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Unread 10-13-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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visual lippage backsplash

Installed 3x6 inch x 1/2 inch whitw carrara marble on backsplash. 90 degree sharp edge on all 4 sides no forgiveness. Kept tight joint 1/16 inch. Very involved feature over stove. Had to tear out old board and replaced with 1/2 inch CBU. Customer loved it I loved it. Started another job in house. Then I get a call from contractor 3 weeks after the backsplash finished. Customer very unhappy with the backsplash I did and my work! Turns out after returning from a time away they turned on the cabinet lights (that were not hooked up while I was doing the splash) and saw lippage on the field 3x6 on either side of the feature. (feature over stove was without lippage). I went back to job and had to admit that lippage was present and with the lighting was there. clearly visible. The lighting is the original type set back under the cabinets with incandescent bulbs and get hot. Light washes over the marble. I apologized and said at no time did I worry about lippage : I really thought I was doing a good job.and I thought I had plenty of light to install by what with the kitchen lights and my portable flood light.

I recommended for her electrician to change the lights so they were pulled forward as possible under the cabinets or to orient strip low voltage lights at 90 degrees to the splash. Removing tile here and there I said would be a horror show and line up poorly with the running bond.

Any ideas would be welcome. Along with How could I have missed the lippage during the install? I still do not see where I went wrong.

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Unread 10-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #2
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Location: Boerne, Texas
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Bookie, there is a page in the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation that speaks directly to your situation, titled Lighting And Tile Installations. If you haven't got a copy of The Handbook, might be time for you to get one. Page 34 in the 2019 version.

One of the suggesting in there is just what you've recommended; change the lighting to something other than the current "critical lighting." First, though, I would suggest that you determine whether the current tile installation meets the industry standards for lippage, based upon any inherent warpage and grout joint width. That might alter your arguing position in reference to your customer's complaint.

Best action, of course, would have been to discuss the planned lighting and the tile installation with the customer before any tile work was initiated. That ship having sailed, moving the lights might be an acceptable option. I'd want to mock up some lighting as a test before undertaking any such, though. Might not fix the situation, but worth a try.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 10-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #3
Jim Farrell Tiler
dont blame me i didnt vote for him
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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back last century when i was young my old foreman used to say the sidelight was the "inspector" and time was the "enemy"
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Unread 10-13-2019, 02:02 PM   #4
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I was in the same situation one time. I let a couple guys I had hired tile a backsplash with 6x6 marble that we had cut out of 12x12's. No lighting when they installed it but even a little lippage stood out after they installed the lights. I ended up having to replace the worse 10 pieces or so.

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