Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers


Craftsmanship – out of style? Not to us.

We are in the process of tearing out and re-doing a very nice couple’s steam shower. The tile work they had was horrific, the ‘waterproofing’ was non-existent, the framing was a joke, and the ‘finished’ product leaked all over their house. It wasn’t our work – it was the work of someone who claimed to be a ‘contractor’ and who has taken advantage of these unsuspecting homeowners.

This was one of the worst excuses for construction we’ve seen in a while. (Though last week’s shower with 8 nails through the pan liner was bad too!!)

There’s no way this ’tile installer’ thought he was doing a sufficient job for these folks– he stuck cardboard in behind tile as a ‘filler’ in one area of the shower! Yet, he was recommended to this couple by a plumbing manufacturer, so they thought they were hiring someone who would do a good job.

He didn’t; and he’s doing his best to give our industry a black eye. But, to this couple’s credit, they realize he is an exception, and they’ve maintained a positive attitude meeting their adversity by educating themselves. Before they signed on with us to tear out and re-tile their steam shower, they got references, researched the products we suggested, and even came by a steam shower installation in progress to see our guys at work.

Good for them! When you’re not in the construction business, it’s hard to know where to start to find a reputable and experienced craftsman. Certainly, referrals are a good resource, as is doing some research on-line. Other valuable places to get information on potential contractors are their trade associations (ours is National Tile Contractors Association); a certification body (for us its Ceramic Tile Education Foundation); the local Home Builders Association; local business groups; and other people in similar fields. Your money and your home are too precious to entrust to someone who would stick tile to cardboard.

We wish we had met this couple before their bad experience started, and we’re doing our best to create the steam shower they had in mind when this project started many months ago.

In the meantime, we’ll keep reminding everyone how important it is to find a reputable and experienced contractor who will stand behind their work. (Longevity in the business DOES matter, especially in today’s economy.) If you have any suggestions on where else we should be spreading the word, feel free to share.

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Demolition of tile

Before we can beautify an area with tile or stone, we often have to remove the existing tile or damaged building materials. Consequently, we’re pretty good at careful destruction. 🙂
Tile removal is very challenging and dusty work — especially if it’s a mud-set installation or one where there has been a long-time shower leak. Our crews prepare a site by papering any areas where they’ll be walking; putting up sheets of plastic as dust guards; wearing masks and gloves; using pneumatic scrapers; and carrying away all the debris.

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Tile over tile – affordable alternative

Less down-time for building owners and occupants, less dust, less noise, and reduced demolition costs can be achieved by installing new tile over existing, well-bonded tile.
When existing tile needs an update or ‘facelift’ and is not cracking or chipping, it can often be overhauled with a completely new look by running tile on top of the existing tile. Even with the additional preparation needed, the savings realized by excluding demolition and removal of the existing tile in a commercial installation can be 2/3 the cost of a traditional demo and removal.
This cost-saving alternative involves consideration of: the height increase of transitions into the tiled area (generally, an increase by the thickness of the new tile); any ‘cap’ or trim pieces that may have to be transitioned in a different way; and the capability of the tile installers.
When the work is performed with expertise, the end result can be a beautiful, and more affordable alternative.