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Contractor quality...

Old 04-28-2011, 10:16 PM
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Default Contractor quality...

So, my GF is having her bathroom remodeled. Everything is new except for the bathtub, literally. The tile work was going great until the last several tiles were placed near the toilet on the floor. There are three tiles that don't sit flush and have an uneven edge, by that I mean you can feel the tiles are not on the same plane. These are custom tiles by a store that only uses certified contractors/installers trained in their tiles. The contractor said that they are industry standard to have a little discrepancy in the installation. I find that hard to believe when a customer is paying several thousand dollars just for tile installation.

Is "good enough" an industry standard?
Old 04-29-2011, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by the good life View Post
So, my GF is having her bathroom remodeled. Everything is new except for the bathtub, literally. The tile work was going great until the last several tiles were placed near the toilet on the floor. There are three tiles that don't sit flush and have an uneven edge, by that I mean you can feel the tiles are not on the same plane. These are custom tiles by a store that only uses certified contractors/installers trained in their tiles. The contractor said that they are industry standard to have a little discrepancy in the installation. I find that hard to believe when a customer is paying several thousand dollars just for tile installation.

Is "good enough" an industry standard?
There's only one way to install tile. Correctly. Having said that. there's only one way to install tiles that are made irregular. Look at some of the tiles that are leftover. Are they perfectly flat or somewhat irregular?
Old 04-29-2011, 03:49 AM
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Is it terracotta tile? The are hard to deal with but everything else should not have that problem. It's probably marble or stone tile in the bathroom and should lay very flat. Did the tile man remove the toilet? Is there rot under the toilet. Check those things and your find your problem.
Old 04-29-2011, 04:10 AM
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Tile installer left some junk on the floor around the commode; parts of the wax ring? There is no reason that he didn't notice the lumps when they happened, removed that tile and dug out the imperfection.

Don't accept the job when bare feet will be feeling those ridges every day from now on.
Old 04-29-2011, 04:49 AM
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Not enough info. Square edge or eased edge tile? Size? Joint width? Rectified tile? Material?
Old 04-29-2011, 05:06 AM
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It's easily fixed. He needs to remove the tile and reset them. Something is uneven under that floor and he needs to correct it.
Old 04-29-2011, 06:51 AM
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The tiles are a large rectangular shape.

The tile layer that did the shower and walls was very meticulous in his work, so she asked him if he could do the most difficult tile cutting for the Herringbone pattern on the floor tile for the next tile layers. He did the cuts on all the floor tiles except for the few around the toilet. Of course, everything went smoothly until the toilet area.

What we think happened is that the tile layers glued down all the pre-cut tiles and stopped for the day as they get paid by the day by the contractor. My GF said that they finished work around 3:30 pm but didn't leave her house until 5 pm. They didin't even finish cleaning up the driveway and left some junk on it. They ended up BSing for 1 1/2 hours. When they came back the next morning, they finished cutting the several tiles to finish the floor but couldn't match the height on the previous day's tiles. Of course they blamed it on the quality of the tiles but wait, there's another couple of boxes of spare tiles.

The contractor came by yesterday and said there is nothing he can do now. BS. Leaving her with no recourse, she is going to call the tile store and repeat that the contractor said the tiles were to blame.

What a shame. I guess one has to baby sit the contractors now.
Old 04-29-2011, 07:02 AM
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No where near enough information given to render a view. Specifically, you still have not answered what type of tile, and if they are irregular or not.

Any pictures of the area? Before and after?

I am baffled as to why one tile setter would cut tiles for another. The tile guys I use would walk off the job before installing work cut by someone else.

Oh, and there is a long standing rule in the tile industry - tile setters do their best work in front of the toilet.
Old 04-29-2011, 07:19 AM
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I agree with the above quote. To add, the tile set the previous day should not have effected the tile height the second day. It is true that some tile in its design is made to loook rough as in nutural stone etc. That being said, you can back-butter any tile to make them consistantly even. Sounds like they got in a rush in the end and through them in. Did they set the toilet after grouting was done? Why in the hell would around the toilet be the last place they were tiling? Most times, you work your way out of the bathroom until you reach the exiting door. Was the toilet next to the door? We need pics!!!;?

[Any pictures of the area? Before and after?

I am baffled as to why one tile setter would cut tiles for another. The tile guys I use would walk off the job before installing work cut by someone else.

Oh, and there is a long standing rule in the tile industry - tile setters do their best work in front of the toilet.][/QUOTE]
Old 04-29-2011, 07:26 AM
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Certified contractor should know how to handle that situation. They are just being lazy. They should have looked through the excess material and found tiles that would lay better if they are irregular. They need to remove those few tiles and relay them. I have a similar situation with a stone mason. He did a great job with 99% of the work I had him do. Then the last cultured stone he installed on the column he just broke half of a corner piece off and stuck it in. It is in the most visable place possible and you clearly see exposed concrete. He will have to chisle that stone out and replace it before I can find my checkbook again.
Old 04-29-2011, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by the good life View Post
The contractor came by yesterday and said there is nothing he can do now.

