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Glass Mosaic Tile a mess! Please help!
camille74
November 9, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We purchased a brand new house and are paying the builder quite a lot of money to do the back splash for us. As we have walked through to see the work we were so disappointed to see everything crooked. The spacing was way off! We demanded it to be corrected. The second walk through was not any better. I was not there during the second walk through. The builder just wants to fix single tiles as you can see. I just saw the pictures and am horrified. We were told, that the the tiles are already off on the sheets that they come with. I think that this is not true. I have never seen the spacing this bad. You can see total wave lines from afar. Can you please take a look at the work and let me know if this can be corrected or if I am wrong with my judgement? I just cannot get over the fact that this cannot be done in a straight line. It just does not make any sense to me? I am so horrified!
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jennifercohn
Hi Camille, I've seen those same tile sheets in the showrooms lately and noticed they are not perfectly straight. Part of the intended charm I guess. Good luck, Jen
5 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Darzy
There is a problem having perfectly straight because it's true that there is a backing on the tile, so you can't see the "lines" because the paper backing hides the tile until the tile is set. Then, you remove the backing with a wet sponge before you grout. Yes, I've seen perfectly straight lines, and I've wondered if they removed the backing first.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I doubt that it's part of the intended charm, as none of us seems to find it charming! So I would suggest to the builder than he get the tile supplier to reorder the tile and get first quality, straight tile.


Then, he should also pay for the tile layer to redo the tile. Your builder should be watching things every step of the way and should stand behind them. The cost of the tile installer redoing the tile is not going to break him, but he's going to have a very unhappy client if he doesn't take care of the problem.
11 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:07PM
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camille74
The cost is about 2K and it is not covering a big surface either. Any tips on how this can be done in a straight line?
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Well, that's a fairly outrageous price for a typical backsplash! How many square ft. of tile are involved?
4 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:27PM
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camille74
Sorry not sure how many square ft of tile it is. We just want to get this done ASAP as we will be moving in in a little over a week. It basically covers one horizontal stretch of a few cabinets and then one side where the double oven is. We know it is a lot because they usually charge double of what an outside contractor would charge but we just did not want to rip out the granite that was supposed to go there and then patch up the dry wall and redo the back splash but now there is no other way if they were to redo it. I am just very unhappy about it :(
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I'd wait until you get into the house and have it done then. Save a thousand dollars and worry about it later. You may find that it's less noticeable once everything else is in the kitchen.
3 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Darzy
I know how you feel camille. I'm living with a less than stellar tile work in my kitchen but now I don't notice it much.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 8:04PM
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kjh72
I am sorry about your tile problem. I agree that is an outrageous price for a backsplash even if it was laid perfect! I have tile setters that typically charge $350 (simple pattern) to $600 labor (ornate pattern with lots of cuts) for a backsplash. Granted I am in the Midwest, so maybe labor is that high where you live.
I sell tile and I have typically seen this style of glass with a mesh back, not a paper front. I have had several tile installers explain, that when setting the linear glass, that the glass pieces can wiggle or come loose. But that is why they use tile spacers, even on mesh.
Your pictures look like two sheets of glass meet or where they had to piece in near the outlets. Both of these situations should have had spacers used. It may look straight when they set it, but without a spacer, it can slide.
End pieces can come loose at the ends of the sheet (especially if the sheets of glass are handled a lot). However, I don't feel that it is the suppliers fault. Unless the tile setter can show you an extra sheet with the crooked glass. If he can, then the tile store needs to get proper replacements. Be aware, most tile vendors and factories say that, "installation is acceptance". If that is the case, the tile setter, should have never installed it in the first place! The fault is his no matter what.
My opinion, it is between the builder and the tile setter to work out whose paying for replacement tile. Their goal should be making it right and no charge to you for the extra labor. FYI if the tile setter, or builder bought the tile, they may have received a contractor discount. If so, they may have still charged you retail, which means they made money on the tile too. Stand your ground. They need to cover it at no cost to you.
I am very curious as to the square foot price of tile and sq.ft. quantity you have. (Sorry, just being nosy) I wish I had more info to help. Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome.
4 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 8:27PM
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ct design studio
kjh72 pretty much took the words out my mouth (or hands as it were). No the tiles are not always 100% straight on the mesh backing, but your installer should have been using spacers, adjusting and reinforcing as he went along. You either got a rushed job or an inexperienced job. Either way I wouldn't sign off on it. I hate to say it, but seeing how badly the sheets were merged, I think it would be quicker to have the tile completely replaced than trying to fix tiles individually. It sounds like you were charged retail plus labor so I wouldn't put any money into it until it is fixed to your satisfaction. Good luck!
3 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Sara Parker
Are the light plates straight? Maybe less contrast here would help tone down the tile problem.
0 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Sara Parker
Actually, I think the tile contrasts too strongly with the granite anyway.The really dark ones grab your eye.
0 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 12:10PM
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lesliemahler
I think you should demand that it be done correctly or hold the amount needed in escrow if you want to close. You are right, it looks bad and this is a focal point in your kitchen :( . I can't speak to the cost because we're just barely framing our custom house. I hope it works out for you.
1 Like   November 10, 2012 at 1:34PM
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weemote
This is a rushed tile job for sure. It's a shame, because it's one of the last things done on a kitchen project and I'm sure you took your time finding a great tile to tie everything together. Have your builder redo it, or at least credit you the $2k (cost and labor of the tile) so you can find someone else who is qualified to install it. Don't just live with it -you will see it every day, every time you walk in your kitchen.
1 Like   November 10, 2012 at 2:01PM
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K.O.H. Construction Corporation
Camille, I'm a builder and your builder is lying. The tiles come straight and if the weren't , they should not have laid them .I doubt that anyone can patch this correctly. Go to the tile store, buy a few and show the builder, tell them you're not closing until the problem is corrected.
6 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 2:22PM
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camille74
Thanks kjh72 for the tip about the spacer. I forwarded the info to the builder. Will try to find out how much Sqf it is. I just got a call from the builder and they say that they did use spacer to fix the ones that were pointed out during the last walk through. I was told that I cannot expect a 100% job and I said I did not expect it but this is way bad. They apparently fixed all the single tiles and the builder said that it looks great and that they want us to come out and take a look so that we can close escrow. I already know the answer to this: I won't be happy because the spacing will be still off. :( I guess we will have to go there and walk it through and tell them that it is unacceptable :( I hate to say it....and it definitely was a rush job as they wanted us to close already by the end of October...
0 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 2:25PM
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camille74
Oh my...thanks K.O.H for the info!
0 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Aja Mazin
If you cannot expect a 100% job, clearly the builder cannot expect a 100% payment.
9 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 3:08PM
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi camille74,

