Adjacent tiles lift after repair work. Is it malpractice?

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On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 8:36:52 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

It looks like we responded at the same time. I think you now see how I interpreted the situation, so I guess we're good.
I'd love to hear the final outcome of this. Best case is the OP get's his $900 back from the tile contractor and also gets some relief from the previous owners due to some disclosure law.
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On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 06:20:29 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Ah, disclosure law. I'll ask about that. In New York, the seller is supposed to sign a document stating that they have disclosed all the known issues. There is a $500 penalty, paid to the buyer at closing, for failing to submit that document. Any lawyer who suggests signing it rather than paying the $500 at closing would be sued for malpractice.
When I sold my house, I did not sign the document and paid the $500. It is simply part of the cost of selling the house.
But I'll check with the lawyer that I used to buy this Florida house. I don't recall getting $500 in lieu of a disclosure document. Of course, Florida might not have such a document at all.
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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 10 Sep 2015 00:57:20 -0400, dgk

NYS and NYC have a lot of good laws you won't find other places. or you'll find them but they were passed after NY did.
Certainly more than Maryland, but that's partly because Md. has a lot fewer people, fewer complaints, fewer case decisions, fewer reasons to improve the laws. Unless you're one who needed an improved law, then the reason is very big.
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On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 05:36:49 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

I posted a map that was supposed to be the work that was actually done. It came right up to the start of the kitchen tiles but stopped just before the ones that actually started lifting.
Even if warned, I don't know what I could have done but had the repair attempted. Most of the house is those tiles, all connected. Actually, in a way, I got lucky - at least so far. The tiles that blew up were in the kitchen, and that can logically have a separate scheme from the rest of the house. If it had blow up towards the dining room, or towards the 2nd bedroom, or the tiles that head around the (carpeted) living room, that would have been a real disaster. Tiles switching to a different type of tile could be odd looking. I would probably have had to redo the entire house.
But this way, we salvage a lot of tiles from the kitchen. That way, if problems do creep up down the road, I'll have a lot of spares to deal with it.
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On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 8:09:08 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

s say by accident. In any case, those are not the same "some other tiles" t hat had adhesive injected as part of the contract, therefore the contractor is claiming that he is not responsible for the damage to them.

Yes, and "on their own" could in fact mean "right next to" or "adjacent" to the tiles that were contracted for. That would indeed be "a different area" in terms of what was contracted for.
Let's try this example: Imagine two properties with adjacent lots. One property is in East Bewildered, ME, the other property is in West Bewildered, ME. 2 adjacent properties covered by different codes, laws, rules. Now imagine 2 adjacent tiles. One covered by contract to be repaired thus covered by a warranty, the other one nothing more than a "near by" tile, thus excluded from the warranty and also specifically excluded by the "responsibility clause". The towns have boundaries, the contract had boundaries.
If we go all the back to the first post we see this:
"The contractor walked around the house hitting all the tiles with a broomstick handle so he could tell the general state of the tiles. "
Once that was done, I imagine that there was an agreed upon set of tiles that would be repaired, either by resetting, replacing or injecting. Any other tiles, whether they are in the next row over from the contracted tile s or in other room, would not be part of the contract. They might be near by, they might be adjacent, they might be on another floor. Regardless of where they are, they are indeed "on their own/in another area" in terms of the contract.

We are in 100% agreement here.

I think that this is where we keep diverging. I must not be explaining myself very well. I never said that nothing was injecting under the popping tiles. I have repeatedly said, in various ways, that nothing was *supposed* to have been injected under the popping tiles. I have no problem imagining this happening:
The contractor tapped on Tile 1 and determined that it needed to be injected. He then tapped on Tile 2 - an adjacent tile - and decided it did not need to be injected. Tile 1 is included in the contract, Tile 2 is not. He then injects adhesive under Tile 1 and it enters the gaps he found by tapping. However, the adhesive also seeps under Tile 2, perhaps into ver y small gaps - gaps so small that Tile 2 passed the tapping test. Overnight, the adhesive expands to fill the gaps in Tile 1 (a good thing) but also overfills the small gaps in Tile 2, popping it off the floor (a bad thing).
Tile 1 (contracted) is OK, so there is no warranty issue. Tile 2 (non- contracted) pops, but is excluded from the contractor's responsibility by the "near by tiles" clause.
So, yes, I am completely agreeing that there was adhesive "injected" under Tile 2, but trying to point out that it wasn't done intentionally (or at least not under contract) therefore excluded from the contractor's responsibility.

We'll see...
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On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 9:15:46 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

t's say by accident. In any case, those are not the same "some other tiles" that had adhesive injected as part of the contract, therefore the contract or is claiming that he is not responsible for the damage to them.

But regardless, even if the ones that were injected were on their own, then they *are* ones that were contracted for. The exclusion of adjacent tiles would then be any tiles in that area that are adjacent to the ones injected. In areas where tiles were loose, removed, replaced, adjacent would be any tiles that were not removed, replaced, injected, etc.

