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Old 04-23-2007, 12:35 AM   #16
Tool Guy - Kg
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It depends on the damage through compromised bonds. In a best case scenario where the damage is isolated, re-setting all the tiles that are no longer tight to the floor, replacing the grout with caulk around the perimeter (or just leaving it open and covering the gap with shoe molding), and accommodating the movement with joints may work well. That's easier said than done.

This really needs to be looked at by a professional experienced in this type of problem. If a contractor doesn't understand what's going on or hasn't seen a problem like this before, it's not likely they will steer you through this fix so good. Even if they are nice guys, they need to be able to evaluate what is going on.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:48 AM   #17
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Hi Here is the method in the Tile council of North America's Guide to Installation Practices. Movement Joint Design Essentials EJ171-03
Use These Details for Control, Contraction, and Isolation Joints (Ref. pg. 7).

• interior—24' to 36' in each direction.
• exterior—8' to 12' in each direction.
• interior tilework exposed to direct sunlight
or moisture—8’ to 12' in each direction.
• where tilework abuts restraining surfaces
such as perimeter walls, dissimilar floors,
curbs, columns, pipes, ceilings, and
where changes occur in backing
materials.
• all expansion, control, construction, cold,
and seismic joints in the structure should
continue through the tilework, including
such joints at vertical surfaces.
• joints through tilework directly over
structural joints must never be narrower
than the structural joint.

Show this to the tiler and your attorney.

As far as a remedy for poor work, hmmmm, I don't think you could easily get 100% of the grout out against the perimeter. If the perimeter is not grouted adding expansion joints every 15 feet might be possible in your house. However I think the floor that has tented is probably past a repair, or anything that anyone would warranty a fix for. DIY fix with limited expense. Find a like tile and replace all loose tile then caulk around them after thinset to floor. Make sure you clean grout lines of all thinset for these expansion joints. Might last until you save enough money for a proper tearout and quality install.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:50 AM   #18
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Bubba I am a slow typer and an even slower tile setter ...lol
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:23 AM   #19
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IMO,

If this is a development you may want to think of class action suit. Check the neighbors perimeters and their tile failure experience. Insufficient undercutting at door jambs can also be a point of failure.

The perimeter gap must be totally clear of any hard substance for 100% of it's run. Best back filled w/ silicone.

At least inform the neighbors so as to give them a chance to provide some expansion provision.

Is this an older population? Some seniors may not find a need for AC or be concerned about the electrical cost thereby exposeing even an interior floor to a wider daily range of a heat/cool cycle.

Pressure will evidence it's self at the highest point of stress where there is the least resistance. Like the narrow venturi at the end of the pennisula.

General contractors usually use the lowest bid on each facet of the job. Lowest bid mentailty frequently does not even know the corners they are cutting.

IME, Lowest bid folk frequently can not afford or do not care to take continuing ed courses.

tt
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Old 04-23-2007, 04:40 AM   #20
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Not to throw a trowel into the monkey works, but that exposed concrete looks darn clean. Carol, did you have to work hard to get those tiles up or did they pop loose in big pieces? I'm astounded only two broke. Properly adhered, they should have come up in 50 broken pieces, no? Please understand I'm not refuting the expansion joint problem. Carol mentioned other tiles sound hollow. I've noticed in some newer homes, they used whatever was handy to stick the tiles down and coverage was not a concern.. Could this also be a problem of inadequate or innappropriate adhesive?
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:34 AM   #21
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Visit From Tile Contractor on 4/23

Hi Guys,

I know why I was up so late last night (it took me quite a while to put those pictures together in the proper format) but why were YOU?? Oh,yeah, I never answered your question about sunlight. There is no direct sunlight on the area of the problem from windows and there are no skylights. In fact the window in the Nook area which would allow light on this spot now has the enclosed patio behind it with tinted vinyl windows so no direct light even reaches that window.

Anyway, the local tile store sent over a couple of guys to look at Penny's tiles. (I thought we were going to get an estimate to fix this.) But once again -- more BAD NEWS and NO ESTIMATE! They told us that the whole floor is actually floating because they put down a black (kind of paperish) membrane on the slab and didn't glue it to the slab. They then used thin-set to fasten the tile to the top of the membrane so there are many, many hollow-sounding tiles all over the place -- not just near the pop-up (tented area) like I thought.

I told them about contacting you and mentioned the lack of expansion joints. They seemed more concerned that this membrane was glued to the floor and suggested we contact the Better Business Bureau. They also thought the Better Business Bureau would know of a tile inspector. To really fix the problem apparently all the tile in the house would have to come up.

