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07-17-2001, 06:07 PM
Well, this last weekend we had a kitchen fire that took out our microwave/ventahood, range/oven, and charred the cabinets.

If you don't have a fire extinguisher at your home... get one now!

Also, found out our riding mower is broken.

So picture this... Ripped out carpet over entire house (due to severe allergies), ripped out shower, fire-damaged kitchen, 4 acres of weeds.

I know what you're thinking. Thank goodness it's not my home! I'd like to be thinking that too.

Anywho, had the adjustor come out to inspect the fire damage and took this opportunity to claim the shower. We hadn't claimed it up until now because (1) it was going to be a simple project of just replacing the shower pan (laugh, laugh), and (2) if it wasn't over a certain amount, it wasn't worth claiming because of the deductible AND losing the status of "three years - no claims," which is a nice break on the insurance price.

So, tomorrow, we have a company coming out (Total Restoration), who can do both project. I interviewed a manager at length about how they install tile, and to see if I can set the standard of what I want. I can. So I'm tempted to like them.

As you can see, we are to the point of hiring the project out. And I harken back (yes, an underused phrase) to my first post, and how I was told then that a shower was no way to start learning tile.

Yes, you were right.

Questions: Can we make a simple checklist of How The Shower Should Be Done? I want an agreement up front from these folks that they understand what I want. Things like slope the floor first, then put down liner. Vinyl liner should be installed like XYZ (reinforced corners?). Etc.

I do know they plan on using greenboard, then cement board. How do we feel about that?

After all this is over, I think I may try a nice little tile project. My desire to tile has not gone, it's just buried deeply under home upheaval.



PS Scott sends his best from the sanitarium.

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Bud Cline
07-17-2001, 06:29 PM
Diane (whispering here) you can make a lot of money on this project now if you get rid of Total Restoration and do all this yourself, and hey, we can do that right here, where do you want to begin? This is really easy and won't take more than three to four years to complete.

John Bridge
07-17-2001, 06:48 PM
Okay, so Diane torched her kitchen to get out of doing the shower. Well, that's just great, and after six pages, too. (just kidding).


Send Total Restoration down the road. Find someone who will do an old fashioned mud job for you. He'll have to be an old sucker like me or Bud or Bri or . . . .


Didn't you say you were hurting for a job? Think Austin, man. You know, "Hill Country." Diane's gonna have this big insurance settlement. She can buy beaucoup red wine and muchas Dos Equis!

07-17-2001, 07:25 PM
Jeeez....you don't want me..I haven't done a mud job in so long...I forget how!...and who you calling old?!


Bud Cline
07-17-2001, 07:31 PM
I would go to Texas Hill Country in a heartbeat, well may two heartbeats. Spent a month out at Marble Falls one time staying in a condo and remodelling the one next door.

07-18-2001, 06:29 AM
I have this fantasy where a tile celebrity, like one of you, comes to my house. You stay in my guestroom (right across from the charred kitchen), where you and the wife have a second honeymoon. I make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. And all my shower worries just go away.

Any takers?


07-18-2001, 07:58 AM
Dear Really-Smart Tile Setters,

Here is a little checklist I have created for Total Restoration to use. Every time I read John's Tile book, I know that with your help I can take it on and do a Real Mud job. But... between everything going on in the house, threats of layoffs at Scott's job, and my uncooperative health... I must settle for getting it done.

I know, it goes against my nature, too. <grin>

But if you could help me get the best shower possible (give these limitations), I would sure appreciate it!!!

1. Fill hole in cement house slab (where the shower drain comes up), with latex-modified mortar. Let dry 24 hours.

2. Install prefab curb/threshold.

3. Put down 15 lb. Tar-Paper on shower floor. (What about the bench???) Cover this with Galvanized expanded wire lathe.

4. Create sloped shower floor using latex-modified mortar bed. Compact. Harden over night.

5. Put up wood blocking 8-9" high around shower floor. (Between wall studs??? What about the bench???)

6. Install CPE membrane (Chloraloy, by Noble Co.), using Noble Sealant 150. Use prefab dam corners. Let cure (time???)

7. Test liner, fill with water, let sit overnight.

8. Install prefab nook.

9. Put wall substrate on wall (green board, followed by cement backer board), coming down over pan top. (What about plastic Liner? What about bench?)

