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NZ Tilers Forum Anything You Won't Tile?

Discussion in 'NZ Tilers Forum' started by Jacqui, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    As a salesperson, we often get customers come in saying that their tiler reccomended using a different size tile or thickness than the one they have chosen. Often we aren't told by the customer why the tiler has specified a 300x300 or something small on the floor and often we assume that the tiler doesn't know what they're doing which is an incorrect assumption to make, but sometimes can be true!

    Some tilers will say they can lay anything and others have certain parameters within which they work.

    I understand that different situations are better suited to a smaller tile and there are movement issues with larger tiles on wooden floors etc but are there any sized tiles in particular situations that you refuse to lay for a specific reason? Good to understand these things as salespeople so we can work better with our tilers.
  2. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    As a tiling contractor I always had a can do attitude. That meant my customers would get whatever they wanted as long as it worked.
    I've had people tell me they hired me not on price but because the other tilers said it can't be done.
    And that's the point. If what the client wants is possible and they are willing to pay for it, then do it...if you can.!
    I get it as well Jacqui, .."the tiler said we need 30x30 tiles" translated it means. " the floors a bit rough but if I use 30x30 tiles I'll get it down in a day"
    Its not that the tiler doesn't know what he's doing but the tiler can't be bothered with prepping the job properly because it will leave him with half a day doing nothing.
    Price the job accordingly and do it properly together with a good attitude towards the clients wishes will get you the job. If not, then they just want a cheap job and in that case i wouldn't be able to do it because I don't do cheap jobs.
  3. Northern Tiler

    Northern Tiler Junior Contributor

    I will tile anything....I will not use black grout anywhere near white plastic
  4. cptiling

    cptiling Junior Contributor

    A major issue is when the retailers don't ask any/appropriate questions and soley focus on a sale. It annoys me when I waste time arriving at a job to find the customer has been sold 12mm thick stone for skimmed walls, or has been supplied the wrong adhesive and grout because they failed to ask what substrate it was going on and only took into account the tile they sold.

    I always advise the customer on weights, prep, tile suitability, but I'll tile anything if it can be done and is what the customer wants.
    AMA Tiling and Bob Neary like this.
  5. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    Think it comes down to the substrate is it flat enough for large format tiles (will the customer pay the extra for the prep work) are the walls up to the weight// is there a walk in shower in the equation
  6. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I honestly don't think it's appropriate for any one to give advice on something they are not sure of. Without asking the right questions you really can't give the best advice.
    But to be fair the sales cons. won't have the years of trade industry knowledge that the tiler would have.
    I would advise any sales cons. that if asked and is not sure of the answers, to suggest the client consult with the tiler or take a note of the questions and offer to get in touch when they have the correct info.
    The client won't know what the substrate is or the condition of it as much as the salesperson would know what adhesive to use and the weight ratio per m2.
    But I also believe it is really important for sales cons. learn as much about product use and compatibility. This can be achieved by product demos and courses held by the suppliers at the request of company management. To be honest I think it should be compulsory imo.
    the other thing, I advise the customer to have a sample tile to show any tiler when they come to view the job to quote. That's when all the questions about the fixing should be asked.
  7. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    Couldn't agree more with all of you. We always ask questions and make sure we fully understand the full situation before we advise on the size or type of tile we believe would be best for the area. I think a lot of the time (well I KNOW a lot of the time) that the communication breakdown is between the client and the tiler/salesperson. The tiler tells the client one thing and the client relays another and vice versa. Trouble is, clients want what they want and sometimes, no matter how many times you tell them it won't work, they will end up getting it from somewhere else anyway. If someone wants something that I know is not suitable, I won't sell it to them. I don't care if they walk away and don't spend their money with me because I know that if they used that type of tile it's only going to end up costing our company money in the end when they come back and try and pin it on someone other than themselves.

    And yes Bob, when I organise trade things such as the waterproofing course I always get my staff to sit in on it to keep up to speed. It is something that should be done throughout the industry but I know it's largely not happening.

    Thanks for the comments guys. :)
    Bob Neary likes this.
  8. Grace's Dad

    Grace's Dad Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I won't tile onto wood.
    Bolter likes this.
  9. Dave@BTC

    Dave@BTC Tiling Product Supplier

    I find the opposite a problem a lot of the time. I spec it correctly and the so called tiler brings back the adhesive mouthing off that I've specced the wrong stuff and telling the customer I'm wrong and then walks out smug with the wrong stuff. More often than not its that they want tubbed gear despite the tiles being large format or porcelain. Or telling me the tanking was unnecessary because they used moisture resistant plasterboard.
    The other classic is sending the customer back to change their tiles as they are "too big for the room" when I know full well its because they only have a ts40 lol. There are a lot of good tilers about but even more bad ones.
    Shops always get stick for giving bad advice (thankfully that doesn't include mine) but in defence to them, all there really is when speccing over the counter is the customers word. They tell us the substrates etc and they are not always right. The same with measurements. We can only work out to their numbers. I often frustrate customers with the amount of questions I ask but it's often the only way to know for sure. I just grill them until I'm absolutely sure of everything.
    DavidCarr, Phil Hobson and Jacqui like this.
  10. T'T

