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Unread 12-01-2020, 12:26 AM   #1
Superjustin13
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Very worry-some work so far.

Hey everyone, please read all my thread posts in before replying. As i added more details.

I hired a tile contractor who says he was been doing this for thirty years. Good reviews on the internet(however, 2 people in his crew's never worked for him before, or its their first day ever doing tile).

The discolored SLC is "Custom LevelQuik LQ50 Underlayment"

Its discolored, and pitting in spots. This is an expensive floor, money aside, this is my dream home.


You'll see some blue on the floor. That's where my sawcuts were. he said he mixed SLC and added some polymer or something to the sawcuts. Then he did mesh and added waterproofing membrane. Tomorrow he said he's going to apply some acrylic primer to the floor and paint it all in waterproofing membrane.

I have over 100 hours prepping this floor, grinding the floor level, removing all paint, tons of work. My wife and I are exhausted. I expected to hire a professional (not a first timer mixing). Am i being anal, or can you see issues already?

Porcelain tile is going over this floor.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 12:58 AM   #2
Kman
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Sorry for the trouble you're having, Justin.

First, it appears from your pictures that the SLC contained too much water. That usually appears white, at least the ones I've seen will do that.

Second, if you make saw cuts, those are actually made to "encourage" the slab to crack there, and reduce the chances of cracking elsewhere. Great if you're having a grout joint directly over the cut, not so great otherwise.

Third, I'm not getting from your description or pictures what the blue is.

Fourth, not priming the floor before the pour is a no-no. That would be a manufacturer recommendation for every product I'm familiar with.

Fifth, what was the waterproofing membrane that he added underneath the SLC? And what kind of mesh?

And what primer and waterproofing is he planning on adding tomorrow?

I think I'd pause everything and get some answers. I have serious doubts this is the installer you want doing your floor. Right now there's not a lot in this pour, and it's probably easy enough to remove with no primer. That won't likely be the case by the end of the week if you let him continue.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 01:03 AM   #3
Superjustin13
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In the saw cuts, he put some kind of SLC and mixed some type of "polymer" in it. Packed them full, then he laid some mesh over it and laid Mapei membrane over it.

I think he may have painted some sections of the floor he laid SLC over with some Mapei polymer additive. The floors are a little sticky around where the concrete is. So i am assuming he must've laid down something.

The SLC does not sound hollow at all. I have attached more pictures of the SLC.

He says he is "NTCA" certified or something.

I've had several conversations with him and he keeps telling me he's doing everything by the book.

I am not trying to be that home owner that breaths down their neck. It's just my dream home and a very nice floor. I don't want coming up or having any issues later down the road. Especially since I have so much of my own time in it.

Seeing just the work he's done so far with the completely white washed self leveling concrete. Really makes me have doubts. (Rapid set, still not even close to hard after 10+ hours)

Am i being that pain in the ass home owner, or can you guys see problems so far? (I hope i'm just being a pain!)

I overheard him saying something about some "acrylic primer". He's primering the floor then adding the "Mapei Mapelastic Aquadefense"

I hate to doubt my contractor, but just look at the mess with the SLC. It's all completely white washed.

I attached 2 close up pictures of the SLC. When I wipe my finger across it, the white does come off? It doesn't appear to even be close to dry. However, I don't see the color changing from weird brown to a solid color.

Sorry about my mega jumbled up post.

He used "Custom LevelQuik LQ50 Underlayment". After 10 hours, there's still wet pooling spots in it.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 05:51 AM   #4
Superjustin13
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As the floor dries more, the whiter it gets. This all has to be removed doesn't it.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 08:34 AM   #5
JWOrl
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No I don't think you are being difficult. And I'm no expert but it does look like something is off from those photos.

I feel your pain. I had flooring installed a few years ago by a doofus who was recommended by someone else. Foolishly I did not probe any further (never go by just a recommendation!!!) Subs who barely spoke a word of English were sent over to do the work and made numerous mistakes and then used too much water during clean up and destroyed the grout color. It was a nightmare but I am through it.

You always have a right to ask questions and challenge people, as long as you're being civil about it.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 09:35 AM   #6
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Call Custom Building Products and see if they share your concerns. They tend to take it easy on contractors which are their customer base so be forthright and unemotional in expressing your concern. NTCA doesn't certify anything.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 10:14 AM   #7
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When I used to work for MAPEI we referred to this as a 'Frankensystem', a mix of various products from various vendors usually done to address a variety of problems. Unfortunately it can also lead to a variety of issues. I don't really understand enough of the background of what you were trying to accomplish with the cuts and the grinding and the SLU and the mesh and the waterproofing so I would suggest giving MAPEI a call to walk through it. And yes, either MAPEI or Custom is going to be skeptical of this system since neither will be keen to tell you it's a great idea to use their wonderful products with the inferior products of the other. Just from the pictures, it doesn't look whomever poured the SLU is skilled at it.

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Custom Tech Services - 1-800-282-8786
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Unread 12-01-2020, 11:31 AM   #8
JWOrl
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I'm not sure what this contractor did, but this thread by SuperJustin has me angry.

If anyone is reading this and cares, here are some things I have learned about hiring workers and contractors, over the years:

1) have a basic knowledge of materials/labor and how they are marked up, so that you don't get ripped off

2) someone doesn't seem to know basic terms of their job -- the one I hired didn't understand what a dye lot or production run was or that tiles could vary by the box -- this is a red flag

3) you own a rental property and the contractor is operating as an individual, not a corp, but they won't cooperate with the 1099 when you ask them -- red flag

4) they constantly show up way late -- I mean hours, not 15 minutes. Or don't show up at all sometimes. They have no regard for your time. The only time they seem to communicate with you is when they want more money -- red flag

5) they just moved here from another state, or seem to move around a lot -- investigate further

6) in some situations go with them to the hardware store and buy the materials on your credit card, instead of giving them money to buy materials.

7) Its not foolproof but I always do a search of the criminal clerk of court where I live on the individual. If they are constantly in trouble with the law, or have theft or fraud convictions I don't want them.

8) if it is important to you that the contractor is insured, get in touch directly with the agency to verify it, do not just accept an insurance document from the contractor

9) be aware that if you hire a GC who is bilingual (Eng/Spanish) there is a huge chance the subs only speak Spanish. This can be fine but only if the GC is involved in supervising and knows what he is doing.

10) they want you to pay for replacement tools that they themselves damaged through misuse. Uh, no. I had someone try to pull this.

11) just because someone is recommended to you by someone else, doesn't mean they are any good. The person recommending may have an ulterior motive for doing it. Always dig deeper if it's a big project

12) just because a contractor is licensed by the state doesn't necessarily mean they care about doing a good job
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Unread 12-01-2020, 01:16 PM   #9
john619
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what does your contract say? installation per TCNA?
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Unread 12-01-2020, 06:45 PM   #10
Davy
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Justin, you said the floor was level after the grinding you did. Why was SLC even used on it?
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Unread 12-01-2020, 08:34 PM   #11
JWOrl
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The worst thing about these situations, which I went through myself, is you can't usually get them to make the floors (or whatever) right at this stage, because they don't know what the heck they are doing. If they did they wouldn't have messed it up in the first place.
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