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Old 05-18-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
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bad tiling job

I had my kitchen remodeled and three rooms tiled a month ago. The tile and grout is from Home Depot but the installer was subcontracted by the contractor for the whole job. I am very disappointed in the tile job. The grout lines are not even, some of them 1/8 inch and some up to 3/8. I know the tile edges are somewhat beveled and the color is marbled. Some of the grout is really white and can somewhat push it out. The other is antique white which I was advised would turn a little darker after sealing. It has not turned any darker and the rooms look checkered board looking. The contractor is blaming Home Depot saying it was the grout but I don't agree. I think the installer is at fault. He has agreed to regrout what is loose but my question is should I insist on all of it being regrouted and use a darker color. I'm afraid my choice of contractors was not the best but I'm afraid I will have to make the best of the tile lines being asqued. Please give me some advice!


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Old 05-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #2
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You should first realize that not all tile from a home center is top notch stuff. Tiles even from the same lot can be different sizes, but not 3/8" different. The grout sold at Home Depot is Polyblend, a quality product.
Crumbling grout means movement in the floor structure. Not all floor structures are suitable for tiling without some improvements being made first. Mis-aligned tiles at the corners are the fault of the installer, there is no other reason with the exception of tile sizes having some variance but not much.

Sealers WILL NOT darken your grout. In fact sealers are created so that they DO NOT DARKEN GROUT. That's the way they are made.

ENHANCERS on the other hand could darken grout if that is what you want. Enhancers are made for stone tiles to bring out the natural beauty of the stone. You don't have an enhancer.

To protect yourself you should use something like a wooden spoon or a plastic screwdriver handle and tap each and every tile. If you get a hollow report you have loose tile. Don't let this thing go with a simple re-grout and be left holding the bag on a total tear-out in six months.

I don't see any way that Home Depot is the culprit in this. This is 100% on the installer.

If you have cracking grout now, re-grouting isn't going to change any of that problem. It WILL crack again. Your problem is movement, not grout quality.

Any experienced and upstanding installer or contractor would have appraised the structure BEFORE any tile was installed.


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Old 05-18-2011, 03:50 PM   #3
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i think the installer is at fault too. if the grout is really white and week in some areas, it was probably mixed too wet which will weaken it. i installed tile for HD and Lowes for a while. lots of work and the money was good but the tiles were horrible in most cases, sizing,colors imperfections and they will try send you a load of tiles from several batches. ive seen some of HD plain white 12x12 out of the same box vary 3/16,
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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I agree with both Bud & Mike. First, you don't shop at Home Depot or Lowes if you're looking for good quality tiles. Some are just fine, but nothing special there. However aside from possible size variations, this sounds like as you said, I'm afraid my choice of contractors was not the best I think the tile guy is not a tile setter, or the standards are very low.

Can you post some pictures? Is this floor a suspended wooden subfloor or on a slab? Do you know all the steps taken in installing and specifically what products were used? Do the tests Bud mentioned and let us know.

TILE GUY - retired- TROY, MI - Method & Product suitability consulting.

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