I'm a GC and I'm very picky about details, including tile. The fact is that MANY mosaics are not set straight on the mesh. But even with that, the solution is EXTREMELY simple. As we're laying the mosaics, we use a very sharp utility knife to slice through the mesh above and below the crooked tiles. (This "frees" them from the mesh) We then use tiny wedges (better then regular spacers) to re-align them in the sheet. Its that simple.

I do a lot of tile work and this is how I approach every crooked tile, its easy and fast. (I have tile installers also, and they too know that they need to do the same thing, or I will have them change it.)

The ONLY reason that many tile installers don't fix these crooked tiles is that they DON'T CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS! Shame!!! You deserve better, and better is out there! (And its well worth the additional cost too :o)

Steve
6 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 8:47PM
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camille74
Ahh thank you so much Steve. That is very helpful information. I definitely want it redone. This is not a Vintage style bungalow where this might be part of the old charm. As Carolyn has correctly stated we do not find this charming at all rather very irritating. If they had done it for free I would not have dared to demand it corrected (I would have just had someone come and rip it out and have it reinstalled) but myhome13, if you would have paid close to 2K for this trust me, you want to get it done right or would you prefer to drive a "brand new car" that you would have paid double the amount for that has crooked lights in the back and front? I doubt it...I don't want a discount. I just want to get it done right and as we are paying more than twice as much as a GC would have charged we do expect it. Just praying that they can do it right next time...
1 Like   November 11, 2012 at 10:45AM
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Youre welcome Camille. The good news is that the crooked tiles can still removed and replaced. Not easy, but possible. The only issue may be that the new grout may not match the existing. Even if its from the same bag, the new water alone (or admix sealer) can change the color. Get an assurance in writing that the installer will replace everything if that turns out to be the case. They had the opportunity to do it right the first time.
Steve
2 Likes   November 11, 2012 at 10:51AM
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camille74
Thank you Steve. I am aware of the grout issue. Do you think that it would be probably faster to just rip it all out, patch up the damaged dry wall in the back and do it all over again? I have the impression that patching things here and there will not fully solve the problem as you can see there are total wave lines within the mosaic pattern. I am under the impression it is probably every third tile or so that would need to be spaced out correctly again.
0 Likes   November 11, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Aja Mazin
Why not request a full refund in exchange for the return of their tile ?

