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Question:

I have to remove 500 square foot of ceramic tile that is glued to cement board?

Then I have to install marble in replace of this tile. I have laid a lot of ceramic tile but I being told that marble is a real pain in the but. I just started my business and this will be my first big job. Please give me your input. I live in Denver Colorado. Thank you

Answer:

Ok, since this is your first big job, you'll want to do it right. Remember that word-of-mouth advertising is the best and cheapest advertising. Yes, the tile should be removed. You won't know what condition the backerboard is in until you remove the tile and if it is in bad condition it should be removed and replaced too. If it just needs a little patching, that could be done with thinset mortar. Marble can be installed just like tile with approximately a 1/4 grout joint. The reason you've been told that it can be a pain is that many people want a very tight grout joint and that is very difficult unless the underlayment is perfectly flat. Also, if the marble is a light color, white thinset should be used or the grey might reflect through the marble. Marble also stains, so a natural, non staining grout color such as white, off white, pale tan or pale natural grey should be used. Marble requires a lot of maintenance if it is a polished marble, so your client should know that in advance. If the marble isn't a high-gloss, sealing might be required too. Good luck in your new business!
May 11, 2017
Mexichik covered it for the most part, I'd like to add a few things though. If its a light colored tile, back butter the tile too. The trowel marks can show through if you don't. Also, you should seal the tile before you grout at least, but Its recommended to seal it before even installing it. It is a pain but thats why you get more money for installing stone. And be VERY careful, marble scratches so easy.
May 11, 2017
As a business, you need time saving tools. they make a reciprocating flat bladed, heavy duty chisel that is made specifically for blasting off tile and linoleum- buy it at carpet and tile stores, about $200.00. do not bother with the handy man types, they will burn our on the first job. If you can't afford one, go rent one for your first few jobs- believe me, they are money makers. then uses mastic fill or heavy duty grinder to level the backing and get all the old adhesive off. the surface has to be perfect- and I mean perfect! to do the job right. Marble is a tough one, but if you take your time, you can do it ok- the trouble you will have with it is mostly accurate cutting. measure twice, use cardboard templates, what ever it takes to do it perfect. As a pro, you customer will expect perfect. If you mess up with marble, you have to go buy another piece and start over- no hasty “hidey-fixies” , or your reputation will be shot really quick and you'll be back to bummer work. If you demand absolute perfection of yourself, believe me, you will be covered up with work, even in this economy. I knew a tile guy - that's mostly a one man show, as you know- who was such a perfectionist, one time I watched him knock out a whole completed job because it did not meet his standards- he replaced the whole thing at his own expense. The thing was, that action of him smashing what we all thought was a perfect job, got around all the contractors. we all said, Wow! If he would do that just for a very minor, invisible mistake, he is the man I want!” I would wait three extra weeks just to get him on all my jobs and even paid premium for him. He was in huge demand and became very wealthy- In slump times, he was always working when his competitors would all be idle..
May 11, 2017
Big difference in marble and ceramic of course. You will have to face difficulty as compared to pasting marbles.
May 11, 2017

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