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AZCAL 12-24-2018 04:58 PM

Issue with new residential bathroom tile install
5 Attachment(s)

Trying to figure it if my dissatisfaction with new master-bathroom tile install is justified or not. My concerns are:

1. Blotchy grout

2. Jagged cuts in porcelain tile

3. Grey smear on concrete tile from contractor using dark grout

If justified, what should I ask contractor to do? Seems like grout issues are so pervasive that maybe needs to be re-grouted. Contractor already tried to buff out grey smear on concrete tile. Sorry the photos are not better quality, but I had to compress them to upload to site.

Thanks in advance. Chris

speed51133 12-24-2018 04:59 PM

i confirm, it looks like ass....

plus, the guy grouted corners, where it should be siliconed. this will crack and fail.

judging by the shoddy attention to detail, i suspect the waterproofing is probably absent. know what is directly behind the tiles??

oh, and merry xmas

AZCAL 12-24-2018 05:14 PM

I have no idea what he did for waterproofing. There was some kind of colored wall board behind the tile, but nothing else that I recall. Should there have some type of liner between the wall board and the tile cement? What specifically should I ask him to determine if waterproofing was done correctly, not only as to walls but also shower floor? I would to know the specific, technical questions to ask.

Thank you again, Chris

AZCAL 12-24-2018 05:18 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Here are a few more photos (again of marginal quality because of required compression).

jadnashua 12-24-2018 05:26 PM

The walls themselves don't need to be waterproof, but must not be damaged by being wetted. Industry standards call for either a moisture barrier behind the wall, or waterproofing on top of the wall. FWIW, one colored wallboard is moisture resistant drywall. NO drywall is acceptable in a shower with tile directly on top of it. WIthout knowing what was installed, can't say for sure if there's a waterproofing issue.

A big, common error is to install a liner flat on the floor. Another is to nail or screw cement board to the curb. Neither of those two things meet industry standards or the plumbing code.

FWIW, building a shower correctly isn't technically hard, but it is VERY detail oriented...messing up one detail can lead to early failure. What is visible from the pictures isn't confidence inspiring. The tile is a cosmetic, wear surface, not waterproofing. The shower should be water tight prior to the tile being installed. If the underlying build is correct, it won't fail, but the tile may look crappy. The expectation is that both parts will be done well. Lots of showers that look great, but have bade bones. It really hurts to have both done poorly.

AZCAL 12-24-2018 06:27 PM

I removed the shower trim to see if contractor used "greenboard" (which I understand to be regular drywall with a wax layer on top) or cement board. Difficult to get a clear view, but the board has a fine white, chalky texture that transferred to my fingertips when I rubbed it. Is this characteristic of "greenboard" or cement board? From my web surfing, it seems like "greenboard" is not appropriate for showers and not code compliant in most U.S. cities. Is this correct?


jadnashua 12-24-2018 06:40 PM

Moisture resistant drywall has not been an approved substrate for tile in a shower for a long time now. IMHO, it really doesn't have a good use anywhere. People think of tile and grout as being waterproof, that's not only false, it is also recognized as not valid in the plumbing code.

speed51133 12-24-2018 08:49 PM

i was a few Xmas cocktails in, sorry for being short earlier...

like the other guys said, tile and grout is aesthetic.That said, doesn't look like the best job. JUST GUESSING at the attention to detail on what is showing, I can only imagine the detail under the tile matches. If so, that is not good.

Just speculating really though. Who knows.

The thing that sticks out to me is the use of grout in corners. Should have been pure silicone caulk, as I said earlier. That is why you see cracked grout already.

The tile cuts look kind of....novice.

I guess it all depends on how much you paid, what you were promised, and what you expected.

AZCAL 12-24-2018 11:30 PM

Thanks guys.

The contract used Denshield tile backer, some kind of white substance on the seams, with a light blue sealant on top, and then tiled on that. He used "greenboard" on ceiling of shower box. Is this acceptable?

Grout has been blotchy for about one month and blotchiness has only been getting worse. He's going to have to remove the grout in the corners to silicone them. Is is reasonable to request that he regrout the shower given the extent of the blotchiness?

Last--and thanks for your patience-- what about rough, chipped cuts on tiles? Could a skilled installer have avoided this and, if so, is it reasonable to ask him to replace the tiles?

For context, we spent about 35k on bathroom remodel, of which tile was approximately 9k (approximately 6k in materials and 3k labor). We expected quality workmanship.

Lou_MA 12-24-2018 11:41 PM


Could a skilled installer have avoided this


...and, if so, is it reasonable to ask him to replace the tiles?
Quite reasonable to ask. But whether you trust him if he says he can do it without compromising waterproofing, or causing more problems - ???? That’s the tricky part.

And the $6k in materials and $3k in labor is a red flag. At least to me. I wouldn’t want to spend money on materials and then only a fraction of that on installing it.

jadnashua 12-25-2018 09:05 AM

The ratio of materials to labor isn't necessarily a fixed ratio. FOr example, I know of one nice granite tile that's $200/sqft just for the materials (it's a gorgeous white with aquamarine blue waves through it, very rare). The labor to install it would be the same as if it were one that cost $8/sqft. Some hand made or custom tile is also very expensive as are many glass ones.

But, time is money, so for any one shower, to do a quality job will take a fair amount of time, and often, labor is more than the materials cost.

speed51133 12-25-2018 09:07 AM

chipped tiles is a sign of dull tile saw blade and/or pushing them too fast through the saw. yes, it can be avoided by a skilled installer.

the tile spacing is also a little bit wonky in places, which can also be avoided with skill.

the waterproofing seems ok by your description and using the green drywall for the ceiling is acceptable.

I would totally ask him about replacing the grout in all corners (both vertical and horizontal corners).

pulling all the tiles to fix other install errors or sloppiness, I will let others opine on what to do...

Kman 12-25-2018 10:11 AM

After a month, it would be difficult to remove tile and replace them without compromising the waterproofing layer, assuming the tile was installed properly to begin with.

Replacing the grout wouldn't be too difficult, just tedious. What color is it supposed to be? If it were mine, I'd consider a tile stain. It wouldn't take long, and at least then you'd be assured of consistent color throughout.

Davy 12-25-2018 10:44 AM

The last pic in post 4 shows two cut edges placed together. That's why they are chipped. A better blade may have left less chips but the dark grout highlights those chips.

Chis said, "Grey smear on concrete tile from contractor using dark grout".

Who selected the grout color?

workhurts 12-25-2018 01:21 PM

Why would the tile in the last pic even have a cut edge?

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