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Floor partially installed but mixed feelings about layout -rip it out?
calikym
January 12, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We finally started installation of Happy Feet Interior Dust 3 ft long ceramic floor tiles. We love the tiles and the color but are not overly thrilled about pattern. I am including 2 photos - 1 of MY floor (room is a mess, please focus on pattern floor and the manufacturer's image of an installed floor of exact type (the far left gray one among the tri-shot pic). My husband is even considering ripping it all out at an additional expense of over $5K to demo, re-purchase and re-install. This tile is imported from Italy and $7/square foot raw. We do not want to install the remaining floor if this really is not done right. This is truly a design disaster and I need professional advice.
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Carmen Collins
I love the grey tile, it has not been grouted and completed yet, is that correct? I can clearly see the difference from the original model floor and yours, which is the direction the tile was laid. I do think once it is fully completed, it will look amazing with the right furniture and accessories. The plain wall colour is taking away from the beauty of the tile. Hope that helps.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:17AM
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calikym
It's not grouted or finished yet. My husband literally wants to stop this job and re-do the pattern. If you look at the mfr pic, the tile just waterfalls and that is exactly what ours does. In other words, it never makes a pattern anywhere. Lines 1 and 5 are not square to each other. As for the white, it's only there temporarily to give a fresh start to our eyes. It used to be an ugly brown color, a total mistake we lived with for 9 years. :/
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:22AM
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taryn25
I'm no professional, but I left my husband in charge of the tile install while I went to work, and lived with that mistake for years, hating it every day. If you already know how much you hate it, who needs a professional to tell you to rip it out? You already want to, so do it! (I would, your floor does look like they put "the new guy" on your install!) Good luck!
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:29AM
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Carmen Collins
If you really dispise the layout, then I will have to agree with taryn25, however, the fact that it does not have a distinct pattern is fine, it gives it a modern feel. That being said, you must not keep something that you dislike. :)
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:37AM
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calikym
Well I like it but he doesn't. It's that prob... I understand his point but to me, we got the tile right. Still, I don't want him to dislike. I would really love it if some tile guys could weigh in on this... Help pretty please.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:43AM
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taryn25
Getting the right tile doens't mean you got the tile right... :-)
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:47AM
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marcfuse
I think it looks fine. It's hard to see the finished image until you are done. I would finish it out. He'll warm up to it
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:49AM
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calikym
Haha taryn so true. I'm so stressed out. I think he's coming around. $5k is so much money.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:59AM
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calikym
Thanks Marc. Well, I just want him to be happy. He works his butt off to provide for his family and I messed this up. He was out of town when I agreed to the layout. Darn
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 9:02AM
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angryredhead
Not a professional, but I think it looks great. My husband concurs. I suspect your husband's upset because he had his own idea of how it should look and is recovering from that initial shock, but once that shock has worn off, he'll likely realize that it does look nice, which it does. It's happened with me and my husband, and I have a hunch that once the grout's done, it won't be as shocking. If you rip it out and re-install, you'll have ultimately spent about $20-25/sqft on that floor. Plus it's only a floor. It's only a single thing in the house, and you walk on it. I wouldn't stress over it because there are bigger fish to fry and done is better than perfect. I only say this because renovations can be stressful and it's important to keep a healthy perspective.
5 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 9:50AM
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PRO
LM Designers
So sorry this has not worked out the way you wanted. It should be a happy and exciting time. Even though it is just a floor if your husband is upset it might be worth the money to rip it up and fix it. It won't go away and will be easier to correct now. Ask the tile installer for a reduced rate if possible. I'm sure they have some compassion and a happy customer will tell a lot of other customers how they saved the day.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 10:06AM
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calikym
LM - do you concur that the "waterfall" pattern is an eyesore? Thank you for your honesty and bluntness. I can take it.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 12:27PM
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Really, I have been doing this for years. It really is an excepted pattern. If you have 5k to through away go for it. This is one of those cases that a few hundred dollars for a designers advice would have been money well spent. I personally if it were my house finish it and spend the 5k on a great rug. Though I have to admit I wouldn't have made a mistake to start with. If I wasn't sure I would have laid it out first. I think if you just grout it with a closely matching color it will be easy to live with because it will blend.
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 12:39PM
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calikym
I paid a designer $2,500 retainer and got absolutely nothing from her. She produced a "designer catalog" with some god goofy late 80's furniture and created a plan to stitch plastic flowers in new mauve drapes. It was an awful experience - literally flushed the money down the toilet. Sooo... I would love to pay a designer, no issue, but where I live in Camarillo, not sure ones exist like those on this website.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 1:19PM
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calikym
Just want to add that some designers are interested in selling a certain product or selling a certain company's furniture and adding profit there rather than providing true design services. .Wish a designer could offer a 3D design plan for customers based on home photographs, similar to what Crate and Barrel does, but with all design elements included and furniture options from various companies. I would hop in that in a NY second! Seems like a good business idea, especially if someone is good at this, since many people like me don't live near designers or if they are here, we don't know how to weed thru the good ones and the not so good ones, like the one we crossed paths with.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 1:26PM
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wmpj
I'm not a tile expert so my opinion probably won't matter much here but I think the floor is looking good. It will look much better once it's grouted and cleaned. Perhaps your husband can grout a section of it before ripping the floor out to see if he likes it.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 2:06PM
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calikym
Good idea.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 3:26PM
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ellie0149
I like it and think the idea of grouting a section is good. Perhaps with a great area rug, furniture,accessories and walls painted it will all fall into place. Good luck
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 3:35PM
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charro534
I think you are being overly critical of yourselves. Most people wouldn't know a good or bad tile job if they saw one so when people visit they will never notice. The floor will look fine once you grout it. If you use a light color grout the pattern will show up less if you use a darker color every line will show. People aren't perfect and these things happen. Please do not rip out the floor it will be beautiful!
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:02PM
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myfanwyb
I think it looks fabulous. I know that feeling when it is not as you had hoped for or expected, but live with it for a little while and see if after a few weeks you become accustomed to it and actually forget what the fuss was about. Only you know how you had wanted it. Absolutely no one else will notice. I know I could especially live with it for that kind of money. I agree with comments above on grout and the pattern giving it a modern or edgier look.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Annie
I love the tile and pattern! When it is grouted and clean it will look amazing.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Kristen Ascoli
Who installed it?
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 4:40PM
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calikym
Thank you for the support. I'm going to show this houzz thread to my hubby. The installer is Chris Carter's employee, Kevin. I hired Chris who apparently has 30 years experience but sadly, he didn't actually do the job. still he instructed his worker Kevin on layout, Should have stuck with my original tile guy who is absolutely perfect. What was I thinking? WE KNEW he did flawless work. UGH.. The reasons I switched to Chris were related to Josh's unwillingness to rip out existing wood floor. He didn't want to do it. So. I decided to go with someone who would do the whole job and was recommended by tile stores. BIG mistake. I have learned so much the hard way but still have an entire master bathroom to do and a shower in guest bathroom. Believe me when I say this, I will use the general contractor (Daman Rodriguez from Kodiak Construction) for all aspects of my job from this point forward. He is the one who subs to Josh and together they do bath and kitchen installs all over Ventura County. They are fabulous and I met Daman during my home inspection. I have attached the cuts made by the tile installer to show you some of the issues I am dealing with. Why do I learn the hard way after all these years?! On the positive side, I had the general come over last night and check the floor for level quality. He said it was good, pretty much an average tile layer quality.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Luciana
I have similar tiles in my new kitchen and I remember seeing that pattern in the shop where we bought it from. The selling person told me that pattern is normally used if you want to make a room feel larger, as the lack of symmetry and lines never meeting somehow create an impression of a bigger space. He also said it's the latest trend in tile laying (!?!) - at least here, in the UK.
I just liked the look of it in the shop and thought it would look original, however when I told the tilers what I want, they said they would need an extra half day to lay it in that pattern, as they have to measure it constantly and cut more ends, so we decided to go with the classical subway pattern. We actually bought a more expensive grout which was extremely close to the colour of the tiles and, I have to admit, I barely notice it these days.

