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Unread 05-21-2020, 12:08 PM   #106
cx
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Brad, I think you'll find that Standard Grade is the only grade of tile any major manufacturer will tell you they sell. The industry does recognize a Second Grade tile, but I don't know that anybody admits selling them.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-21-2020, 03:51 PM   #107
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Years ago I went to Dal tile and bought 5-6 boxes of tile to install a tub surround. Every tile in every box had a chip, blemish or dark speck in the glaze. Obviously, a pallet of seconds that were culled out ended up at the tile shop. Of course I had to make a trip back. That doesn't happen very often.
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Unread 05-21-2020, 04:00 PM   #108
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This is hearsay info from people I trust that have a lot more experience than I do. Because HD and places like it, tend to buy things in boxcar quantities, they get to dictate some things. Modern factories tend to make pretty reliable items with few rejects off the line. Stuff sold at specialty stores and places like bathroom showrooms (and plumbing supply stores, for example) deals with a clientele that is unwilling to put up with a high rate of defects, as they would then often have to take the time to run back, return things, and it doesn't leave the customer a good feeling if things get delayed. But, given that the vast majority of stuff sold, coming off of the same line, is good. One way to cut costs is to have a place like HD accept the output and skip some of the more critical QA/QC checks, letting their customer be the final inspector. Since a lot of DIY'ers may not always know what it is supposed to be like, they may accept minor differences whereas a pro that is putting his reputation up against it, would not. If the customer accepts the results, they may get a bargain, and if they don't, since the customer of a big box store may feel it's an inconvenience, they're not paying labor to take it back and get it replaced.

One big tell on this sort of thing is the part number...if it's identical, then it probably really is. If it has a unique HD, Lowes, etc., part number, it may not be. Another reason why they have unique part numbers is so they big box stores don't have to price match those items...while in reality, they may be the same, they have different part numbers, so they don't have to honor price matching.

Generally, really obvious defects get rejected at the factory and may never go anywhere except the dump, but minor ones...who knows for sure. A small blemish may not be an issue, and a homeowner on a tile, may just find that and use it where that blemish can be cut off, so no big harm. A pro doesn't want to have to spend any time inspecting each piece.
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Unread 05-22-2020, 04:57 AM   #109
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I honestly can't see any difference at all in these tile. And I'm pretty particular when it comes to details. Regardless, that's some great information. Hopefully it'll be helpful to those who read this in the future while doing similar research.

Getting back to the original question from my very first post and the title of this thread; the bathroom floor is starting to take shape. The tile setter explained to me the options of where he could have whole tiles vs. cuts. He also echoed some of the same opinions shared in this thread, such as "layout should have equal sized tile at pan and lid."

Of all of the possible options, he said he really would like to start with a whole tile at the threshold of the doorway into the bathroom. He felt that using a cut in that location would be an eye sore. So that what he did.

Yesterday, he got as far as setting the tile just prior to the "break" where the shower pitch begins. Through a combination of planning and dumb luck, it worked out that starting with a whole tile at the entry threshold resulted in the shower pitch break falling on a grout line. So, there will be no cuts until reaching the linear drain at the back of the shower.

Hopefully, there will be enough progress today to have some worthwhile pictures.
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Unread 05-22-2020, 04:12 PM   #110
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Call it proper planning and don't look back!
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Unread 05-22-2020, 05:11 PM   #111
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I wish I had something more dramatic to share but this is moving much slower than I'd hoped.

I'm happy that care is being given to quality but there's no way this will be close to done before I have to leave town toward the end of next week for several months of work related training. Especially since the tile crew has decided not to work Monday (after not working for 6 weeks prior to starting here).

Here is a progress picture and a pic showing the laser laying dead-nuts inside the 1/16th grout space.


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Unread 05-29-2020, 09:08 AM   #112
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Those definitely look like the exact same tile. I would think those were both made at the same plant but I don't know which plant that would be.

It seems to me that I was unable to purchase the 4x16's from Daltile directly. Their closest tile was 4.25 x 12.75. They call it "Modern Dimensions." So the 4x16's could just be sold to retail outlets? I don't know.
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Unread 05-29-2020, 12:00 PM   #113
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Interesting. The tile that didn't come from HD came from ProSource. I would think DalTile stores would have it as well. It's "Linear" from the "Color Wheel" line.

The Color Wheel page on DalTile's site doesn't show 4x16. But if you click on the sales sheet in the documents section, it lists the 4x16 option.

It was truly frustrating to have lost 6 weeks while the tile setter chose not to work. But he is living up to his reputation and is proving to be worth the wait. Despite the wall being newly framed, it's not perfectly plumb and is far from flat. The entire wall is Durock and the joints, which were taped and bedded with thinset by the GC, have significant high spots.

The tile setter is laying the tile perfectly plumb and flat, checking each tile with a 6' level as he progresses. The subway tile pictured below is three and a half days work, with a helper. He's clearly taking time necessary to do it right.

Unfortunately, last night I had to leave town for several weeks, so I won't get to see the finished tile for a while.

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Unread 08-15-2020, 03:21 PM   #114
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If you can believe it, the bathroom is still not completed. There is some good Daltile/Home Depot info to come, relevant to the earlier discussion, so read on.

