Porcelain tile floor installed poorly--help!

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Old 02-12-09, 08:37 AM
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Porcelain tile floor installed poorly--help!

We are remodeling our kitchen. We have discovered that our porcelain tile are not level in spots creating "bumps" in the floor. The contractor also put the incorrect grout sealer on our floor, while it was dirty and around items on the floor. This has caused the grout to be darkened and has a blotchy dirty look. That drew out attention to how the grout width varies quite a bit as you view the floor as a whole. The grout varies up to 4 mm in spots. My question is what to do now. How common is it for the grout lines to not be uniform? Is it possible to take the tile out and start over without removing the cabinets or island? Please help....I'm very stressed about him ruining out remodel.

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-12-09, 03:40 PM
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Does your contractor stand behind his work? What did he say about your concerns? If these flaws are as severe as you say, he should fix them for free. Have you talked to him?
 
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Old 02-12-09, 03:40 PM
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Unhappy bad tile job!

Not too much you can do with tile once it is set and hard and grout sealed. It could be removed and replaced providing it doesn't run under the cabinets or island. I will be a lot of work but since he obviously did a poor job, maybe it won't be that difficult. The floor should be level and smooth BEFORE the tile is set. Good luck!
 
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Old 02-12-09, 03:51 PM
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We have discovered that our porcelain tile are not level in spots creating "bumps" in the floor.
Are they just slight height variations or are they major trip hazzards? Some minor lippage can be expected. If its more than that, make him fix it.

The contractor also put the incorrect grout sealer on our floor, while it was dirty and around items on the floor. This has caused the grout to be darkened and has a blotchy dirty look.
What kind of sealer did he use and why do you think its the wrong sealer? Was the grout blotchy prior to the sealer being applied?

Can you post pictures?

That drew out attention to how the grout width varies quite a bit as you view the floor as a whole. The grout varies up to 4 mm in spots. My question is what to do now. How common is it for the grout lines to not be uniform?
Depending on the kind of tile, the grout joints can vary a little, as actual tile size can vary from tile to tile. This should be minimal, and if installed correctly, practically unnoticeable. If this was cheapo tile and varied greatly in size, he should have told you what it would look like before it was installed.

Is it possible to take the tile out and start over without removing the cabinets or island? Please help....I'm very stressed about him ruining out remodel.
Is the tile installed under the cabinets and island, or around them. Unless the tile was installed with mastic (I hope not, or maybe I do) the tile will not be salvagable.

Since there are so many noticable issues here, I'd have other concerns as well, such as framing, subfloor, underlayment, setting materials etc.
 
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Old 02-12-09, 07:36 PM
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The bumps in tile are not major tripping hazzard, but you notice that your toe bumps the tile that's higher. I've checked it with a level and there are areas that are totally not level between two tiles.

The grout sealer that was place on the tile, was only to be used on the backsplash. It had an enhancer in it and was a sealer for travartine or (any unsealed tile). Our tile is porcelain and is sealed at manufacturer. The sealer I got for the grout was clear and only for grout. I had not given it to the contractor, as I was going to do it myself. The grout was a uniform creamy color prior to the incorrect sealer placed on it. Now is looks like grout would look if not sealed several years after installed. The sealer concentrated in some areas more than others causing the uneven coloring in the grout. This is per the manufacturer of the sealer.

The tile is expensive. I understand that the tiles will vary, but it seems extreme that the grout width varies by as much as 4 mm. This was not as noticable when the grout was lighter, prior to the wrong sealer.

The tile is under the cabinets and island. I don't know about if they used mastic. The used durrock (sp?) under the tile, as recommened by the store we purchased it from. Under that was our vinyl floor of the old kitchen.

We tried to take pictures, but haven't checked if they have turned out yet. Will post if the problems are viewable.

thanks
 
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Old 02-14-09, 07:37 AM
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The bumps in tile are not major tripping hazzard, but you notice that your toe bumps the tile that's higher. I've checked it with a level and there are areas that are totally not level between two tiles.
Its often not the goal to get the floor level, but rather get it flat or on plane, that is all tile on the same plane. That being said, what you are describing if I understand you is probably not acceptable. Hard to tell what you have without pictures. TCNA does publish acceptable lippage. See this FAQ

TCNA - Technical Services: FAQ

The grout sealer that was place on the tile, was only to be used on the backsplash. It had an enhancer in it and was a sealer for travartine or (any unsealed tile). Our tile is porcelain and is sealed at manufacturer. The sealer I got for the grout was clear and only for grout. I had not given it to the contractor, as I was going to do it myself. The grout was a uniform creamy color prior to the incorrect sealer placed on it. Now is looks like grout would look if not sealed several years after installed. The sealer concentrated in some areas more than others causing the uneven coloring in the grout. This is per the manufacturer of the sealer.
Did you watch the installer apply the sealer? How did he apply it? Did he wipe off the excess after a few minutes, or just leave it there? Porcelain for the most part wont absorb any sealer. Im thinking it was applied and then excess not wiped off. Either way, if its not what you want, and you didnt tell him to seal it, then he is responsible to find a solution. Contact the manufacturer of the sealer that was used, to find out what product should be used to remove it.

The tile is expensive. I understand that the tiles will vary, but it seems extreme that the grout width varies by as much as 4 mm. This was not as noticable when the grout was lighter, prior to the wrong sealer.
4mm, thats a little over an 1/8" right. Sounds like a pretty slopply job to me. Did he grid out the floor and follow the grid lines when he was installing the tile? Do you have tiles left over, if so, compare the size of the tiles to see if they are fairly consistant in size. If they are, there is no excuse for it to run off that much. If there is a lot of size variation, he should have noticed this ahead of time and told you. I suspect he just did a crappy job.

The tile is under the cabinets and island. I don't know about if they used mastic. The used durrock (sp?) under the tile, as recommened by the store we purchased it from. Under that was our vinyl floor of the old kitchen.
Well that makes it a little more difficult. If you decide the floor has to come up, you will either have to remove the cabinets and island, or cut the tile at the toe kick and around the cabinets. A real pia job. Mastic should not have been used, hopefully he used a modified thinset for porcelain over cement board. I mentioned mastic earlier, because if that is what he used, the tile may come up easy and be salvageable. Mastic takes for ever to cure, especially with porcelain. And by the way, the vinyl floor and any 1/4" underlayment for the vinyl should have been removed prior to the tile installation. It doesnt belong under cement board and tile and has been known to be problematic to say the very least.

Pictures here would go a long way.
 
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