Tiling on Underfloor Heating

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by TJP 40, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. TJP 40

    TJP 40 New Member

    I have got water UFH downstairs most of which is being tiled. The tiler is coming tomorrow to finish off but the UFH engineer has raised a concern. He popped in today and noticed that some of the tiles (those that had not been grouted yet) sound hollow in places and that if they haven't been installed on a solid bed the chances are that the UFH will just heat the air trapped which will expand and probably crack the tiles!

    The tiles that have been grouted sound more solid, if that's possible, and they're tough porcelain so what chances are there of them cracking and should I be concerned?

    Assuming, for some reason, he hasn't used a full adhesive bed and the UFH man is right what are the chances of getting 40 sqm of tiles up without breaking them and the tiler actually doing this at his expense? (the fact that he has had 3/4 of the money already I think I know the answer to that!!)

    Should be an interesting conversation with the tiler tomorrow!! :(
  2. jizzard_of_oz

    jizzard_of_oz New Member

    well i dont know about the air exspanding and cracking the tiles, but i do know if he's dot and dabbed adhesive and not used a solid bed it will make the tile weak in places.

    do none of the grouted ones sound hollow underneath?

    the only way to tell is to rip 1 of the ungrouted ones up and see for yourself
  3. GKU

    GKU New Member

    When a tile is grouted it <u>will</u> sound slightly different , in that the grout will muffle or kill the sound very slightly more than a tile with no grout round it mate , as **** says you don't want tiles that have been "dot & dabbed" , they should have a solid bed , take one or two up to have a look , having said that , Porcelain tiles are very tough mate , hope it does'nt turn out to be a whole lot more work (and aggro) for ya , :)
  4. TJP 40

    TJP 40 New Member

    Well looks like I have a major problem and headache on my hands. I took up a tile that had not been grouted and found 9 small spots of adhesive. F*!! When he laid the first few I was there and they were definitely full beds but since I haven't been there he has obviously thought he could save some time and adhesive cost by doting and dabing.

    Checked some of the first tiles that he did that have been grouted and there are hollow spots on them too!

    This guy came recommended and I even went and saw one of his jobs and those customers were really pleased and the job looked alright. Just my friggin luck that he decides to cut some corners and potentially compromise my UFH that cost me a sodding arm and a leg. :(

    He's coming round tomorrow to finish and I just can't see that he is going to take up 40 sq metres of tiles and do them again properly and will of course walk away with the money I have already paid.

    How easy is it to get grouted tiles up and then clean them? Any ideas what this would cost me to do again?
  5. Tony Soprano

    Tony Soprano New Member

    TJP your UFH installer is correct,there is potential for tiles to crack,i hope he has advised you about the time you have to leave before you switch the heating on.A full bed of adhesive shud have been used ,you can chance it or get the tiler to sort it out now what kinda cowboy dots n dabs tiles anyway he shud have prepared the floor correctly if there were discrpeancies using self levelling compound and then a 10mm knotched trowel.what make of flooring adhesive has he used by the way?
  6. TJP 40

    TJP 40 New Member

    TJP your UFH installer is correct,there is potential
    for tiles to crack,i hope he has advised you about
    the time you have to leave before you switch the
    heating on.A full bed of adhesive shud have been used
    ,you can chance it or get the tiler to sort it out
    now what kinda cowboy dots n dabs tiles anyway he
    shud have prepared the floor correctly if there were
    discrpeancies using self levelling compound and then
    a 10mm knotched trowel.what make of flooring adhesive
    has he used by the way?

    The UFH man has told me that the heat needs to be on at it's lowest for a while and then gradually increase the heat over a period of time. Does that sound right to you?

    No idea what adhesive he used but the fact that I popped a tile up by just gently levering my car key under the edge would suggest it's cr*p. :( I suppose it makes getting the tiles up easier!! To say that I am gutted and majorly stressed is an understatment - we were supposed to be moving into the house in 2/3 weeks time so that doesn't look likely now and I have spunked a wad of cash on a cowboy. Not sure what more I could have done - came recommended (admittedly not by somebody I know personally) and checked his work - of course I can't see what lies underneath. He has also done (not finished) my bathrooms so chances are I'll have problems there too. Damn it.

    Serious question: What would a professional charge to lay about 45 sqm of porcelain tiles on screed including the adhesive? I will of course get the tiles up and clean them up.
  7. jizzard_of_oz

    jizzard_of_oz New Member

    Dont switch the underfloor heating on for at least 14 days after it has been tiled, it can f*&% the adhesive up. After your 2 weeks you can start bringing it up to temperature with 5c increases each day.

