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Poll: Was the tile setter CORRECT to fill in the pits, or was it simply a sloppy job?
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Was the tile setter CORRECT to fill in the pits, or was it simply a sloppy job?

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Old 09-12-2006, 03:21 AM   #1
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HELP! Question About Lousy Tile Setting Job...


Hello!

My wife and I purchased a home recently and the flooring company just installed the tile that we selected. It's a finished porcelain tile with pitting to resemble natural stone. The installers did a sloppy job and filled in most of the pits when grouting and apparently did not wipe it clean before it dried. It's been over a week. Is there any way to remedy this, short of ripping out all the tile and starting over? Also, this would be considered unacceptable to a quality installation, wouldn't it? After all, the tile now has much lighter colored spots due to the grout-filled pits.

Also, in our bathroom, they installed natural travertine, but when
running my hand over it today, many edges seem to be too high, which I can't imagine is right. Is there a test to confirm what IS and what is NOT proper regarding the height of the tile edges? This can be quite
dangerous, especially in a bathroom.

We have our walk-though before we close on this new home and want to speak with authority to the customer service rep who will take us through the house for our inspection. Can you please advise me what we should say so we can appear to be knowledgeable on the subject, and not subject to the sub-contractor trying to wiggle out of what appears to be a poor job?

Thanks so very much for your time and expertise.

Eric

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Old 09-12-2006, 11:17 PM   #2
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HELP! Question About Lousy Tile Setting Job...


Eric asked me this question at another site called AllExperts. I am interested in hearing what others might think about this situation.

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Old 09-13-2006, 06:39 AM   #3
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Personally I don't think the pits should have been filled in. IMO it ruins the look of the tile. If you wanted smooth tile then you would have picked tile without pits. I realize it is hard to grout and not fill them in a little bit. I have yet to lay any of that type of tile but have always wanted too. The only advantage to filling them in is there is no room now for dirt and such to get into the pits.

Just my .02 worth, Dave.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:06 AM   #4
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I would say that whether or not the pits should be filled should have been discussed before hand. Its somewhat of an ambiguous situation, but I would lean toward the installer having the responsability to ask you how you felt. Some people actually prefer the spaces to be grouted. I wouldn't. LIke Dave said, you wouldn't have gone with a natural tile if you wanted the whole thing grouted. It would have been a pain to grout without filling them in in the conventional grouting sense, but the use of a grout bag or - what I think I would have done - taping off the tile surfaces prior to grouting, would have enabled the original look to be preserved. As far as what to say, I would just be honest and tell them that you chose that particular tile for its look, and now that look is compromised. Tell them that you would really appreciate finding a way to restore the look so that the tile looks like what you chose originally. If they resist or blame you, then it's plan B.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:19 AM   #5
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As far as the tavertine floor goes, the test is pretty simple. I mean, if it seems like the tiles are not level to you, I'm sure they aren't. It may be that they were set inconsistantly or that the subfloor is not level. Either way, again the responsability lies with the installers to either set the tiles level or address any concerns with the subfloor before hand. I would mention this to them as well. Remedy here - tear it out and do right the second time.


Florcraft - we are interested in what you have to say as well, what advice did you give our friend? You are in fact, the floor expert, and very good in your postings. I've seen from your past posts you shoot from the hip and give elaborate advice.

Last edited by J187; 09-13-2006 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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HELP! Question About Lousy Tile Setting Job...


I done my fireplace tiling with natural stone tiles, grouting is in fact a challenge, I didn't fill the pit... but I didn't think of using the tape , I used grout bag, finger, stick..etc.... it is an ok job... but definitely much difficult than when grouting the kitchen tiles...

I think the installer probably don't have experience, as I read book , it talked about grouting on stones, it shouldn't be done the same way as regular smooth tiles... this is not an option... it said "grout bag" is the only option...
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:47 AM   #7
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HELP! Question About Lousy Tile Setting Job...


My advice J187, was almost exactly like yours.

I told Eric that the resposibility lies in the installer checking to see what the customer wanted.
the leveling seemed like an installer issue too.

Eric will be going to inspect with the builder and wants to be prepared.
So I told him to go out with a straight edge for the level.
But as far as the grout, it can be complicated, because the liability MAY lie with the floor store that the client choose the tile from if indeed that is the case.
I would also assume that if there was a discussion of filled or not filled, then there would have been a discussion about upgrades as well. seeing how using a grout bag or whatever to prevent the tile from being filled on the face would cost more money.
So I concluded that there was NO discussion on that, and the liability falls on the person who helped the client decide on tile it would seem.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:23 PM   #8
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Good point. I was assuming the installer/sales person belonged to one establishment, but that's a silly assumption on my part.

Eric my last bit of advice is this - be firm. You are the customer here and regardless who's fault it is, it's not yours. This is home. It's not your breakfast that got screwed up here, presumably you'll be living here for many years with however you leave this. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:27 PM   #9
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I would even go further insisting it is common sense not to grout that way on stone tiles... and ask for clean up if not possible, then replacement,... ..... I never see stone tiles got grout on surface up to my forty somthing years...
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:17 PM   #10
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I think I hit the wrong button to vote, because I would definitley not think that the pits should have been grouted, based on the same arguments as above. Make that vote 0% to 100%.
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:02 PM   #11
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HELP! Question About Lousy Tile Setting Job...


You indicate that this is a new home and you are doing a walk through. That means someone else still owns the home because you have not closed yet. Make your feelings known about the things that you do not like. A builder is not going to want something like this holding a deal that is almost complete. They should be willing to have the problems that you bring forward resolved.

You are paying big money for a house, make sure you get what you want.

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