Then hire a skilled company to install the back splash.
1 Like   November 11, 2012 at 11:04AM
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camille74
Hi Aja,
I did offer this as a possible solution to them. However they still want us to go out there and see the revised work and then we can talk about possible solutions. I told them that we do see three options:

a) they can fix it (our preferred choice)
b) they rip everything out, credit us back the money and we will find a skilled GC who can do it right (last option)
c) they install a subway tile back splash as I think that this should really not cause any uneven issues. I could live with a grey/taupe glass subway tile as well. This would be our second choice as finding a new GC would take time as well and I don't want to live and cook in a construction zone. I just want it to look nice and professional.
1 Like   November 11, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Deanna
If I read correctly, you're having the house built. This means you will have a final walkthrough with the builder to document all the things wrong from the subcontractors before you sign your life away on the mortgage. If it not fixed by then, definitely make it an issue at that time. We had to have some crooked outlets (or holes around outlets) fixed, one of our bathroom vanities was scratched up, one of our bathtubs were discolored, and there were some other things. The builder had us go through with blue painter's tape to note what needed to be fixed. We also made our own list and took pictures. In the end, everything was fixed for us, though. I sincerely hope it goes as well for you! Good luck!!!
2 Likes   November 11, 2012 at 11:15AM
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sellis854
Have the builder switch it out for a larger tile and see if that works. The wall must be very uneven, which is no excuse for messiness.
0 Likes   November 11, 2012 at 11:29AM
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camille74
Hi Deanna, we already had a first walk through with the blue tape and the pictures were taken after the second walk through when it was supposed to be fixed (I was not able to attend the second walk through but my husband did) and he was the one who took the pictures to show me. Most of the issues were minor except for a crooked door frame which they did fix and the biggest one being the back splash. Sellis854 thank you for the comment. I don't think that the wall is uneven. If that was the case I would be even more worried I guess. As Deanna mentioned correctly it is a brand new house..
0 Likes   November 11, 2012 at 11:38AM
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PRO
Arlene Warda, Architecture+Interior Design
I agree with the messages above. There are a few choices on how to correct it, close it.

1. One, you can correct it. This person, contractor who installs it owes you, one 'punch list' of corrections, at his cost. Then you can have straightened tile.

2. Two you can elect to take a price break, for the remaining work, that is wrongly installed. You can do it over yourself, with another contractor, or tile worker, who's work you've thoroughly reviewed.

This actually happened to a client of mine. After she approved the grout, color, the tile worker installed the whole bathroom in a different color of grout that the owner wanted, and directed. She got a big discount and kept the bathroom.

I know probably you'd want the straight tile, and couldn't live without it. He either has to do no. 1 or 2. and I agree with suggestions above. Good Luck!...
2 Likes   November 11, 2012 at 11:48AM
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi Camille, while installing mosaic is generally more difficult than tiles up to 18", a mediocre installer is still capable of messing up that too. At least with mesh backed tile there is some built-in consistency with the spacing.

I think you're on the right path - keep bugging them until they get it right, or you get your refund. Even if you have to have this redone, it shouldn't take more than a few days, depending on the complexity.

I wish you the best!
~Steve
1 Like   November 11, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Linda
You are paying a premium price and you have the right to expect a premium product

There are lots of marginally competent installers out there. Give them an easy to use product and straight lines, flat surfaces etc and the installation will not be a problem. But, you aren't doing a low budget job, so you shouldn't have to settle for that.

