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Unread 05-19-2021, 01:45 PM   #1
dannydan
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Tile contractor giving me the run around?

Southern California. Shower hot mopped last Wednesday.
Tile contractor doesn't show up for the job on Monday morning as originally scheduled. Finally shows up Tuesday morning at 10:00am. One guy working alone. Puts on what looks to be like a first coat of concrete, leaves at 1:30pm. Told me they'd come the next morning at 8:30am to resume. Next morning they don't show up until 10:30am. A guy shows up (probably a manager), telling me he needs to "check something" in the shower. I was already prepared for BS. So of course after a quick walk around he says "the concrete hasn't dried yet, "maybe a couple more days".
I call up the restoration company, they defend him, saying that the first scratch can take anywhere from 12-72 hours to dry and they "don't always know how long it will take". They also say that "they put on a thick layer" so that's why it could take longer.
Am I being given the run around, or is there any truth to this?

Attaching some photos of how things are looking right now. To me it doesn't even look like the first coat was completed.
Edit: here are the images on Imgur as it looks like some of them were cropped.
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Unread 05-19-2021, 02:04 PM   #2
Just In Tile LLC
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Yeah Danny that doesn’t look good at all, that scratch doesn’t need to be fully cured to apply finish coat. Mud can be messy, but most try to clean it up a little to look professional. Of course I can only go by those pictures but appears the mud guy is a little in over his head and might not have too much experience in mud. The “scratch” coat doesn’t appear to be scratched at all.
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Unread 05-19-2021, 02:32 PM   #3
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Danny, if you don't put that geographic location into your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.

I agree with Justin. Not only do I see no "thick layer" areas, which can be present if the installer is trying to plumb and square the shower area, but the scratch coat is simply missing in some areas. While it could be possible to want to do that when truing up a wall, I see no evidence of such in your photos. And, as Justin pointed out, your scratch coat doesn't appear to have been scratched.

The industry standard for cure times of such a mud bed is a minimum of 20 hours, but longer cure times are desired. That applies to the finished coat that will have the tile installed, not the scratch coat of a scratch-and-brown mortar bed. I'd hafta say there is a completely different reason your contractor is putting you off. Likely looking for a competent mud man to try to salvage that project would be my best guess.

The lath does not appear to be properly fastened in some areas. Did you observe what was behind the lath before they started that scratch coat installation?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-19-2021, 09:32 PM   #4
dannydan
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I asked the restoration company to use a different sub contractor.
Do you guys think this work is salvageable? Or do we need to start from square one?
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Unread 05-22-2021, 06:47 AM   #5
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Based off those pictures I’m going to lean with a new guy will want to at least tear down the walls and flood the pan to make sure he’s covering his own butt before proceeding. That’s what I would do in that situation. My reputation staying clean is more important than putting in time over someone else’s prep work if it looks to be careless. Especially in a shower situation.
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Unread 05-22-2021, 08:31 AM   #6
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Can you tear down the walls without re-doing the hot mop? The demo guys worked very hard to get it back down to "bare bones".
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Unread 05-22-2021, 09:15 AM   #7
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Danny, I've never installed a hot-mop shower receptor, but my reading about them indicates that the people who do that work sometimes make repairs by torching and adding some of the tar substance.

I wouldn't really want a hot-mop to begin with, but if I had one I don't think doing some repairs of that sort would be a problem.

I know you're in a location where hot-mop apparently still rules, but were I to tear out that shower to start over I'd want to do it with a PVC or CPE liner.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-22-2021, 01:02 PM   #8
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I scratch all my showers and not only does it set up over night, The next day I'll usually spray the scratch coat with my garden sprayer to add moisture to it before adding my finish coat.
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Unread 05-22-2021, 06:08 PM   #9
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Starting my career in hot mop country I can't see why tearing the wire out would affect anything...unless it was fastened into that seat area... in which case you'd want to start fresh again anyway. The company I worked for always treated hot mop like pan liner material, we never fastened into it but bent our wire over the seats and down the front and let the scratch "bond" the wire to the hot mop.

Because the mud work looks so careless I'd want to tear it down to framing, (hot mops aren't my favorite but are pretty resilient when it comes to damaging them) so if it were my job I'd tear out walls and leave hot mop but make sure they didn't fasten into the seat anywhere, flood test, rewire, and scratch and float. I just don't trust sloppy tradesmen... again..especially on a shower. I see it as why waste time and material from this point forward not KNOWING if it's done right at this point. So easy to fix now vs later when all the high dollar material is on it.
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Unread 06-13-2021, 10:11 PM   #10
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Angry

Alright, so unfortunately because the builder is paying for this repair I didn't get much say in which contractor was selected or what methods / materials were used. The restoration company was convinced there's no need to start over so I just said the hell with it and let them continue on top of that sloppy job. I did insist they hire a different tile company, so at least I won that battle.
Unfortunately, while the tile job is now complete, standing on the shower floor feels extremely odd...it is uneven and "wavy". And though I think the intention was to have a slope towards the drain, my previous shower was far more flat and comfortable to stand in. Please tell me this is normal and that I don't need to start over, because frankly this 2 month long project is now really getting on my nerves...

Here's a photo of the "finished" product, not shower if the issue comes through in the photo though.
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Unread 06-13-2021, 10:46 PM   #11
Lazarus
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Well, the floor looks pretty good....but I can't step on it as you can. I imagine if they give you a warrantee and the floor doesn't bother you too much, you might just wanna go with it.
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Unread 06-14-2021, 12:04 AM   #12
jadnashua
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If you take a straightedge, you should get approximately a straight line/slope down from any edge towards the drain. If it goes uphill, or is flat, or has depressions, that's not great.

After a shower, are there any birdbaths?
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Unread 06-14-2021, 06:11 AM   #13
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Not a bad looking install, looks quite nice. Can't tell by the pics how the slope of the floor is, but I'll echo what Jim has said.
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Unread 09-01-2021, 12:54 AM   #14
dannydan
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Angry

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this newly constructed shower is also leaking...
At least this time in a new location.

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You can see the door frame is completely swollen, the carpet on the other side (master closet) is also moist. Same side of the wall as the shower head.
Let me guess...tear it down, start from scratch, right?
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Unread 09-01-2021, 08:56 AM   #15
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Probably, but first you'll wanna determine for sure if it's the shower leaking or the plumbing.

You'll need to let it dry out first to do any effective testing, but I'd wanna remove the shower head and install a pipe cap on the supply pipe and turn the shower on for a day and see if you detect any leak.

If not, then I'd plug the drain and fill the receptor from a separate source to near the curb top and see if that duplicates the leak.

If still not, there's perhaps hope that it's a leak at the surround, but you'd likely be able to detect that visually before you started any testing.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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