Saturday, August 15, 2009

Florida Condo Owner's Tile Nightmare. . . .

About 9 months ago I got a call from a Custom Builder I do work for.
He asked me to take a look at a friends job a handyman/painter/tile guy
did in a condo in Clearwater Beach, Florida. I like this builder so I agreed to look at it.

Once the appointment was set up I met with the lady. She was a very nice,
a hard working single woman that relocated from up North to Florida.
Looking at the floor it was horrible with about 15 visual things I could see
wrong with it not counting other installation errors.

She was so upset at how the tile was installed and turned out and how the guy treated her at the end she had no clue what to do. Since she bought the tile/material, she didn't pay him for the labor since the job was disgusting.

The "handyman" then threatened to take her to court and put a lien on her condo if she didn't pay in cash. At that point I was furious and disgusted that someone could do this type of work to a nice woman like her, so I agreed to help her out.

I talked to a friend of mine in the area that sits on the County Construction
Codes Board and he told me to have her take him to small claims court.
From there I compiled a list of problems with pictures and gave to her.
The court date came, she went in with her list compiled from me and
pictures backing up the bad work.

Needless to say she won the case in about 5 minutes after the judge looked
at the tile pictures and list Ceramictec compiled for her. He (the handyman) needed to pay for removal of the tile and replacement of material & tile lost.
He didn't need to pay for the labor since she didn't pay him.

The handyman also didn't have his Insurance that he told the condo management he had. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Below you will see pictures with list of problems I gave her.

to whom it may concern,

After my Inspection of your tile job you had done by a Handyman
it is in my Professional experience I see the following mistakes that make
the job look less then professional and not acceptable.

1) Floor was laid out incorrectly and not square to the walls in your house.
he did not know how to square a floor or layout tile work.
2) This therefore made all cuts throughout your place cut at angles gaining in size and incorrect.
3) The main room of your place walls are square. he should have laid out off this area.
4) Cuts "in the U shape" at doors and corners are pieced together are not professionally cut.
5) Cuts at door jambs are too wide and not cut correctly.
6) Floor is not flat and has many dips and high tiles
7) Tile is set crooked /not straight with various size joints from 3/16" to a 1/2"
(unacceptable joint variances)
8) Grout was not properly grouted and joints have a lot of divots and low spots.
9) Grout residual not cleaned off of the tile. haze throughout job
10) Thinset sticking up through grout in some area's
11) Your wood baseboard will not cover several short cut tile along the wall.
12) Cuts along wall and other places vary in sizes. they should be all the same. this is due to (his) the crooked floor.
13) Tile in bathroom set on gloss tile did not bond and it is a 1/2" higher then main floor.
14) Bathroom floor tile should have been removed prior to tiling.
this created an elevated tile area.
15) Improper thinset was used to set porcelain tile. no bond to the porcelain tile.
16) I have taken (18) pictures to prove these statements.
17) the whole job is unacceptable and should be removed and done correctly
by a Qualified Florida Tile Contractor

here is the finished job after "Ceramictec" did it the correct way.

A letter from the homeowner:


I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you have done for me and the beauty you created in my home. My floors were a nightmare and I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work, dependability and professionalism. Your pictures before and after speak for themselves.

Thank you always,


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Achieving a Flat Tiling Surface....

When doing a tight joint with a polished natural stone or a tight joint
with a polished or unpolished porcelain tile it is very important that
your substrate be very flat so the finished tile work will look great.

To get a nice finished tile floor you need to start from the beginning and make sure the substrate it flat, smooth and strong. This will ensure that when your
tile contractor is setting the tile you don't have rolls, lips or uneven tile.
The prep work can make or break a tile project.

Doing a lot of home tile renovations and new homes in Florida in the Tampa, Lakeland, Sarasota, Orlando & the Daytona areas I have seen my fair share
of horrible wavy slabs with humps, dips and incorrect rough textures.

There are many ways of correcting this......

One would be using an SLC (Self leveling Cement).
Another way could be Floating the floor with Thinset.
Or even doing a Sand & Portland Wetbed/Mudbed.

If the slab or floor area cannot be properly made flat.
You could also "wetset" mud the tile or natural stone when you set it.

When you have small humps using a grinder with a cup wheel to grind
down the humps works well, or using an electric chipping hammer with
a bushing bit on it to break down the humps also works.

There are other more aggressive ways to correct a bad slab with humps
or to remove old thinset like using a scarifying machine to grind or
a shot blaster to make smooth.

A good Tile Contractor with the right selection of a deeper notched trowel
and back buttering of the tile can make a slab with minor imperfections a smooth work of art.

With the proper Tile Contractor all of these methods
can help you achieve a smooth finished tiled floor.