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A

Best thing to do is discuss with each decorator at the quotation stage what they will be doing to prepare and give a high finish,
Ask for their advice on what is best practice, Ask what materials they will be using and can they provide receipts if the costs are included in the quoted price.
It is difficult to say what preperation is required without seeing the property.
If you ask the right questions and make the decorator aware you want to achieve a high end finish, you can determine whether or not the tradesmen will be suitable for the job,
If a deposit is required , I ask for no more than the cost of the materials i am buying , Also i would not take any of this until the 2nd day into the job at the earliest , that way you have a days labour out it plus your materials so you should never be out of pocket in reality. It is unreasonable for a customer to expect the decorator to pay out of his own pocket for your materials, you will no doubt save money anyway as we get our materials at trade prices rather than retail price.
Hope this advice helps, and dont be afraid to ask questions.
Good luck,

OTT Property Services 16th Dec, 2011
Q

can you fix plywood to a concrete floor and then tile onto it?

Ytommyf 5th May, 2012 Tiling
2 Answers u2
A

Self level screed is the best option,
Ply board has its own downfalls and its still going to be difficult to level the floor without any movement from the ply.
Get Deep base Latex screed available at wickes for a reasonable price and sets in 3-4 hours,
Leave overnight before tiling, Away you go.
This is not a difficult task so please dont be put off by it, Plying the area will no doubt cause you future problems.

hope this helps,
Tom.

OTT Property Services 5th May, 2012
Q

what to do with an old yorkshire stone kitchen floor- restore/clean /seal?

Ysid001_47 1st Jun, 2011 Flooring
3 Answers u1
A

Certainly wouldnt be lifting these up with the intention of relaying, this always brings up problems,i would give them a good clean up with a scourer/buffer machine, make a repair to the broken flag with a similar coloured grout.
I would seriously consider a regrout but that decision would rely on the outcome of buffer, finaly sealing is a must with any natural stone, good luck.

OTT Property Services 3rd Jun, 2011
Q

What is the best solution for a damp bathroom wall that we would like to tile?

Ybillielouisea 28th Dec, 2011 Tiling
6 Answers u10
A

There are a number of different ways you can do this , each one has its pros and cons.
One word of advice from me would be dont try to cut corners by doing a ''cheap fix''.
I wouldnt use marine ply, there are better products on the market now, products made for this very purpose, aqua-panel, Hardibacker or marmox boards are a wise choice.
There isnt a problem using plasterboard but you would need to use the moisture resistant type, then tank the area anyway so its false economy.
Without seeing the job its difficult to say exactly what is going to be the best option for you , so get a couple of trades in, ask for their opinion and make an informed decision.
This is a common problem but easily solved with the right know-how and equipment,
Good luck

OTT Property Services 28th Dec, 2011
A

Hello Gary,What issue are you having? Is it the haze your having an issue with?
Looks like a dusty residue left on the tiles after sponging and cleaning?

OTT Property Services 12th Jan, 2012
Q

New Paint has cracks appearing over Gyproc Easi-Fill

Yshamy1 11th Apr, 2013 Painting & Decorating
3 Answers u1
A

Difficult to say the exact reason for the failure on the paint without seeing what you did exactly however there is a pretty failsafe way to sort the issue.
Going on what you have explained in your description i presume you applied the filler in stages as recomended by the manufacturer. I have a feeling you probably didnt prepare the surface prior to applying the filler which has caused it to shrink and crack slightly, Also the pva prior to painting isnt the way to go.
How i would proceed now is to remove any flaking paint as much as possible, if there are any minor cracks within the filler apply fine filler and sand over to provide a smooth surface. Apply Zinnser BIN (Available at b and q if you dont have a merchants close by). Allow to dry , usually an hour tops, then apply your top coats to finish.
Obviously without seeing the issue its difficult, but if you use the zinsser i think you should be fine.
Hope that helps.

