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Flooring and Carpeting/lanai prep for tile application

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Question
The tile on our lanai recently showed signs of separating and was very slippery so we decided to replace it.  I am trying to learn what should be included in our contractor's scope of work.  

Some say they will remove the old tile, sweep the concrete of debris, lay down the thin film mastic and then the tile while others insist the concrete surface must first be ground to provide a clean, rough surface for the mastic to adhere.  Who's right?

Answer
Sorry Rex I am so tardy with my reply...computer issues kept me off-line.

Ok...lets see what were doing here. There are always going to be two schools of thought here. One is to return to the beginning and go again fresh, or two...remove the big stuff and go over the remnants. Both are viable and both have advantages to themselves so the determining factor is going to time/cost vs labor cost. The second option should cost less by virtue of there being less demo involved. Once the bulk of the old material is removed things will be vacuumed and then skim coated with a self-leveling compound, then the tile install. This is quicker and easier and can be successful so long as careful prep is observed and a quality installer setting the tile. If your contractor is looking for a easy score and hires a less than adequate installer you will have issues in the end so be careful of "trippers/kickers" tiles out of plane one to the other (lippage official term) and also note that your finished floor will be "higher" than the original which can create it's own problems at any transition areas like doorways etc... Now the first option where all of the old adhesive is removed down to the original sub-floor is more labor intensive and will cost more money but in my opinion it's what I always try to do, because I am loath to have elevation issues and also generate any kind of "trip hazard" resulting from my installation...follow me? There are ways to expedite the removal of the old thinset and in truth to some degree there will most likely be some additional need for some float work as well depending on how the demo actually goes. You just don't know...and...there will be typically more dust and such to contend with with a more thorough demo, ok? So to me both options "can" be right but only one is what I recommend for the aforementioned reasons. Again Rex forgive me being late with my reply...please feel free to return anytime and I will be much quicker the next go round.

Perry V.

Flooring and Carpeting

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Perry Vellenga

Expertise

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.

Experience

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..

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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...

Education/Credentials
too many most of which don't count...

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