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Question DetailsAsked on 9/2/2015

Floor tile choice limited to 12x12 tile due to floor rolls?

A lower floor level was raised to the level of older flooring. Flooring has a slight slope where the new floor meets the old floor. I had 16x24 porcelain wood plank looking floor tile installed. The installed floor had multiple areas of dips and the floor had a wavy look and feel. I informed the installer that the flooring was unacceptable and he agreed to replace the flooring. He is limiting my replacement flooring to 12x12 tile, stating that the floor rolls too much for tile any larger. Is this true?

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1 Answer


Hooey - if the flooring had dips and waves, unless he used a lumpy mat type tile underlayment (a big mistake to my mind anyway), then the subfloor is uneven and should be levelled first with a proper type (for what is going over it) self-levelling compound, or if he mudcoated the floor then he did a very uneven job of it. Plus if it dips and waves that much, even 12 inch is likely to break over time. This sort of issue is why in the "good old days" when I learned to do tiling, unless on a properly levelled concrete slab tile floors were always mud-coated (wire mesh and hand-troweled on concrete base) to prep the surface, then the tile set on that base.

Or perhaps he used thinset or mastic to set the tile and did not used the proper configuration notched trowel, so had too thick a coat and the tile got tilted as it was pushed down into it.

You did not say what was there before - but if it was not wavy then his installation procedure is almost certainly faulty. If it was wavy too, then could well be the subfloor - either buckling, been wetted, or the fasteners to the floor joists are pulling out.

The tough part of this is whether you should pay more if the subfloor needs screwing down or a self-levelling compound applied to level it out.

I do have to sympathize with himsome - in my opinion, except on highly reinforced structural concrete slabs (so not going to crack like slab-on-grade), any tile over about 16" square is inviting cracking - you are just lucky if the cracks stay in the grout joints rather than through the tiles.

BTW - here is another related prior question with responses that might be of interest -

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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