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Unread 06-09-2021, 07:08 AM   #1
Pamela
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Rescue needed for shower tiling around valve

Hi Everyone,
My contractor didn't work with the greatest quality - so many issues - and at this point we're just trying to close out the deal before he does any more damage.

However, this problem absolutely has to be fixed. It's not clear yet whether he'll agree to fix it properly, or if I'll have to fix it myself. Either way, can you provide some guidance for me please?

There is not enough CBU around the valve opening, and the tilesetter didn't pause to fix the problem, he just tiled what was there, leaving the gaping holes.

At this point, what are the options to fix it?
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Unread 06-09-2021, 08:33 AM   #2
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Hi Pamela,

The subway tiles should not be too difficult to replace, or you can look around for a larger cover plate for the faucet.
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Unread 06-09-2021, 08:47 AM   #3
Carbidetooth
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I'm a little surprised that Kohler supplies such a small diameter escutcheon but I guess it is what it is. I assume that's a diverter valve?

My first thought would be to see if they offer something larger that matches finish wise. Having some sort of backplate fabricated might also be a possibility.

Can you link to the actual valve set and diverter so we can nose around some?

Failing that, the only other solution I can think of would likely involve some demo...maybe a lot. I guess you could caulk it as cleanly as possible, but that sure seems like a hack, but might be OK functionally.
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Unread 06-09-2021, 10:44 AM   #4
Pamela
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Thanks @johnbridge. I'd like to avoid a bigger cover plate if I can. Spent the big bucks on this sleek modern look.

@carbidetooth yes it's this Kohler diverter valve trim covering this diverter valve

When we put the escutcheon over the hole, there are a significant number of gaps where the seal can't do its job because there's nothing behind it. Using caulk to fill the gaps doesn't offer rigidity.

We were thinking of putting some thinset in a ziploc bag and building up the CBU to fill in the empty areas, using some mesh behind it for strength. Then cutting some tile pieces and installing those to finish the gaps. What do you think of that idea?
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Unread 06-09-2021, 03:22 PM   #5
Carbidetooth
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What you're suggesting might work but would be fussy and maybe fragile and maybe look like poo.

I'm wondering if the actual diameter of that valve is substantially less than what appears to be a cover (the black thing). If one could cut a round hole that didn't hit two edges of the tile, I might consider replacing that one tile.

What's the waterproofing method on the cement board?

If you had fixtures there where contractor could see them, it should be contractor's problem, but I understand if you just want to be done with someone who didn't meet your expectations.
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Unread 06-09-2021, 04:12 PM   #6
jadnashua
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Agreed, IF the fixtures were available when the wall was tiled, the guy should have accommodated them. But, OTOH, Kohler has some particularly unusual requirements on some of their devices that is not particularly normal in the industry...that can make what would have been fine with almost any other brand, impossible with Kohler. Some of their body sprays require the rough-in to be within 1/16" of the finished wall that is REALLY hard to achieve.

On yours, make sure that the depth is correct for the trim and the handle to actually attach, which might bring up yet a bigger issue!
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Unread 07-12-2021, 08:47 AM   #7
Pamela
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Wrap Up

Here's how we resolved the problem.

We created a template for the tilesetter to cut a new tile. Took a little measuring and translating dimensions and screw locations onto the cardboard template. Took him two tries to cut a new tile, and he used a grinder to cut the tile. Not sure why he used a grinder, I would have thought a hole saw would be cleaner.

I'm including a photo of the finished shower because, well, I do like it! Lots of lessons learned to take onto the next shower project...
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Unread 07-12-2021, 10:06 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting back. I'm forever curious how things like this resolve...the shower looks nice.

It's sad that you have to instruct the "pro" on how to do his job. It's an unfortunate reality with many trades now. I suspect his reason for using a grinder is that he didn't have holesaw.

Now, I'm an admitted tool junkie, but it never ceases to amaze me how ill equipped many pro's are to do the job they claim proficiency for.

Please tell me that bench is sloped towards drain.
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Unread 07-12-2021, 11:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Please tell me that bench is sloped towards drain.
First question that sprang to my mind, too, Peter. I'm betting not, or at least not enough.
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Unread 07-14-2021, 09:43 AM   #10
Pamela
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It is sloped precisely! And so is the curb. I made sure of it, brought out the level and confirmed it. The glass installer also checked it, so we're good.
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