Hard to give you an advice, but as others mentioned, I would grouted first, experimentally lay a rug on top, paint the walls (or feature wall) in a striking colour so the eye is attracted to them and not the floor and if nothing works, then re-do the tiles. And just so you know, I also ripped off the brand new tiles in our cloak room and had the whole thing redone, just because the tiles looked too dark and overwhelming - it only cost about $1000 though...
Let us know what you decide and best of luck!
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 5:11PM
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lizpb85
I recently put in a new counter and back splash in my kitchen and can honestly say that I was so disappointed in the backsplash (subway tile) when I first saw it. My husband (who had stayed out of the decision making process) said it made the kitchen look too dark and he didn't like it either. BUT, this was before the grout was in. The next day I returned from work and it was a completely different story. My husband mentioned right away how that grout lightened up the room. Long story short, the back splash gets a lot of compliments. It can be a scary process, and for me there was a lot of second guessingt, but I agree with letting them grout some of it and see if that doesn't change things.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 5:23PM
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PRO
LM Designers
What darling girls! Mine are grown and gone, it goes really fast so enjoy the little ones while you can.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 5:41PM
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calikym
That's me and my 2 sisters from 1972. I'm the oldest girl. My sis sent me this "blast from the past" pic recently. tee hee I actually have 3 sons, 15, 13, 11. Me now (attached pic) from this past Christmas. I'm 46. ;)
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 5:47PM
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PRO
Linda
Grout is a wonderful thing; it hides all sorts of sins.