To be honest, that work would pass in one of my projects because I'm in a very low budget market -foreclosure rehabs where the finished houses sell for $100K or less. I can't afford to obsess over the details...that's a very hard lesson for me but I'm learning. We do the best work we can, given the limitations of old houses.
1 Like   November 11, 2012 at 7:59PM
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kah416
Looks good to me!! Don't expect perfection cuz nothing will be perfect. But it looks pretty darn close. Just fill in the missing grout hole.
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 1:51AM
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cvanrooy
Don't pay him until your happy. Once he's paid you loose.
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 3:53AM
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Sara Parker
I saw another tile sample right here on Houzz with the same sort of irregular shapes, in beige tones. I'm afraid it's a design flaw or "feature."
0 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 5:33AM
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camille74
As a few professionals have pointed out above (from interior designer to home builder to general contractor) that this is not professional work. It is a rush job and in this case as someone stated above it was either an inexperienced crew, people who simply did not care or they had to complete the job within a certain amount of time frame. And as Carolyn Albert-Kincl Design (interior designer) said, it is not an intended "charm" because we all don't think it is charming. I don't think I am asking too much to have it look like this:

Photos Submitted by Cove Finishings Customers

or this

Kitchen Remodel
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 7:05AM
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Jeremy Jensen
Its not the contractor it's the tile & the backing. had the same issue with my 2x4" opaque subway. The fix is going to damage more than help. Cheap tile will do this, spend $18 a sq. ft for glass or stay away. stay away from home depot lowes etc. Tile showrooms are best, and most expensive you get what you pay for.
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 7:12AM
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Aja Mazin
Sara Parker

Why should camille74 be stuck paying a premium price for a "design flaw"?

kah416

It is not your home or your money.
2 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 7:13AM
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camille74
Hi Jeremy: Let me just quote Steve's comment above who is a general contractor:

...the solution is EXTREMELY simple. As we're laying the mosaics, we use a very sharp utility knife to slice through the mesh above and below the crooked tiles. (This "frees" them from the mesh) We then use tiny wedges (better then regular spacers) to re-align them in the sheet. Its that simple.

I also agree with Linda's comment above: if this was done under a marginal budget on a flip property that costs around 100K then I would be more than happy with the result. However we are paying a multiple of that for the house and are paying a premium for the back splash so expectations are naturally higher...
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 7:27AM
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Jeremy Jensen
It is very hard to see these imperfections when you have a sheet of twenty or so tiles in a rows... just laying out, they suddenly become exaggerated once the grout is applied. Looks like there was a fix for the glass but the contractor didn't know to look for such things, If you used a general contractor you'll be good if you hired a tile setter on your own..good luck! either way ita has to be ripped off to be fixed.. are those two different sized switch plates?
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 8:08AM
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camille74
Not sure Jeremy. We did not use a GC it was the builder who did the work for us. My preference would be to have it ripped off as well. Not sure if there are two different sized switch plates.
0 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 8:20AM
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PRO
Pangione Developers Inc
This tile is sold on Amazon (FYI) so if you need to replace you can. A typical stretch of backsplash for what you described using similar tile shouldn't cost more than $500 so not sure where $2000 is coming from. Don't open the door for that contractor when he arrives. Your choice is simple. Remove all the existing and replace. The quote you received may have factored in tile costs with allowances. Still $2,000 was stretching the reserve fund. Anyhow, pending cost of new tile, you should get away with a cost of around $300-$500 for labor and $200 - $500 for tile costs. If this link shows up,you can find great backsplash tiles here http://www.squidoo.com/best-diy-kitchen-backsplash-ideas-reviews
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Jeremy Jensen
I am as picky as you.. really, Probably why I do all of my own work and it takes 5 times as long but its done most always right so I understand. my white 2x4 subways have dark grey grout. some of the actual glaze has heavier pooling at bottom edges which threw off the prefect line just slightly..on one or two tiles.. I have found that one really doesn't see it once you populate your counter with "stuff" Just be sure in the process of removal.. the counter doesn't get scratched to all heck. I think glass tiles would be prone to problems as they are cut so thin& long. good luck on your decisions..
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 8:38AM
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PRO
maus
If you want perfect on poorly scrimmed mosaic then pre back the sheets. Cutting the scrim and wedge spacing can also work, but also throw/ twist off the next course, If it is set directly on drywall, long stick pins can aid. I just completed a 1/2 X 2 jack on jack mosaic, and made sure every counter recepticle aligned exactly on 12X12 sheet layout for minimal cutting and an overall consistent set. But you have random pattern and a lot can be hidden/ lost and out right obscurred by counter appliances.
A need be correction can be done with a Multi-Master, a diamond blade and precise handling
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Jeremy Jensen
pins and shims make the price 2k.. back splashes are expensive because there a pain in the butt & the back.
0 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 8:52AM
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camille74
Danke Maus! I think you are German/Austrian based on your nick name?
Jeremy, the builder even admitted that he ads about 100% on top to make a profit. We do understand that. I just wanted to avoid having a GC come and rip out the granite, patch up the dry wall and replace it with a mosaic back splash. But now we will have to do it anyway so if I had known this, we would have hired a GC to begin with. Live and Learn I guess. Thank you everyone for all your great comments and your advice. I will keep you all posted and will re-post another pic once it is done.
0 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 8:56AM
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PRO
BeautifulRemodel.com
With regard to "cheap" tile being the issue, I have to disagree. Anyone who''s installed hand-made tile knows that they are usually inconsistent AND very expensive. We've installed very consistent *inexpensive* mosaic from HD et al, and mosaics which were10x the price, yet which had crooked or inconsistently sized tiles on every sheet. (This doesn't just apply to mosaics either)

