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Showing posts with label quality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quality. Show all posts

Sunday, November 23, 2014

4:39 PM

Ditra Flooring Membrane Underlayment System Reality Check

Ditra Flooring System Doesn't Make Sense

I've been installing tile most of my adult life. From the first introduction of Durock then Hardi board,  Even back as far as metal wire and hand "dry pack" concrete bed floors. I personally prefer Hardi board for my installation as I understand the "water barrier" properties of this product and would recommend this product and use it exclusively in my own house as a tile underlayment.
Although I am always open to the introduction of new products and always open minded to something that might prove to be a better product or a improvement upon current installation methods.
I've know of many tile installers who swear by the installation process of the "Ditra" product. But upon a closer inspection of the product and the installation process both from a common sense and scientific prospective I have great concern regarding the quality and longevity of a "Ditra" tile installation.
First, why do many installers swear by the product I believe it is exclusively because it is so easy to use. It is light weight  no nails needed no carrying heavy boards cuts easily with a knife  and installs quickly .But I am not so concerned that my installer have a easy installation in my home  but more so I get a quality installation that will last a lifetime! I am afraid this product  doesn't live up to that expectation And here's why .

The "Tile Installation | Tile Repair " manufacturer requires the use of unmodified  thin set mortar to both install the "Ditra" membrane on top of a wood sub-floor as well as then install again with unmodified thin set  the tile on top of the "Ditra". This type of thin set is the lowest quality type of thin set available costing like $5 per 50 lb bag. Right on this bag of thin set itself it says "for use on concrete floors" It also says to use "acrylic mortar admix" in this product (prohibited with DITRA). Now using Ditra on wood floors is defiantly not a concrete floor installation. Instead you are adhering plastic (DITRA) onto wood with a product that states right on the bag "for concrete floor installation only" right on the bag!!! This thin set again is the lowest grade thin set available on the market . And your tile is stuck to your floor only as good as the thin set concrete you use to install it. Now common sense and science dictate to me that by using this product in the way the manufacturer suggests you are in fact getting about the lowest quality tile installation possible.

I've attached some photos of the thin set and the Ditra so you can see this for yourself and make your own decision on the quality of this very expensive product . Now I don't claim to know everything about tile installations  nor do I claim " to be the best" I only offer my 30+ years of experience in installing tile and my professional opinion. I would love to hear from other expert tile installers on this issue. And again will approach these other opinions with a open mind.  Regards  chris

Ditra membrane adhered to floor with unmodified thin set

notice this thinset mortar says on bag ad acrylic mortar admix for strength

See this product stated for concrete floor installations Also notice it says meets requirements WHEN mixed with additive

See how this thin membrane is adhered to floor with only UNMODIFIED low grade thin set to wood floor

I mentioned earlier when I pulled this post aside in order to review and discuss the feedback we received with Chris. that Chris would read all the many contrary comments and consider his post and/or provide clear evidence of his stand.  ButChris insisted I put the post back up as he stands by his original post. In my haste to put the post on hold, I erased the very helpful comments from all kinds of tile experts.  I'd love to hear back from them.  We appreciate your patience. Thank you. Diana. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

7:13 PM

Glass Mosaic Back Splash Installed $300.00 From Tile Excellence

Hey There,

I've written a few times about backsplashes  with examples , pictures and timelines this particular job was in Wakefield mass  last Friday. The customer had gotten several quotes
from $500 to $700 and timeframes from 2 to 3 days. I arrived at 8:30 am and was driving away
by 1 :00 pm  and charged the really happy customer $300. He was so happy  he has since referred
me 2 other jobs over the weekend. I offer this info price and timeline to my readers for education
purposes so will have the info you need to hire the right backsplash installer in your own home!
There are hundreds yea  thousands of readers out here who come to this blog  to see pictures, learn
about tile installations,  but most important  how not to be taken to the cleaners by a" LINED IN
GOLD" tile installers. Most of my Blog readers are not in the Boston area  and I wont get any jobs
from sharing  this inside info. Its just important to make sure hard working consumers can come
here from all over the world and get the info they need to make educated choices when it comes
to tile installations in their home. Below are the pictures of the backsplash installed in Wakefield
A high quality, long lasting ,timely installation at a reasonable price .Thanks for reading Chris

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

8:41 PM



My grandfather was a stone mason and his son after him,  now me as a tile mason. It is so hard now to find young folks who want to learn this trade and many others because of the labor intensity of the crafstman trade. Many young people comming into the service trade industry choose to do computer related services and real HANDS ON service is fading fast. Furthermore  finding a  fair priced honest ethical HANDS ON service professional is becoming harder and harder to find. There are several prominent reasons for this, one being all the immigrant service providers who do such work at prices American one family providers cannot match. Most of the immigrant workers live in groups together and have very low living expenses coupled with the value of thier money sent home(out of the country) they can make a profit on much less then any american craftsman.