I see that the installer undercut your trim too much. After the trim work is caulked and painted, you won't notice that as you won't be seeing the light and shadow patterns around the gap. OK, maybe you'll notice it since you saw it before it was finished, but no one else will ever notice it.
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:56PM
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calikym
Very much bummed about the wild cutting under the frames. It looks horrible. Our normal tile guy does perfect cuts around the frames. There is also a problem with a transition. Basically, any place where detailed work and attention to detail was needed, was ignored or mishandled. It stinks. Take a look at the problem we uncovered around the fireplace. We were going to tile existing fireplace but have decided to cut entire firebox out incl deformed wall. Every other option leads to a goofy wall. Here ya go. More design dilemmas keep raising their nasty heads
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:15PM
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beater
We used this pattern with a 24" tile and it looks fantastic. I agree with earlier posts, a matching grout will transform the floor and it will be amazing!
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:29PM
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PRO
Lioness Interiors
I am a flooring professional the large tile you are using is very new, heavy and should be laid only by a tile & stone master setter. Italian is the best made porcelain you can get and should be handled like precious stone. As for the pattern the easiest to live with is stacked (middle image) but the hardest to lay down because tile at that size has a slight bow in the middle (occurs in the fire) and the tile pro knows this and works to hide it. The grout will soften the overall look if you color match it to the tile but the setting material underneath is critical and an anti stress underlay often used.
see link and you can call them:
3 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:30PM
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calikym
He has finished 2/3 of the job already but still has 2 tricky places to go - kitchen and laundry room. Should I let him finish the job? I'm concerned about all the cuts needed in the kitchen to achieve the clean lines and also his ability to continue the pattern around the island. How worried should I be?
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:35PM
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calikym
Left to go but I removed all the kick plates to make it easier.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:38PM
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PRO
Lioness Interiors
the underlay will prevent cracking from movement and is a vapor barrier. Is it not possible to lift it up clean the thin set of?. Cuts always have to made and you are supposed to buy 10-15% SF extra to allow for cuts & waste. Call the installer you trusted and ask him to come in and inspect for you and call the Schulter toll free ask for technician to advise you USA: 1-800-472-4588
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:48PM
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beater
I don't want to sound glib but as long as it's straight I don't think you have anything to worry about at all. The nice thing about tile is that a mistake can be corrected. Keep a sharp eye and don't let them grout it until you're happy with the way it's set.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:48PM
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PRO
Linda
I'm not exactly understanding the fireplace problem. From what I'm visualizing from the angles shown, I'm seeing a bowed wall and a straight floor. That's not a flooring issue from what I'm seeing. If the wall bows in, a good painter should be able to float it out and improve the look. Much of that issue would be hidden by baseboard.

The grout will make the wall problem look better also. Part of the issue you're having is the color extremes make those issues glaringly obvious...especially when you're looking for them.

I'm not there, so I can't see how good the tile job is or isn't. Is he using a powered jamb saw to do the undercuts? If so, just ask him to adjust it downwards if possible to avoid such large cuts. However, that size cut may be necessary in order to get sufficient wiggle room to slide the tile under the trim. I don't know as I've never worked with tile that size, but larger tiles are more difficult to manuever
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 8:55PM
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greengirl
Here's what I'm dealing with. Don't get me started. Lesson: if you have someone you KNOW will do a great job, stick with them.

I like the waterfall pattern. What I don't understand is why a simple measurement should be a problem to a tile installer. When kids ask about why they have to learn math, show them these pix.
4 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 9:08PM
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designideas4me
what is a waterfall pattern? Once tile is laid and the mortar dries I assume it comes out in pieces? Can someone explain to me how different layouts of this rectangular tile effect the look of the space and how the home owner is supposed to decide what will look best? Thank you
2 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 9:08PM
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PRO
Lioness Interiors
Don't worry about glib, mistakes can only be corrected while still wet. Once the product is set breaking it out is the only way try t get it right the first time so when the tile starts to move and doesn't stay straight (maybe as early as next year) you aren't crying over the money lost.


