Where do I go from here? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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10-27-2004, 06:07 PM
We just purchased a newly constructed luxury home with extensive tile work (est. >1000 square feet). We are very displeased with the workmanship (i.e.- Rectified tiles with lippage approaching 1/8" in various locations, grout lines varying in width from 1/8" to 3/8" sometimes on one side of a tile, substantial low spots in the grout and color variations in the grout). We feel that we paid top dollar for the tile installation and did not get what we paid for. Additionally, there are some question as to whether densshield was sufficient backer over TJIs set at 19.2" on center with 3/4" OSB subfloor. Also I would like the pro's opinion on using greenboard on the walls in a shower enclosure.
#1 from the short description of the installation does it sound like a subpar install job?
#2 What would be a expensive price for tile installation per square foot, not including tile?
#3 Is the densshield sufficient? Georgia Pacific says it's not as well as the APA.
#4 Is greenboard a suitable substrate for shower enclosure. If not what do you recommend.
I am in the home building and renovation business however my expertise is not in the area of tile, so I defer to the experts.

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10-27-2004, 06:34 PM
Wow sounds like you need a bag of lollipops. Its ounds bad. As far as the tile it could be the tile varied in sizes so they should have used 3/16" joints thru out the installed floor. As far as the grout low sounds like they did not let the grout harden up before they washed and wiped the floor. Or pulled straight acorrs the tile and not diagonal causing the grout to be pulled out from the joints. GREeNBOARD OH NO!!!!!!!!! You said this was custom house they hsould have used durcok in ALL WET AREAS including the tubs.. Sounds as if the builder just has an averages tile crew and not one that is more educated in water damage and tile lippage. If you paid top $$ for the tile package it should be how you want it regardless. What did you pay for the install sq foot price????? Over 3 bucks

Bill Vincent
10-27-2004, 06:34 PM
I wouldn't worry about the quality of the tile installation, either on the floor or in the shower. I don't think it'll be there very long. :(

I hope you haven't made final payment on the home, because then you have a little more leverage, but one way or the other, NONE of this, from the sounds of it would be acceptable. Now, a question, and this is an important one-- who hired the tile contractor-- you, or the GC?

10-27-2004, 06:46 PM
Price way over $3 sqare foot.

I can't take time off to build my own home. Builder hired all parties and charged high dollar. Ultimately builder is responsible. I would not accept this quality of work in my projects and now trying to find out how to manage a full tear out an redo in my new home.

10-27-2004, 06:48 PM
Well at least give us a name to respond to. What was the install price?? its ok tell us we all like to see how pricing is around the US. For over 3 bucks trust me they would be fixing everything damn thing in there if it was my house. Apprently the floor was not flat to start with so a REAL tile man can fix these problems that occur during installs.

10-27-2004, 07:00 PM
name is Scott. Sorry, not up to speed. First time doing a Q&A in a real time forum. It is nice to know that I am not just being a overly picky person. I have not done the exact per square foot cost Large kitchen, powder room, laundry room, 3 Full baths with tile floor to ceiling in Master and 4 foot up on walls in other two baths. Price way over 10K! At these prices every thing should be nothing less than perfect.

Bill Vincent
10-27-2004, 07:03 PM
Scott-- who hired the tile guy-- you or the contractor?

10-27-2004, 07:06 PM
Contractor hired the tile guy. We just had a meeting with all parties involved yet no resolution has come to light yet.

Bill Vincent
10-27-2004, 07:10 PM
I'd be demanding nothing less than total redo of at the very least, all floors and the shower area. One other thing-- in the shower, was it a molded shower pan, or tiled mud pan? The good news (from your point of view) is that being that the GC hired the installer, then he's on the hook, as well as the installer.

10-27-2004, 07:14 PM
tiled mud pan. Can't tell much other than the drain is adjustable with weep holes.

Bill Vincent
10-27-2004, 07:24 PM
I'd be questioning whether or not it's presloped under the pan membrane. That may also have to be redone. One way or the other, I would address all these concerns with the GC and installer (as it sounds like you have) and in the abscence of complete satisfaction, I'd be contacting a lawyer. This is not a small claims case.

Bill Vincent
10-27-2004, 07:36 PM
Here's a little ammo for you:

Concerning the greenboard in the shower, check out the following thread:

Concerning the preslope in the shower pan, reference the following spec:

2000 IRC:
P2709. 3 Installation. Lining materials shall be pitched one-fourth unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent slope) to weep holes in the subdrain by means of a smooth, solidly formed subbase, shall be properly recessed and fastened to ap-proved backing so as not to occupy the space required for the wall covering, and shall not be nailed or perforated at any point less than 1 inch (25. 4 mm) above the finished threshold.

