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Unread 01-21-2018, 10:37 AM   #1
VToutdoors
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Project - Ive gone this far, guess Ill do it myself

Hello,
I have been working on a bathroom remodel for some time now, hoping I am about done, and would appreciate any advice/recommendations from this forum. It is a 43 sqft bathroom in a 1950s ranch. My goal has been to rebuild it as solid as possible, its the main bathroom for the house and kids will be using it.

I originally hired Contractors for this job, but found it increasingly difficult to find people I could trust and build to code and manufacture's specifications. After having the bathroom completely remodeled with an acrylic tub, tiled tub surround, and a slate floor; I found 3" holes cut through top 1/3 of joists, the new subfloor caught on the edge of old subfloor (not on joists), and non-code compliant plumbing, I decided to undertake the job myself. The bathroom would not be able to handle the subfloor flexure, sounded terrible, and the tub sank when filled with water. Wish I knew then what I know now.

I have read quite a bit on this and other forums and rebuilt the bathroom as best I could.
- Doubled up all supporting joists, floor deflection is greater than 720, verified by an Engineer.
- New 5/8th Advantech flooring has replaced most of the original 5/8th subfloor and a second sheet of 5/8 Advantech installed across the entire bathroom, not glued down, just screwed.
- Installed Kohler Bellwether Cast iron tub and all plumbing brought back IPC code compliance.

I have never tiled a thing in my life. I hired a "Tile Contractor" but was not happy with his technique. ignored additional wall blocking, GoBoard 22" o.c. said walls would be flexible when done, drywall joint compound over thinset on backerboard, didnt like any questions and eventally stated that he didnt have time for the job and we parted ways (2 weeks later I still have his tools in my garage). So Ill be finishing it up on my own.

The plan is to install a 3x6 subway tub surround to the ceiling and a 2" hexagon honed marble floor. I have looked at the new foam backer boards, but I prefer the rigidity of cement backerboards.

Current plan:
Walls - Hardiebacker, mesh tape, thinset, and hydroban.
Floors - Thinset, either Stratta Mat or Ditra Mat. Ive read that I need to use a white thinset for the marble floor.

So here are my questions:
- What thinsets should I be considering? The tile contractor had started to use Laticrete 853 Gold on the floor and left 3 bags of it in my garage. The local tile store sells Laticrete products.
- Would Stratta Mat or Ditra Mat be better for the 2" marble hexagons?

I appreciate any help/advice/recommendations anyone has.

Thanks,
Adam
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Unread 01-21-2018, 01:29 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Adam,

Laticrete 253 is fine.

Either mat. Both are good.
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Unread 01-22-2018, 11:47 AM   #3
Sharon @ LATICRETE
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Hi Adam -
STRATA_MAT with 253 Gold (White) should work well with 2” tile.
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Unread 01-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #4
VToutdoors
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Thank you for the responses
Any reason I should use Laticrete 254 Platinum instead of the 253 Gold?
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Unread 01-23-2018, 09:39 AM   #5
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Ethical Dilema

Not sure what to do.

I hired a tile contractor to install backerboard around a tub, tile a tub surround and floor. I spent over a year rebuilding the bathroom prior. Waited 4 months for him to start.

When he started he didn't like me asking anything, he just wanted to work. Then informed me that he is too busy and wishes he had put the job off for another month.

I wasn't pleased with the work he was doing:

- Didn't follow GoBoards installation instructions requiring supports be 16" o.c. and ignored additional blocking. Said the wall would be flexible when he was done.
- Did not want to follow GoBoard's installation instructions requiring a 1/8th gap between tub and GoBoard to be sealed with polyurethane sealant
- After using thinset on the backerboard, he installed moisture resistant drywall above the 5 ft GoBoard and used Drywall Joint Compound over thinset at the top (4- 5 ft above tub) stating it would never get wet. He was going to Hyrdoban the Joint compound prior to installing tile 1 foot onto drywall with 3x6 subway tile
- Was going to use grey Laticrete 853 in a white marble floor.
- I felt that there were enough alarm bells going off and we parted ways.
- After 2 weeks his tools are still at my house and he sent me an invoice.

After seeing his work, I didn't want to use anything he installed. I torn out everything and happy that I did. The strata mat came up VERY easy, could still see trowel marks.

So heres the question. Do I pay the guy?
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Unread 01-23-2018, 09:49 AM   #6
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Did you take pictures of the loose matting with the trowel marks or anything else? If he were to take you to small claims court that would be your reasoning for not paying.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 09:57 AM   #7
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Adam -
254 Platinum is a better option, but, since you already have 253 Gold this will also work.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 09:59 AM   #8
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It’s more a legal dilemma than an ethical one at this point. The fact that he’d rather have not been doing the work than doing it, to me is a red flag. What’s done is done. Since you removed the work he did, there’s really no option for him, to make it right. Did you have written communication with him as to your dissatisfaction? Pictures are helpful, but without documentation that he knew the work was unsatisfactory; to a third party, It looks like you decided to destroy his work on your own. Sounds like he’s too busy to take action to collect his fee, but he’s within his rights to do so. Your word against his as to the quality of the work. I don’t think you can hold his tools hostage. I don’t know if a customer can file a mechanic’s lien against a tradesman. Usually it’s vice-versa. It’s a crap situation. Sorry you got into something like this.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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I saw too many red flags. Any concern I brought up, he didn't want to acknowledge. After I stopped work on the bathroom, he disappeared for a week and a half, left everything in my garage. Id happily give him back his tools. I have them organized by the garage door.

My wife does disagree with the amount of time he's charging for. She was home everyday with our kid. I did take some pictures, unfortunately none of the trowel marks on the bottom of the strata mat. But it will be my word against his. He states that this is how he does it and it works. Whether its correct is a different story.

Am I wrong to think that you don't put Joint Compound over a backerboard and then apply hydroban to it? Why wouldn't you just use thinset where the tile will go? His argument is it will never get wet.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 10:27 AM   #10
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Hi Adam,

I think removing his work was a mistake. Might be best to work out a compromise with the guy and send him on his way. Have him sign a lien release when you hand him money.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 10:41 AM   #11
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I didn't like the install that I saw and didn't want to use it as the foundation for my tiling. I guess Ill try to work out a compromise with the guy. Its less money now than having to redo the tile work down the road. Ive learned a few lesson living in Vermont. #1 there is no contractor accountability if something fails.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 06:01 PM   #12
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Adam, if you had some good documentation of his poor work, as well as some record of conversation between you, you would have an easier time holding him accountable. Since you've in effect destroyed what little evidence there was, I would say you'd have a difficult time proving what he did was substandard.
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Unread 01-23-2018, 09:23 PM   #13
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It's ok to drywall above the shower head. 5ft isn't quite high enough but i'm guessing he was trying to save a little on materials. There should be a gap between the flange and the board but it's easy enough to cut in after-the-fact.
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Unread 01-24-2018, 08:46 AM   #14
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Here is a photo of the work done around the tub surround. His plan was to hydroban all joint compound and drywall, leaving 12" of drywall above the tile to the ceiling. He stated that it will never get wet, its out of the wet area and will never be a problem.
Attached Images
  
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Unread 01-24-2018, 12:52 PM   #15
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Your installer didn't follow the GoBoard directions which requires silicone sealant or mortar with alkili-resistant tape at joints. It also requires silicone sealant where the screws are located. As you point out, there should have been a 1/8" gap between the board and the tub deck as well. I'm guessing that the corner was done with paper drywall tape, not alkili-resistant tape. With all of that said, I'm in the 'give the guy some money to go away' camp, if you went to small claims court it's likely they would award him something for his time.
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