And debacle it was!
I've mentioned a bit about our situation briefly in previous posts...this has become such an ordeal that I do believe it deserves its own post!
We have travertine tile in the kitchen, entry, laundry room, dining nook, and hall bathroom...all connected. First thing I will tell you -- if you are ever choosing tile, do NOT choose travertine. It's pretty, but very fragile. It scratches and cracks very easily. We had a handful of tiles in the kitchen that were cracked, and we told the buyers that we would fix them. We also felt the whole area needed to be resealed to give it a fresh coat.
TILE GUY #1
The first tile guy came out to survey our needs. He developed a good plan and we moved forward. He needed to purchase additional tiles because we didn't have any extras...this was our first issue. It took awhile to find the match, and then since it has been five years since our floor was installed, the new batch of tile is a little lighter now. Tile Guy #1 felt that using a stone enhancer should bring the colors closer together. When he began to replace the tiles, we discovered our second issue. It turns out, a lot of our tiles are hollow underneath -- meaning they did not adhere to the slab as they should have, when installed during our build. This hollowness is a big reason why the tiles are cracking. It's not the whole floor, but a lot of it. So, when he removed one tile and the surrounding tiles weren't attached to the floor, those came up as well and could not be re-adhered. So, three tiles turned into nine, all in one spot. Our third issue is that the new tiles did not darken as expected, so the new tiles, in this big batch of nine, are very obvious. Not good. The fourth issue is that Tile Guy #1 did not remove the existing seal, and he also did not use the same seal; so the new seal did not soak into the tiles -- instead, it created a scummy, goopy, greasy mess over the entire floor. After we waited for it to dry (which is didn't), we scrubbed it with water and soap on our hands and knees to remove the crud...and what was left was a streaky, awful mess. Our final issue is that Tile Guy #1 had been paid, and no longer feels he has any stake in this game...he has been no help in solving our current problem. In his mind, he's done. A few photos are below, and they really do not do enough justice to JUST HOW BAD OUR ENTIRE FLOOR LOOKED.
|The color variation|
|The weird spots where the seal reacted with the existing seal -- and the resulting scum|
|Oh the scum|
TILE GUY #2
Our amazing realtors, Teri and Shanda, calmed our stress and assured us that they would take this over and get it done...bless them! I don't know what we would do without them both! They found Tile Guy #2, who came and took a look. He decided the whole floor needed to be completely stripped with a chemical (we would need to stay off the floor for 48 hours); then he would replace a few extra tiles and move a few of the new ones to balance out the lightness; and then he would reseal the whole floor (this would be another 48 hours). Sounded great! But then he looked at his schedule and told us he couldn't fit our very tight time frame into his. So, Tile Guy #2 was out.
TILE GUY #3
Enter Tile Guy #3. His plan was to buff/sand/scrape the initial seal (plus the crud) off the tiles (we would not have to stay off the tile during this phase); replace a few tiles; and then reseal the whole floor (staying off for 48 hours).
I am happy to report that as of today, they have completed the floor and it looks really nice! They literally scraped off so much crud, it was amazing. Once they had the tile back to its original state, they replaced a few and resealed the entire floor. Now we will wait a day for it to completely dry, and then for the next day we can only walk on it in socks. We are so close!
|They used these tools to completely sand all of the seal layers off|
|Using a scraper and a rough pad, they removed all of the scum|
|It's looking so pretty now!|
|BIG SIGH OF RELIEF!!!|