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Unread 09-16-2006, 12:44 PM   #1
Toni
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What to ask before hiring?

We're considering having tile installed in our entry, living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. As much as we'd love to save the $$ by DIY, we really want this job done well and we are humble enough to be able to admit that we need a professional.

So, what questions should we ask before we hire an installer?

Thanks in advance for any input you pros can give!

~Toni
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Unread 09-16-2006, 12:58 PM   #2
maggiethelab
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Couple of questions for you:
1) What type of floor is it?
2) What kind of tile do you want to put down? (Ceramic, stone, etc.)
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Unread 09-16-2006, 01:22 PM   #3
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Also are you having a tile shower pan done? That would give us a bunch more questions you could ask.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 01:42 PM   #4
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We plan on using ceramic tile and are considering one from American Marazzi, but have not decided what size we want. We'd prefer fewer grout lines but our kitchen is only 10 X 11, so we aren't sure if 16" tiles would look ok. We want the whole area to look as spacious as possible.

The bathroom is on the second floor. Using the deflectolator, we determined that we're ok as far as support goes. The subfloor is plywood but I don't know the thickness right off the top of my head. No tiled shower or anything except the floor, unfortunately.

The rest of the rooms are on concrete slab, which was stained, sealed, and waxed. I'm assuming we'll need to strip the wax. Entry, living room, dining room, and kitchen are all connected and total around 550 square feet.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 01:45 PM   #5
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Definetly ask how they intend to install, ask for specifics with regards to materials used.( what type of thinset, will they use backerboard or a membrane like Ditra) Do they intend to protect areas that need it; like cabinet faces ect. Make sure they can commit to doing the job without interuption...not leave and come back after another job is finished, in the middle mof yours. Ask for references and I would like to see a job in progress.

I also would never give more than 1/2 the $$$ up front.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 08:09 PM   #6
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It's very important that the wax and sealer is removed from the slab. Ask how they plan on doing that. I would try a floor machine and course sandpaper, HD rents them.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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Just axe'em if they's members in good standing of Tile Your World forums.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 08:34 PM   #8
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"Good standing", that leaves most of us out.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 09:01 PM   #9
Toni
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Davy, I understand why the wax needs to be stripped but why does the sealer need to come off?

CX, I'd be happy to find an installer who uses this forum!
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Unread 09-16-2006, 09:15 PM   #10
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The slab needs to be able to absorb moisture for the thinset to bond. The wax and sealer seals it off.
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Unread 09-16-2006, 10:04 PM   #11
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It never crossed my mind that the floor would need to be sanded. {Insert curse words here.}
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Unread 09-16-2006, 10:45 PM   #12
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Actually, I hope the sand paper does the trick and you don't havta take a grinder or something similar and grind the slab. This is a very important step. It'll be a mess too.
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Unread 09-17-2006, 04:28 AM   #13
tileguytodd
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Hiya Toni & welcome aboard..............we got lots of texas folks hereabouts. Unfortunatly they are so busy they rarely see the light of day

That being the case, how about we just move ya'll up here to northern MN where we could get you taken care of ( well at least before Christmas )

OK here we go
Ask them specifically how they intend to do the job step by step (tell them you are getting other bids and you want to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples as you realize a low bid is not necessarily a good bid)

This should get you some specifics on methods.
Also get specifics on what Materials will be used.
What Brand of setting materials and which Flavor so to speak.
Will they be using an Anti fracture membrane on the slab and if so which brand.
What will they use for an underlayment on the plywood
How will they deal with plywood to slab transition
Will expansion joints be required and how will these be dealt with.
What type of edges will be used where the tile meets the carpet? wood floor? etc.

WRITE DOWN THE ANSWERS
Then come on back and we can give you an idea as to who's got a clue and who is clueless at the very least
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Unread 09-17-2006, 09:03 AM   #14
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Todd, If I understood right, the bathroom is the only room that's wood and it's upstairs. The rest is downstairs on slab, so we don't have any tranistions.

Toni, where bouts in East Texas are ya?
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Unread 09-18-2006, 07:27 AM   #15
Toni
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Davy, we're in the Lufkin/Nacogdoches area.

Yes, the bathroom is the only area which has a wood subfloor. The downstairs area (entry, living room, dining room, and kitchen) will all be the same tile. The only transitions are where the tile will meet the stairs, which are carpeted. There are 2 small sets of stairs, one which goes down to the computer room and one which goes up to bedrooms and bathrooms.

I wish we could get away with not having to get the floor sanded. I'm sure it will be messy and I can't imagine how much it will add to the labor costs.
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