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Unread 06-23-2006, 06:09 PM   #1
Tilemanbry
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Waffle House + Mapie = Anger


Ok, here's the deal.

Been working for a tile company in central Ohio since '01. Went from a helper to grouter to installer to estimator and now I help out whereever I can for the company. I landed a Waffle House in Columbus last fall and we sub'd it out as we were doing a Logan's and a Holiday Inn at the same time.

Well the SI called us up and asked if we could do 6 more during this summer/fall. 6 weeks apart and we have 5 days to do them in. Said sure no problem. Doesn't pay the greatest but it's fast summer cash.

Here lies the problem.......dunno if any of you have done a Waffle House before or ever noticed but they use a specially made tile just for Waffle House that is "Super" abrasive. The abrasive tile at Dal Tile doesn't come close in comparison. The top of the tile seems to be coated with some type of crystal/glass and once you grout 20 SqFt of it your sponge is gone. To top that off they use Mapie Ultracolor Charcoal grout which is fast setting and is easy to float in as bubble gum.

Boss called me in to see if I could get it done any faster than the last crew we had in there. I've done countless SF on all types of tile and I'm only second to him as he's been in the buisness 25 years and taught me everything I know.

When I first walked on the tile and knew I was in for trying times. I floated, went back and sponged it. Very time consuming and you have to run the sponge over the same spot several times to pick up all the grout which means, new sponge every 20 ft. Next I tried to drag it with a drag rag. Didn't work to well as again, tore the hell out of the rag and it didn't pick up all of the grout between the crevices. Next I tried my grout bucket but again, sponge was tore up and it kept falling off the handle. Sooooooo....went to Dal tile and bought some grout release. 4 Hours later I tried the original sponge method but the results were the same.

So what I have came up with is using the grout release, just in case it does do a little better, with the sponge method but I don't spend alot of time in one area. I try to get the heavy off as much as I can and then keep on moving. The following day we bring in Sure Clean with wire brushes. Hit it with the cleaner, take the wire brushes and hit any spots that didn't come up with the sponge. This is not the best method in terms of cost of materials but is the best method in terms of time.

Just wondering if anyone has had to deal with the dreaded Super Abrasive Waffle House 8 x 8 w/ Mapie Ultracolor Charcoal and if so how did you deal with it?

And by all means, if you think my method can help you out then go for it. Just make sure the GC likes you and will provide the tools/material you need to get the job done faster.
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Unread 06-23-2006, 06:15 PM   #2
Davestone
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I used to use a black buffer pad, cut into hand size pieces,,it's cheap and you get about a dozen pieces of it out of one 20" buffer pad.With the grout release you can let the grout set pretty hard,before you begin wiping.I also used a buffer with one of these pads, but ya gotta go slow,or it'll catch and throw you through a window.
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Unread 06-23-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
Tilemanbry
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about the buffer. First day I came on the job site I joked around asking if that tile was even legal. If someone falls it would rip the skin something fierce and you'd much rather have concrete burn.

Might try the idea you gave and thanks.

I should also mention while I was grouting I asked the SI if they ever thought about putting a wax coating over the top of the tile. Grout it and then come back with a powerwasher to remove the wax. Heard that it's been done before but never seen it personally.
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Unread 06-23-2006, 06:37 PM   #4
Davestone
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Yeah, that might be a good idea..anything that's thick and sturdy, but removable would probably work well.There is also a painters masking that is put on with a brush, that you can peel off later, but that would probably be labor intensive.
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