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Old 04-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


We are having our bathroom remodeled by a contractor. The floor was just done and the tile under the sliding pocket door is visibly uneven by little more than 1/4 inch and extends all the way to the corner. This is enough to prevent the pocket door from closing. The contractor suggested we just raise the door a bit to compensate this. I am not sure this is the correct solution.

I further investigated in the basement under the bathroom and see the sub floor off the cross beam that 1/4". It looks like when the bathroom was remodeled years ago they placed a new piece of wood floor, didn't cut it straight enough, and so it wedged too tight to go down flush. Thus, I guess the previous tile was uneven, but just not noticeable.

To save on some cost and time, I removed all the tile before the tile contractor arrived. Is that unevenness something the tile guy should have noticed and addressed before tiling?

Am I being unreasonable to tell the contractor to remove half the tile floor to the point of unevenness fix the floor board and re-tile the area at his cost?

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


This is a pretty tough question, since you did some of the work before the tile installer arrived. It really comes down to what your contract stated the tile installer would do, assuming you have a contract, and assuming the installer is really a professional tile installer and not simply a handyman playing tile installer to save you a few dollars.

Only you know what your contract says. Your contractor of course is obligated to perform to the standards of the contract, nothing more, nothing less. So tell us what was in your contract, and perhaps you can get some reasonable thoughts from the forum.

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Old 04-10-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


Yea....estimate/proposal, no contract. So I might be on the $$ hook for the extra work. Especially since it does say...

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Does not include removal of existing floor, vanity, fixtures, disposal: supplied by owner.
(Tile removal and floor prep if performed by contractor $190)
Now that I have seen the problem, and it looks to be fixable by just screwing down the sub floor flat I think it's definitely worth the fix.

When initially discussing the issue with my contractor I suggested the fix of ripping up the tile in that area (small bathroom, so it would be about 1/3 of the floor), fixing, then re-tiling. He balked saying it would be difficult to match up after the fact with the newly, existing work.

I am sure part of it was him trying not to redo work at his cost, but, taking that out of the equation, is he correct in saying it would be that difficult for the tile guy to relay tile to match what he had just done?

The tile guy is a professional, doing tile for over 40 years.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


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Yea....estimate/proposal, no contract. So I might be on the $$ hook for the extra work.
So you are therefore implying the contractor should do the work for free even if he had noticed the subfloor was not level. Nuts to that.

You're supposed to present the floor ready for whatever the contractor is liable for. Of course if he had noticed I would hope he would have tried to see what was going on and fix it. However that would mean you'd owe him more, to which I can only imagine your response. Not nice to try to get something for free.

OK, back to the problem; You said it's because;
Quote:
It looks like when the bathroom was remodeled years ago they placed a new piece of wood floor, didn't cut it straight enough, and so it wedged too tight to go down flush.
** I just can't imagine that happening, but I don't know who did the work.

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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So you are therefore implying the contractor should do the work for free even if he had noticed the subfloor was not level. Nuts to that.

You're supposed to present the floor ready for whatever the contractor is liable for. Of course if he had noticed I would hope he would have tried to see what was going on and fix it. However that would mean you'd owe him more, to which I can only imagine your response. Not nice to try to get something for free.

OK, back to the problem; You said it's because; ** I just can't imagine that happening, but I don't know who did the work.

Jaz
I'd thank you for the advise but my situation has nothing to do with trying to get anything for free. I'm just trying to figure out if this is an error on the contractor or am I part at fault. Sounds like I am, which, is fine.

I do appreciate, though, your attempt to paint me as a deadbeat. It really warms the soul.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #6
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


Well...sorry, I can appreciate you wanting to back-pedal a bit, but that's where you were going, it seems to me. You made two references to the same. But, fine, we can leave it there.

BTW, the subfloor is the wood that is directly on the joists. The wood you referred to must be an underlayment and was installed over the subfloor. As I said, not sure how that happened, but fixable. Meanwhile, is the room otherwise flat and level, or at least flat?

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Old 04-10-2012, 09:10 PM   #7
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


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Well...sorry, I can appreciate you wanting to back-pedal a bit, but that's where you were going, it seems to me. You made two references to the same. But, fine, we can leave it there.

BTW, the subfloor is the wood that is directly on the joists. The wood you referred to must be an underlayment and was installed over the subfloor. As I said, not sure how that happened, but fixable. Meanwhile, is the room otherwise flat and level, or at least flat?

Jaz
There is no back pedaling and it wasn't where I was going. Not paying for contractor negligence is not the same as asking for free work. If a client tells a contractor to put 2 windows in a wall and he puts in 3, the client should not have to pay for the additional materials and additional labor needed for the unwanted 3rd window to be removed and the project completed as agreed upon at the agreed upon price(unforeseen obstacles outside the hands of the contractor not withstanding.). The client shouldn't pay for the contractor's negligence.

My question pertained to wondering if there is sufficient negligence on the contractor's part not to have noticed the uneven floor to begin with. Had someone come on this thread and said, "Any tiler worth their salt always makes sure they are laying tile on an even surface before beginning the job.", then I might feel there is some recourse. But, since that hasn't happened, looks like I suck it up, which as I said, is fine. I asked this question because I wasn't sure with my situation, especially since I did some of the demo work myself.

Had he caught it before the tile was placed I would gladly, and fully expect, to pay for the work needed to even out the floor. That's one of those unforeseen items that come with any remodeling. But, as it is, tile will need to be removed, additional tile bought, and additional labor to fix the issue and if it was obvious negligence it is not something any client should have to pay. But, in fixing the original issue would understandably be part of the bill.

And, it is the sub floor. You can look up from the basement and see the newer plywood from the last time they remodeled. the sheet of plywood covers 3 joists, on 2 of them it lays flat, on the third you can see it eventually rise up about the 1/4" over a distance of about 2 feet. And it is right up against the old wood, tight enough to look like they miscut the plywood and just tried to wedge it in. You can even see a screw where they screwed down to the joist, but apparently the plywood was too tight against the existing floor to pull the wood down even to the joist.

It is unfortunate, though, as it looks like just a couple of additional screws to pull that down to the joist is all that would have been needed. Oh well, live and learn.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:40 AM   #8
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New, uneven floor by contractor advice


Can't you just take down the door and remove a quarter inch from the bottom?

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