We have prepared a list of the some popular current failures but first, let's talk about these "standards." Who exactly is the "industry" and why are they telling installers what to do? The United States has used the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A108 as its standard for ceramic tile installation many years. This document sets the definitions and standards for proper installation of ceramic tile. The A108 was last published in 1999. One of ANSI's requirements is that standards must be revisited and re-approved every five years. A new edition is currently in revision and should be published in 2005. The Tile Council is approved and recognized as the secretariat for the ANSI standards for the ceramic tile industry. There are actually three different tile standards; ANSI A-108 is for installation, A-118 for setting materials, and A137.1 for ceramic tile products. All of the ANSI standards, definitions, and methods are subject to open review called transparency. This prevents any one group or industry segment from dominating the process and thus prevents the promotion of product specific or inferior standards.
These standards are designed to act as a basis for establishing a common platform between the producer, specifiers, middlemen, installers, and end users. Organizations are invited to participate in the standards generating process. Those that have an identifiable interest are invited to send voting members to the committee meetings. The existing committee then approves new applications. It is not an individual serving on the committee but rather an appointee of the organization he or she represents. No legitimate interest is excluded and anyone may submit comments and suggestions to the committees. The make up of the committee is audited by ANSI to confirm that no segment dominates the process. Guests may be invited to sit in on meetings to state any particular viewpoint.