Before you hire a tile installer, make sure he or she can give you a good answer to the following questions:
- What TCNA method they will use to install your tile? (Tile Council of North America Handbook clarifies and standardizes installation specifications for tile.)
- Where the movement joints will be located and what will they be made of?
- What is the span of the joists? (Can the floor carry the weight of tile without excessive deflection?)
- What level of service and warranty are provided on the labor and products?
- Will you need a vapor barrier? Crack isolation? Additional waterproofing?
- What experience they have with the setting materials? What advantages these materials offer?
- How they keep up with the latest industry advances?
- What associations do they participate in?
The current economic climate is driving customers to make decisions based solely on short-term savings. On the construction site, ‘bargain hunting’ can prove to be a costly mindset. What a consumer may have to pay after the contract is closed can cost far more than any up-front savings from using the lowest bidders.
On two recent projects, we’ve been called in to repair or complete jobs that were mishandled by the very contractors who took the original project with their ‘low bid.’
On one, we were asked to find a solution because when the cleaning crew mopped the restaurant’s kitchen floor, it ‘rained’ into the space below. The improper installation of trowel-able waterproofing caused the application to fail, and the customer to spend a lot of money paying us to repair an installation that ‘looked OK’ on the surface but failed to stand up to on-going use.
In another case, we were asked to come in at the last minute and install tile on a university project that turned out to be beyond the capabilities of the ‘low bid’ tile subcontractor. The dollar value of the change order issued for us to complete the job was the same amount our original bid differed from the price of the ‘lowest bidder’ originally chosen.
In this era of price shopping, remember that you still usually get what you pay for.
Our company president, Nyle Wadford, has been elected to lead the largest tile contractors association in the world for the next two years.
The National Tile Contractors Association elected him their president at the Total Solutions Plus conference this year. Wadford has been in the tile industry for many years and been president of Neuse Tile since 1987.
He has gone from hauling mud buckets during summer breaks to representing us as a leader in the entire tile industry. Dad would be proud!
Way to go Nyle!