10. Create window sill slope (outward) using the mortar.

11. Tile walls, window sill, bench, doorframe, and nook with thinset, making sure tiles stop 1/8" – ¼" COMPLETED shower floor.

12. Set drain to correct height and surround with gravel or spacers to keep weep holes from plugging up.

13. Use ½ on the intended latex-modified mortar on shower floor. But down 16/16 gauge 2x2 mesh. Follow up with remaining mortar.

14. Tile shower floor. Let dry 24 hours.

15. Grout. Let cure three days. Seal walls only.

16. Install Shower door.

I could really use your guidance on this list!

Many thanks,


07-18-2001, 07:59 AM
Oh, yeah... the ceiling should be included too!!


07-18-2001, 03:42 PM
I met with the guys today, and cross-examined them on shower theory. They are willing to step up to the plate… in writing. So I look forward to your feedback on my list above.

A new question: Apparently I have the alternative of doing the vinyl pan liner or having a cultured marble liner made (one piece, no seams). What say you?

Respectfully waiting to take down all suggestions and send thank-you beers.



John Bridge
07-18-2001, 03:56 PM
I'll let the others run your check list.

I was serious about the mud job. If you can find a mud man, you'll get the thing done properly, and it won't cost any more than what you are contemplating. The mud guy will know the answers to all your questions before you ask them.

Wish I wasn't so booked up. I'd bring my helper up and we'd blow that shower out in a couple days.

I don't like cultured marble (fake marble) bases. They wear and they crack.

Bud Cline
07-18-2001, 04:53 PM
Batter's ready at the plate, here's the pitch, curve ball, ball one.

Have you seen the "Better Bench"? Pretty slick deal I think. Installed many of them. Hangs from the wall, imbeds in the tile, doesn't interfere with the liner at the receptor. Fast, inexpensive.

07-19-2001, 05:50 AM
Just a couple of changes so far.



If I spot any other things, I'll be back.


07-19-2001, 05:05 PM
Thank you, thank you. I have two calls in to talk to these folks. Was actually expecting the bids today. Not even a call back... Sigh.

But I'm all set to see if there isn't someone there who does MUD. (Because John says it's good! And he can't be the only person in Texas that does this.) Also I want to talk to them about Bud's Better Bench. (Say very fast for fun.) Also I wanted to nix the need for getting a cultured marble estimate. Don't want anything that is going to crack!

John, by the time I get a call back, you may be free. What year will that be?

Art, thanks for the list updates. :)

So... I am still curious about the liner thing. Do you put a liner up over the studs, then the greenboard, then the cement board? Or do you not need a liner?

And on an up note, nothing broke, caught fire, or flooded today.



Bud Cline
07-19-2001, 05:40 PM

Here's a look at the Better Bench:


Craig Meston
07-21-2001, 06:17 AM
hello, i pity the poor bugger who comes to your house to quote your little shower pan. hahahahaha. way too many questions for the average (and above average) tradesman. just get the price you want from a competent tradesman and go with the flow. you wouldnt see me for the rubber burning tyre marks if you brought out that little (hehe) checklist if i came around. anyway, i will come and tile your house for you, expcept the plane ticket may cost a few extra bucks to the other boys. i'll meet john there and we can tile it together and we will teach each other all of the wonderful things we each know about tiling, and by the time we are finshed you will have 4 shower recesses beautifully tiled because he and i will be arguing and trying to prove our point!! anyway, bear in mind that when most tradesmen know that its an insurance job, we absolutley slather the cost on the project just in case we get the job, so the pricing of that one is a bit here and there. john may yet have smething to say about my inflammatory statements. who knows. all the best, craig meston.
Craig Meston Tiling (please put the checklist away!!)

John Bridge
07-21-2001, 07:09 AM
Okay, add to the cost one round-trip airfare from Australia.

07-22-2001, 03:35 PM
Yes! It should work that way, I agree. …That you find those who are competent and let them do their job. Unfortunately, that approach does not work here, and in the last two months I have spent $600 to redo work on the AC and $250 on a shower pan the guys on this list advised me to rip out. All that from competent people who came with recommendations… who I just let do their work.

Before we lived here, we lived in a state where the laws required all home/improvement specialties to be provide detailed lists to clients with a written start and end that, in a contract form. And all the laws were geared toward the consumer. In Texas none of this exists. There are no real requirements to be in business and no rules for what you are to provide the consumer. Also no recourse, if you need it.

