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Unread 06-08-2022, 11:12 AM   #1
midwest girl
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Need help re hiring new contractor (round three)

I apologize if I sound like a whack. I’m not. I just had surgery. I’m being forced into making a quick decision about a tile professional.

Also, I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown (not trying to be funny).

I don’t have a functioning shower or tub in this home currently.


I have deleted this original post and added a new one down on #5. I tried to just edit this one but it didn’t work - and I became very frustrated.

Please see post #5 for important background information

Questions:

1. Can marble tile be mitered for outside corners? If not, would a butt joint work? I don’t want to use schluter trim bc I think it looks too modern with my tile. I’ve offered to polish edges if needed as long as shown how to do it.

2. If former contractor used kerdi + rolled RedGard on top of cbu walls in shower, wouldn’t it make sense to install new cbu instead of using current cbu that has both systems on it? Note - customer has made clear statement that she understands it will cost more to rip out and reinstall.

3. If shower pan was originally built using deck mud with no pre- slope under pvc liner using clamping drain, and prior contractor decided to chip out deck mud in order to install kerdi adapter drain (instead of tearing everything out and replacing with Kerdi drain + building correctLy instead of trying to piece it together as requested by customer - who offered to pay to have it done correctly), as a new contractor - would you rather remove current pan + construct new (correct one) as requested by customer OR simply keep exiting pan and tell customer that you won’t warrant your work with respect to pan?

4. If current cbu installed by previous contractor was brought down over tub flange (not notched) and rests directly on tub deck, would you leave it and tell customer that it will be fine by using caulk OR would you remove existing cbu and install it the correct way (customer acknowledges that there will be extra costs involved but wants it done correctly).


5. Shouldn’t cbu have mortar between it and subfloor for tile floor (in addition to screws)?

6. Shouldn’t contractor add second layer of wood to subfloor prior to installing natural stone tile (slate)?

7. If you were coming in to do work behind a previous contractor, do you have obligation to make sure substrate is correct before simply deciding to use it to install new tile?

Relate Q/statement - seems like I’ve read that tile professionals on JBF have a saying that last one who touches surface becomes responsible for issues (this is paraphrased - just trying to make a point). This would make me think that before I would ever install tile, I would throughly investigate substrate prep in order to make sure that it meets standards required for the type of materials being installed. Why would a tile professional simply make an oral statement that he’s not warranting certain aspects of install and think he’s covered legally if he chooses to accept the project?

Remember - customer is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure install is done correctly. Also, new tile professional belongs to professional associations and has certifications, etc.

There are more but my head hurts - and I’m puking due to just having surgery
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Last edited by midwest girl; 06-09-2022 at 05:27 PM.
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Unread 06-08-2022, 11:27 AM   #2
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Dani, it might help if you'd put a more specific geographic location in your User Profile. The Midwest is a pretty big place, eh?

I'm not seeing any specific questions for us in your post. Did I miss them?

Your new contractor (prospective contractor?) is perhaps from a culture that is a bit misogynistic? And perhaps there is a bit of a language barrier? I can't tell, but sounds like you're having some communication problems.

What would you like from us at this point?
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Unread 06-08-2022, 06:05 PM   #3
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CX - I tried to delete this thread - didn’t work. I’ve added a new post at #5 - which better explains my questions.

I actually spent quite a bit of time creating a new post but it disappeared twice. Hopefully, I will be able to add photos to the #5 post - and fully explain my issue/problem.
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Last edited by midwest girl; 06-09-2022 at 05:07 PM.
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Unread 06-08-2022, 09:08 PM   #4
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I have seen you posting for some time now as CX said if you add your geographical location, you might find a nice soul from here to come help you out.
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Unread 06-09-2022, 04:36 PM   #5
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I have tried to revise this post several times. I’ve spent A LOT of time typing information out - but keep losing stuff - and am frustrated. I explained how the current walls/shower pan/curb has been built in master bathroom. I’ve also explained how the walls have been built/prepped in the hall bathroom. I believe that there are issues that need to be corrected before proceeding with the installation of tile. My SO thinks I’m a little whacko at this point.

This property is located in Leawood, Kansas (extremely nice suburb of Kansas City - and I want this to be finished correctly). I spend quite a bit of time downtown Chicago + in Santa Monica. However, this house is important because it is where my family is located (plus, I own it outright - on my own - and it is “my security” in the event my relationship fails (not planning on that but you never know what might happen in the future).

I am happy to add photos of the existing state of the shower + tub surround in hall bathroom. I do not believe that the previous work was done correctly. I assumed that a new contractor would thoroughly inspect the existing work - and then decided what should be torn out and replaced.

It is difficult to find a contractor who is willing to come in and complete a project that’s been started.

I truly expected that cbu would have to be removed and reinstalled + new surface waterproofing membrane added (for MB shower + hall bathroom tile surround in alcove).

I also had questions about whether the existing shower pan would need to be completely removed (constructed out of deck mud + kerdi surface membrane + RedGard rolled on top of kerdi (I have NO IDEA why this was done).

Anyway - SO found new tile installer. He’s from Jordan - was taught by his father and his grandfather. It was a family business handed down from generation to generation.

New contractor made a comment about shower pan - and that he didn’t want to warrant it. I explained that I understood if it needed to be removed and a new one installed instead (he prefers using kerdi). However, instead of taking me up on adding this to the scope of work, he’s left it off (but has not added language about not warranting pan).

