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Unread 03-13-2019, 07:56 PM   #40
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 53
Thanks everyone, my gut instinct was indeed to fire him, but I had to show some restraint for the following reasons:

i) Another tiler will be impossible to find

ii) I cannot afford to tear all this Kerdi Board back out and start again

iii) Ontario (Canada) law requires that I give him ample opportunity to correct his mistakes, or, if I choose to fire him without allowing him that chance, he can bill me in full for everything he has done up to that point, regardless of quality.

He came back today, as promised, and I pointed these things out to him. He stated "don't worry, I will add mortar to those Kerdi Bands and take care of that, but in the meantime I would like to get the floor down".

Given that all these issues were above the floorline, I agreed, and he did put the floor down with considerably more skill and care than the Kerdi. That being said, I still noted a few tiling technique mistakes (which should not be happening given that I have no tiling experience). For example, he was not back-buttering the 6" x 36" tiles. I asked him why not and he explained that he makes his mortar a little bit runnier than most and this allows for proper coverage. I still insisted that he back-butter, and for perhaps 75% of the tiles, I saw that he did. The others I was not present to see (as I was running tile for him).

He did carefully check the slope in the shower, so at least that is preserved correctly.

Given the situation, with my hands somewhat-tied legally, I have elected simply to watch him work as much as possible and then provide direct feedback/criticism in the moment. If he quits, so be it, and I will not pay. If he fails to follow my direction, I'm in my legal right to fire him (since I would have already afforded him an instant opportunity to correct his mistake). Today, at least, he took my criticism rather well, and made adjustments when I demanded them. I hate being "that customer" but ultimately I have to know I'm getting it done as close to correct as possible. This fellow isn't exactly cheap (C$10 per sqft, and I have to supply all material).

Here is a quick photo of the tiling work on the floor. I went with 1/8" gaps as per advice in this forum. I think it's definitely the right call for the floor. For the walls I intend to use 1/16" because it's 3" x 6"subway tile and 1/8" can look a bit large. I am even electing to use a stacked layout for those tiles since I have the shower walls laid out so there are no tiles needed to be cut at all.

Apologies that I cannot get a better photo as I don't want to walk on the tile. At the very least you can see he seemed to use an appropriate amount of wedges and spacers for the job. Note the Deco-SG window track in the floor tile more than half-way back and the Kerdi Line drain against the back wall (the dry pack mortar bed came out perfectly-aligned for the drain).

Just to follow-up on another user's post a bit earlier, yes, after watching the process I will now do future tiling myself. I did not see anything particularly difficult during the floor tiling, and I continue to believe that an educated and caring amateur can obtain results as good or better than a non-caring professional any day, especially if that professional doesn't care about manufacturer's specifications.
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Last edited by otrex; 03-13-2019 at 08:02 PM.
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