12:35PM | 09/30/07
Member Since: 03/14/07
4 lifetime posts
Ok. We had a guy come in this week to install ceramic tile in a basement room that is going to be my home office. I need to know what people think about this. He's tiled about 1/3 of the room so far. When we went down to look at it the job done so far, we weren't happy.

Right away I noticed that the grout lines (grout hasn't been added yet) are uneven. Where the corners of 4 tiles line up is uneven (see the pic). And the floor is not level. Since the tiles on the floor aren't level, the bullnose tile used as a baseboard is uneven as well.

When we had the guy, I'll call him Dave, come back to discuss it he said that we were being too picky. But, he didn't put down any grid marks on the floor or start from the middle of the room (so it's not even on both sides) and he measured from the walls (which I'm sure aren't perfect). He also said that our floor just isn't even so the tiles won't be (he didn't tell us this before) and that he started work from the wall because that's how he does it to save time on cutting tile.

We told Dave not to go any further and that we want to "settle up" and negotiate a price for what prep work he did and materials. He said he'd come back and take the whole thing out and call it even. Problem is, if we let him do that, the drywall will get damaged where the bullnose tile is, the ceramic tile will be ruined, we'll have to order new tile at our expense and it won't match in color since it will be another lot. Also, we just don't want him doing anymore work for us no matter what it is.

He feels uncomfortable leaving the tile that is there because he doesn't want us to hire someone else to finish or tear it out and have his work critiqued or picked apart.

His fee was $85 per hour, now I know that flooring guys get paid usually by the square foot. We just want to leave it (but not pay full price) and have my cousin (who used to install flooring for a living) come in and finish the job for less money. I can live with a flawed floor, but not at full price and not by this guy.

We are going to offer him $500 for 3-4 hours of prep work and materials purchased (grout, thin set, and mortar).

I'd like to hear what people think.


05:40PM | 09/30/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
for a blind 3 YO.

Hard to really tell how much work he has done or how much he has bought in supplies, but $500 seems to be generous based on what you said.

And you have every right to throw him off the job. Of course he can sue you for more money if he thinks that he can justifiy the case in court.


06:33PM | 09/30/07
Member Since: 03/14/07
4 lifetime posts
Thanks for sharing your opinion.

I don't think that "Dave" is really interested in the money as much as protecting the reputation of his business. He was prepared to charge us nothing at all and tear the whole thing out and call it even.

I think that taking us to court would, potentially, bring more attention to the poor job that he did, and I don't think he'd take that route.

He actually seems like a nice guy, not a jerk, but I don't need a nice guy (I have one of those already, I married him), what I need is a talented flooring person who takes more pride in his work than to cut corners and charge full price for less than standard work.

Thanks again for your input. I am posting another pic so people can see more examples of the quality.


07:01PM | 09/30/07
Member Since: 03/14/07
4 lifetime posts
Here's another pic


07:06PM | 09/30/07
Member Since: 03/14/07
4 lifetime posts
Instead of trimming the wood trim molding around the closet door and sliding the tile under it (which would be easy), he cut a tile (more difficult) and left this gap between the tile and the woodwork. Looked strange to us.


04:43AM | 10/01/07
Member Since: 08/29/07
56 lifetime posts
My first thought looking at the picture of the base was maybe the discussion upfront wasn't clear enough on the quality you expect. I have customers that actually just wan't it installed. They don't want anything floated. But even then I shim up base to make it look even at least. Doorjambs are usually undercut; we have a saw that does this quite easily. We usually don't start in the center of a room; but we do layout the room beforehand to get the best cuts everywhere. We don't alawys pop chalklines but in a large room you alawys should pop at least a couple. Also if you don't pop lines you'ld better be good and use a straight edge.

This guy messed up. Take lots of pictures. Pay him for his materials and a little for his time like you wanted. He'll probably walk away and not sue. Maybe get a lien release when you pay him.

The next person that comes in; explain clearly what you expect (perfectly level, Meeting standards, etc...). Put this in writing. Have a very detailed contract. This goes for any trade not just floor guys.

Also, I don't know what part of the country your in; but if you're willing to pay $85 an hour for ceramic tile; I'm willing to travel.


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