Q: I had some tile installed in my home. I noticed that several of the tiles sound hollow when you walk over them. The tile installer claims that it's normal, and that it's due to one of two things: Not enough mortar was used or that my floor was unleveled. He claims the floor is the problem and that the job was done correctly and any other person would have gotten the same result. Which is it?
A: The two biggest reasons for a hollow sound when walking on a tile floor are that someone walked on the floor before it was set up or that the thin set dried before the tiles where set and didn't adhere to the floor.
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Luckily, this is a repairable condition if someone removes the loose tiles and reinstalls them. However, it is a good idea to get a tile repair specialist with the training, tools (and patience) to do this, because many excellent tile setters simply do not repair tile.
John Fuchs, Carpet Warehouse Rancho Cordova, CA