5 On Your Side

Tile job leads to unexpected problems for Raleigh couple

Posted April 16, 2012 5:47 p.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2012 7:47 p.m. EDT

— The Myers are about to adopt 5-year-old twins. It should be a hectic – but exciting – time for the Raleigh couple. What they did not need were unexpected problems with a tile job. That's what led them to call 5 on Your Side.

They were working on a kitchen remodel when they found out their family size was about to double. So they hired Kevin Taylor, owner of Strictly Business in Raleigh, $540 to install the tile floor.

That "help" only caused more problems.

They were happy with the carpet he had installed upstairs. The tile looked good, too, they say, until two days after it was installed. That's when the Myers noticed cracks in the grout.

"My husband just thought, 'You know we needed to redo a couple of the grout lines. He does it for a living. Not a big deal,'" Sunny Myers said.

Then, there were more problems. The tiles started shifting.

"It's supposed to have mortar underneath it to not be able to move or to shift," Myers said.

According to the installation guide, thin-set mortar should be used between the sub-floor and backer board, which goes under the tile. The Myers say it wasn't there, and that allowed for movement and the cracks.

When 5 on Your Side called Taylor, he said that he the use of mortar is up to the discretion of the installer and that it's "up to the customer to make sure the installation would work." He promised to get back to 5 on Your Side about a refund for the Myers. He didn't.

So after repeated phone messages were not returned, 5 on Your Side went to his business address. No one answered the door.

In a voicemail to the Myers, Taylor claimed that installation guidelines recently changed and that he wasn't aware of the changes until now.

But when we called the manufacturer of the backer board, U.S. Gypsum, a technical support agent said the same installation guidelines have been in place for at least five years and that the industry has installed tile this way for a, "long, long time."

"It's not done right, and now our floor is moving, so it just needs to be fixed," Myers said – fixed so the couple can have their kitchen done to take care of bigger priorities – room for their adopted children who will be here soon.

As of Wednesday, the Myers plan to take Taylor and his company to court.