Is this a botched job or am I just being picky? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-28-2019, 09:02 PM
I recently had tumbled travertine put in my kitchen. I need someone to give professional advice because my wife hates it and I'm not too crazy about it. The job looks dirty. I know I picked a darker grout but I would think it would look cleaner than it turned out in the end.

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05-28-2019, 09:30 PM
I think I'd be unhappy with my choice of grout because that does not look good at all.

05-28-2019, 09:40 PM
Few more

BTW I wasn't told that dark brown grout was a bad choice for travertine. The owner seemed clueless. I had used it with beige ceramic in my old house and it looked good. They sealed it but not before putting in the grout.

05-28-2019, 09:42 PM
I do agree with you that it looks dirty.

05-28-2019, 10:24 PM
I don't know that I'd call it a botched job, but it didn't turn out very well.

Kinda like using the wrong color paint in a room. Even if it's done well, it's just not right.

Did you give the installer or salesman any particulars about how you wanted it done, or did you just pick out a tile and grout?

05-28-2019, 10:29 PM
Just stain the grout I guess.

05-29-2019, 04:48 AM
I chose the tile, the brick pattern, spacing, and grout. The grout color was espresso. I assumed that a coffee-colored brown would look good with the beige. It looked good before they grouted it. I think the biggest problem was them not sealing the tile before grouting. It became discolored from the dye. Upon further research, I found that you are supposed to use a color similar to the grout and even if one has to use a darker grout to use one that achieves its color via the aggregate instead of from the dye.

No one mentioned any of this to me. If the owner or the boss had said that I should probably not use a dark grout with travertine I would have absolutely taken his advice. Also, aren't they supposed to know what kind of grout to use? Aside from picking the tile, why am I expected to know all of this beforehand? The customer should be reliant on experts, and not the other way around.

Regardless, here is a picture of tumbled travertine backsplash I found on this forum with an even darker grout that looks a lot cleaner. I realize it's smaller tiles but they don't have the same haze or discoloration.

05-29-2019, 05:07 AM
I assumed that a coffee-colored brown would look good with the beige.

It looks dirty but it's tumbled travertine - tumbled stone typically looks aged, worn, etc... After all the botched jobs photos I've seen posted here and in-person, this one actually looks pretty damn good in comparison. In the future, ask for a sample layout with your tile and grout - most reputable tile installers will do that for you.

Staining your grout now may be the way to go.

05-30-2019, 11:32 AM
Do you have some new tiles to show us? It does appear the grout has got into many of the voids in the field of the tiles. This shows so much due to expresso color choice. I say spend some money to paint the base trim a nice clean bright white color paint, maybe that will help. Dirty looking floor and dirty are different. But I bet it's not easy to keep such a floor clean.

05-30-2019, 03:15 PM
I am just a DIY'er but to me it looks like the grout lines are too full. It's hard to tell but it looks like the tile has that tapered or beveled look and the grout is filling up to the top of the tile rather than just even or below the bevel.

05-30-2019, 03:29 PM
No, the grout lines aren't too full. That's typical of the beast. I usually butt those tiles up and still end up with about a 1/8" line.

That material has many "inclusions" and WILL show up the grout. For that reason, I generally advise the client to pick a grout very similar to the colour of the stone....but truthfully, it doesn't look bad at all.... :deal:

05-30-2019, 04:52 PM
When you choose the materials, and they are technically viable,it’s your problem IMHO. Taste and expectations vary considerably. The installer may not comment on taste. If asked, he may very well have told you his opinion and offered suggestions, but from what you said, that was not the case. On person’s delight may be another’s ugliest possibility, that’s why there are choices available.

IMHO, that’s a poor choice for a floor, especially in a kitchen, but that’s my opinion, regardless of the grout choice. First, it is easily etched even with a sealer applied, and second it will be very tough to actually clean all of the irregularities in the surface

05-30-2019, 07:12 PM
It looks just like I'd expect it to look when using a dark grout with a beige travertine. The grout filled the pores. It would have been nice if the installer would have told you that all the pores would be filled with grout but he isn't required to. You might should have asked for his opinion. Like Jim said, the next person might love it as it is.

05-31-2019, 05:00 AM
The travertine looks pretty clean to me. If there were haze and such on the tile, it would be difficult to see the hone on the tile. You can clearly see the hone in the pictures. The dark grout has filled many of the holes in the tiles (as others have said). Also, the darker grout brings out the darker areas of the travertine, making it look a bit "dirty". From the pictures, the installation itself looks good.

Metropolitan Ceramics
05-31-2019, 07:02 AM
What you're seeing is the contrast between the grout and the tile. The grout has filled in the holes in the travertine and is sitting in the chiseled areas on the edge as well. While a grout release, different kind of grout, or grout bag could have helped while it was installed, there really isn't anything you can do about it now but tear it out or decide to love it. Staining the grout isn't going to help because most of your issue is outside of the grout joints. Your floor would look about like this in a few months anyway regardless of grout color as you mop and walk on it, those voids and chisels will hold dirt from the mop water. That type of rustic look is what honed, tumbled travertine is supposed to produce.

05-31-2019, 07:06 AM
do you have pics of what the tile looked like BEFORE?

Also, as just stated, the tile would end up like that in the long run. Did you think all those pits and voids would just stay magically empty and clean?:devil:

05-31-2019, 07:13 AM
If the owner or the boss had said that I should probably not use a dark grout with travertine I would have absolutely taken his advice.

We don't pick it, we just stick it.

05-31-2019, 09:36 AM
George, I suspect you're getting a message here that's a tough pill to swallow.

If pursuing a fix from your contractor, there may be another approach. Is this on a concrete slab or wood frame?

05-31-2019, 12:18 PM
I see where you are going with this. :tup1:

Hopefully the answer is wood subfloor with one layer of ply and a Deflecto rating less than 720.

05-31-2019, 12:43 PM
so the strategy is that the client made a poor grout color selection and now the thought is that the entire install was not up to TCNA standards and will be redone by tile sub but this time with a better grout color? WOW
what does the contract say?

05-31-2019, 02:38 PM
How was this not up to TCNA standards? I missed that part:confused:

06-03-2019, 10:53 AM
Mike, I was just guessing that that was what the one layer of ply over subfloor with deflecto less than 720 was headed for.............