    Everyone charges differently around the country but around here you would be looking at roughly £30 per meter (for that size of area) including bal adhesive and grout. That is providing its flat and straight forward.
  8. GKU

    GKU New Member

    TJP 40 - Sorry to hear your plight has turned out badly buddy . Tilers normally cgarge £25 - £35 per square metre , depending where you are and patterns etc . What concerns me even more is how you bathroom has been tiled , ie: has it been "dot & dabbed" , what sort of substrate (type of floor) has he tiled onto , what sort of adhesive and grout has he used etc , etc , etc . What he has done certainly throws light on to what sort of tiler he is , going by your story , it looks like he started the job properly while you were there and as soon as you left , he decided to cut corners - very un-professional to say the very least . I don't envy you mate . If , as someone said earlier the floor was uneven , he should have used either a self leveller if it was bad or if it was'nt too bad he should have used a trowel with bigger notches in it . Kick up hell mate , make him take up some tiles in the bathroom to show you how he's done that room as well , 'cos bathrooms really do need to be properly tiled due to the possibilities of water ingress and the damaged it can do if it gets through on a regular basis . Keep us posted on the situation mate - good luck !!!
  9. jizzard_of_oz

    jizzard_of_oz New Member

    hey get to work press haha!
  10. GKU

    GKU New Member

    How ya doing mate ..... got a few weeks off , major building work going on in my house and I'm doing the plumbing etc . You keeping busy ? :)
  11. jizzard_of_oz

    jizzard_of_oz New Member

    so your on a kind of busman's holiday, that sucks ha. yeah im fairly busy but not been the best of years around here no one seems to have any money to spend. ive decided to be a slack jack this morning and have a few hours, only got a floor to grout this aft
  12. GKU

    GKU New Member

    Yeah , I had bloody work coming out of my ear 'oles from start of year up to about 2 weeks ago , it's slowed up a bit now , but I'm glad of it in one way 'cos I can get on wiv sorting me own house out . Good luck mate ;)
  13. Extentlon15

    Extentlon15 New Member

    PS jizzer i think you sound like a good tiler and you are welcome round my house with tube of KY and some travertine any time. xx
  14. Tony Soprano

    Tony Soprano New Member

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm i see what i have said being Regurgitated :)
  15. GKU

    GKU New Member

    "<u>jizzard of oz</u>" - see my "clone" (PRESS16.) (with the full stop after it , to make him look like me) is back (he was fcukshoe & curry-house-brawl)-apologies in advance if he starts insulting anyone - he's trying to stitch me up , take no notice mate , just look carefully at the name on any replies mate ;)
  16. TJP 40

    TJP 40 New Member

    Quick update:

    The tiler insists the floor will be fine and has even signed a guarantee that I drew up with no hesitation whatsoever. However I am not convinced. The floor sounds hollow in many places and after spending a huge amount on the UFH I feel devastated that this **** has cut corners to save himself a few bob on adhesive. Question is what to do about it.

    The UFH installer reckons that a dot and dabbed floor will not make the floor any less efficient than if it were done properly - I want to believe that but I'm not so sure. He added the only problem is the heat won't be even on the tiles ie the air pockets will be warmer and of course tiles may crack or come up altogether but then there is no guarantee this will happen.

    This build has been a 12 month nightmare and we are only weeks away from moving in and so this has come as a massive blow. The advice from friends and other trades that I have had is run with it as it'll probably be okay but my gut feeling is to rip it all up and start again. That will cost us big time and set us back weeks and if I have to spend one more day at the in-laws that I have to then I will end up in a nut house!

    Opinions people please? Don't suppose anyone is in the East London/Essex border area tomorrow morning to give me an expert opinion?

  17. GKU

    GKU New Member

    At the end of the day mate , its your house and what you do is up to you . You now know the correct way that the job should have been done and you've got to make a decision , which is'nt an easy one , I don't envy you - you're in between a "rock and a hard place" , hope it turns out ok , whatever way you decide to go buddy :)
  18. wklivesvtime

    wklivesvtime New Member

    Hard decision? Its the easiest decision in the world. Move in and stop flapping. It will be fine you have been told so, the tiler has signed, others have said yet still you bleat about ripping them up?? Do you actually want to rip them up? You are a total fool if you rip them up. This place is full of muppets who talk a good job but dont live in the real world. Move in and warm tyour feet and be happy. Christ almighty
  19. jizzard_of_oz

    jizzard_of_oz New Member

    if you pay someone to do a job it should be done properly so i can understand why he's "flapping
  20. TJP 40

    TJP 40 New Member

    Another update:

    Spoke to my UFH installer again about the dot and dab issue and now he has said that the efficiency will be compromised and I will get hot spots but he didn't have the heart to tell me before. In his opinion the floor is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Got the tiler back on the premise to finish the polishing then, despite him assuring me that the floor is NOT dot and dabbed, he was mightily reluctant to pull up a tile to prove me wrong. There were a row of 4 tiles that were well p*ssed which he agreed beforehand to take up and relay but yet he didn't want to do that in front of me. I wonder why!! Anyway he bolted. I lifted the 4 tiles in about 10 seconds flat without breaking a single one. No adhesion whatsoever and it has to be the worst dot and dabbing you could imagine. Some of the corners didn't even have any gear on them!!

    Phoned him up with my findings and in amongst the rantings and threats he still insists that floor is a top job and that I shouldn't listen to all these other cnuts giving me advice. The bloke is clearly an idiot (albeit not as stupid as me) and believes he's own BS. So this weekend I will be taking up 300 floor tiles and losing £2000 in the process because of this b@stard and then redoing the lot myself as I can't now afford to get a pro in to do it. Anyone feeling charitable ;)

    Regarding the stop flapping about it comment - I wonder how you would feel if you had spent £5k on a UFH system and £2K on tiling for the whole lot to be compromised by a cowboy? His guarantee is obviously not worth the paper it's written on but at least I have a written record of what I have paid him and what he has done (badly) so I can at least give the civil courts a go to try and get some money back.

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