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Unread 06-01-2007, 11:29 AM   #1
kelree
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workmanship question

Hi all,
We recently began re-flooring two baths in a 50 y.o. house. I chickened out about doing the tiling ourselves, and contracted to have the work done. There have been a series of problems with the job, but I've sort of gritted my teeth and dealth with them, but now I'm faced with a final question.

The rooms are out of square -- start with that premise. What has been laid is 1" hex mosaic tile, on a mesh backer. The installer has managed to lay the tile in such a way that there is a dramatically larger grout line on the most visible walls in each room, and is insisting that it can't be done differently because cutting to fill the void would mean that some of the hex tiles would be slivers as thin as 1/4 inch. He says that the only way he could do something different would be to have a "zig zag" grout line, which we all agree is not acceptable.

The gentlemen at the tile supply store have assured me that it can/should be done differently, and that the installer simply doesn't want to do the work. When I say it's a larger grout line -- it varies between 1/8 inch and just over 1/2 inch. They say he may have to use a side grinder to make the cuts, and place tiles individually, but that he should have anticipated this when he did the room measurements. All I know is it's ugly the way it is, and it's half finished.

Is this an unreasonable standard, and would I be better off to just ask that someone else come in and fix this? The company's owner has already left a fairly aggressive message on my answering machine about what he will or won't do to make this right. They HAVE been paid, so it's not that I'm trying to welch out of the deal.

What's your advice? What's your standard? HELP! I might have accepted this if I were doing it myself, but I think a paid professional should do better! Or shouldn't he?

Kellie
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Unread 06-01-2007, 11:57 AM   #2
koihito
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I think he made a mistake when he bid the job and just doesn't want to do it. It will be a real pain, but the cuts can and should be made. If he's a pro he should bite the bullet, call it a lesson learned, and finish the job; I feel you have the right to expect that. I know I've made bidding errors and not made as much as I would have liked at times but thats part of being in business!

Your lesson is don't pay for it (at least not in full) until it's finished. I personally don't charge a dime until the job is 100% complete.
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Unread 06-01-2007, 12:13 PM   #3
Davy
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Hi Kellie, cutting small pieces is just part of the job. It does take time but is something that must be done. Make him fix it. You shouldn't have paid him in full untill the job was completley finished.
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Unread 06-01-2007, 01:23 PM   #4
Scooter
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He needs to pull off the baseboard and shoe, and tile all the way to the wall, slivers and all.

The baseboard and shoe will hide all that stuff.

If I know there is a baseboard and shoe going in, I might get lazy, cause both of those add a total of about an inch and a quarter to the wall, enough to cover up a really hack job.
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Unread 06-01-2007, 04:56 PM   #5
kelree
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Now what?

Alright, so he's not coming back. I guess that's no big surprise. Frankly, I don't want him back on my property, and I'll just chalk the labor charge up to a lesson learned on my part. He did under-bid the job, and I think I got my money's worth out of him for the work that was performed (assuming it's right -- yikes).

So now how do I go about fixing this? There are no baseboards or shoe moulding. The tile meets wall tile with a coved base. This joint will be exposed no matter what.

I'd call another professional, but I can't really wait to get on someone else's dance card at this point. The GOOD guys are booked weeks out, and I have two unusable bathrooms with plumber in-bound on Tuesday to install a pedestal sink.

That said, what is the best way to cut these little tiles? I've got to be a better amateur than the professional I paid! Can you lend me the benefit of your collective wisdom?

Kellie
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Unread 06-01-2007, 08:34 PM   #6
Davy
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Kellie, are you wanting to tearout the floor and start over or only install the other half? What's down there now? CBU, mud?
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Unread 06-02-2007, 05:42 AM   #7
kelree
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We have a mud bed with wire support, and the tiles have been thinset on top of that. With the exception of this terminating row of tiles, things look okay, so I don't want to pull the whole thing up. But I would like to re-do the tiles that meet the wall base. So how can I pull these little guys out of the thinset, and how then do I cut another bunch to fit properly? And while I'm looking at this with a critical eye, there are actually several places where the thinset has come up between the tiles, and after reading around on this forum, I suspect I need to clean that up before it's grouted. What's the process for doing that once it's dry?

I'm really demoralized by the whole process at this point. As I said, there were several issues during the installation, and my gut told me to run screaming in the other direction. My husband insisted that we were getting a good faith effort from the installer to overcome his errors, and that we should honor that effort. So much for that.

Thanks for your response,
Kellie
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Unread 06-02-2007, 09:04 AM   #8
tile mom
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any pictures?
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Unread 06-02-2007, 02:12 PM   #9
bweick7
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Smile Tile Problem

You can bust each tile with a small metal hammer, clean the area up on the surface and then reinstall the desired measured tile. I think the layout that your installer mapped out (if he did this at all) - is incorrect. n/w/e/s when mapped out correctly you should end up with a more substantial piece at the wall ends. This is not always the case, but you can narrow it down to maybe just one end as well that is not as noticeable as the other remaining wall ends. That is the first thing that I do as a professional high and remodeling craftsman, otherwise ~ the resaults of all the work you have done is not up to par.
Good luck and I think your problem can be resolved- you just have to decide what you would like to do. I have a proffesional 10" wet saw and I am able to cut 1/6" sliver from a tile with no problem so I think your contractor is trying to take the easy way out and really has no pride in his work ~ 1/4" cut is not a problem at all (as long as you have the write equipment) ~ I hope you get your tile problem fixed
Sincerely,
Brian
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Unread 06-02-2007, 08:46 PM   #10
Davy
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Yeah, a hammer and a small cold chisel will chip those tiles out.
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