New tile smells like rotten fish


I had some work done on a small foyer (6' x 8') that included replacing worn vinyl flooring with vinyl tiles. The old flooring was laid over particle board with glue, so left a rough surface when scraped up. The new tiles were self-stick, but the old surface was too rough, so the contractor used mastic over the self-stick adhesive. When he was done, the foyer stunk of rotten fish. Honest to god, it smells like bad sardines. I brought it to his attention, but he blew it off as if it were nothing unusual and I was just complaining about the smells of paint and turpentine. I've been doing, or having done, home repairs for over forty years, and believe me when i say I have never smelled anything remotely like this.
It's been three days with a fan circulating air through the foyer, but it still stinks. I'm beginning to suspect one of the workmen left a tuna sandwich in the air duct as a prank
Anyone ever experienced anything like this?
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Richard Evans wrote:

I don't know what product he used, but some of them are pungent. Also, things smell different to different people--my wife complains bitterly about things that don't bother me or I can't smell at all. If the contractor didn't think there was a problem, then there probably isn't, (as long as he's honest). You might simply be sensitive to a chemical that other people can't smell.
That doesn't help you with your problem, though. Since the floor is down, you have no choice but to air it out until the smell abates. Since it's covered up, it will take much longer to cure. I would give it a couple of weeks. I can smell oil paint curing for a couple of months.
If the problem doesn't get gradually better, call the contractor back and ask him to fix it.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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If so, my wife has the same sensitivity. Maybe I'll have a couple of the neighbors come over for a sniff test.
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On Sat, 23 Aug 2008 13:07:20 -0400, Richard Evans

fish" smell.
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Richard Evans wrote:

nose is either fried, or he is just used to the smell. (I still remember, as a kid, thinking the guy setting bathroom tile with brown mastic, no respirator, and not even a fan running, was just a little 'off'. All the grownups on the construction sites gave that guy a wide berth- in retrospect, I think the fumes fried his brain.)
I'll note in passing- the self stick and standard mastic may or may not be compatible. If old floor was too rough, particle board should have been removed and replaced, or covered over with 1/4 luan plywood or something. OP is braver than me- I'd never use self-stick tile next to a weather door in a high-traffic area. A patch that small, a sheet vinyl remnant would have been a better solution. If the new floor has to be ripped out, they should look into that for the rework, as well as using a different contractor.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

Wonder if OP noticed a coke spoon in pencil slot of tool pouch.

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wrote:

I wouldn't be bringing up about rotten fish smell around women there Richard!
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Just your luck! Previous Chinese ship cargo must have been fish.
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