Another huge factor that many old school craftsmen will attest to, is the noticable change in the new millinium customer. I can personally tell you after 37 years installing tile the customers have really changed in attitude and appreciation in the last few years, they want more and more for less and less, part of this is certainly due to the amount of immigrants within the work force and the costs of the services they provide.

I will start this analysis by explaining my specialty and talent and how this new milliniam customer effects me. My career started as a stone mason laborer mixing concrete and breaking and providing rock for the masons to install. This is very labor intensive pushing 200lb wheelbarrows of wet concrete through knee deep mud out on the job to provide for the mason to lay rock. Between wheelbarrows of concrete  you hade to break rock into installable pieces with a 25 lb steel sledge hammer, load the rock into the same wheel barrel and then get them to the masons. All
this happened within a time frame so the masons never ran out of  any material or your ass was grass.

So to make a long story short I learned at a early age what real hard work was. I've carried this work ethic until today pushing myself to my limit every day laying tile and getting the work done  in a fast paced production manner. I have at times in my  life laid as much as 500 sq ft of floor tile in one 8 hour working day. I am a production tile guy ,during the Olympics building boom  in Atlanta(94-96) I laid 300 sq ft of tile every day in new hotel construction  for over 2 years straight while running a 10 man tile crew.

My specialty is getting it done within the bounds of the American tile association standards which specifies the boundaries of quality given to what standards fall into a quality tile installation.  I've learned how to get it done with quality , price and ethical practice in mind. I specialize in quality installations for a really good price because i know how to get it done fast and right with the highest quality materials at the most economical price.
Today i do about 100 jobs per year by myself with no helper or assistance, I take great pride in my work and do no less in a customers house than i would have in my own .But over the last few years ive encountered more and more a type of customer  who couldnt be satisfied even if you laid their tile in gold inlay. I try to weed out these customers but they can be very tricky to identify. The mistake of taking one of these customers jobs can be devastating to the reputation  finances and heart of any craftsman who has great pride in their job.  These customers are controlling, arrogant and most of all vindictive and selfish, If you dont kiss their ass, jump through their hoops and bow down to their wishes they will lie cheat and steal  to destroy you and your reputation, and the internet is their most potent weapon.

Now out of the 100 jobs i do each year only 2 or 3 of these customers have bullshited  their way into my daily routine in the last 12 years or so .But  when they do slither their way in  it truly is a "worm in the apple" "hole in the boat""nail in your tire" kind of a moment. Ive came to be very tired and discouraged  over the last couple of years because more and more of these customers seem to be emerging in numbers. These customers will tell you how great you are and what a wonderful job ur doing til about 3/4 of the way through the job then comes the 180 degree turn around then suddenly they are picking every single aspect of you job apart under a microscope. Very seldom do you get paid your money and they trash you on line as if you were pond scum. If you talk to any contractor around you will hear story after story with the same story line about these kind of customers. The policies of the online review sites allow anyone with a computer to say anything they want with no proof or substance regarding the service you provided them more than often just outright lies.
Soon I will retire from personal installations  and probably  transition over to tile art  and make tile art products  from home and sell them here on the web site. We will sometime soon transition over from installations to sales. I will continue to write the blogs and share my experience with others
so they can learn how to find a honest tile contractor or do their jobs themselves.  I love to help people and each day i do tile work for others  I give themquality installations at a price that they normally might not be able to afford. I get great satisfaction from what I do and will continue to make sure I help others learn to install  quality tile or hire a honest ethical tile man in their house. But tile artwork with my hand will keep and maintain my work ethic and skill honed and stone and mortar is in my blood... Thanks for reading  and please make comments about this blog if you've experienced the same things about NEW MILLINIUM customers as I  have. THANKS