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Flooring and Carpeting/Rectified tile installation


Bathroom floor
Bathroom floor  

Shower wall
Shower wall  
I am a remodeling contractor, and I have a homeowner who hired me to remodel their bathroom.  They also hired the other trades, including the tile installer.  The homeowner picked a 12x12 rectified porcelain tile for the shower walls, and a 12x24 rectified porcelain tile for the bathroom floor.  The house was built in 1912, so the floor is not level, but the walls are fairly even.  I believe the installer did a poor job, and there is an excessive amount of 'lippeage' on the walls and floor.  I did not offer my opinion to the homeowner, but waited for her to come to me, in case she loved the work.  She expressed to me that she was not happy with the tile job, and asked what I thought.  My question to you is, can you give me your opinion on the quality of the job, based on the pictures I have attached?

Thank you for your question Randy.... would appear Randy, that your customer has hired a "bucket man" in our vernacular. This is an installer that only has a bucket full of tools and only enough experience to use those. Rectified Porcelain tile is a challenging material even for the experienced mechanic. Because all edges of the tile are "squared (rectified)" not rounded or cushioned there is little forgiveness when installing so knowing how to properly prepare the sub-strate (both walls and floor) is quite important. Making out of plumb walls flat and plumb is straight forward work for someone who knows what they are doing, not so much by their guy as the picture clearly reveals. Now the floor may be quite a different matter given the age of the home but what becomes important is the responsibility of the mechanic to communicate what and where and how things may go wrong "prior" to installing the first piece of tile to give the home owner options to consider before proceeding with the install. Now couple that with the now well known fact of the difficulty of installing 12 x 24" retangular tile complicates things. You see Randy over time we have discovered that this format of tile can be "bowed" or "potato chipped" making for the potential of having excessively humped middles or buried corners when installed in a "brick pattern" that Industry wide the decision to install this material with a "1/3 offset" (typically a disclaimer is printed right on the box edge saying so) simply to reduce the chance of lippage that may occur. It's not to say it eliminates lippage, but it does reduce the chance that it happens. I can understand your customer's dissatisfaction with the outcome of her now completed work. If the installer had taken the time to explain to her what may happen there is some bit of understanding. But in this case Randy our guy simply hasn't the experience necessary to take a tough sub-strate and know how to convert that into a satisfied customer. That's my opinion in a nut-shell....I hope this helps both you and your customer. Feel free to return again anytime...

Perry V.  

Flooring and Carpeting

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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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