Correcting minor discrepancies in a concrete slab for tile is part of my job. But if the surface is inches out of whack and slopes in the wrong direction, that's a whole other story. When my friend Bob asked me to tile the courtyard of his retirement home to eliminate the puddles and dress it up, I could tell at a glance that the slab was cracked and sloped toward a low spot at the entry door. Excess rainwater drained from this "birdbath" undesirably into an adjacent flowerbed. The next lowest spot was just inside the gate at the opposite...

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