Botched tile job HELP [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-14-2016, 01:50 PM
Looking for advice on the sub par tile job I recently had done for me. Would you recommend tearing it out and starting over or just try and re-grout?

Needless to say we had an "handyman" tile the shower and we are more than upset with the quality.

On top of the obviously poor tile work he also set the shower pan off level and must have dropped a tile to cause a chip....see pics

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Houston Remodeler
07-14-2016, 02:35 PM

Welcome to the forum.

1- Do you know (layer by layer) what is behind the marble on the walls ?

2- Can you take the cover plate from the shower valve and take a picture of the cross section of the wall ? see pic below

3- The drain looks very suspicious. There is supposed to be a black rubber ring that holds the pvc in place. Looks like this guy threw the instructions away. I am very concerned about a leak. Have you tested the shower pan for leaks yet?

4- About the misaligned tiles; sorry you can't sue for crappy craftsmanship.

07-14-2016, 03:16 PM
Shower pan leaks at the drain

RedGard was used

Houston Remodeler
07-14-2016, 03:34 PM

Was the shower pan bonded to the red guard (to provide a continuous waterproof membrane) ?

07-14-2016, 04:47 PM

All i can do is go off of the photos and it appears not to extend onto the shower pan.

Should it be a continuous membrane?

07-14-2016, 06:13 PM
Yes, if that gap at the bottom is still present at the bottom then moisture will surely pass through and reach your framing and everything else behind the tile at the bottom of the wall.

07-14-2016, 06:31 PM

You posted three days ago you needed a tile guy. Did you find one and have this work completed in two/three days?

07-14-2016, 06:31 PM
Start over,and do it right! Lots of literature here on this site,that can aid ya,from start to finish.

And if was I,and budget allows it,I would chit-can the fiberglass pan,and install waterproof pan,along with tile/stone material for shower pan,that complements the walls.

07-14-2016, 06:57 PM
K-tile , this work was completed a few weeks back which lead me to the other post regarding tile guy needed. I am new to this forum talk and I guess I should have stated that the other day.

Autoplay-we went with the fiberglass to avoid grout on the floor. At this point I believe we need to pull the pan and start fresh.

07-14-2016, 07:30 PM
Matt, looks like you've got another problem as well. That shower valve is mounted way to deep. Looks like a Delta valve and the finished tile surface should be flush with the plaster ring I think I see way back in wall. In any case I doubt you can mount your trim and handle...correct? Did your "tile guy" try?

It looks like that tile backer might be 1/4" in the photo. If that's the case, you can add another installation error.

Houston Remodeler
07-14-2016, 08:30 PM
Peter beat me to it on both items.

Yes, you need a complete re-do

07-14-2016, 08:31 PM

You are correct on both, Delta valve and 1/4" backer. The valve was never secured and it has plenty of "play". I can move it at least an inch forward and possibly the same backwards.

What is the concern with the 1/4" backer, rigidity?

Houston Remodeler
07-14-2016, 08:33 PM
1/2" is required on the walls by the manufacturer and TCNA guidelines.

The flex in the shower valve adds to the pile of red flags.

07-14-2016, 08:41 PM
should the redgard go higher?

07-14-2016, 08:59 PM
The height of the Regard isn't the issue Matt,its the mil thickness. Well ,height is a issue but more importantly, for it to work correctly as waterproofing,it needs to be a certain thicknesses. No way to tell thickness but it not being bonded to the pan is a real problem.
Like others have said,get ready for a redo. At least the "handyman"wasn't paid in full. Lesson learned.

Houston Remodeler
07-14-2016, 09:03 PM
Painting the RG on the walls at least as high as the shower head is the bare minimum. We prefer to waterproof everything, including just past the shower a few inches to insure any stray water doesn't do harm.

07-15-2016, 07:07 AM
Thank you every one for commenting, it has been enlighten to say the least.

If i go the route of a complete re-do, in your opinion, am i responsible for all new materials. Meaning is the previous handyman on the hook for anything. As i see it i will need to replace the following...

Shower pan
Glass doors- which have been cut- sounds like the glass will not fit if anything is adjusted/replaced and there is more than a 1/8" difference. Obviously the pan is not level so i have little hope as to use anything.

Paying labor to the future company is not my concern as work needs to be completed.

Thanks again.

07-15-2016, 07:24 AM
Meaning is the previous handyman on the hook for anything
He should be on the hook for everything IMO.
The minute he started the job he owns it. Its up to him to give you a quality finished product up to industry standards. Im pretty sure he failed on both counts.
Going out on a limb here...what does his contract say? :deal:

07-15-2016, 09:22 AM
Craig, your gut was correct, we have a verbal contract!

Houston Remodeler
07-15-2016, 05:10 PM

He owes you;
1- the cost to demo the shower back to the condition he received it
2- The cost of materials back to the condition he received them

*I'm not a lawyer and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn

08-15-2016, 01:29 PM
Hello all, I previously posted about a botched shower install and now I have a question regarding the floor. Not sure if i should have added to that post or start new. Either way thanks in advance for any input/feedback.