That is not the point. This is not about perfection, its about visual consistency. Many tiles WILL be different sizes. This is why we correct the tiles as we go when we install. You have to create a visual balance between the tiles, and tweaking them as you go is the best way. If you wait until its all installed, (or until after grout) its not only more physically difficult to adjust the tiles, but also your eye has a harder time finding the issues.

While that may see good enough, it really isn't. (Who'll notice, right?) Well once the eye finds a crooked tile, it will always stand out. Working with a tile installer who has PRIDE and TALENT, is the best solution. Many fix these problems without ever saying a word to the client, because THEY care enough to get it right.

Camille, While some may think that you're being too picky, I'm quite sure that if they had spent the same amount of money on this, they would not "settle" for mediocre work. (It may be different if it had been installed for very little cost)

Steve
PS - Jeremy is correct in that those two outlet plates are different sizes. (One is standard, the other over-sized) Let's hope the electrician installed the outlets at a consistent height above the counter...
Also Fwiw, GC's can be home builders (usually are) or remodeling contractors or both.
4 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 9:02AM
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pegwaters
You should take these pictures into a independent tile store and ask them their opinion, then you will know exactly how to talk to the builder and explain your position. These are done wrong, he knows they are done wrong, but he is trying to force you into excepting them because you are under a time crunch. I've had plently of remodeling done (even used the same tile as yours) and I would refuse to pay for this. Your builder knows plently of tile installers, you are paying a premium price, but he has hired a cheap installer so he can make more money.

Is this a custom home?, I can not imagine a builder wanting to jeopardize his reputation over a tile job!
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Christine
You may have a contractor who is not as experienced with laying glass sheet tiles as they might be with larger tiles. Also if you buy stock from certain companies the tiles my be odd in their sizing and in that sense the whole "you get what you paid for" rule applies. The glass tiles present a headache in that they have to be adjusted as you go, NOT after you have laid sheet after sheet. Your choices are this. Live with it or pay for the change order to get it done right by having another installer come in and do it as it should be.

I had the same problem in a laundry room and had to rip it all up. The next guy came in and literally laid one sheet and moved each tile in to position as a baseline and then added the second sheet and adjusted based on the first. In some areas he literally cut out a glass tile and inserted another one if he felt the backing was too fakakta to get in to position or the individual tile was defective. The difference between my second installer and my first. The second guy took 3 days to lay in and set the sheets and tweak the tiles and the first guy was done in a day.
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Jeremy Jensen
Beautiful Remodel, agreed AnnSack does have a a lot of handmade tile that is expensive and pricey and very irregular. but regarding glass tile which has become awfully trendy right now and there are so many people making it that one is bound to come across tons of tile thats sub par particularly the backing mesh as the glass is easy to cut square and true, I suspect one will have to examine each sheet very closely.
1 Like   November 12, 2012 at 9:25AM
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camille74
Hi pegwaters,

