i) Floor

In this section, we would go through the inspection of the floor which would also include the skirting or the extension of the floor finish on the wall.

Where natural stones such as marble or granite are used, it is useful to note that open veins, tone variations and pinholes are common but nevertheless sometimes get classified as defects. Example for open veins, when you move your fingers across the affected area, it would feel uneven or rough. This can be rectified to a state where it should feel smooth to touch.

Floor - Inconsistent Colour Tone on Timber
Floor - Inconsistent Colour Tone on Timber

 

In general for all material, the floor should be of consistent colour tone when viewed from a distance of 1.5 metres. The exception to this rule is the inherent characteristics of natural stones.

 

 

Floor - Uneven Flooring
Floor - Uneven Flooring

 

The floor must be level and the guiding principle for ceramic, marble and granite is that the height difference between adjacent tiles/stones should not exceed 0.5mm. For timber, it should not exceed 3mm over a length of 1.2 metre.

 

 

Floor - Sharp edge
Floor - Sharp edge

 

 

There should be no sharp edges around the tiles/stones.

 

 

Floor - Visible Damage (Dent)
Floor - Visible Damage (Dent)
Floor - Visible Damage (Scratch Marks)
Floor - Visible Damage (Scratch Marks)

 

From a distance of 1.5 metres, there should be no visible cracks, chip-offs or scratch marks.

 

 

 

The joints between tiles should also be straight and consistent. For ceramic tiles, the grouting colour should be as close as possible to the colour of the surrounding tiles to create a continuous flow. For timber strip, they should be laid against each other with no visible gaps at the joints.

Floor - Gap at skirting
Floor - Gap at skirting
Floor - Gap at grouting
Floor - Gap at grouting

 

For skirting, there should be no visible gap between the skirting and the wall as well as the skirting and the floor.

 

 

 

The above checks are visual in nature and would cover the majority of the defects. However, it is equally important to check for hollow tiles which is probably one of the major frustrations of new house owners when tiles start to pop up later. By using objects such as coin or marble, one can determine if a tile has hollow spots by listening to the sound when using one of these objects to tap. Tiles when laid correctly should emit a solid rather than a hollow sound when tapped.

In summary, the following are the key areas to look out for when checking for floor defects:

  1. Colour tone should be consistent
  2. Should be level
  3. No visible cracks, chip-offs or scratch marks
  4. Joints should be straight and consistent
  5. Colour of grouting should be consistent with tiles
  6. No visible gaps at the joints
  7. No visible gaps between skirting and the wall/floor
  8. No hollow sound