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Unread 01-04-2022, 02:17 AM   #1
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What's wrong with these picture??

Good evening Folks.

So I'm sure this thread may be a common theme around here but I don't believe there's a better resource available too me other than a forum of true professionals who actually take pride in their work.

With that said, There's currently a project going on where I reside that looks like it may have some issues. I bit my tongue until I saw this border go up & had to say something. Since then, these issues with the work are being explained away/excused by the GC & Tile Setter with ridiculous explainations, notions that it's just normal for it to look that way, or straight up denial of the obvious.. You know, one of those "don't believe your lying eyes", "nothing to see here folks, move along" types..

Unfortunately, the individual who is footing the bill, is buying into these explanations & excusing the cause for concerns because he thinks I'm just being a picky perfectionist. (I'm not, I just don't like doing things twice)

When in reality, this isnt even about perfection, it's about getting the very basic 101 stuff correct, perfection can come later.

Anyhow, the cause for concern came about after seeing this top border installed. To me there are some real red flags in it... I actually suggested all work stop until it this was addressed... But like I mentioned above, the GC & Tile Setter are acting like everything is fine & somehow grouting will fix everything.

So that's my question to the Professionals..
Does this look fine to you? Or am i crazy?

If you do see what I'm seeing, please point it out as the whole purpose of me posting is to have actual pros, either confirm or deny what I'm seeing as problematic or "normal"..

Thanks ahead of time for any professional insight.
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Unread 01-04-2022, 09:53 AM   #2
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That's pretty rough looking, a lot of lippage and the courses seem they are not on the same plane....I would not except that. Grout will not hide those imperfections

The bigger concern is I don't see that your seams and joints were sealed and waterproofed?

Do you have any pictures before the tile went up?
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Unread 01-04-2022, 10:55 AM   #3
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It sounds as if you're the advocate for the one "footing the bill". From personal experience, if that person is tolerant of the product being delivered that's the bottom line.

Pointing out deficiencies, of which there appear at least a few, might just generate resentment 'tween you and the bill payer. You be the judge.

That's not exactly tile related advice, but are you in position to actually change the direction of the ship?

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Unread 01-04-2022, 11:39 AM   #4
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Subpar. I wouldn't accept it.....

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Unread 01-04-2022, 11:44 AM   #5
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Grout is not going to fix that, pretty rough.
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Unread 01-04-2022, 12:14 PM   #6
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Hello Chad & Peter

Chad - Thanks for your update.

There's is indeed waterproofing on the seams up until the border. The border is about head height. I do recall having a direct conversation with the Tile Setter about this & at the time I "agreed" or went along with what he was explaining. At the time, i thought to myself, unless your trying to do gymnastics in there, i don't think it needs to be higher...

However, now that I'm thinking of it again & after seeing how simple it was too apply, why wouldn't they just go higher with the sealant, if not just for piece of mind , thus covering any & all GoBoard surfaces.

Again, thanks for the response.
To answer your question, yes, I have the ability to steer the ship, but my main intent is to make the customer understand what is going on as he plans to spend a boat load of $$ with these guys & this is only part one of the job, in other words the first impression where the standards of labor quality are being drawn in the sand... (Whole house is being remodeled) If shoddy work is being done, I need to be able to relay this to him in a manner he understands. He's not a trades guy like me or you & tile is not my thing. Paver work, Pool decks, Patios, yes, all hardscaping, not extremely finished tile mosaics like you guys do where a 1/16” may as well equal a mile in terms of what you can get away with.

To add fuel to the fire..
He's already gone through the stress & trouble of designing/orchestrating with the first GC only to have him unexpectedly bail at the last minute for a larger job. So we're on GC #2 now (who for better or worse, lives right down the street). Theres already been a host of issues with people dragging their feet, working short hours, not showing up, basically no progress being made while everything's torn apart (typical remodeling BS everyone has no choice but to deal with, i get it). The reason I sound more like an advocate than a Captain is because the customer knows I have 0 tolerance for being lied to or decieved, that & it's not my job, so I try to stay out of the conversation, unless I see a glaring issue that needs addressing.