no this is not a custom home but it still is a decent amount that we are paying. I agree with you that the builder should not jeopardize his reputation over a tile job. I have unfortunately read since then quite a few complaints about this builder. I would say it is a mid sized builder from the east coast and we are located in SoCal. Let's pray that they will see our point and at the moment I am tending more towards the last option which was to just to have them rip it out so that we can close escrow and find a good GC to do some quality work. Someone such as beautifulremodel.com with a great work ethics would be perfect ;) I am a graphics designer myself and I hold myself and my work to high standards as well.
2 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 10:18AM
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PRO
BeautifulRemodel.com
Camille - thank you SO MUCH! I really appreciate the kind words. Fwiw, I LOVE what I do, which I believe makes a world of difference! :o)
0 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 10:29AM
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PRO
Lotus Construction Group
Hi Camille, It sounds like you have received some great advice here especially from Steve. I have one thing to add to this long list of responses. I was trained as a master tile setter and I can tell you almost no tile is perfect and when setting tile on vertical surfaces you always use shims to space the tile level and keep them from sagging when stacking above. Steve explained the simple solution to tiles not being straight on the mesh which also is common.I think the important thing here is the devil is in the details. It sounds like you are paying a fair price for a high quality job. This staggered glass tile is not the simplest tile to set and if you do not have exceptional tools, skills, patience and a love for your trade it will most likely look deplorable. I hope you can get out from under the mediocre GC and find a master craftsman to complete the job the up to your standards!
2 Likes   November 12, 2012 at 2:38PM
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camille74
Thank you Lotus Construction Group for your help and advice. I truly appreciate it. We have seen the back splash and it still looks crooked. The spacing between the adjacent tiles varies and goes from thin to thick. We will have a meeting with the builder, the tile company and tile installer and will discuss this tomorrow. We were told that the tile installer said that it was impossible. As I said, we don't want it a 100% but the spacing is so off and then on top of it the single tiles are not laid straight either they go sometimes up or down. See pictures.
0 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 12:29PM
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PRO
Lotus Construction Group
Camille,
The tile setter has stated his limitations for sure. I have set this pattern many times and as I stated earlier it is not easy but most certainly is possible to be straight. Just a note from the pictures it looks like the setter used a sanded grout which is not recommended with joints smaller than 1/8" and will tend to scratch the glass as well, inspect them closely for scratches.It also looks like the tiles are not set flat almost as if some are tilted in and out, they should all be in the same plane. this can only be achieved by an even setting bed and a beater block used to set the tiles in an even plane. I hope your meeting goes well.
2 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Deb Reinhart
I appreciate all the comments from a diverse group of professionals, who shared their knowledge and experience .
In my ID firm, our approach is client satisfaction, with team cooperation and shared responsibility.
The builder should approach this backsplash with the same follow up, and information as this discussion group has done for the home owner. Being defensive or providing mediocre solutions will make the problem bigger.
I also noted the glass tiles are different depths, creating grout lines which can never be even. In one glass tile area the grout size could be 1/8, while the adjoining smaller tile could produce a larger grout space. The tile pattern is horizontal ..so the different size glass strips create different sized grout. I question whether replacing the same tile pattern, would meet the owners expectations.
BTW
Who but with our professions..could discuss grout lines for days?
Lastly, if the builder is asking to close,could there be an escrow account for 11/2 times the cost of a replacement tile to move the project to a close? (Just asking)
The home owner should be reassured, educated on the solutions, and swiftly acknowledged that solutions will be developed.
TBD..
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 10:12PM
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cammy608
I am really nervous after reading this. I just had the exact tile put in (set) as a backsplash in a bathroom today. Quite obviously no spacers were used. Where the sheets meet a hair couldn't fit between the space and others are off enough that when grouted, especially (supposed to be done tomorrow) it will be very obvious.

I have been so preoccupied with the spacing issue I didn't notice whether or not the tile itself might be wavy after grouted. It's kind of difficult to see now.

