If you attend remodeling industry conferences (as I often do), you’ve see Buellton, Calif.-based tile-installation expert Michael Byrne in action.
With his calm, methodical, knowing attitude, Michael demonstrates for attendees (mostly contractors and tradespeople) how to set tile. Sounds pretty mundane, right? But Michael, the author of many books and videos on the subject, is treated almost like a rock star, with every seat filled during his demonstrations and people standing four deep to see and hear this master. At tile conventions, people line up to get his autograph.
And you think: Why is this guy such a hotshot? If you’ve ever had tile fall off the wall, or lose its grout, or crack or otherwise get messed up, you know there is more to tile installation than slapping down some thin set. And with all the new backer-board, mortar and grout products introduced to the market in recent years, you know it takes some knowledge to match up the right products and techniques for a long-lasting job.
Plus, Michael is an artist. He has dedicated himself to becoming a tile-installation master. So why am I telling you all this? If you are thinking of doing some tile work on your own in your home, you would be well advised to get some instruction from someone like Michael rather than relying on some three-minute YouTube videos or a fleeting glance at a cable TV show.
Michael has put out a bounty of instructional videos, which you can peruse here. And check out his Taunton Setting Tile book. With all the time and money you might spend on a DIY tile project, 20 or 30 bucks for instruction is a good investment. Don’t you think?