not the manufacturer or distributor.

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