UPDATE!! Okay, the flooring installer might be a coward and/or lazy, but I still adore Home Depot. I just got a call from another manager (at 8:30 at night) who figured out a way to give me a fairly instant refund to my debit card. It might not arrive until Monday, but still, that's better than "10 business days plus mailing time," which was the original option.
Basically, the "installer guy" called me today, while I was in the middle of a meeting. I excused myself and left the meeting, thinking we were just going to schedule a time to get together and discuss my dreaded sub-flooring issues, and it would only take a minute, and I'd waited two days for them to grace me with a phone call.
He was not calling to schedule a meeting to discuss the flooring issue. He was calling to tell me how HARRRD it would be to install the flooring I wanted, and basically, they won't touch the job.
He launched into this lengthy monologue (I had to interrupt him - practically had to shout at him to get him to shut up and listen - several times), and basically, my subfloor (according to him) is a product called (and he repeated it several times) "chip-crete". He then man-splained to me (over and fucking over) that this was a soft material, not like real concrete - "I don't want to alarm you, it's not that it's unsafe or anything!" - he repeated that several times, and described at very great length the enormous challenges in working with this type of subfloor. I listened, interrupted now and then to ask what the solution was, and he then yammered on about how they couldn't patch "chip-crete" because you need a general contractor for that, and even tack-strips where the carpet was laid gave him the shivers, and the bottom line was, if they found any uneven spots in my sub-floor after ripping out the existing floor coverings, they'd run away screaming like little girls, and I'd have to bring in a general contractor to fix it. (I happen to work in a building full of general contractors, who, when I told one of them this saga, used more F words in a single sentence than I did in this entire post.)
I was incredulous at this point. I'd already decided this nitwit was never getting in my front door, and I just kept asking him about solutions to this dire problem of my "soft" subfloor. He had none. I asked why he was so sure this was what my subfloor was made of - he said that the measuring guy, who works for a different company, put a note in the install file saying so. I asked how he knew, since he never pulled up the carpet to check. He gave me some bullshit about how the guy probably checked with the building department. Yeah, right. All that guy wanted to do was get the job over with and go home, and these buildings are over 25 years old - sure, he went to the building department and researched ancient records, for that huge $35 measuring fee. He really DID think I was an idiot. I knew he was.
I am absolutely sure that by "chip-crete" he meant gypcrete. Which is a very standard sub-flooring, and I am confident is under my carpet and tile, because it's under nearly EVERYBODY'S carpet and tile. It's been around forever and most production builders use it, it's not some rare, exotic and frightening thing. There may be an extra underlayment under the tile which will make the tile removal easier, but we won't find out anytime soon, because I need to hire a real flooring professional who knows what it's called and won't be terrified to have to patch and level a few square feet of floor after removing the old tile.
So Home Depot has let me down on the flooring, and now I have to fight with them tomorrow to get my money back in less than 10 business days, so I can go get flooring somewhere else.