As for the denshield over 3/4" subfloor, there is no TCA method I could find for CBU over plywood over 19.2 centers. The only method referenced uses an uncoupling membrane over 3/4" as a minimum, and CBU does NOT constitute an uncoupling membrane.

10-27-2004, 09:30 PM
I've Always Used Durock Or Wonder Board In Showers .pan Presloped Is A Must That Helps Prevent Mold Bad Oders From Standing Water.green Board Is A No Go In Shower. Felt Goes Behind Durock Fiberglass Taped On Joints.i Do Remodling Work Mainly.the Builder Might Have Told Tile Setter To Use Greenboard .that Is The Case On Most Big Builders Around My Area.they Are Worried More About Fast Turn Outs Than Quility Work/materials.alot Of Times It Not The Tile Setter It The Builder.i Charge $5 On Concrete,$6 Per Ft.on Durrock.thats Outside Atlanta .in Atlanta I Get 6-7$ Con . 8-9 On Durock In Atlanta .thats Includes Installing Durock With Screws Made For Durock.seaming All Joints With Fiberglass Tape .don't Look For The Cheapest In Tile .if Looking For Cheap Go Carpet.ask For Referances.2or3.hoped I Helped You Alittle Bit. Home Depot Gets $4.85 Per Ft.atlanta.phil

10-27-2004, 10:11 PM
Sounds pretty bad, Scott.

Invite the builder to justify the installation methods he used, in writing, based upon material manufacturer's specifications or industry standards.

Discuss the problem only with the builder, not the tile contractor (I'm not saying don't talk to the tile guy, just don't argue the situation with him). The builder is responsible to you, the tile contractor is responsible to him. Don't confuse the relationship.

Document everything you can. Write notes of every discussion. Write notes about everything you see and find to be unacceptable. Write notes about everything you forgot to say during the last meeting. Write lotsa notes. And take pictures of everything you can; the grout lines, the lippage (lay a ruler down next to the problem so it shows in the picture), any other part of the installation you can see.

Gather copies of all the spec sheets (if any) that accompanied your plans, or be sure you have a good copy of the plans with architectural notes on them.

Documentation will be your friend at some point (put dates on all your notes).

Give thought to having a professional come in and evaluate the problems if you don't see a satisfactory solution coming very soon (the decision on the part of the builder to re-do the tile work shouldn't take a week). Guys here can tell you where to find such an inspector.

And I agree with Bill, if the builder doesn't get off the dime real soon, you might want an initial consultation with an attorney. PITA, that, and expensive, too, but might be necessary.

Is any of this work spelled out in any contract you have with the builder?

My opinion; worth price charged.

Bill Vincent
10-27-2004, 11:17 PM
One last thing I'll add to CX's pretty comprehensive list-- YOU COULD NEVER TAKE TOO MANY PICTURES-- FROM ALL ANGLES!!

10-28-2004, 04:45 AM
Gentlemen, he said this was a rectified Tile.
I dont know what ya'll charge ,but laying a rectified isnt much differant than Laying granite with the exception of deflection standards you may as well say Stone pricing.
I charge 7.00 a s/f(i should say i Bid 7.00 a s/f for rectified) I havent got 1 bid for it yet and the 3 i have bid have had me out to assess the finished product that they were not happy with.In each case the tile was poorly installed becuase the time required was not taken.Its almost like several setters up here didnt know what rectified tile was and bid it like a standard tile install.These same setters havent got the Stone experiance so blew these jobs bad.

If i had to guess, i'm sure thats likely what happened here.
It sounds like you have a headache to deal with and these problem installations take awhile to get through.(weve seen a few come through here)
Good Luck to you!!

John K
10-28-2004, 05:54 AM
I would contact Dave Gobis at the tile school in Clemson and I'm sure he knows a Consultant that can come out and document this whole project. First off the deflection on your floor is going to be questionable and the type of installation using Denshield is totally wrong. To me the builder won't have a leg to stand on.

Do you live in the house yet?

10-28-2004, 12:45 PM
Thanks to all who have taken the time to shed some of their expertise and knowledge. My wife has already been in contact with Dave Gobis and we have had an inspector say it is a crap install job already. I was once again just getting more opinions prior to making the move on a legal front. I will exhaust all options prior to moving in that direction. Once again thanks to all who took time to read and respond! Any quality work being done in the mid-atlantic states. Be glad to talk to people who do top notch work.

10-28-2004, 04:28 PM
Where are you Located Scott, we have a few excellant mechanics out that way. Rob Z is in Virginia washington DC area.We have a few around new york and new jersey we can highly reccomend.So, where are you at?? :)

10-28-2004, 08:34 PM
Near Annapolis, approx. 30 min. to DC

10-28-2004, 08:47 PM
Shoot RobZ a private message(you may have to register) He is on right now!! :)