Later in this section, we will discuss some basic requirements for tiled installations. In other sections, we have included legal disclaimers. Local, State and Federal building codes have been established for the public's protection from shoddy building practices. These codes also are valuable in that they represent current building practices and can help ensure that a building project is successful. The local building codes have authority in their given geographical area. Generally, the local codes follow guidelines established by the Uniform Building Code.
Tile Doctor Tip: When the tile installer begins work, he or she is automatically accepting the previous preparation work. It is therefore necessary to inspect prior work to determine if the work was done properly and according to specification and code.
Architects, Contractors, and Specifiers use methods and materials described under other authorities. These include guidelines issued by the American National Standards Institute, the Ceramic Tile Institute of America, Tile Counsel of America, and the Marble Institute of America. In their published documents, anyone can find the necessary structural requirements, methods, and materials to successfully complete a stone or ceramic tile project.
What is the difference between the Local codes, the Uniform Building code, and the organizations we mentioned? Basically, the Local codes and Uniform Building Codes are law. These requirements if neglected can have punitive results. The only way the standards contained in the ANSI, CTIOA, TCA, and MIA can be lawfully enforced is to specify their use. This means that the specifications within these documents must be written and agreed upon in a contract. A consumer can specify material; methods, structural requirements, and any other job related function in contract form and legally enforces those specifications in court.
For example, if the installation involves ceramic tile, the specification would read: "tile work to conform to the guidelines set forth in ANSI section A108." This dictates the minimum acceptable deflection requirements, acceptable surface requirements, and methods used. For more on the specifications and recommendations, look in the section of The Tile Doctor dealing with the specific project.