The tile "professional" who installed it came up with one excuse after another as to why this has happened. He said that is going to happen with this type of tile. That I will love it once I see it grouted and should reserve judgement until then (I had no idea I look like I am blind, or an idiot). That's what he said BEFORE he set it, too. That I should not have cut the mesh in half, I should have let a professional do it (didn't need an entire sheet, pretty small job & and pulled a handful of pieces to switch out and keep the pattern going uniformly). Asked what I wanted him to do about it, I replied that I want him to fix it, he then tried to sway me by telling me what a mess it would be to tear it all out. He also told me, BEFORE he set the tile, after cutting one, that the tiles slip off the mesh as soon as they get wet - and he didn't use spacers? The tile goes around a corner and he also chipped an end tile AND at the end of the tile where they were cut, he set the cut side out, instead of turning it around.

I ended up here looking for info to either support my assumption that spacers should have been used, or his word that with these tiles this is what happens. I know better now.

I also want to say that this project WAS done on a marginal budget, in a much less expensive home than the one here, but the disatisfaction and upset is the same. We didn't spend near the amount of money spent on the one here, but it is still good, hard earned money and my disappointment need not be gauged by the amount of money spent on the project. BTW - he came highly recommened by two people. A co-worker and a realtor he has done work for in big budget homes.
0 Likes   May 31, 2013 at 5:12PM
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PRO
Lotus Construction Group
Cammy608,
I would look for a more accountable tile setter. There really are no spacer used for this installation. The devise used to get even and consistent spacing is a small wedge slipped in-between courses and hundreds of them .I use a laser to check courses as I stack. This is a difficult pattern to set but stunning when done with skill. I am sorry things did not go well!
0 Likes   May 31, 2013 at 5:36PM
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camille74
A quick update. The management had to get involved and they agreed that it had to be redone. So on their third attempt they finally took the time to do it the right way. The first attempt took them like 3 hours or so whereas the last job took pretty much the entire day. What a difference! I love the result. It's near perfect! They painstackenly cut the the tiles off the mesh when it did not look right and I was able to point out individual tiles that I did not like that looked crooked on the wall and they would replace those individual ones with other tiles that they would cut off from a mesh. They used spacers as well. We were promised that the job would be done right so we decided to go ahead and close the sale and we were present when they redid the job which helped. But I would never do this again. Lesson learned. Next time I will just opt for plain white subway tiles. You can't go wrong with them. Easy to install and they still look great! Will post new pics soon.
1 Like   May 31, 2013 at 9:07PM
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PRO
Lotus Construction Group
Camille74, I am glad the GC stepped up and resolved the issue to your satisfaction.
0 Likes   June 1, 2013 at 7:01AM
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Deb Reinhart
Camille
It was a leap of faith to close the sale before the backsplash was corrected. Glad to see this resolved.
My only constructive comment is...go for what you like [ex glass tiles] , but hire trades who know what they are doing. 3/4 of my job as an interior designer is managing details--trades, product and relationships on every project. Thanks for sharing this tile delimma; I learned alot about the do's and don't of glass tile setting.
DEB REINHART ASID
0 Likes   June 1, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Aja Mazin
camille74,

So happy that your lovely tiles are now set correctly and that you are pleased after 7 months!

I look forward to the new pictures!!

However, I have heard so many homeowners complain of the the same issues with glass mosaic tiles that I would avoid them like the plague.

I doubt I could ever demonstrate your patience and I suspect the builder would have been reported missing and eventually discovered buried in the backyard.
1 Like   June 1, 2013 at 9:33AM
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camille74
As you can see the space is very even now and hardly anything crooked. Wahoo! It is true, some of the tiles arrived crooked but therefore it is important to be present and point those out so that they can be exchanged unless you have a 110% faith in who you are hiring. Also what was important as well is when you put up one mesh right next to the other make sure to use a levelling device to ensure it is straight and while the grout is still wet you still have the chance to correct single tiles. Some tiles will start going down a bit so make sure that spacers are used and constantly check over and over the design from the front and the side to ensure you are not getting those ugly waves that we had in the very beginning. Hope this helps!
1 Like   June 1, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Aja Mazin
It looks great!
0 Likes   June 2, 2013 at 3:29PM
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cammy608
Lotus, Thank you.