asking decorators (who are not installers) can be like asking the Ford salesman how to drive a Lamborgini.
searching for information is a keystroke away and a good professional would have told you more about the technical aspects of the job
I think you might be able to salvage the job & tile but check for sure don't let it dry completely start lifting if you are both unhappy grout won't fix the issue
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 9:12PM
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calikym
Oh green girl, thx for sharing. If you could see my smile right now. I just have no way of knowing when this project will end and then will I ever be the same person when it is all done?! OMG, what started out happy and exciting, is turning into many sleepless nights-------on houzz.com. HAHAHA!!!!
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 9:17PM
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cynthiamartin383
I’ve renovated one home and am starting on my second (yeah me – I think) anyway the first one taught me that when you have that “sick” feeling you have knowledge that the person you’ve hired a) isn’t experienced enough or b) you’re not educated in this trade to make that judgment. The fact that your husband has doubts (two heads in doubt – whereas it’s just me renovating dealing with contractors speaks volumes) in either case, always call in back up specifically your original contractor that you trust. Perhaps if you spoke with him, he can explain logically what the correct and incorrect application for this job is. You may feel better about the other contractors work (or not) but it would set you on a course of action, from that point you and your husband can make a decision. If you decide you’re not happy with the other contractors work, ask the contractor that you do trust how much it would cost to correct this job before the grouting begins.
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 9:30PM
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ethosgirlusa
I haven't read this whole thread but I get the idea. I would say it depends on what the over all look is you are going for. Tile aligned evenly has a more sophisticated look. I think I agree with your husband.

And wow, they really cut your casings short! That is unexeptable. Not sure what I would recommend about that. Who cut them. If it was the tile setters, they goofed big time and i would have them make a blade and run new lumber. Maybe you could give them a break by having the new casing installed your self for the enjoyment of new casing. Looks a little worn.

I would get 3 bids on demo. 5k seems VERY high to me. And the sooner the better. Not sure how many days its been down but it takes a while for the thinset to set fully.

Thats my 2 cents. I have 22 years experience with design and construction.

Oh, and yes III was right, you needed a desinger to help. Sounds like the one you hired was not construction savvy.

If you are not looking for a specific sophisticated "our floor makes the design" type look, grouting it with the same color grout and throwing the furniture and rugs back on it, the floor will become a background color/texture and not the main focal point.

The other thing you could do is cut area rug shapes around the bulk of the installed waterfall lay and install straight lay for the rest, ie. a border and finish in under your cabinets straight lay. in other words, cut "rugs" out of the bulk of waterfall that is in so far to make sense of being able to go back to straight lay. Your demo bill wont be so high. Note: verify the extra tile you will have to order gets mixed in properly if there is a color variation.
1 Like   January 13, 2013 at 7:03AM
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No Lev
I realize this was 5 months ago but I just read this whole thread and am wondering: WHAT HAPPENED? Also I have studied the picture on the left and the tiles making the OP unhappy and the only difference I can see is the alignment in the room? They both seem to have a similar waterfall layout - what am I missing exactly? thank you
1 Like   May 28, 2013 at 8:29PM
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calikym
We completed the installation as is and really love it. I will upload pix soon of various parts of my house including the floor and others that houzzers have helped me with. It's been overwhelming and this floor installation was small potatoes compared to what came later. :*( I would NEVER do this again and if I could go back in time, I would sell my house and just move. My master bathroom tile installation was a disaster but the end result is drop dead gorgeous. As a matter of fact... It is being painted right now and my entire bathroom and closet are currently covered in tarps. They will finish tomorrow and we can finally use our shower. But like I said, it has been a full-on nightmare.
0 Likes   May 28, 2013 at 8:39PM
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No Lev
I am having anxiety attacks as I am just in planning stages and it is my first reno. This comment didn't really help. Just saying...!!! We are also "self contracting" but mostly with a set of trades that worked for my dad already and he was happy with. Just read through this thread with my husband and discussed what to do when one of us is on a business trip!!! Thank you. So helpful. I also just posted my tile question that I am grappling with now. Can't wait to see your pics. I literally can't tell what is wrong in the original picture....and I'm not usually slow...
1 Like   May 28, 2013 at 8:49PM
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No Lev
And I have 3 sons too, same age distribution...but also got a girl 8 years after the last boy...
1 Like   May 28, 2013 at 8:50PM
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calikym
Just be ready for much more than you bargained for and many surprises. I knew my contractor somewhat (worked with him a few times on minor issues plus he was part of my kitchen remodel in 2006/2007), however through this project, I have lost all respect for him completely. It's a long, depressing story. Who knew you could spend $100k and feel so terrible along the way?
0 Likes   May 29, 2013 at 5:49AM
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Briana Harvey
You may like it, but do you dislike the pattern he wants? Change it! I assume he has let you make a lot of the choices...he is not going to like it better later!
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:39AM
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