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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Atlantic Canada
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    Question Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    Hi - I have a general question as a new old house owner. When an installer comes in to tile your floors (in my case small white hexagons in ceramic for the bathroom, and old fashioned tiles in pale yellow and white for the kitchen), is it reasonable to expect that when they leave, they leave them looking new?

    The tiles are marked with their boots and whatever they were carrying around on those boots: grease, adhesive, dirt. They did not match the white of the tile with the white of the grout in the case of the ceramic, and used black rather than clear adhesive (which is also available) in the case of the tile. The black is seeping up through the little lines between each tile. Shouldn't this be something they pay attention to? These are't Craig's List handmen, but well known home builders who do renovations during the winter. My job is probably nothing for them compared to the renovations they normally do.

    So, is it normal for the homeowner / customer to do that final clean-up before they enjoy their new floor?

    Thank you!
    TT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    flag number one their listed on craigs list.

    a little bit of dirt on the floor is to be expected as they arent professional cleaners. these guys probably work new construction mostly and are accustomed to the general contractor bringing in a cleaner after them. as for the grout, i cant say because i havent seen your floor but with "WHITE" there are so many shades of white and variation from one product to the next that its hard to match exactly. as for the mortar's black bleeding through they definitely messed up there. they either bought what they always buy or were using up bags that were left over from a previous job to do yours
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    8,068

    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    The mastic used to set the tile should not be visible once the grout has been laid and the tile cleaned. If this is the case, then you have a very poor quality workman on your project.

    As to a reputable builder who remodels in the off season, builders don't generally do or understand remodel work, and typically have much lower standards that someone who only does renovation work. What you describe with your tile IS something I'd expect to find in the average tract home these days.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkirk View Post
    flag number one their listed on craigs list.
    I think the OP was saying --- they weren't craigs list guys

    a little bit of dirt on the floor is to be expected as they arent professional cleaners. these guys probably work new construction mostly and are accustomed to the general contractor bringing in a cleaner after them. as for the grout, i cant say because i havent seen your floor but with "WHITE" there are so many shades of white and variation from one product to the next that its hard to match exactly. as for the mortar's black bleeding through they definitely messed up there. they either bought what they always buy or were using up bags that were left over from a previous job to do yours
    Like jikirk said --- it's up to the general contractor or the guy in charge to ensure the site is clean. Now, it's also up to the guys doing the work to be mindful of the surroundings and should clean up after themselves.
    It also sounds like the guys doing the work were cutting corners or just doing sloppy work --- but again it's up to whomever is in charge of the job that everything is done properly.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
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    Mar 2011
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    Atlantic Canada
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    Thank you for these replies. Canuk, I put some of the issues I had down to a lack of supervision. I liked the guy, very personable, decent person. His apprentice was his son. But the bosses were away, one on vacation and other dealing with serious health issues. Plus a bigger, fancier job was being done, and their tiler went to work on that huge job.

    Anyway, the guy on this job was very much a worker, not a thinker. I know there are a lot of shades of white for grout - I saw the samples at the flooring store. But I didn't buy the grout. They did. And apparently the adhesive occurred to him, but the place they deal with said it is what they use and gave him a bucket to use for free since the job was so small (less than 300 sq. ft). I went to my local "hardware" store, and saw very clearly, Armstrong Thin Set, clear adhesive for VCT tile.

    I had to tell the guy about the existence of a piece that is available to make an outside corner when tiling a shower. He was pondering how to make the corner. I only knew about that because I watch a lot of the professional remodeller and contractor's nightmare, HGTV (Mike Holmes is on screen right now. But he scares me).


    I think the guy could have used some supervision or at least regular on-site check ins. The guy moved very methodically along, not really open to any diversion from what he had planned out in his mind. For one thing, they left me without a bathroom for three weeks! The first two weeks they worked in the kitchen. So why rip out the bathroom and leave the homeowner washing her hair and brushing her teeth in the kitchen sink, bathing in a bucket, and traipising downstairs to the toilet during the night, when they weren't even going to touch it for two weeks!

    One day they went for coffee while they let some adhesive dry - they had to leave it for an hour. I asked if they had sent the measurements for the counter top to the manufacturer to cut it. No. He figured he would do that on Monday. So not only could things not leap-frog, he ultimately measured wrong. He assumed the countertop was standard depth and didn't measure it. He gave them only the length.

    So after three weeks and two days (17 days) to cut out a cupboard and install a dishwasher, install a new microwave/range hood, vent it, and then build a new cupboard over it, and rework the corner cupboard that was beside it, tile the kitchen floor, install a venting fan in the bathroom, put in in-floor heat and tile the bathroom floor (4 x 8), and tile the shower/tub with 4" square white tile and one line of glass tile, they have to come back when the new counter comes in (the long piece can still be used after being cut down, but they still need a shorter piece with a 45 degree angle.

    I could go on and pick on things: helping themselves to my hair dryer (found inside a cupboard), using my table saw because they had taken theirs home (I bet they haven't cleaned up their mess in the basement - I haven't checked yet - there was quite a bit of sawdust last weekend), going into rooms with their boots that weren't part of the work and had closed doors because I didn't want them there, cross-hatching my freshly refinished hardwood outside the bathroom by not adequately protecting it, dinging up the tub despite the fact that I put cardboard in after noticing the old cast iron was getting badly marked by boots and tools. That cardboard disappeard sometime after I put it in but before the tiling was done. The tub is even worse shape than it was. Reglazing was an option before. Now I would say it was a must.

    So, while I liked the guys, I am not thrilled with my renos or the experience really. It will be the one and only time I redo those things in all likelihood. There is no future re-do to apply what I have learned. Maybe in 20 years if I am still here.

    Anyway, I feel a little better just writing this down.

    I would never hire from Craigs List (or Kijiji). I go by recommendations (although so far I can't find anybody who can recommend somebody to install eavestroughs).

    Thanks again for your replies.

    TT

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    Renovations can be stressful , especially when you live in the house while it's underway.
    It does sound as though you have also run into some less than desirable results which adds to the stress.
    Afterall, you expext to hire someone to do work for you and get a reasonable outcome.
    I completely understand.
    Consider your posting here as part of some theraputic relief.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Atlantic Canada
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    I was just upstairs in my bathroom, looking at the tub/shower, and thinking the wall looked really beautiful. So I cam back down here to make certain that I did give the guy some credit - he did a really, really nice job on the tiling of the tub walls. Plain simple white, with a nice strip of three one-inch glass tiles all around just above eye level. That was a *** moment for me - coming back to that. They had shined it up very beautifully.

    And he did a a really nice job building a the new cabinets, and matching the doors he made to the simple slab doors with rounded edges that are on the rest of the kitchen, and remind me of the ones that used to be in my great-grandmothers kitchen. I'm sure once I paint them, they will look like they were always there.

    Thanks again, Canuk.
    TT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    You just mention a guy and his son but list all kinds of different work that they did. Generally speaking a tiler doesn't do cabinets, a carpenter doesn't do tile work, and neither one installs dishwasher and vents. It sounds more like you got a common laborer working fro a track home builder. Hard worker but not qualified to do any of the jobs.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    I'm wondering why *** got asterisked out above.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Should professionally installed floors be left looking new?

    See --- once the dust settles there are some shining moments that makes all the stress worth while

    Some words like p-o-w-e-r are flagged on this board's naughty word filter.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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