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Unread 06-09-2008, 07:47 AM   #1
jerseymom
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dishwasher tiled in!

Hi, I need advice please. I need to know if my tiling contractor messed uo bigtime. We hired a dear friend, a professional tiling contractor, to put a ceramic tile floor in our kitchen. The kitchen had a linoleum floor about ten years old, which had been laid over thick plywood. Under that there was old plywood from an earler linoleum floor which had been ripped up ten years ago. So we had linoleum over plywood over plywood over subfloor. We expanded our kitchen recently, so we had a new plywood floor in the new breakfast nook, and our tiling contractor explained that in order to make the old and new areas into one new room, he would put a wetbed in the breakfast nook to even out the floor level. He put hardiboard in the old kitchen right over the linoleum and plywood, and the wetbedded the addition up to that level. He tiled over the whole thing. The job is gorgeous, you would never know that kitchen was not always one room. Problem.....I coud not shut my dishwasher, so he took off the access panel and trimmed the bottom of it. I asked how I was ever going to get my dishwasher out and he siad "Well you just need to remove some tiles, it's no big deal." As gorgeous as the final result is, I am very unhappy with this...I think trapping my dishwasher is not a result would have expected from a professional tiling contractor, particularly when this could have been avoided by removing the old linoleum floor. Are there any tile contractors out there who would care to comment on this or offer an opinion? Do have to tear the new floor up and start over? What would you do if you messed up a job like this?
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Unread 06-09-2008, 08:02 AM   #2
jerseymom
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postscript to dishwasher

I should add that when I said to the contractor, "But why did you make the floor so high whe there was another layer that could be ripped up and there would not have been an issue" he replied "I knew it was going to be close. But really, taking out tiles is no big deal."
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Unread 06-09-2008, 08:20 AM   #3
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That's a big boo boo in my opinion. Anyone who has worked around kitchen appliances much should have recognized this problem before hand and presented you with options before proceeding. And there are options.

One option is to install an ADA compliant dishwasher that fit's into a 32-1/2" high opening, as opposed to the standard 34-1/2" opening required for most dishwashers. GE makes one, retailing for $649 list.

So maybe one alternative for your kitchen play book is to have him remove some tiles so that the old unit can be replaced with a shorter model.

.

Last edited by Mike2; 06-09-2008 at 09:50 AM. Reason: typo
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Unread 06-09-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
ddmoit
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Welcome to the JB Forums.

Tiling over a layer of linoleum was probably a bad choice. And, removing the linoleum would have provided an opportunity to correct your dishwasher problem before tile went down.
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Unread 06-09-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
ceramictec
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Quote:
That's a big boo boo in my opinion.
Quote:
Tiling over a layer of linoleum was probably a bad choice.
I agree with my friends above. probably one of the first things we look at is clearance for tops of dishwashers under the counter , doorways and refrigerator height to cabinets above.

plus knowing there was that many layers of linoleum it should have came out anyways.
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Unread 06-09-2008, 09:47 AM   #6
jerseymom
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Thank you all so mch!

Thanks guys, that was my feeling. If it were a big company, like Lowes or Home Depot that had done the installation, even as beautiful as it is, I would have immediately told them "Rip it out and start over." I just feel bad that this is a small businessman, someone who will really hurt from this big boo boo. He is a really nice fellow too. But I guess it is how he handles this that will tell me exactly how professional he is. It's such a shame. I do not think it is normal to have to rip out tiles (or the countertop) any time you need to replace a dishwasher.) Thanks again for your time and I wish you all the best.
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Unread 06-09-2008, 09:55 AM   #7
Mike2
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I agree with you Jersey. Having to remove, replace, and re-grout tiles whenever maintenance is required on a dishwasher is not acceptable. For the average homeowner, that is a big deal. And for the professional, matching grout three years down the road can be a big deal too.
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Unread 06-09-2008, 04:47 PM   #8
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Remove the cabinets and tile under them. Now the floor will be at the proper height, and if you ever redo the kitchen, the flooring will not have to be redone.
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Unread 06-10-2008, 06:20 AM   #9
jerseymom
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Smile Thanks fellows!