OTT Property Services 12th Apr, 2013
Q

Patchy Kitchen Ceiling

Ybper 11th Aug, 2011 Painting & Decorating
3 Answers u1
A

You can get a dulux product called /stain Block Plus,
give the ceiling a coat of this prior to painting your desired colour,
quite expensive but is tried and tested!
If you have just had your ceiling plastered there may be areas which have not fully dried yet which can cause the patches, ao maybe the plasterer was abit happy with his trowel and gave a polished finish in some areas which makes painting difficult, other reason can be as you have a concrete ceiling is there damp getting through??
Best method would be , get a pole sander, give the ceiling a reasonable sand over , paint with the dulux product mentioned above then over this with your desired colour,
Should solve the problem.

OTT Property Services 12th Aug, 2011
A

self drilling screws with the rubber washers on possibly??

OTT Property Services 12th Aug, 2011
A

there is no problem leavin the gap so long as its no bidder than 4mm,
the gap will then be concealed with sealant so would be able to see it anyway.
If you tiling onto a wooden floor the gap would be a must anyway!

OTT Property Services 22nd Aug, 2011
Q

Do I need to remove existing render before externally insulating?

Ybengalgreenwing 18th Oct, 2011 Insulation
1 Answer
A

Well the council have done been doing our local areas for the past year or so,
They used 50mm insulating boards directly over the render of their houses,
then re-render over the top of the boards,
This has been done on 200 + Properties , so I would say it isnt a problem,

OTT Property Services 19th Oct, 2011
Q

can I put adhesive floor tiles over ceramic tiles in my kitchen

Yissaybon 31st Oct, 2011 Flooring
2 Answers
A

Would require screeding before laying the vinyl tiles,
Easy enough job,
Make sure you leave the screed to go off properly before laying the new vinyl tiles, Each screed has its own reccomendations so read the pack and follow the instructions.
Wickes have a very good product, Latex self levelling screed, goes hard in about and hour or two and only need to leave it 24hours before applying new floor.

OTT Property Services 14th Dec, 2011
A

I have had to take up quite a lot of tiled floors due to this exact reason,
Firstly , the tiler has made a huge error in laying the floor with the dot & dab method, This is amateur to say the least and will allways lead to issues such as this. In all honesty the only way to ensure the floor is upto standard is to remove the whole lot in my opion, Sounds drastic i know but do you think your tiler will come round again to remedy the next lot of loose tiles?? I think not.
One thing in your favour is the slate is pretty strong so you should, if care is taken, be able to lift the tiles and remove the majority of the adhesive, I would suggest initially trying to lift the tiles with hand tools (Bolster chisel & Hamme) to see just how easy the lift, if this doesnt work you will probably have to resort to a mechanical breaker method but great care should be taken with this machine, you can get carried away with it and end up cracking tiles.
To remove adhesive on the reverse of the tile use to start with an angle grinder , making sure you have a good hold on the tile itself or if possible place the tile onto a tile mat which will hold it as you use the grinder, use this method to remove 90-95% of the adhesive the remainder should be removed with by the hand tool method pre mentioned.

Finally, I would suggest checking over the subfloor, check the level accross the whole floor, and make sure it is suffiecently primed prior to re-fitting the tiles.
The slate tiles should also be sealed.... so should check this has also been carried out by the tiler. Flexible Adhesive and Grout should be used due to the underfloor heating.

All the above is purely my opion and im sure there will be other views as to best remedy the issues,
Hope you get it sorted.

OTT Property Services 28th Feb, 2012
Q

Flag flooring

Yandrew_781 31st Mar, 2013 Restoration & Refurbishment
1 Answer
A

Hi andrew,
Process for best outcome would be;
-remove equisting mortar from joints ensuring joints are clean and free from dust as far as possible.
-using a natural stone cleaner , such as lithofin or fila products, scrub the floor remove surface dirt, you will not get them looking new so dont try!! your just trying to remove as much surface debris and dirt as you can.
-allow to dry naturally.
-using a sponge apply lithofin MN stainstop, This will not alter the appearence of the stone much at all but will leave your floor easier to clean and not prone to staining.

Hope this helps,
Tom Knowles @ OTT Property Services

OTT Property Services 1st Apr, 2013
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