He agreed to do a "little" tweaking and if still dissatisfied after grouting he would refund cost of job and take it down (would not cover cost of tile). Perhaps not to my advantage, but for a few reasons I requested refund of job and tile and would take it down myself (with help from a family member). I'm sure I can do a much better job if for no other reason than I would take my time and be much more conscientious. So, I allowed him to grout.

I was not looking for perfection, but as you can see, this truly is not the job of a professional (too, as you can see, instead of wrapping the tile around the corner to continue the pattern, he set one long tile)and I did everything else myself, from floor to countertoptop, to the best of my ability with diligence, care and hard work, and expected the same when paying someone to put the finishing touch on it.

After having done the countertop the existing backsplash persented a problem I didn't want to deal with so opted for the tile to cover it, if it wasn't a good choice for this I sure would have appreciated the professional telling me so. And he did, after he grouted. Asked why he hadn't before, he said because I liked the tile so much. Still insists this will happen with tile on mesh and that spacers (or wedges) are not used in this application.

Again, was not seeking perfection, but now I have grout galore, even up the walls in some spots, another chipped tile (after he replaced one), he left red fibers from a sponge or something in the (white) grout that I picked out myself), uneven grout lines,,, and a few uneven tiles that I wouldn't have a problem with if not for all the rest.

Not sure where I will go from here at the moment, but lesson learned. Shoestring or big budget, if it isn't the right person for the job, the job won't be right. Kudos for the professionalism and knowledge you put into your work. Thanks again.

camille74, I was so in the thick of my mess and agast at yours I overlooked having hijacked your thread, please except my apology. And, I'm glad that after your long, frustrating struggle you are finely pleased with the look of your tile.
0 Likes   June 13, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Tell him to take dn and start over. It is not right. Backsplash, is not that hard to do. Get someone else to do if you are not happy. Do not pay him.
0 Likes   June 13, 2013 at 10:08AM
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PRO
Lotus Construction Group
Cammy608, I am sorry for the frustrating experience you are having with this project. It is clear that the poor tile guy is not a master nor a professional. I would not pay him for the work he has done. I am sure there is a solution to your splash dilemma start a new thread and see what comes up your are more then welcome to invite me to participate.
0 Likes   June 13, 2013 at 10:36AM
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Russell Eldridge
Unfortunately no one has the balls to tell it like it is. Anytime something goes wrong with a job all you hear from other homeowners is "ohh you poor thing, the contractor should rip that out and replace it and refund you all your money". From the pros on here all you read is "ohh you poor thing, we would have done it perfect, that's unacceptable! We're the best call us". Camille paid like 1400$ more than she should and that's the contractors fault? If I go buy a gallon of milk for 15$ should I come home and bitch that the supermarket screwed me? Actually I'd never tell anyone because that would be embarrassing. Does Camille deserve an excellent job for that price? Yes. Is it Camille fault she had all these problems? Yes. First of all, RESEARCH THE JOB BEFORE YOU EVEN CALL FOR AN ESTIMATE. If you spent 1/2 the time you spent complaining how it's wrong, investigating beforehand, than you wouldn't be here. Get 3 ESTIMATES and compare them WORD FOR WORD. APPLES TO APPLES. GET REFFERALS AND PICTURES OF PREVIOUS WORK and base you decision off of that. You were ignorant and impatient and you paid for it, literally. In the end nothing is perfect, ever. Camille look at your most recent pics you posted. I see a crooked line. That's unacceptable. And how about the switch plates not lining up with the grout lines? Ridiculous! Call the electrician, he needs to rewire your kitchen for free. He should have known you were gonna use crooked tiles. You should sell the house. @Cammy608 how dare that tile setter hacked your backslash when you clearly told him you wanted a flawless job for 1/5th of the price it should have cost.. Out of the 15 guys that you called to give you an estimate, the ones that would have told you that your idea was gonna look dead stupid and not to do that in the first place, laughed and threw you name in the trash as soon as they left. Thats because as soon as you started your "I'm on a tight budget but I want the best speech" they knew who they were dealing with. There should be a book on how to be a good customer. Let the hate posts begin.
0 Likes   May 29, 2014 at 9:13AM
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