I am currently having a problem with a 1500 s.f travertine tile (18x18) installed over self leveler in new construction. I used a self leveler with a lifetime warrenty and the floor was installed 8 months ago. The travertine is spider webbing with no set pattern. The self leveling company says they are not responsibe becauce the deflection rate of the floor for travertine should have been L/720. According to the structual engineer the floor is in excess of L/360. Their is a large granite island installed in the kitchen and the Homeowners are using a Large slab kitchen table that must weigh 2 ton. Who is at fault? The contractor did not know the natural stone is to be installed on the floor at the time of construction, and no one knew that the homeowner was going to put that much weight on the floor with the table. I have never heard of a contractor building a floor with a deflection rate of L/720. The Homeowner wants the spider webbing tiles replaced and I think it will just happen all over again. Installation of the travertine was done with preimun thin set allowing for 1/8" movement and the self leveling was installed correctly...any thoughts out there?
I'm currently going through my house and stiffing the structure where I will be installing stone.
My guess as to who is responsible would be however made a late decision to install travertine and/or the installer of the travertine for not recognizing that the floor isn't stiff enough. According to the experts, natural stone needs a minimum of L/720.
Agreed. L/720 is a very stiff floor, but is what it takes for a natural stone tile, especially an 18" one.
Although the architect/engineer should have caught it if the floor material was specified on the plans (which it wasn't you say), the ultimate responsibility falls on the tile installer for installing a product on a substandard substrate for that product. The tile guy's the tile expert, and should review the structural aspects of the plan and the as-built condition to determine if the floor was adequate.
Replacing the tiles won't do any good. They'll fail again.
Look up ANSI A108.01 paragraph 2.3. It states floor systems including the framing and subfloor panels have to be installed in compliance with IRC for residential applications, The IBC for commercial or applicable building codes.
There is a note that follows:
"NOTE- The owner shall communicate in writing to the project design professional and general contractor the intended use of the tile installation,in order to enable the design pro & GC to make any necessary allowances for the expected live load, concentrated loads, impact loads, and dead loads including weight of the tile and setting bed. The installer shall not be responsible for any floor framing or subfloor framing or subfloor installation not compliant with applicable building codes, unless the installer or tile contractor designs and installs the floor framing or subfloor." Quote is from ANSI A108.01 paragraph 2.3
This change took place in 2005 and is new.
The TCNA 2008 handbook also states basically the same things, but in a condensed version of ANSI A108
The note at the bottom of every page covering tile over a wood structure has this note. It refers to page 12 for subfloor and substrate requirements by other trades. It also states tt\he Marble Institute of America references this handbook for certain dimensional stone. (Check the Stone Design Manual for which stones are referenced).
With this info I have given you, I suggest you talk to a lawyer before proceeding as every one is going to point fingers at you. At least you have something to go on now.
I realize there are many contractors out there that don't know this was changed in 2005. I'm extremely happy to say it did finally happen and this was after many years of work to make this a part of reality.
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