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Substandard tile work


Chris Bernhardt
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Would you comment on substandard tile work? In other words would you alert your clients to the fact that the work doesn’t meet with best practices which could lead to failures? For example the development of loose tiles or an overly deflecting floor leading to cracked tiles and damaged grout or problems with excessive lipping.

Or do you ignore the fact that the work is substandard and address only the actually defects and deficiencies present in the work when you look at it?

Chris, Oregon

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For me, it doesn't matter what it is; if it's a crappy job that's sure to lead to an expensive fix down the road, I tell folks that in my opinion it's a crappy job.

An overly deflected floor? That's a major screw-up; nobody should be placing thousands of pounds of tile on a floor until they know that the floor can take the load without excessive deflection. If that means tearing out a finished basement ceiling over that nice basement rec room to add more joists or a support beam and posts under a kitchen, so be it.

A couple of times a year, I see 90 year old bungalows that someone is flipping with the kitchens all decked out with new cabinets, granite counters, a big center island with a granite top, and large heavy terra-cotta floor tiles in a thick bed of mud. Underneath, the 2 by 8 joists that are often on 2ft. centers are sagging like my belly and literally straining to hold up that load. Folks have to know about that kind of thing, no matter how good it looks. I carry a carpenter's line in my bag. It's easy to check and calculate, even for a math dummy like me. When I find it, I tell 'em about it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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  • 1 month later...

Another house with amateur tile work in the front entry and master bedroom bathroom shower. When I looked at the floor under the shower I could see the original drain fitting so what ever they did they didn't start with a new pan etc.

Amateur tile work makes me real nervous. There is no way for me to verify workmanship past what I can see but if I can tell that its amateur work just by looking at the tiles then most probably the workmanship is too.

At the start of this post I asked do you comment on it. Hausdok and Kurt M. said they did. My follow up question is then what is the written recommendation?

Have an expert tile contractor take a look at it. Get his opinion and costs in case this work has to be redone?

Chris, Oregon

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Comment? Absolutely. Hopefully the clients are present and words can be exchanged on the spot with the advantage of real time vision of the material.

As far as written report is concerned, the comments about "cosmetics" will stand. However, in most cases the purely "cosmetic" issues will not show up in the summary report.

The fact that they do not show up in the summary report means my intentions are that you get what you see and you accept it as is.

Lets face it, unless you are really really sure that failure is eminent, how can you tell when it will, or if it will fail?

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