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Question DetailsAsked on 8/21/2015

How level does a floor need to be to install porcelain floor tile

I had porcelain plank floor tile installed in my home. The flooring feels wavy when you walk across it. I informed the installer of this problem and he stated my floor wasn't level and the tile was defective. Prior to his installation he had my general contractor change the durock that was installed by my contractor. My contractor re-installed the durock with mud according to the wishes of the installer. I walked multiple time across the flooring with just the durock on it and it did not have wavy feel and it was flat. I did some research on installing floor tile and it stated that the floor didn't have to be totally level; but it needed to be flat. Therefore isn't the wavy effect and look of the floor based on a poor installation by the installer?

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2 Answers


If the installer said the floor was not level and the tile was defective, he should have levelled the subfloor first and returned the defective tile. Either way, defective installation. Course, if you provided the tile, he might blame the tile (and you) - would be easily resolved by checking whether there are twists or waves in the tile itself.

Assuming this was done by a subcontractor to your GC (General Contractor), you should be dealing with the GC - it is HIS job to deal with the subs and defective workmanship. If the flooring was done by a contrator directly for you, then your GC is probably going to be coming back to you for additiuonal money for his additional work - which might mean time to call the bond of the tile contractor if he will not pay for all necessary additional/rework.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


BTW - general standard - no out-of-plane points exceeding 1/8 inch plus or minus would be the general standard for how "flat" the substrate should be before putting down tile - either the subfloor/durock if using direct thinset or mastic, or the mud coat or levelling compound if on a levelled or mud coated layer that the thinset will be applied to. This 1/8" does NOT initially include the depth of the bevel at the sheeet joints, which should have been mudded flat with cementatious joint compound and set BEFORE mudding or tile laying.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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