Complicating that are two interesting factors. #1 We live outside all city limits, which means it is a free-for-all on how work is done. Virtually anything goes. #2 In the Austin area, the huge boom of the '90's (which is still underway, although at less speed), means that there are thousands of million-dollar homes being built every year. You know what projects your best people want to work? Yup, the really cool projects in the new home market. And I don't blame them.

So, with no laws governing how work is done or who does it…. And with little jobs like my shower not-of-interest to the people with the best skills…. Hey, I even got a recommendation of this list for someone who promised to call me back and come to my house… and never did either. This is someone who knew he was being recommended by someone who recommends a good portion of his business.

So, here I am, not in a million dollar house (grin), wearing second-hand clothes (no joke), having lost $850 in the last two months to peopled who do crappy work… I think you can see I have a list.

But really, wouldn't it be nice to not to need to. :)

And I'm checking on your airline tickets...



John Bridge
07-22-2001, 06:11 PM

Get Craig's ticket on Travelocity.com. I got a round trip to Seattle a couple months ago for $200. Brisbane shouldn't be too much more.

07-23-2001, 10:31 AM
Dear John, Craig, Bud, Bri, and Art,

Great news! The Total Restoration place called back and said they thought I should get someone else, because their tile guy is not comfortable using products he hasn't used before... like reinforced corners. (Got this in a phone message, and no mention of the "mud" alternative I has asked about on Friday.)

Anyway, that's not the good news. The good news is that it finally occurred to me where I could ask for recommendations on mud showers. ...The place where I bought the "art" tile (they represent artists all over the nation). Sure enough, they gave me three names of Mud Men. And these Mud Men will know what they are doing and not need a list.

::I'm doing the Dance of Tiled Showers::

Many, many thanks on all the tile questions.


Diane, who is buying beer for all of you and asking Scott to drink it in your honor.

Bud Cline
07-23-2001, 04:22 PM
Hey wait a minute Diane! Scotts drinking it? In our honor?? Ever heard of UPS, FED EX, PUROLATOR???

07-23-2001, 08:39 PM
This is Scott... I am really enjoying your beer. (This week's flavor is Michelob Black & Tan) I would have sent this to you however we find that FedEx, UPS, Airborne to not service this part of Williamson County in Tex...


Craig Meston
08-02-2001, 05:57 AM
hello, glad you are getting your little problem sorted, im afraid that i initially wrote back at the end of a long crap day so my reply wasnt really very helpful (damn them aussie tilers - dodgy bastards!!) you have very good points about the tradesmen wanting to do the big work- i would love to have the big work too but i am doing my penance by doing a zillion bathroom renos, and they do pay well, they just require a crapload of patience. i hope your reno goes very well, dont let the boys drag the conversation down to beer AGAIN, a while back they blathered on for 5 pages about CBU's, and only 2 posts were about the topic, the rest were about beer and cooking. good luck. all the best, craig meston. by the way, just tell me what airline and what time, ill pick the ticket up from the airport on my way out, i'm dodging a couple of scary customers anyway. oh, dammit, i dont do mud on verticals so i guess it rules me out. perhaps john will take me under his wing for a while and teach me a few things. (john, you will won't you, john, why aren't you replying john.) hahahahahaha. sleep well my tiling afficionado friends.

John Bridge
08-02-2001, 03:52 PM

Took you long enough to get around to responding. I'm glad Diane doesn't seem to be in a hurry. :)


I suppose you're getting even with me for drinking the beer I was supposed to send you. Did you get your Mt. Houston tee shirt?

Hey Craig,

We're trying to get some insight on how you blokes do shower floors down there. Do you suppose you could make a new post over at the Hangout and fill us in?

08-03-2001, 08:52 AM

08-03-2001, 08:54 AM
Dear Craig, John, and all,

I posted a nice reply last night, very entertaining... and it was lost! For some reason I was no longer recognized by the forum and it told me to use the back button and re-enter my password. Of course the message was now BLANK!@

Well, we are leaving on vacation in 6 minutes... so Bye!

Witty reply will have to wait until Tuesday. :)



08-04-2001, 05:55 AM
That will be an awful short vacation. Won't it?

Maybe she took the laptop with her?

While Scott has passed out from drinking all of the beer, she will have her nights free to provide all those witicisms, she promised!!