Many tile contractors have had to make difficult business decisions as they face clients that don’t understand the problem of critical lighting. This can place the tile contractor on the hot seat, so don’t let this happen to you. Be prepared and hold clients’ expectations to an attainable standard. Educate yourself on this important issue before you too have trouble.
Lighting conditions should be analyzed and any critical lighting issues should be taken into consideration. Cascading light will tend to accentuate the shadows cast onto a surface, and even the most minor imperfections may result in a less than desirable appearance. Whereas, allowable lippage and or warpage would not produce undesirable shadows under ordinary lighting, they may result in exaggerated and unappealing shadows when viewed under critical lighting. Tile contractors need to be aware of all their surroundings as they are the expert. When you see this potential problem you must do the following:
1. Inform the affected parties of the anticipated results; include photos of this type of problem.
2. Recommend a solution such as changing the lighting placement.
3. Instruct the contractor and other trades that strict adherence to standards for preparation should be followed.
4. Recommend that permanent lighting should be installed before the tile is installed.
5. Make certain you are using quality materials that meet A137.1 standards.
6. Use tile patterns and joint sizes that don’t add to the potential problem (50% offset patterns are not recommended).
7. Inspect the surface before you install (don’t accept someone else’s problem).
8. Before you go too far, have the area reviewed and approved.
These tips and more are available to you thru the NTCA Reference Manual. Remember, a great tile contractor is well informed.