Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Doing remodel on 100 year old restaurant. The old tile seems stable, owner wants to upgrade. My question is can ceramic tile be laid over ceramic tile?

It does have wooden substrate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
The old tile seems stable
The owner is trying to save a buck or two in the short term. Long term your name and rep is on the line. When this fails down the road you will be on the hook to tear out TWO layers of tile and do it right - on your dime.

It's an honest question you asked but if that is what the owner wants, let someone else do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,855 Posts
Just asking
What if he does as instructed, but adds that caveat in the contract and specifically states will not guarantee the job due to previous tile?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,572 Posts
jb4211 said:
Just asking What if he does as instructed, but adds that caveat in the contract and specifically states will not guarantee the job due to previous tile?
I think that's hard to defend in court. You were the expert and installed something that you had openly admitted would not be warrantied due to whatever (past experience, common industry knowledge, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
I think that's hard to defend in court. You were the expert and installed something that you had openly admitted would not be warrantied due to whatever (past experience, common industry knowledge, etc).
Perfect wording

Another thing to note is that is "may appear solid" now but as someone earlier said think of the additional weight.

There are plenty of people lurking around Home Depot that this owner can find to do this work.

Sometimes the best jobs are the one's you didn't get or take.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Just asking
What if he does as instructed, but adds that caveat in the contract and specifically states will not guarantee the job due to previous tile?
Never mind the question of legal responsibility, is that the position on quality that you want to stake out for your referral base? "Call John; he's your man for nice, cosmetic, un-warranteed work that might fail later."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,855 Posts
Everyone contractor has different financial needs. If he has to provide for his family and this job is affording him that opportunity, then there is a way to do it I believe.

I honestly think it is such a backward way of thinking to turn down paying jobs because the scope of work is not in line with your way of doing things. A man had to do what a man had to do to provide for his family. If money is coming in and you are fortunate enough to pick and choose your clients, great. Not every one is that fortunate. But the bill collector wants his money regardless of your preferences regarding tile installation.

The customer is going to find someone to do the job.

I know a few professional tile setters who have set tile over tile without a problem.
 

·
Pro
Joined
·
2,138 Posts
jb4211 said:
The customer is going to find someone to do the job.

I know a few professional tile setters who have set tile over tile without a problem.
Then let someone else do the job.

The OP stated the "old tile seems unstable".

Tile is fickle. Substrate needs to be "stable".

Only way I would sleep at night would be to suggest a crack isolation membrane. Figuring in all the extra material and labor, you're at a wash to tear up the floor.

Anything less would be half-a$$ed and therefore a potential court case. (As mentioned before.)

To the OP:

Some things to think about.

1) Weight on 100 year old joist.

2) The cost of an iso-membrane vs. tear out and new CBU that you spec and install.

3) Can you afford a court case 6 months down the line that will take time and money.

You are the professional. Your instincts are correct.

If the iso-membrane/cost is a deal breaker for the customer, I would walk away.

Up to you.

Good luck.
 

·
Radical Basement Dweller
Joined
·
25,814 Posts
Then let someone else do the job.

The OP stated the "old tile seems unstable".

Tile is fickle. Substrate needs to be "stable".

Only way I would sleep at night would be to suggest a crack isolation membrane. Figuring in all the extra material and labor, you're at a wash to tear up the floor.

Anything less would be half-a$$ed and therefore a potential court case. (As mentioned before.)

To the OP:

Some things to think about.

1) Weight on 100 year old joist.

2) The cost of an iso-membrane vs. tear out and new CBU that you spec and install.

3) Can you afford a court case 6 months down the line that will take time and money.

You are the professional. Your instincts are correct.

If the iso-membrane/cost is a deal breaker for the customer, I would walk away.

Up to you.

Good luck.
Just a correction. The op stated...
The old tile seems stable
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,518 Posts
tenon0774 said:
The OP stated the "old tile seems unstable".
No, the OP said "the old tile seems stable."

I agree that tiling over an existing tile is not ideal. But it can be done, and done well. I've done it over tiles set on a mud bed. I prefer to rip out and start fresh, but some people can't afford that or other factors exist which prohibit that. Figure in the extra labor to rip up the time and mud floor, then new plywood and cement board, disposing of mud floor, and the dust and additional down time of the bathroom, and it's way cheaper to time over, even with a crack iso membrane.

I've successfully done it in the past, so I can tell the customer exact what to expect. Given a mud floor underneath the original tile, and the tile is in good shape, I can tile over it and do indeed warrantee the job. I also make it very clear that the best way is to rip up the old floor, but that's a decision for them to make.

Maybe the day will come where I will be successful enough to pick and choose the jobs I want to do, but til then I still gotta pay the bills. It's not hack work, and it's not unwarranted.

But back to the OP, for your particular situation, what would prevent you from ripping up the old tile? Like I said, I only tile over tile when it's on a mud floor. If it's over plywood, why not just remove the tile, but leave the plywood? Plus like others have said, that floors gotta be crazy greasy.

My hat's off to those who can turn down jobs like this, realIy. I wish I were able to pick and choose what jobs I take. To some extent I do, the customers that are really asking to do something that's unacceptable. But the people that want it "good" as opposed to "best", I can cater to their needs. And I feel tiling over tile is a "good" method, but not a "best" method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,855 Posts
I think that's hard to defend in court. You were the expert and installed something that you had openly admitted would not be warrantied due to whatever (past experience, common industry knowledge, etc).
Not true. I think you're over thinking the issue.

You can install the tile over the existing tile. You could guarantee that bond.

However, you can't guarantee the original tiles bond I would presume, nor would you have to.

In your contact you would explain the scope of work and indicate your concerns, suggestions and clients demands. Easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,572 Posts
jb4211 said:
Not true. I think you're over thinking the issue. You can install the tile over the existing tile. You could guarantee that bond. However, you can't guarantee the original tiles bond I would presume, nor would you have to. In your contact you would explain the scope of work and indicate your concerns, suggestions and clients demands. Easy.
I think you're playing semantics. I don't care if you tile over tile or not. I'm not speaking to that issue as I'm not a tile expert.

I'm speaking to the issue of having the owner signing something that negates your responsibility to provide a warranty on your work. As I said, I think you will have a hard time arguing that in the court case if the floor failed in less than a year. Do you think the judge is going to understand/care that your tile is bonded to the original tile, but that old tile came loose, so it's not your fault? I don't. Relying on a waiver to CYA is too much risk for me.

Not saying Id walk from the job. If I was comfortable enough the it was going to work, then Id do it AND warranty it. If I didn't think it would work (at least through the warranty period), I'd offer another suggestion or walk.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top