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Old 01-21-2009, 07:39 PM   #1
Roger3125
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Porcelain tile ontop of cemente patio

I had porcelain tile installed on my concrete patio. People in this forum had told me the installer should put down a membrane first. He said it was not ncecessary and I allowed him to do it providing he gave me a 4 year warranty on the installation. He did. I have it in writing.

Now three years later we found large peices of grout coming out. The installer looked at it and said the tiles were installed incorrectly and they will all have to be replace the entire patio at their cost. Thus I agreed.

All the tiles were removed and the company calls me to tell me I will now have to have my foundation "built up". Thus it will cost me another $2,000.

information regarding the condition of the cement and then some questions please'

The patio consist of one huge peice with score lines in them. Some smaller areas near the building were later filled in but all the cement is level, at least to the eye. I am in So. California so I also have some large but very narrow cracks in the patio (as well as the entire foundation)

1. Should they have used a membrane such as Ditra or Nobelseal before installing tile?

2. if they were to use a membrane on the cement patio, would it then be OK to install porcelan tiles?

3. He claims the patio foundation must be raised, graded, high near the building to low away from the building than it is now so the water runs off the tile. If he was to do that the new level patio would be in contact with the stucco siding. is that acceptable and within code?

4. I have offerred to pay half of his cost even though I have the installation warranty.

If he refuses my offer and continues to demand I pay the $2,000 for building up the patio what are my options? Aside from small claims court, of course.

I'd appreciate some quick replies as i am to talk with him again in another day.

Thanks so much
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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Seems we had a lotta trouble gettin' that patio and the one in the front done anywhere near correctly, Roger. Here's one old thread on it. I won't bring it all in here as a good bit is not pertinent to the current problem.

But here's the final post from that thread, which I find telling.
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I would ask that installer if he prefers to replace the tile now when it's easy or just wait until after a lady wearing high heels walks on it.

Don
That patio, and all solid surface patios, should have been sloped away from the house when it was constructed. When it came time to tile it the tile installer should have pointed out that it had no slope for drainage before agreeing to install the tile.

The lack of a membrane in your part of the country is probably not an overwhelming factor, but it might well have helped a great deal given the lack of drainage. The fact that it's covered and probably doesn't get much water beyond the perimeter is in your favor also.

Has the patio no slope at all?

Having the patio surface much higher at the building seems like it would also be a problem with the entry door there, too, would it not?

Outside patios should not touch the building wall covering as you suggest. Indeed, there should be at least a couple inches of gap there with a good flashing material up behind the stucco. Do you have that now?

How does he suggest you "build up" the patio surface?

What does he plan to put on top of the new build-up in the way of a membrane this time?

Was anything done to honor those expansion joints all around that small section of concrete near the entry doors (I see no evidence)? Is anything planned this time?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:40 PM   #3
ceramictec
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Hi Roger,

Sorry to hear your misfortune, you should have insisted he listened to you on the advice from this forum.
there are a lot of good tile companies out there but on this forum if someone gives info it's usually best to listen and stick to it. the census from all the brains on here usually works out.

The Ditra, Noble Deck or even Customs FractureFree would have been better then nothing. looks like the tile was barely stuck. probably got wet and de-laminated.

I have a few questions, I'm sure others will also.
my concerns are these:

in the first picture is this an old slab? and is it higher then the main area?



and in this shot is the tile area lower then the ground to the right ?

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Old 01-21-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Has the patio no slope at all?
cx, I'm seeing a slight pitch away from the house in the last picture.

but from the looks of the first pictures grout joints near us they look stained from a flood or water damage.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the quick replies. It has helped.

Now a few oversights on my part...I rolled a round water bottle from the house to determine a slope. While it needed a slight nudge it did roll away from the house. Thus I conclude the cement patio does have a slope. How much of one I am unable to figure. Someone have an idea?

Also I failed to point out that the patio is NOT covered. For those of you who have been following theis saga. The front patio is covered so I am not concerned about that, just the back.

Also in the second photo showing a tile coming away from the rest the multi arrow point to the edge of the tile area and the dark area around it shows a drain formed in the patio concrete.


The company says it will replace the tiles at no cost but wants me to pay for building up the patio. Should he have checked the slope before accepting the job? Since the installation is warrantied is he responsible for what needs to be done to make the job done correctly? Morally and ethicly I'm sure he is but what about legally?

To build up the patio he says he will lie wire mesh and cement and it will only raise it a wee bit. but enough. That wee bit will bring the patio in contact with my stucco. He said he could caulk that and make it water proof.

Replies rquested

Addiional quetions: If a tile paio is properly sealed should water be able to get udder it?

If not porcelan tile what is suggested to cover an outdoor patio?

Again thanks
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Thus I conclude the cement patio does have a slope. How much of one I am unable to figure. Someone have an idea?
a string line with a level or a laser level can shoot or pull a line from the high spot, then take the height and divide from the length.

Quote:
To build up the patio he says he will lie wire mesh and cement and it will only raise it a wee bit. but enough. That wee bit will bring the patio in contact with my stucco. He said he could caulk that and make it water proof.
caulking wont make something waterproof.
and I wouldnt be too excited about him trying to attach wire to a slab and do a thin coat on it.
I think if it has a pitch to it you can use Ditra and be good.
expansion joints need to be honored

Quote:
If not porcelan tile what is suggested to cover an outdoor patio?
porcelain tile is fin when installed correctly.
other options are Quarry tile or Pavers.
but they are a totally different look then a porcelain tile


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Old 01-22-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
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I include a photo that shows (kinda) the slope of the patio. As you can see it isn't much but it does slope some. I checked that outlined area referred to and it is about 1/2 inch lower than the patio. That will no doubt have to be raised. Would adding add'lt membrane do that or would that have to be the "build up" part?

