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Flooring and Carpeting/Ceramic Tile and flooding


I had 3-4 inches of salt water on my first floor from hurricane sandy. The flooring is 18 inch ceramic tiles that were installed on top of an old ceramic floor which is on cement slab. There are very few hollow sounding areas, most areas seem solid. There are spots where no grout remains. My contractor recommends ripping up the floor to avoid future loose tiles and "tiles popping.".I have read ceramic on slab would probably be okay, but this is ceramic on ceramic on slab. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you for your question Ira,

   I was expecting some questions along this line after so great of disaster up the Seaboard. Glad you have survived and are moving forward. If you had only a single layer of flooring I would just suggest that you steam clean the tile and grout and forget about it, but your Contractor's suspicion is valid, in light of the "tile on tile" scenario that you have. If this is part of an insurance claim then why not have it all removed and start from the original sub-strate and go again. This affords you the opportunity to move back down to original "finish" elevations and will improve transitions all over the house, and if your appliances were trashed as well then getting a new Dishwasher back under the countertop will be far easier. Unless the install of the second layer of tile was spot on there will be many avenues of intrusion where the salt water can get under and into the voids beneath all the standing tile by hydrostatic pressure from the weight of the water...not good, it could take months for the water to evaporate away from the spaces that you can't even see. If it were my home Ira I would demo it all and start again. Then choose a large format tile (18-20" size) and employ tight grout joints (1/8" no larger) and have a fresh updated space...ok? That's it Ira I hope this helps you with your problem at home, feel free to return anytime and I'm glad you are ok. God bless the USA...

Perry V'

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Perry Vellenga


Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.


I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

too many most of which don't count...

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