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Tile Installation Requires a Real Service Pro

We learned from Mario Di Matteo of Pro Tile Installer what it takes to have a fantastic tile installation in your home.

If you want to keep your tile installation from becoming a nightmare and costs from soaring through the roof you need to make sure your tile contractor is a professional and uses the “old school” method of dry packing. “Often, after a tile install, you hear people complaining about cracked grout and tiles,” says Mario. “This problem has everything to do with the skill and experience of your tile contractor.”

Find a qualified installer

Tile contractors are busy; because of this few of them have time to properly apprentice others. When you are hiring for a tile project, be sure to ask to see a five-year certificate of apprenticeship, and check that it was issued by a reputable tile company. It’s still too easy for someone to register a tile business and have only basic experience in tile installation. Do your homework and find reputable contractors at


Ask how they will do the tile install

One of the first things a tile contractor should do is check your floors for vibration. Vibration can damage the cement. If they find vibration they will need to screw your subfloor to your joists every 8 inches. Next, they will step level your floors with mesh and then apply dry pack on top.


“Adding a thick layer of cement makes your floors straighter, more level and also stronger,” Mario added. “Simply putting down a wire mesh and a cheap scratch-coat is cheating and does not give you level floors.”

Dry packing has been around for a long time, however, many tile contractors don’t know how to work with it. For the cost of what you are spending on your tiles, make sure your dry packing is done properly. It will save you money on repairs in the long run.


Mario’s Pro Tile Installer has been around for 29 years and, in that time, Mario has seen the wide variety of incorrect materials used by contractors and he’s observed too many inexperienced installers. “At Pro Tile no job is too small or too big. We specialize in complete leveling and tile installations, from kitchen floors and backsplashes, to installing new tile for your pool.”/

Editor, Marika Asikainen

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