QUESTIONNot sure who I would need, but need someone to look at a porcelain wood grain tile that appears to be incorrectly. It’s not for court purposes but for information to go back to the installer. I do not need your full services and frankly out of my price range. Could you point me in the right direction?
ANSWERANSWER - Unfortunately it is difficult for consumers to determine how to select qualified tile installers. Most installers haven't had any formal education on how to install tile nor do they know what the industry standards are. They normally learn from on the job training. It is also hard for consumers to determine if their tile was installed correctly, and it isn't always practical for them to hire a professional expert like www.CTaSC.com.
There is a new website being developed to help consumers locate tile installers and help them determine the installer's qualifications. The website is www.floorprosguide.com. Eventually it will provide information and tools to help the consumer select qualified installers.
There are free installation guidelines on this website at https://ctasc.com/2016/08/free-tile-and-stone-installation-guidelines/ that encourage consumers to make sure the Tile Installers are ITS Verified through the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone as described at www.UofCTS.org. The installation guidelines also helps the consumer know how to verify that the tile installation is being done correctly.
Of course that information doesn't help your situation after the tile is installed. The issues you have with these 6"x36" porcelain wood grain tiles is that there might be excessive warpage in the tile. All tiles have warpage but there are standards for what is allowed. If the tile was excessively warped then the installer should not have installed it. There is likely excessive tile lippage, where one edge of two adjacent tiles is higher or lower than the other edge. The standards allow 1/32" lippage plus the allowable warpage of the tile itself, which together is about 1/16" allowable lippage. If the grout joints are too narrow, then that can accentuate the lippage and make it difficult to limit lippage during the installation. If the installer didn't properly flatten the substrate prior to installing the tile that could contribute to excessive tile lippage. If the tile installer didn't have the level of skill or was sloppy with his workmanship that can contribute to tile lippage and other problems.
If you review the category of lippage and other categories on this Ask The Expert section you will get a lot of information that can help you evaluate your own situation. It it were practical, it would be best to hire an expert like us to evaluate the tile installation and to produce a report.