v a r i e t y o f m a t e r i a l s a v a i l a b l e f o r t h i s
applicationwood, quarry tile, resilient tile, glazed tile,
sheet vinyl, carpet, and block flooring, such as slat
block, laminated block, and solid-unit block.
Unfortunately, we are limited with space and the Navy
tends to use resilient tile as its primary surface, because
its easy to apply, durable, and cost-effective.
Resilent Flooring. As the inspector, you must
keep in mind that floor tile, especially 9-inch by 9-inch
tile, was commonly made of asbestos fibers until the late
1970s. So if there is any demolition to be done, it is vital
to take a sample of the flooring first.
You must ensure that the flooring material is placed
starting from the center and working outward; this
method ensures that the border tile is of equal size.
Reminder: Read the specifications; usually the
specifications will call for two coats of wax applied to
the surface before occupancy.
Floor Tile. Floor tiles are of several varieties,
such as flint tile, unglazed or semiglazed ceramic tile,
or quarry tile. Glazed ceramic tile, such as that
generally used for a wall finish, is occasionally used.
Flint and ceramic tiles are usually of small size and of
hexagonal, square, or rectangular shape and are
delivered with the patterns assembled in panels of about
12 inches square, cemented on the face to the paper.
These tiles are also available in various square and
rectangular sizes and in a variety of colors, shades, and
You must ensure that tiles for both field and borders
are of the kind, size, color, texture, and pattern specified
and that adequate quantities are on hand to assure
completion of each room or area. You must determine
that mortar for beds and wire mesh or other
reinforcement, if required, conform to the
Also, make sure that the structural floor is prepared
and ready to receive the tile and to assure a true, level,
finished floor. If the floor is of wood, you must make
certain that the floor joists are leveled at the top and that
the subfloor is set down as necessary to provide an
adequate mortar bed. If the floor slab is concrete, you
must make sure that it is depressed below the finished
floor grade as required, roughened to provide bond,
thoroughly cleaned, and wetted down immediately
before the mortar bed is placed. Likewise, see to it that
the mortar bed is placed and screeded and that tiles are
set immediately and tamped level and true with straight,
even, uniform joints. You must ensure that tile placed
as paperbacked panels is set so that the pattern repeats
truly and so that joints between panels match those
established within the panels. You must be particularly
careful to determine that the tile is laid parallel to the
principal walls and that all special work required to fill
in corners and irregular areas is placed so that joints are
true and the pattern is faithfully reproduced without
offset or other error. You must be sure that all joints are
carefully and neatly filled with mortar, as specified, and
that the floor is cleaned of all mortar. After the mortar
has set, check the floor for loose tile, irregularities, or
other defects that require the connection of such. Quarry
tile may be specified to be set in bituminous mastic or
in colored white cement mortar. You must determine
that the mortar conforms to the specified requirement
and that tiles are set level with even joints and are solidly
WALLS AND PARTITIONS. Various types of
materials are used as finishes for walls and partitions.
However, we will only cover drywall and wall tile.
Drywall. Drywall construction has replaced the
plastering methods for walls and ceilings in the
construction industry. More than 80 percent of the
homes today use some form of gypsum wallboard. It
has been developed as an economical finish for walls
and ceilings because of the increased cost of plasterwork
and the relative scarcity of expert plasterers.
Essentially, it consists of panels of wallboard of various
types with joints tight, true, and effectively concealed.
As an inspector, you must be sure that the studding
on which the wall is to be installed is brought carefully
to a plumb, true plane. You must ascertain that all
materials used are strictly adhered to by the
specifications and that the wallboard is applied
accurately (remember the nailing patterns for walls and
ceilings). Check the walls for the required number of
coats of joint compound, as required, and that the
finished wall is true and uniform in texture and
appearance with joints substantially invisible.
Wall Tile. Glazed ceramic tile, glazed vitrified
(waterproof) clay tile, and plastic tile are used for wall
finishes for baths, galleys, mess halls, hospital rooms,
and other applications for which a highly sanitary, easily
cleaned, impervious wall finish is required. Tiles are
furnished with various types of grooves, ridges, or
clincher button heads on the back to assure bond.
You must make sure that the tile furnished conforms
to the specifications in kind, quality, size, color, glaze,
texture, and grip. Also, that all necessary specials, such
as base, corners, decorative band, fixtures, and trim, are