I decided to replace my old tile and carpeting with new tile in my condo. In early November 2012 I signed a contract with Empire to do the job, wanting it completed before the holidays. The salesperson, Mary Karota, told me the job it take three to four days.
The first crew came in two days before Thanksgiving and ripped up the carpet and old tile. This is a very messy job and they failed to close doors to other rooms or closets or cover any furniture. The dust was on everything. When they were jackhammering the old tile from the bathroom, they broke a piece off the bottom front plate of my shower and chipped my toilet. Both of these were installed new less than a year ago. They also chipped paint and scratched my baseboard molding, scuffed walls and put a small hole in my wall.
While they were installing the tile, I noticed there was no sound barrier material like I was shown from other dealers. Since I am on the second floor of a condo complex, sound proofing in mandated by my condo association and was part of my contract. When I questioned them about this, they said they were told by Empire that a mixture of regular thinset and quick drying thinset would exceed my associations requirements. The installers notified the installation manager, Jeff Emanuel, of my concerns. He called me and told me the same thing about the thinset mixture and it was approved by my association. Being ignorant in these things, I believed him and let the crew continue. The "finished" job was terrible. The hight of the tiles were uneven, the grout lines were not uniform, the tile did not abut the molding, in some corners the tile was over an inch away from the wall, etc. After continuous complaining Empire finally sent somebody to inspect the work. I believe it was Jeff Emanuel who I was talking to, said they had other complaints about this crew and would send a foreman from a different crew. He said the job was unable to be repaired without it being ripped out and he would have to start from scratch.
The second crew started the week before Christmas and assured me it would be complete before that. Again there was a big mess. They cut all the tiles inside my condo with a wet saw. Dust all over everything including the walls and cieling. This crew did a better job but it still was very bad. Again the height of the tiles were uneven, grout lines inconsistant, thinset oozing through grout lines and mixing with grout, air bubbles in the grout, chipped tiles. This installer decided to put thresholds between the carpeted rooms and the tiled ones. While installing them, he broke a piece on the end of one, but put it in anyway. They left the Friday before Christmas saying they would be back to fix any problems. Instead of having company for Christmas eve, I wound up spending the entire day washing down walls and trying to clean the dust out of my furniture. They returned at the end of the week to make repairs. They replaced the broken threshold with a different color one that did not match the others, one of which was less than a foot away. They changed out six tiles, one of which was chipped during reinstallation, but they left it in. They only did six because that was what was left over and they did not bring any more and said they would not return. After numerous attempts to reach their foreman, Jimmy, he finally returned my call and said he would come there himself and make any repairs. When he arrived and looked at the job, he told me the floor would have to be torn up again and reinstalled. After two times with Empire screwing up, I am not going to let them do it again.
I contacted Jeff Emanuel tried to work out a solution. Verbally he told me that I would get reimbursed plus paid for damages. After giving him estimates of my damages, he sent installation coordinator Mark Karwoski who took photos and agreed that the floor would have to be replace.
I was then in contact with Crytal Squitiera. I thought things were worked out for an amount for damages. She said it had to be sent to lawyers and insurance for approval duy to the amount.
Now the regional manager, Tim Sherwin, got involved. He said my only two options are to have them do the work again, which I wouldn't trust them to get right this time, and hope the past installers insurance will pay for my damages or take a refund and only $1000.00 for damages. My damages are over $3100.00 to replace the shower piece and toilet (including labor), replace the moldings that were scratched up. Also after three removals and installs, all that dust is in my furniture, carpets, air conditioner and ducts. All these must be cleaned.
Review about: Empire Today Installation.
Monetary Loss: $9125.