I’m still not comfortable - I want pan to be done correctly. Two other contractors inspected pan and said that they felt it was well constructed (except confused about added RedGard). Both contractors wanted to just use it vs ripping it out. I just don’t want issues down the road. I’d rather pay to have it done correctly now - before spending $$$ on tile and labor.

Also, he does not think that the cbu needs to be removed/replaced - even though they also have kerdi + RedGard . Also, the original contractor installed a pvc liner (flat on subfloor - no pre-slope - which is what started my issues with original contractor). He did not notch it into the studs - and simply ran the cbu on the walls. So, I assume that the walls he built are not square/plumb (whatever term I should use - I’m on pain meds right now). I assume that may cause issues when installing tile) for example, lippage or whatever - it is only 3x9).

FYI - two other contractors wanted to remove the cbu and reinstall using only one type of waterproofing material.


Currently, he hasn’t added any language about not warranting the pan. Maybe he thinks his oral disclaimer is enough. SMH.

I explained to him that the slate tile had been installed by the original contractor - but has some bonding issues. I told him that I had someone tear out the newly tiled floor because of the issues. I explained that the cbu was actually easy to remove because the original contractor failed to use mortar between the cbu and the subfloor - and instead simply screwed the cbu down.

I sent him a text specifically asked about how he will prepare the subfloor in order to install the slate tile. He obviously didn’t understand what I meant since he simply responded to my question by explaining that he will install 1/4” cement board and use a medium bed mortar to install the slate.

However, I was specifically asking about deflection related to joists (spacing/support/dimension of actual wood used) + the requirement for two layers of wood subfloor for stability when installing natural stone (needs twice as much “stability” as regular ceramic tiles - I’m not sure that I’m using any of the correct terms here - but I assume that you all know what I’m trying to say - again, my mind is a little cloudy right now).


My understanding is that a tile professional should not install tile if he/she is not confident that the underlying substrate meets the standards required for the particular type tile.

I’ve read many posts on JBF where people have commented about not wanting to work on some project because once he/she touches it, he/she becomes responsible for all future problems/issues.

My last issue is related to using marble tiles - two other contractors told me that they’d use miter edges on the outside corners. This new contractor s said that miters are basically impossible when using marble. He wants to use schluter trim - however, I don’t want to use it because it has a modern look - not what I’m going for with all,the marble I’m using. I’ve suggested using butt corners instead - and polishing just the short edges of the outside tiles. I even offered to help do this if he’d show me how to do it. He also suggested using pencils everywhere - which I don’t want.


FYI - he prefers to speak with my SO even though I actually own the house + am the one who has researched all of the issues + designed the bathroom + selected all materials. However, I don’t care as long as I can get these bathrooms completed ASAP.

Living without even a functioning tub for several weeks completely SUCKS! I’m sure my sister is just as tired as I am about having to run over an use one of her bathrooms!

Also, stress greatly affects my health - I’ve already been to the ER twice due to all of this stress.

Ive already tried to find members of TCNA - not many options - three of them aren’t even in business anymore. Others have bad reviews or haven’t heard back from them yet.

I apologize for any grammatical errors/mistakes - I’m not feeling well at all - and am not proofing my typing. Thanks for understanding.
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Unread 06-09-2022, 06:11 PM   #6
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Hi Dani,

We will need to see pictures.

I am also concerned that so many differnt systems and product brands were used. Further, I'm not sure your installer from Jordan is up on our current standards of installation.
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Unread 06-09-2022, 10:03 PM   #7
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Dani, if you don't put that geographic location into your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.
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Unread 06-09-2022, 11:56 PM   #8
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Dani, you’re probably not a whack

Just in a bit of a predicament, I’d reach out to an established company and go forward from there. When time is against you, it’s not worth throwing good money for bad work, costs you more in the end.

Ideally anything subpar should be 86’d and brought to spec via new work, although time, price and skill set are driving factors into what options are applicable.

Ryan with Victory Outdoor Services is a top notch established contractor out of Wisconsin, reach out to him for a recommendation on a tile contractor or remodeler.

Best of luck and hope your recovery is going well!
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Unread 06-12-2022, 04:30 PM   #9
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I live in KC about 15 mins from Leawood. I don't tile anymore and sadly of the few installers I know, I wouldn't trust any of them to build a shower for me. I did carpet in the beginning of my flooring career ( before moving on to hardwood and tile) and worked in many upscale homes, like the nationals in Parkville Mo, Iron horse in southern JOCO and I am sure I probably installed carpet in some of your neighbors houses. Even in those million dollar+ homes, the installers are still building leaky showers and not following the industry standards. The problem is that for every 1000 guys installing tile in KC and else where, there is one that truly knows what he/she is doing and is following the TCNA guidelines. This website is proof of it and you only see a fraction of what is really happing out there. Even with the NTCA there is no guarantees that the installer you find there is going to do the job correctly. You need to find someone like the people that post here on a regular basis and unfortunately I don't know anyone like that, that is local, matter of fact of all the installers I have spoke to over the years not one has been familiar with this forum, which is sad and troubling because this the best resource I have ever found to help me up my tile game and become a better installer. (I have told everyone that I meet that does tile, if you want to know everything about tile from people that are way better than you are at it, then look up john bridge forum and start reading)

All that said I would be more than happy to meet with you and see what you have, what is salvageable and help you vet a new tile guy Feel free to PM me
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