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Old 05-01-2005, 07:18 AM   #1
Billie
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Question Tile-in sink and Custom's 100% epoxy grout

Our professional tile contractor is in the process of tiling our kitchen remodel. We had brand new cabinets with 3/4 inch plywood installed. After installing 1/2" hardibacker our contractor then set our new tile-in Kohler sink(model K-5931-4). He said it was a large sink and that he had to enlarge the cut out hole.
After setting the sink he began tiling. When he set the 14x14 tiles up to the sink we noticed the sink almost flush to the tile at the rear but almost 3/16th" too high in the front . We noticed the installation instructions say the sink should be flush or below the adjacent tile. When we questioned him about this he said that's something the plumber will take care of. We were wondering if that is the common practice? It seems like a lot of work for the plumber to lift up the cast iron sink and remove part of the hardibacker when that could have been done by our tile guy.

After reading this interesting forum we're planning on using epoxy grout at least for the contertop and using std grout for the backsplash (3 rows of 4x4) because of the cost of epoxy. Our contractor's not too keen about epoxy but says he has used it before. He would like us to sign a disclaimer regarding staining or inconsistant grout color? It sounds like Laticrete's Spectraloc Pro is the best but may not be available soon enough while Custom's 100%Epoxy Solid Grout is available today. Is Custom's epoxy grout a good grout or should we try to wait until we can have the SpectralocPro shipped?

Also can anyone recommend a good sealer that will darken our mosiac backsplash? Our tile says he has two types: a regular one and one that costs him $100 a quart.




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Old 05-01-2005, 08:28 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Billie, Welcome aboard.

It's not up to the plumber to adjust anything having to do with tile work. Tile-in sinks have to be set perfecty before the tile is installed.

Sounds to me like your tile person is not quite up to snuff, and I wouldn't trust him to use epoxy grout. I've never heard of anyone signing a disclaimer on grout. On the same token, I can understand your man's reluctance to use epoxy. I don't like it either, but I do understand that it is more stainproof than cement grout.

Custom epoxy grout is a good one.

You can post pictures here, you know.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:18 AM   #3
Billie
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Unhappy Lost our contractor

We had a pretty stressful day with our tile contractor today.

So much that he decided to quit our job and come pick up his tools and took all of the tile that he needed to finish our job! (250sq.ft.+ misc trim). He had paid for everything so far and never asked for an advance though we offered. He said he would leave it at the tile store and put a hold on it. I guess that means until he bills us which may whenever he feels like it. He also knows that we have a time deadline for remodel so I almost feel he's being spiteful.

To make a long story short he was annoyed by my questions and especially about my concerns regarding two cracks that we have in our concrete slab. He wasn't planning on using any membrane type material and said his Versabond acrylic thinset was fine and would flex if needed. Is that true?

He also kepted putting off buying the epoxy grout saying if I wanted 100% epoxy grout that Custom's 100% epoxy grout was not a true epoxy grout. Was he accurate?

And then there was the isssue about who would be setting the tile-in sink. Our tile contractor ended up pulling out the sink and leaving it on the floor saying the routing of the underlayment (the hardibacker board he installed) is up to the plumber. I wonder if we had the sink installed before the he started tileing if he still would've laid the tile with hardibacker and then toldl us the plumber would have to shim the sink up? He had cut the opening too far towards the rear which left a 3/16th" grout line in the front of the sink rather than the surrounding 1/8" grout line. He said there wasn't enough support in the rear to slide it forward.

Now we have job of finding a tile contractor who doesn't mind completing someone else's job and possibly go through a downtime waiting for their schedule to open up and for more tile to be shipped. The countertop and backsplash has been set but not grouted.. If we can't find anyone I wonder if anyone has ever used a contractor available through Home Depot or Lowes?
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:15 AM   #4
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Billie --

Wow. I sounds like you just might be better off with a different contractor. Not that it will be easy to find one. Let me give you my comments from my DIY perspective.

If the tile that is back at the tile store is needed to complete a partially done job, it may be important to get that same tile back because of color variation between different "dye lots" of tile. Talk to the tile store to see what has to happen.

Some modified thinset claim to be usable over narrow cracks. I checked Custom's website and VersaBond is not one of these. Many pros would prefer that the cracks, or the entire surface be treated with a crack isolation membrane before tiling.

Custom's 100% solids epoxy grout is a true epoxy grout. There are different standards that epoxy grouts may or may not meet. While the Custom epoxy grout does not meet the toughest standards that might be required in a chemiical laboratory or places where live steam is used for cleaning, it is certainly suitable for a residential kitchen. Epoxy grouts are more difficult to install than standard cement-based grouts, and your installed may have been looking for an excuse not to use epoxy.

I'm not positive on this, but the only way that makes sense to me is for the tile installer to set both the tile-in sink and the tile around it. One person has to be responsible for getting the sink and tile into alignment. Once the sink and tile are in, the plumber would then connect the water supply and drain connections to the rough plumbing.

The big box stores are not a good place to go for a tile contractor. You'll have all of your contact with someone at their special services desk, and have no idea who will come to your house to do the work until your doorbell rings. You coiuld luck out and get someone decent, but you also could wind up with someone who was hired by a subcontractor yesterday, and who speaks little or no English.

Good luck completing you project.
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