Help! I think we are being ripped off!

keke56April 22, 2012

We own a 1946 cape cod and had ceramic flooring put in one year ago by a local contracting company. The tiles are all coming loose from the cement board underneath because the joists and subfloor were never screwed together so the floor was able to move.

Now my concerns are this:

We paid 1600 dollars to have a 65 sq foot tile job done that included tearing out old linoleum/subfloor layers out, having some new duct work ran to the other side of the kitchen (unfinished basement so easy access.) new tile put in/grout, and baseboards cut and placed. We removed all the appliances, sealed the grout, and painted the baseboards, and had also bought the tiles ahead of time. We really overpaid for this and I am livid that one year later our house is a mess again and dont know where what we are going to do. The contractor advised us to pick a replacement (wood/vinyl/paint) and he will come out and discuss with us what to do. He would not quite answer if we will have to pay for more labor. He did say that we will write up a new contract so that everyone is on the same page and protected.

I guess my question is should they have checked for movement, is this their fault, should we ask for a refund

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brickeyee

"the joists and subfloor were never screwed together so the floor was able to move. "

Screws are not going to have all that much effect here.
Nailing was used for a very long time and works just fine.

It sounds like the joists and/or sub-floor are simply not stiff enough for tile.

You need at least 1 inch of sub-floor thickness to hold even smaller tiles (and 1x lumber is only 3/4 inches thick) on adequate joists for tile.

And tiles larger than about 3x3 inch start needing even stiffer joists.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:45PM
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dseng

A good place to start re-researching would be to google the word deflectolator.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:41AM
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dseng

A good place to start re-researching would be to google the word deflectolator.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Stonetech

If the tiles "came loose" from the cement board, (as opposed to having cracks appear) it is certainly true that floor deflection MAY be the problem...but the two things I would suspect would be that either A, there was no thinset put under the CBU before it was screwed down, allowing movement under the tile or B, A cheap quality morter like HD's Customblend was used...unmodified and/or mixed too dry to properly adhere. Concreter board will suck the moisture out of morter in record time!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:34PM
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Floortech

This post is right on the money!!

If the tiles "came loose" from the cement board, (as opposed to having cracks appear) it is certainly true that floor deflection MAY be the problem...but the two things I would suspect would be that either A, there was no thinset put under the CBU before it was screwed down, allowing movement under the tile or B, A cheap quality morter like HD's Customblend was used...unmodified and/or mixed too dry to properly adhere. Concreter board will suck the moisture out of morter in record time!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:25AM
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floorguy

I wonder if they put CBU over the old original hardwood flooring?

Shrink and swell of the wood, is not a good thing under the CBU.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Stonetech

Thanks for the "Kudos" Floortech. I've only been doin' this stuff for 37 years.......LOL....

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 7:01PM
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floorman67

Its all guessing as to why there was movement. First find the cause of the movement.

Also, check with your local/state laws as to exactly how long they require the installers/retailer to guarantee their installations. Most states require one year, and a few states require two.

If the installation guarantee time has expired and they are unwilling to replace it free of charge, then your only alternatives are to live with it, pay to have it demolished and re-installed, or take them to court armed with a certified tile/stone inspectors report stating they never installed it properly to begin with, and even with that it may be a tough and costly battle.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:25AM
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