With that said, for the sake of discussion, let's assume the walls are legit & somewhat square, no huge dips, no fast deviations.. (in which there aren't)

What is it you are seeing?

What is the cause behind what you are seeing?

How would you go about letting the GC & Tile Setter know, that you know, it is unacceptable & there's no explaining it away or excusing the issue. (You don't have to get into that if you don't have the time, I'm just looking for keywords or nomenclatures as it's not my trade)

Pheww, that's much longer than i wanted.. i apologize.

Thanks again
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Unread 01-04-2022, 12:22 PM   #7
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I usually put the deco tile in last because it usually thinner than the field tile and requires that that area to be built out with mortar before it is set so it planes with the field tile

I would expect more consistency like this project we have going...but I am a perfectionist to so i can relate
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Unread 01-04-2022, 01:37 PM   #8
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Even if the mosaics are the same thickness as the field tile, they are typically set in a thinner bed of mortar to prevent mortar from squeezing into the grout joints. So in order to keep the face of the mosaics in the same plane as that of the field tile the space behind the mosaics needs to be padded out.

As Chad suggests, leaving the space where the mosaics are to be installed empty and installing the field tile below and above, allows a purpose made screed to slide along the field tile face while spreading a layer of mortar to the needed depth (basically the thickness of the mosaic, +/- about 1/8"). Done correctly, the mosaics end up in the same plane as the field tile.

The uneven, inconsistent grout joint sizes are just shoddy workmanship. Completely unacceptable.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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Unread 01-04-2022, 07:45 PM   #9
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Hello Chad, Hello Dan.

Thanks for checking in.

Son of a gun!! Thank you!! That's word that has been on the tip of my tongue for days! "Screed"!!!
Its been years since my daily hardscaping routine, it must have fell down the memory hole..

Yes what the two of you are your explaining makes all the sense in the world! It's very similar to processes i used to use myself in brick laying, just way more detail involved.

So in essence, the main root of the problem was caused by the Thinset/Motar being completely inconsistent on the wall? Correct?

So, today, The Tile Setter came by on his own recognizance with the intention of fixing the areas that are buggered. To me, the whole border is wacked out & needs total replacing, but well see what takes place or if it's just another pointless exercise. If it still ain't right, it will at least give me an idea of the best we can expect from this duo. From there, Mr. Smith (Customer) can decide whether to have the rest of the remodel done by this guy or move on.

What's odd, is ever since i posted this up on here & one other place, the entire attitude towards it has changed, yet i haven't mentioned a word about this too anyone but the customer. Denying the errors exist one day & completely reversing you position the next, is quite telling, but is a step in the right direction. As of right now, I've yet to go look at today's work, but i will in a bit.
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Unread 01-05-2022, 08:47 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Ezarb123:

"There's is indeed waterproofing on the seams"

What about the rest of the shower? Are the wall boards themselves waterproofed?
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Unread 01-05-2022, 09:46 AM   #11
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It looks like they used GoBoard which is waterproof.

Did they seal the seams per spec and did they waterproof all the screw holes?
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Unread 01-06-2022, 02:12 AM   #12
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Although Ive watched a few Goboard tutorials, I seem to have come across some conflicting information regarding the seams, so I am unsure on that. IIRC, Ive seen literature suggesting to use a membrane or whatnot in conjunction with the seam sealant, but in GoBoard install Videos from the manufacturer, I've seen it done without.

At the very least, I did see sealant used on the seams & fastner holes. Didn't catch the brand though & it's gone now. Whatever it was, it looked like it went on pretty thick. Good, bad, or indeifferent, idk.
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Unread 01-06-2022, 07:52 AM   #13
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Very interesting
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Unread 01-07-2022, 04:39 PM   #14
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I think the term for that is free-form, organic, rustic, artisanal, flow-shui, natural, or non-linear.

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Unread 03-03-2022, 04:55 PM   #15
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I am not a pro but...

I sure as hell would not pay someone for that quality of work! I know this post is from Jan, but that is as sloppy a tile setting job as I think i have ever seen, and I even notice the tile in restaurant bathrooms that don't look that bad!! while the box might be waterproof, the tile setter shoudl be take out and have his hands cut off - because if he is makign a living doing work like that..... good lord!!
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