I've also include a closeup of that same area. The Green and gray colors seen is what is left of two paint jobs on the patio from years back.


It seems to me taking everything that has been said into consideration my best bet wouild be to leave the cement patio as is, except that portion that has to come up 1/2-inch and just put down a membrane and have the porcelan tiles installed again.

Since he said he would caulk where the tiles meet the stucco and it been said caulking is not realiable how can I prevent water from the walls seeping under the newly installed tiles? Is there a better way?

Since thinset did not hoild the tiles last time is there an alternative?

Always a big thanks for whatever you can offer
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:43 PM   #8
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Brian regarding the pics you showed of other patios. Looks like at least one of them is tile. I notice that are lttle peices of tile under the slider on the building.

I assume you desgned it so there would be no waer leaking from stucco wall to under the tiles.. What did you use and how did you do it. Great loking work.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
I've also include a closeup of that same area. The Green and gray colors seen is what is left of two paint jobs on the patio from years back.
Not clean enough to suit me. Shoulda been some grinder work done there, 'specially if y'all are gonna try to build up a really thin section with bonded deck mud.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
Since he said he would caulk where the tiles meet the stucco and it been said caulking is not realiable how can I prevent water from the walls seeping under the newly installed tiles? Is there a better way?
Sounds like about the worst possible thing he could do there. The bottom of that stucco should be open to daylight for proper drainage and the last thing you wanna do is seal it up.

You should have a gap between the bottom of the stucco and the concrete and that gap should be covered by flashing that extends up under the stucco and over the tiling membrane. If you were to use Ditra, for example, you'd want to use some Kerdi or Kerdi Band to cover the edge of the ditra and go up the wall. That would want to be covered by some sort of metal or similar flashing material for protection. That flashing would normally be on top of the finished tile and extend just slightly from the wall.

Should be some sorta flashing from under the door sill, too, where you see the small vertical tiles there in one of Brian's photos.

It's really easy to determine how much slope you've got. Simply set a level with one end toward the house and the other toward the pool. Lift the pool end until the bubble centers and measure the gap under it. If it's a four-foot level, should be an inch; two-foot level, should be half an inch. Etc.

I'm really surprised you didn't get any cracked tiles where Brian has drawn his red line in front of your doors. If you wanna take a chance on tiling right over all that again it's up to you, of course. But even with an isolation membrane over that patio surface I wouldn't wanna bet on it not cracking there.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #10
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Attached is a close up of how the patio meets with the stucco. The contractor wants to use Redguard as the membrane and a "special flexible grout around the buidling".

As you can see I have practically no space where the two surfaces meet. What would be the drawback to sealing that space with what he wants to use?

Would it be advisable to perhaps cut along the stucco to rasie the stucco to perhaps an inch above the paito? of course I have no clue waht is behind the stucco
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:53 PM   #11
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I know you're all dying to see how the patio turned out so I shall attach some pics. After discussing with the installer all that was advised to me on this site he agreed to put down two coats of Redgard, concrete layer, thinset and tile. He also graded the level of the patio so water woulod run off.

Looking at the material he used and the time it took him...two men, 10 days I wonder if he made any money. Whatever I tipped him quite well for his efforts.

BEFORE pics are in previous posts. Here is what it looks like now
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:03 PM   #12
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Well, Roger, if you're happy, we're happy.

But I worry about some of this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
he agreed to put down two coats of Redgard, concrete layer, thinset and tile. He also graded the level of the patio so water woulod run off.
Redgard over what you had and then "concrete layer"? Any explanation of that particular order of things? How much concrete and do we know more precisely what it was?

Thought you'd determined you had slope away from the house. Just how did he "grade" the patio?

Inquisitive minds just want to know, eh?

Looks good, though.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:01 PM   #13
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Order was...strip all old tile and scrape cement surface clean...roughened the cement slab, did some prep on the expansion joints and cracks then put down two layers of Redgard. Next day they checked and did any missing area of Redgard and put down a third coat of redgard. in some areas Covered entire patio with a quick drying cement and sloped the patio a wee bit more than it was. Whatever degree he sloped it worked fine as our last two weeks of rain proved.

Layed the tile as shown. Took two men several days and did some problem areas that were ignored the first time such as where the roof gutters drain areas and where there was pipes coming out of the ground. Previously these areas were left exposed. He also put 1/4 tiles vertically along the edge of the patio and porch so it looked finished. Prior job was left with tile edge exposed.

All and all I am quite pleased with how it turned out with one exception...

I will explain in my next post as I will have to show pictures for you to understand. Please check back
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:26 PM   #14
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Sorry it took so long.

This a photo of the new tile and our first rain. Notice the 3-ft wide area between the pool and the patio...notice also how the water collects in that first section. apparently the fool that designed the pool and decking didn't consider whre the rain would go thus each time it rains the water sits there until I either sweep it uphill or allow the sun to dry it.

During some heavy down pours the water goes to the level of the tile and almost over it. I'm afraid water will eventually work its way under the tile and lossen it.

I would like to somehow put a drain line along the length of the pool and drain it out into the street or another area. Can anyone suggest a not to expensive way to do this other than rip out the entrie cement area and start anew.

Incidently the veticle edge around the patio is the same.

As you have seen my problems never seem to be little ones. I'm open to any suggestions.
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