Understanding your Environment and Specifying Installation Methods

In 2011 TCNA released environmental classifications to help guide selection of installation methods.  Knowing your environment will help narrow down the best method for you.

Com1 Commercial Application, Dry Conditions
Com2 Commercial Application, Limited Water Exposure
Com3 Commercial Application, Wet
Com4 Commercial Application, High Humidity, Heavy Moisture Exposure
Com5 Commercial Application, High Temperature Exposure (>125°F)
Com6 Commercial Application, Exterior

The TCNA Handbook provides a chart that references environmental classification and tile type to help select the proper installation method.

Performance Level Requirement Guide

Floor Type
Concrete Wood
Extra Heavy – Extra heavy and high impact use in food plants, dairies, breweries and kitchens.  Requires quarry tile, packing house tile, or specialty tile designated by mfr.
Passes ASTM C627 cycles 1-14
F101, F102, F111, F112, F113, F113A, F114, F115, F115A, F116E, F128, F131, F132, F133, F134, F205, F205A, RH117
Heavy - Shopping malls, stores, commercial kitchens, work areas, laboratories, auto showrooms and service areas, shipping/receiving, and exterior decks.
Passes ASTM C627 cycles 1-12
F103, F103B, F104, F121
Moderate - Normal commercial and light institutional use in public spaces of restaurants and hospitals.
Passes ASTM C627 cycles 1-10
F122, F122A, F200, F200A, RH110, RH110A, RH111, RH111A, RH112, RH112A, RH115, RH115A, RH116, RH116A
Light - Light commercial use in office space, reception areas, kitchens and bathrooms.
Passes ASTM C627 cycles 1-6
F128 (tile bonded to existing resilient flooring with epoxy adhesive) F141, F145, F143, F144, F146, F150, F160, F170, F175, F180, F250, RH122, RH123, RH130, RH135, RH141

Setting and Grouting Materials

There are a variety of different setting materials based on performance level, product to be installed, substrate, and environmental conditions.  Please refer to the TCNA Handbook guidelines for each particular application.  ISO 13007 provides the standards for all adhesives and grouts.  Some setting materials include Portland cement mortar, Dry-Set, Latex/Polymer modified, Exterior Glue Plywood (EGP) Latex modified, Medium Bed, Epoxy, Modified Epoxy Emulsion, Furan Resin, Epoxy Adhesive, Spot Bonding Epoxy, and Organic Adhesive.

Standard grouting materials used are typically Sand-Portland Cement, Standard Cement Grout, and Polymer Modified.  Stain resistant varieties include Epoxy Grout, Epoxy Emulsion Grout, and Furan Resin Grout.