If he told her that about floor tiles, then this could be a big RED FLAG. Go over every aspect of his guys' work with an eye towards QC, because chances are your calls for warranty service will not be answered.

He's a Contractor, for cripes' sake. There's always something they can do.
Old 04-29-2011, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Blythe1022 View Post
Certified contractor should know how to handle that situation. They are just being lazy. They should have looked through the excess material and found tiles that would lay better if they are irregular. They need to remove those few tiles and relay them. I have a similar situation with a stone mason. He did a great job with 99% of the work I had him do. Then the last cultured stone he installed on the column he just broke half of a corner piece off and stuck it in. It is in the most visable place possible and you clearly see exposed concrete. He will have to chisle that stone out and replace it before I can find my checkbook again.
Not an expert at this stuff but this sounds plausible...A pic would be good to help the experts here figure out - anyway who cares about the cause - it doesn't seem to be YOUR GF's fault?
Old 04-29-2011, 08:56 AM
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Did they not remove the toilet at all?

Regardless, a good tile setter won't have any problem making sure there is no "lippage". If the tiles are of varying thickness dig through the boxes of tiles to find the thickest and use that one as the guide for height.

No excuse.
Old 04-29-2011, 10:53 AM
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Sounds to me like they spread thinset/adhesive on the entire floor. If they didnt remove thinset/adhesive in the area where the tile was installed the next day, it would have set up. This would then require removing the thinset/adhesive down to the original substrate. I suspect they were to lazy to do that resulting in adding more "goop" to old "goop", thus 2nd day tile is now out of plane with 1st day tile.
Old 04-29-2011, 05:52 PM
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The first tile setter specializes in walls and showers. His work is nothing short of spectacular. He works for the contractor. The contractor has another group of installers that only do floors. These floor guys are the second team as the first team really took their time and got almost nothing done on the first day. These guys are paid by the day so I'm sure they are "parking lot pickups" if you know what I mean.

The floor around the toilet was the last area to be done due to the design of the room. I can feel her pain as it has been a trying three weeks.

The few times that I have dealt with building contractors, they had at least one lead man, foreman, who was on the job site everyday to make sure things got done correctly. This contractor doesn't do that and only stops by briefly once in awhile.

Sorry, no pictures as she is a very private person but I can assure you the design is not your typical bathroom. We saw a spectacular example of a bathroom at the tile store and tried to emulate it but using a different accent piece. Believe me, it's terrific. It is very simple, but oh so dramatic.

All tiles are rectangular in shape, including the accent pieces.

Thanks for all the comments. She won't be using that contractor for the other two bathrooms and kitchen. She may try to coax the shower tile guy to "moonlight".
Old 04-30-2011, 09:45 PM
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The following picture really shows the difference in height between the tiles. If you slide your bare feet on the floor, you can feel the rise in the edges.



The shower glass is not installed yet. The custom cabinet is also slated for next week.



Old 05-01-2011, 04:27 AM
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Pics were very helpful. Certainly looks like stone to me. Was it mudset? Looks to me like they just rushed it around the toilet.
Old 05-01-2011, 04:45 AM
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i see the problem, and believe it or not it is a common problem some times. it appears the tile set in the shower are set on a grid pattern, the floor is set stack joint (brick pattern) it appears the tile have a slight bow in the center, putting these tile in a grid joint would be un-noticable since all the tiles more than likley have a bow in them, however by stack jointing the pattern, the bow falls directly in the middle of the tile, where the previous 2 joints meet. showing 'lippage" the smallest bow in a tile will magnify when set stack joint almost magnafying the imperfection.
no before everyone thinks im nuts, i am a professional tile contractor, and we are finding this problem more than ever now with the current trend being the procelin tile that looks like wood, ever single tile is bowed, however some more than others, if you have extra tile go thru the boxes with a 2 foot level finding the few that are flattes, it may not be perfect but should remedy the problem, or you could always make them take the last row installed up and remove all thin set from floor and build up from there.
Old 05-01-2011, 05:59 AM
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I agree with snake..setting square edge tile tight with little grout joint requires the tiles to be PERFECT, which they aren't. The purpose of older style tiles with rounded edges was it allowed for alot of manufacturing errors.,,wider, deep grout joints masked a multitude of sins.
Old 05-01-2011, 08:12 AM
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I agree with the tile quality comments. The installers tried to grind down the backside of the two questionable tiles but still ended up with "lips" but I don't understand why they didn't open the other two boxes of tiles to try finding a better tile. ;?

This contractor has one glowing review via a Google search that was posted in 2008. That customer said he bent over backwards and ate labor costs to finish that job correctly. Guess what this second review is going to sound like!

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