Tile is a beautiful and long lasting solution to almost any surface. The key to successful tile is preparation. Just about anyone can lay tile but not anyone can lay tile correctly.
In laying tile floor we often see tile cracking or breaking free from the subfloor. This can be caused by a couple of different things. First suspect is the base floor. This is what the subfloor sits on. For best results the base floor (also called decking) needs to be of sufficient thickness and must be fastened in a manner as to stop any movement. Usually tongue a groove 2×6 flooring works well if installed properly.
The next consideration is the subfloor. We like Hardi Backer for flooring because it adds structural stiffness to the floor. It is a cement based product producing a great bond with thin-set mortar. All seams need to be taped with appropriate fiberglass tape ( not sheetrock tape ). Finally all seams need to be skimmed with thin-set to create one surface.
For showers and tub walls we are 100% sold on Wedi products. They are more waterproof than other tile backing systems. They are also about four times more expensive per sheet. This is not the time to pinch pennies as you want your tub or shower walls to remain water proof for years to come.
The trowel and mortar mix are not to be overlooked. For most tile applications a 1/4 x 1/4 notched trowel is used. The mortar is applied holding the trowel at a 45 degree to the tile backing. The mortar, or thin-set as it is often called, needs to be fortified with acrylic additive. We like to mix our mortar with acrylic instead of water. The acrylic gives the tile more bonding strength.
Once the tile is down apply roughly 10 lbs of mechanical pressure then do not touch again for 24 hrs.
Best of luck and happy send pictures of your best work.