As I wrote in my last post at the end of May, I had to leave town for several weeks, which became months. I reluctantly let the tile setter complete the job after I left.

I've only been home a handful of days since the end of May. I'm still out of town as I write this. Obviously, while I was home I walked into the bathroom to look at the completed tile. But I was just in there for a minute or two and the room was dark, so it wasn't a very thorough examination.

I was scheduled to have about five days at home and I wanted to get the wall hung vanity installed, so although I don't like having work done while I'm away, I asked the contractor to finish repairing and repainting the ceiling before I got home.

The contractor's employee called me and told me he had bad news. He said there were a bunch of subway tiles that had a very subtle imperfection. His description was "it's very hard to see but once you see it, you'll never unsee it."

Basically, it's a vertical line or indentation in the tile. It is underneath the glazing. You can feel it with the fleshy tip of your finger. The pictures below were sent to me by the contractor. In person, the imperfection (at least in low lighting) is much more subtle but it's like he said; once you see it, you can't unsee it. And there must have been at least 50 tiles affected.

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I will spare you a long story but supposedly a rep from both Pro Source and DalTile were at the house while I was away. No one has a definitive explanation as to the defect and everyone is pretty much pointing the finger at the other guy.

Over the past few days, while I have been away, the tile setter removed the affected tiles individually. Of course, I am concerned that removing the tile from the wet area will affect the integrity of the Ardex 8 + 9. The contractor told me they reapplied Ardex as necessary but since I was not there to see it myself, I have to have faith that the barrier is not compromised.

The pictures below with the blue painters tape show many (but not all) of the affected tiles.

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So back to the Daltile rep. Though I was not there to hear the conversation, the contractor supposedly asked the Daltile rep about the difference between the tile sold and Pro Source and the tile sold at Home Depot. As was suggested earlier in this thread, the Daltile rep supposedly said that the Home Depot stock is seconds and rejects.

As a reminder, all of this tile came from Pro Source. So whether or not there is a difference in quality between the two seems moot, as the tile I got from PS clearly had blemishes. But in the end, the saving grace is that since the tile came from Pro Source and not Home Depot, someone (either PS or Daltile) will be compensating the contractor for the repairs.

The pictures below with the spacers and the painters tape are the tile that were replaced. The bare Durock is the wall with the door. They completely demo'd the tile on that wall and started from scratch. I was told that as he tried to remove the affected tile from that wall, other tiles would crack. I'm not sure how he was able to remove and replace the others with cracking adjacent tile.

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Unread 08-15-2020, 05:00 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Despite the wall being newly framed, it's not perfectly plumb and is far from flat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
The tile setter is laying the tile perfectly plumb and flat, checking each tile with a 6' level as he progresses.
I think you can probably find at least part of your problem there, Brad.

There is a term for that "almost cracking" of the tile surface, but I forget what it is. I seem to recall it being thought to be a product of excess shrinkage of the bonding mortar. If your installer was flattening and plumbing the tile installation over a substrate that was neither flat nor plumb, it's entirely possible he was applying his thinset mortar in layers thicker than optimal in places. Just one of the reasons all such mortar manufacturers and the industry standards specifically say that thinset mortar is "not to be used in leveling or flattening the work of others."

Just something to watch for if the problem persists.

How did they hope to tie in the wall waterproofing where they installed the new CBU panels?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-15-2020, 05:17 PM   #116
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That's certainly possible, CX. I really don't know what the root cause was and I'm not sure I'll ever know. There's no question that the thinset was built up quite thick in some areas. I was surprised to see (while I was at home) that he applied the thinset to each tile individually and not to the wall.

Is it likely for a tile to crack without the crack propagating through the glazing? If the tile did indeed "fail" as a result of improper installation, it seems odd that none of the imperfections breached the glazing.

Also, every affected tile was above a certain height on the wall. The tile was set from the floor to the ceiling working across the room. Again, I'm just guessing but it seems that all of the affected tile would have come from common boxes.

I really don't know. I just want it to look right and have proper integrity in the long run. Luckily, my GC lives four houses away, should there be any issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cx
How did they hope to tie in the wall waterproofing where they installed the new CBU panels?
The new CBU panels are at the opposite end of the room, not in the wet area. If you look again closely at the picture with the Durock and the next picture above it, they are pretty much the same view.

EDIT: The green outline below is what they tore out to the studs. It's the entry to the bathroom.

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Unread 08-25-2020, 04:59 AM   #117
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Cx is referring to crazing but I'm more inclined to say that he hit a bad box of tiles since the glaze has a indentation.
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Unread 08-25-2020, 08:23 AM   #118
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CX was not referring to crazing, Jeff.
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Unread 08-25-2020, 09:24 AM   #119
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It is called reflective cracking. Nothing new in the performance world. In this instance the glaze has more elasticity than the bisque. It is caused by movement of some type. Could be any number of things and could be figured out if someone wanted to spend the time and effort. I will say building up thinset over a deformable membrane is a bad idea. Excessive shrinkage will occur and the membrane is a big rubber band.
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Unread 08-25-2020, 09:37 AM   #120
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Red face

Sorry for the assumption cx, and my bad for jumping in and not reading the 7 previous pages
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