Installation products are only as good as they are installed. Manufacturers conduct countless hours of rigorous testing on their products. Consequently they know their limitations as well as their expected performance given specific conditions. Following manufacturers’ installation directions not only ensures that products will perform as intended, but doing so will maintain manufacturers’ warranties. In other words, a product warranty is void if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s directions!
All installation products have temperature limitations. For example, you can’t install most mortars or liquid applied membranes when surface temperatures are under 40 degrees F or over 90 degrees F. Since the first 24 hours of curing are crucial, manufacturers set temperature limitations for that time period.
All thin-set manufacturers state that after the initial mixing thin-set must slake, or sit still, for 5 minutes or more. They further state that no more water or latex can be added after the thin-set is slaked.
Many installation products cannot be exposed to rain or water within the first 24 hours. Some products are not suitable at all for exterior use or submerged water use like fountains or swimming pools. Additionally, some products are not suitable for use when installed over certain substrates.
And of course, all manufacturers require that movement joints be installed in tile installations and that ANSI and TCNA industry standards must be followed or their warranties are voided.
Bottom line: The best way to ensure a successful tile or stone installation and avoid a costly failure is to follow industry standards and manufacturers’ directions!