Thank you all of you for so generously giving me your professional time and opinions, and for giving me possible alternatives to a rip up, which may be what we eventualy go with anyway. My tile guy, who thankfully I have not paid yet, is coming over tonight to discuss the issue, which I think he was hoping would just miraculously go away. He took a chance on the height, he gambled and lost, and as a small businessman who may walk away from this as a total loss, I feel for him because he meany well and the job is so beautiful otherwise. He asked for a check out of me for the whole job the day before my husband was due home from a business trip, and of course I said no, no, we both he has to see the job first before you get a check, so I think he absolutely knew this was an issue and was hoping we would not catch it until someday when the dishwasher broke. It is very impressive to me that there are so many of you contractors out there who are continuing your professional education by using forums like this to share ideas with each other and the public. It is a win-win situation Thank you!
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Unread 06-10-2008, 08:35 AM   #10
ceramictec
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if it were me and I lived in your town, had a reputation for good work in the town and ran into this problem, I would tell you I would come out any time while your living in that house and remove & redo the tile in front if you ever had to replace the dishwasher. probably givee it to you in writing also. small thing to do and say to keep a good relationship with a customer and not get a bad reputation in the town.

you should save a few tile and zip lock air tight some grout for down the line.

* where in NJ?
I'm from South Jersey myself.
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Unread 06-10-2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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I'm with Brian
You make sure you have extra tile from the same dye lot. If any of the tile are cut in front of the dishwasher you have him cut some extra's that are just like the ones on the floor now. If and when a dishwasher needs to be pulled out you don't have to remove a whole bunch of tile to do it.
As Brian said make sure you save some grout and more important remember the name of the mfg and color. Even if you take some tiles out and replace the grout color is not going to be that different that long.
Take a deep breath and realize you have a great looking kitchen and everything is ok.
I disagree with many of the earlier posts that it needs to be redone etc. BS
IMO
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Unread 06-10-2008, 09:34 AM   #12
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Although I consider it a big mistake (and I've made a few of my own), I would try to avoid pulling up the entire install if you're happy with it. Like the posts just above, I would attempt to come to a specific agreement with the tile setter regarding the future maintenance or replacement of the dishwasher. Keep in mind that it might be more than just pulling up tiles ... the CBU might also have to be removed.

If the tile setter stands behind his work, he'll do the right thing.
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Unread 06-10-2008, 12:26 PM   #13
jerseymom
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would this work?

What do you guys think about this...raising the countertop by removing the existing formica counter (which will someday be replaced with something better anyway)...building like a 1/4" or 3/8" high top frame, like a picture frame, and then setting the countertop back down. You can buy wood trim cheaply, and we have cherry cabinets. It's not hard to find cherry stain and I could just run a piece of nice trim around the "shim" or frame top to hide it. That way I would have the height I need, I wouldn't have to rip out the base cabinets, and my friend the tile guy might not make any real profit on the job but at least he probably would not be out of pocket and might actually make some money on it, I'm guessing the materials for the frams would be perhaps $100, plus the labor I have to say his work is gorgeous, he does car dealerships and atriums, so for him this is a particularly embarrassing "boo boo." Anyone ever raise a countertop this way? Were the results good or bad?
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Unread 06-10-2008, 04:53 PM   #14
jadnashua
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That could work, but consider you may have to do something with the stove, as it probably won't go up another 1/2" to come in level. If you're thinking about new counters, it's not much more work to remove the cabinets, throw in a sheet of ply to raise things, then reinstall. I'd consider taking the time to upgrade the counter materials. Because I'm nearly 6'3", when I remodeled my kitchen, instead of buying expensive custom cabinets, I built a platform, and installed them on it...no problems with trying to get the DW out over the tile...the bottom is nearly 3" above the floor. Now, I don't kill my back doing something in the sink or prepping things on the counter because I don't have to lean over anywhere near as much.
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Unread 06-10-2008, 09:11 PM   #15
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Sorry but I disagree with some of the post on this one, Sometimes if the cabinets are installed with out tile and you add height to the floor by adding tile there is nothing you can do about the height difference. Sometimes if the cabinets were installed on vinyl and you replace with cbu and tile and the existing dishwasher is tight on the height already ( wich many times it is ) And many times the customer does not want to buy a new and shorter dishwasher, then there is no other alternative but to make sure you order extra tile in case you need to remove the dishwasher. Your hanging this guy out to dry, she is happy with the job except for the dishwasher height wich IMO is not his fault. Really though, how hard is it to replace a few tiles, c'mon not that big a deal. Why would you want to tear the whole floor out, thats crazy, go through all that mess, and meybe the next guy wont do such a nice job, just my opinion though.
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