A client referred me to their neighbor to remodel a couple bathrooms. I met with them and gave them an estimate for 3 spaces with minor updates or repairs. A year later they called me to do some work, involving finishing a bathroom the general contractor (who was contracted to finish a whole basement) said it was not in the contract to tile all of the walls out from the shower.
Sadly when I showed up and started working I noticed the floor tile grout was popping out and the tile was flexing. Of course I pointed this out and sadly she understood the issue. I had to take up the floor tile and re-set it.
I found that a mastic had been used to level and set the tile since it was on a concrete floor it was still a bit unlevel, even after a floor leveler was used. Part of the floor tile was set with regular thin set. Obviously I was very confused as to why, I may never find out.
I repaired the floor and continued to install the remaining tile throughout the bathroom.
The one reason I am showing what can happen when new tile setters are tasked to tile a bathroom is that this is not the first time I've come across tile contractors doing nice work only to have missed on one or two details that can make the install fail.
With that, I know it is hard to do so much research to find out what a homeowner needs to know but if you don't know what you don't know, how are you supposed to look for it??
In this industry I really don't feel I have "Competitors". All of the installers and full bath remodelers have been and are very busy; being booked out for months and even a year in some cases (I was for a while). I really enjoy meeting with other installers and share how much I've learned in the time I have been contracting. I'm happy to refer many of them, because hiring a contractor is much more than finding the best price, you are trusting this person or crew with your home.