Meanwhile, I asked them if the tiles that were hollow would crack if walked on. The guy said "I weigh 300 lbs.", and was currently walking on them, "No." Then I asked "What if we put a design in the area with the current problem (it is the entryway for 3 rooms - kitchen, bath, and bedroom 2) and another design in the entryway in between the nook and Florida Room? Could these designs act as expansion joints? Also, could we go around the room and route out the grout against the wall and replace it with caulk to give a little more room to expand? " Since they were apparently unfamiliar with expansion joints they didn't really answer me, so I'm asking you guys the same questions.

One guy said if we couldn't get anybody to fix it we probably could just clean up the tiles we have (Is there a solution to soak these in to get the thin-set off?), glue them back down and cover them with a rug for the cheapest way out for now. (But is this a good idea and what more troubles will we have if we do this??)

Sorry this is so long, but this is all new to me. Thanks a lot for your help.

Carol
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:53 AM   #22
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Hi Carol,

Hands down, the best advice you are getting is from the pros on this forum.

Do you see any evidence of this membrane that they mentioned? I don't see it in the pics. If there is a membrane, it is possible that a hollow sounding tile is not necessarily evidence of a problem tile.

It is possible to correct the situation where tiles are butting up against the walls on the perimeter, but too much damage may have already been done to save this floor.

I'm sure the pros will be by later to help you with what to do next.
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:32 AM   #23
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Reply to Dan

Dan,

Yes, there's plenty of evidence of the mebrane it's all stuck to the bottom of the tiles, that's why you don't see any in the photo. The bottom of the tiles look totally black (that's the membrane you see first) and if you chip it off you can see there is thin-set (that's what the contractor this morning called it) between the membrane and the tile bottom. None of the black membrane was stuck to the floor under the 4 tiles I removed.

Carol
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:38 AM   #24
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Hi Carol,

Yes, it will help to cut in expansion joints, and when you patch that area leave a soft joint across that narrow part of the floor from cabinet to wall. There are no guarantees for the future, though.
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:57 AM   #25
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Sorry I Didn't Read Page 2

Sorry I Didn't read Page 2 of the Thread last night, but I was VERRRY TIRED (still am). Everyone please take a look at my latest posts regarding our Tile Contractor visit this AM. Yes, this is a retirement community about 20 miles south of DisneyWorld called Solivita in Poinciana, FL, right in the center of the state just south of the Osceola/Polk County line. We currently have about 2000-3000 homes and expect to have about 6000 when the community is completed. I have a bunch of other stuff to do this afternoon and evening. I'll try to get back to this after 9:30pm tonite.

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Old 04-23-2007, 07:24 PM   #26
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So we are talking about 9000 homes with tile laid over something akin to tar paper?

Hummm...loose laid ceramic tile. Like one gigantic mosaic tile square


tt
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:41 PM   #27
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Can't see the paper membrane you mentioned but I have seen a version of "paper" membrane here in my part of Tejas. It's more like a underlayment for vinyl..

Anyway, one reason for the hollow tiles could be general slab movement - not just at the tenting area.

I had a very similar case a few years back where almost 100 sq ft had sheared from the slab- clean as a whistle. The was a small area just like yours where the tiles actually tented.

Common practice in my area is to grout tight to the baseboards/ cabinets. It's not right but that's how they do it.

Sorry to say there is no easy fix for your floor. You can try to put those tiles back but odds aer they will be too big - since that area has "shrunk". The other areas of your floor will continue to float and are more susceptible to breaking if a point load is applied ( like moving a refrigerator)

Jason
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:19 PM   #28
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In Florida and in some other geographical areas, some tilers frequently tile directly over roofing tar paper instead of a tiling membrane to save money. While doing this "all the time" doesn't make it right, they get lucky with it long enough to get outside the warranty period before repairs are needed. I hope this isn't the case, but suspect it's so.

Carol, are you saying that the 10 year extended warranty is for structural issues only?
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:24 AM   #29
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Carol, sorry to hear about your problem.
I am not a tile expert but can feel your pain over poor workmanship practices that cost a lot of money. I should have my tile guy read this thread as I can't seem to get him to make sure the tile doesn't touch the walls.

Can I also add a few questions here?
What is undercutting of the door jambs? My guy is undercutting the casings but not the jambs? then he sets the tile close or withing 1/4" to the jambs and grouts it in... What is the preferred method?
What about up against cabinets under the toe kick.. how important is clearance here and grout or not?
If new tile is going into a 10-15 year old house is the chance of major expansion/contraction tile tenting problems diminished over new construction?
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:54 AM   #30
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Elkski,

In my opinion, no tile should get closer than 1/4" to any wall, door jamb or cabinet. The gap should not be grouted, but either left open or caulked. Moulding can be placed over the gap to hide it. The problem Carol is experiencing is not due to the age of the house. This is an expansion/contraction problem, not a settling problem. I think casings and jambs is being used interchangeably. The jamb is the wood framework around the door.

Brian
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