Now onto the question. My previous handyman installed 6*40 tile in our master bath. Subfloor is 23/32 OSB T & G, he used 1/4" hardie below the tile. After further inspection it appears he did not use thin set under the hardie nor did he tape the seems. Am i looking for issues down the road with cracking/lifting tiles?

In addition to the question above I believe the lippage along with inconsistent grout lines(1/4-1/16) makes this something hard for me to live with. Notice the paint stick for size reference next to uneven tile.


08-15-2016, 02:50 PM
I think we need the previous information here, Matt, so I'll combine your threads.

From your description I would not think this floor installation acceptable at all. While acceptable lippage does depend somewhat on the flatness of the tiles, if you purchased a decent product that says it conforms to ANSI A137.1 you shouldn't be ending up with 1/8th" lippage. And the grout joints should be more uniform.

But the far bigger problem is the lack of thinset mortar under the CBU installation. James Hardie in particular has done in-house testing to determine how important it is to use the mortar under the panels and to fill and tape the seams. Their conclusions: Not taping the seams can lead to premature failure, not using mortar under the panels almost certainly will. Hardibacker is a particularly dense product and if not properly installed will tend to telegraph problems from the subfloor up through the tile installation.

If you continue giviing this same guy money to do your tile work, you're likely to continue getting the same level of quality, eh? :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

08-15-2016, 08:59 PM
Matt, please tell us this isn't the same tile guy still doing work. Say it ain't so.

08-16-2016, 12:49 AM
The lippage in that second picture is insane. You can see the full bar code on the side of that tile.

Now just imagine catching your toe on that after you get out of the shower.


08-16-2016, 05:02 AM
CX, Evan -To clarify, the floor was installed a day after the shower was completed. Yes same guy but i did not hire him to return as it may appear. He completed everything in a series and it was not a new job.

Regarding the floor, of coarse i noticed the lippage but i had no idea about needing thin set and taping seems until a local pro stopped over and mentioned it. We are at the point now of either grouting and moving on or a complete redo.

BTW the shower has been demo'd and will be re-dun

Just In Tile LLC
08-16-2016, 05:33 AM
Good morning Matt,

It's up to you whether to live with the floor or not. If you're anything like me I can say tear it out. The lippage is unacceptable, also you will notice and shake your head everytime you walk into the bathroom if you leave it. On top of that the poor prep could fail and you'd replace anyway.

It's a tough decision to tear out work, but my experience says to put your head down and do it. The mental anguish of seeing that everyday will cause more harm for years to come. It's just not worth it in my opinion.

08-16-2016, 07:22 AM
Definitely not wanting to pile on your bad experience, but there's no amount of money that could make me accept that job and look at it everyday. I'd learn to do it myself if I didn't want to pay somebody again.

08-16-2016, 07:56 AM
I think the floor needs to get redone. Like Jon said,i couldn't see that lippage every day and be happy. :shake:

08-16-2016, 08:28 AM
Justin- I did not accept any of the work and once I confronted the "handyman" he decided to pack his gear and leave. Like any responsible business owner would do :crazy:

I agree with everyone that the floor must be redone but it is painful to throw money away.

If I am to redo the floor myself and have a handful of questions should I start a new thread?

08-16-2016, 09:21 AM
If it is only one tile board with excessive lippage, why not remove it and continue on with the job (just take over the installation or have someone else do it). I don't see any reason to rip it all out and start over.

If you finish the floor yourself, just get one of the "lippage control" products, and you should be fine.

I don't know what you want to do about the shower. But if you do start over and do it yourself, don't use a liquid waterproofing product. It's too hard to ensure you have the correct coverage/thickness for a first time user. Use a fabric product like Kerdi - which is more fool proof for a DIYer. IMHO.

08-16-2016, 09:43 AM
Mike- the whole floor has been completed, funny thing is the 2nd half was installed on a Friday and it definitely shows. Lippage, inconsistent grout lines, and double cuts all over.
I assume it is almost impossible to remove about 4 tiles from the right wall and reset?

08-16-2016, 09:48 AM
Floor has to come up Mike. No thinset under the Hardie nor taped and mudded. It's going to fail.

08-16-2016, 06:19 PM
Or get a bunch of cute bathroom rugs and cover most of it up. You could also put your clothes hamper, a plant, etc to cover all the flaws and wait to redo it if it fails, since it's done.

08-16-2016, 07:40 PM
It would be like walking through a maze on the way to the shower. :goodluck:

08-17-2016, 10:08 AM
The decision has been made!!! Flooring will come up and be replaced.

I was always set on this but my wife needed some nudging, I think what did it was the recommendation of placing rugs and plants etc. everywhere.

08-20-2016, 07:33 PM
Ok, i started the demo today and not sure why i am surprised but this is getting worse each day. I already knew that the seems where not taped and no thin set was used below the Hardie but this takes the Crown. Puzzle pieces of Hardie everywhere!!!!

08-20-2016, 08:10 PM
Well that's creative. Wow.

Just In Tile LLC
08-20-2016, 09:02 PM
Got pretty creative there around the toilet. I always like to turn water off and take angle stop off to get a tight cut around floor stub-outs when I tile. They usually make it a threaded connection there.