    T'T Junior Contributor

    I won't tile onto floating floors.
  11. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    haha! yep nail on the head there! And yes it all really does come down to the quality of the tiler and the communication they have with their regular store and sales people. The tilers I work with and have known are generally a bunch of really great guys - just sucks there are a few that don't play by the same rules.
  12. Dave@BTC

    Dave@BTC Tiling Product Supplier

    I must add to the above in case my trade customers read that, I do have a LOT of top quality tilers buy from me, they are by no means all bad. There just seems to be a lot of people having a go at being a tiler at the moment.
    DavidCarr and ray like this.
  13. Grace's Dad

    Grace's Dad Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    ...and some of us don't know when to stop either!
    jay likes this.
  14. magyar vizsla

    magyar vizsla Superb Contributor

    won't tile over safe load bearing limits;)
  15. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Also there is the adhesive that can go straight down onto wood. Great if you can't raise the floor by 6mm underlay. But in reality if that wood is subject to moisture or high and low temperatures IT WILL FAIL. A case in point and we get at least one a day a person came in looking for a tile to match the one in there hand. Unless its within 6 months ...not a chance! I know what I'm going to see almost everytime I look at the back of the tile..adhesive with timber or particle board flecks attached to it. What happened I ask...I stood on it and it broke!??
    Oh, did it get wet a couple of weeks earlier. Surprised they exclaim "yes, how did you know?"
    Now these tiles were not in a typical wet area but in a conservatory and someone had left the window open over night and recent storms had blown the rain in all night.
    The particle board blew and delaminates the adhesive from the floor.
    You really need to treat a wooden floor as if it's Alive. It doesn't like water so it will shake it off and it gets uncomfortable when subject to heat and cold and moves around to get comfortable. Best not to interact with it at all.
  16. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Now isn't that interesting? For the last 9 years when presenting my waterproofing course I have told guys that any room with a water supply is a wet area. That is the regulation, and to this day, guys still only waterproof 1500mm out from the shower, and no where else. Now you've given an example of rain coming in an open window. I bet no-one thought of that. And that is exactly what waterproofing is for, the unexpected. If anyone could guarantee there would be no water in tiled rooms, there would not be a need for waterproofing. End of story!!!!!
    DavidCarr and Bob Neary like this.
  17. Phil Hobson

    Phil Hobson Serious Contributor

    I think all the above comments just go to prove there are tilers, and there are tilers. As there are sales staff, and there are sales staff. Most of the time "ne'r the twain shall meet" I price jobs on a regular basis where the customer has had several quotes prior to mine.

    They question why I recommend tanking, or decoupling, or expansion joints, backer boards etc, as if I am trying to squeeze more money from them. The other tiler said " I don't need all that stuff" or the tile shop said "you can tile on to chipboard/ T&G floor boards, with this stuff".

    I would love to quote like for like, using correct methods and materials, the right prep work etc. Instead of competing with morons who have no idea how to price a job/spec a job that will last, not just until the cheque clears. Rant over.
    ray, Bob Neary, Andy Carroll and 4 others like this.
  18. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    Just an example of what can happen if prep is not right 01112012575 [1280x768].jpg

    and the trouble it can cause (ceiling below) 01112012583 [1280x768].jpg
  19. Stewart @ SPM Design

    Stewart @ SPM Design Serious Contributor

    Another fine example of a tiler not giving a toss.. 22mm ply over piped heating, primed with pva and the room was tiled with the heating on..... ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351891506.867913.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351891517.860199.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351891534.120916.jpg
    DavidCarr and jay like this.
  20. Alec De martin

    Alec De martin New Contributor

    Looks like he had real good coverage and transfer of adhesive, as well. (not)!!!!!!!!! One of the biggest, if not the biggest issue, that our industry has, particularly here in NZ, is movement. A large number of tilers simply don't understand the effects of movement stress, whether it be structural or thermal. They believe that by putting silicone over an already grouted joint, at worst, or leaving grout out then siliconing the joint, at best, is an movement joint. (Lets not call them expansion joints, because these joints can both expand and contract). Typically silicone has a +/- 25% movement capability, 25% of 3mm joint is only .75mm. A number of tilers don't want to put proper movement joints in because "the client won't like a big 8mm joint". Never mind that these joints have a job to do, and looking pretty is not the first criteria. Lets face it, there are no moving parts in tiles, there are no moving parts in adhesive, what does move is the substrate or the enviornment, and it is this that has to be accommodated.

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