But the ones that are adjacent to ones that were worked on in any way would be subject to the exclusion.

Yes, that I agree with. If it was unintentionally seepage that caused it. I guess one big problem would be the contractor can claim that and unless the OP was watching, how would he know, how could he prove it, etc.

K, I think this is what wasn't clear to me. I was only looking at injecting as being done purposefully. If we include seepage, I agree.
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On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 05:09:02 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

being lifted and replaced, apparently the ones that sounded hollow when hit with a broom handle. They injected something, I'm assuming an adhesive, into those holes between the tiles. Then they somehow filled the hole in the grout, I didn't see how. The last tiles they treated like that were immediately adjacent to the ones that started exploding.
I'm sorry, I thought that that was a standard way of getting adhesive under tiles and figured that everyone knew about it. My guess is that they simply injected too much adhesive and the sideways pressure was more than the other tiles could take. But that must have been a lot of adhesive.
The tiles that are immediately adjacent to the work area are actually still on the floor so I can't tell if anything leaked under them. They're raised but I want a pro to remove them because I want to save as many as I can. Besides, it doesn't matter if adhesive leaked under them. The pressure of the adhesive under the other tiles must have been sufficient to push those tiles enough to break them loose. Something sure did.
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tiles that popped? The popped tiles were a whole tile away from the tiles he re-installed?
The general justification for not covering "damage to nearby tile" has to do with the possibility of damagina the tile next to an already damaged tile while removing it. "No guarantee we won't have to replace up to 8 adjacent tiles to remove the single damaged tile in the middle of your floor" makes sense. "no guarantee that undamaged tile may not jump off the floor or crack within hours or days of us finished the repair job" does not - unless they know they are doing something wrong that has caused that kind of damage in the past.
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On Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 11:23:24 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

What they are saying is that by adjacent tiles, the contract should be interpreted to mean tiles that are OK, don't need to be worked on at all, break during any removal work, etc. Tiles that the contractor chose to inject adhesive under are not considered "adjacent", they are part of the work area.
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On Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 11:03:54 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

cording to the OP, the contract specifically states that the contractor is not responsible for damage to nearby tiles.

I can't tell if you are agreeing with me that it is not a warranty issue or not...
It sounded to me like the contractor did indeed add adhesive to existing ti les and I agree that that is indeed part of the new work. However, it also sounds to me that it was not any of the tiles he worked on that are the one s that subsequently popped. Had the "new work" tiles popped, then it would be a warranty issue, but if a "nearby" tile popped - with nearby tiles bein g explicitly excempted in the contract - then it's not technically a warran ty issue.
One could argue that the exception is not enforceable, but that's a contrac t issue, not a warranty issue.
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On Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 11:03:54 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

cording to the OP, the contract specifically states that the contractor is not responsible for damage to nearby tiles.

I like that interpretation and agree. Additionally, especially considering the amount spent, I would have expected some warranty on the job.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 6 Sep 2015 17:06:29 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

If it's not express, it's implied.

Of course there is a warranty and it's an issue. "Contractors must perform their work, including the selection of materials, in a workmanlike manner even when their contract does not cover this requirement, a Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District recently reaffirmed." But it's the law everywhere. http://www.herzogcrebs.com/News-Information/2003-Articles/Contractors-Performance-Must-be-Workmanlike.shtml This is just one of many urls on the subject. I don't know where dg lives.
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wrote:

Palm Beach County Florida.
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In alt.home.repair, on Mon, 07 Sep 2015 09:07:32 -0400, dgk

If you'd put this in the OP, I woudl have included Florida in my search, but now it's your turn!
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Silk purse     Sow's ear         Or something like that.
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dgk wrote:

I cannot imagine anything that would lift up adjacent tiles, the sole exception being something that expanded as it cured (like foam). If the latter, it should not have been used...the only thing that should be used to stick down floor tiles on a slab is either thinset (cementatious) or mastic and, personally, I wouldn't use mastic.
What I do know is that you were screwed royally on the price...$900 to replace 12 tiles is ridiculous..
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reading comprehension is just not your thing, is it?
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taxed and spent wrote:

So enlighten me, O Learned One. OP said 12 tiles were worked on and 6 of the 12 were replaced. It is a ridiculous price, shouldn't take one man more than half a day even if he loafed most of the time.
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no, he didn't.
he said 12 tiles had previously been replaced in a diamond pattern.
he said the guy used a broomstick to tell the state of the tiles around the house.
He did not say how many tiles were replaced or adjusted.
He did say that 6 spare tiles were used.
He did not say that only the 12 tiles that had previously been replaced were replaced or adjusted.
He did not say the number of tiles that were replaced or adjusted for the $900.
You are welcome, O Learned One.
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On Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 4:34:02 PM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

It's not clear exactly how many were actually replaced, but I agree with you that from the description, it doesn't sound like it was a lot.
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