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Old 05-05-2019, 05:48 PM   #1
Ruark
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Default Experienced pro tile guys on here?

I'd like to pm somebody on here who has pro-level experience with tile backsplashes, etc. We're having some done in our new house and I'd like to show somebody some pics of it for an opinion.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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Post up the pictures and questions you have.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:02 PM   #3
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OK, well... our new house is about 95% built now. The tile/flooring guys have been working on and off for the past month (he'll come in for a couple of days, then disappear for a week). We have never had custom tile work done before, so we don't really have any reference point for evaluating the quality of their work. What we're mostly seeing is tiles that are crooked or evenly spaced. Two tiles will be up against each other, while the next two tiles will be 1/8" apart or more.

The installer just blows it off, says don't worry about it, when it's grouted in, we won't notice it.

My wife is VERY disappointed in how it looks so far, and says after we move in, she's going to pay somebody to just tear it off and do it over.

In the pics below, the maroon tiles are 4"x4", over a fireplace. There are 3 like this, out of about 10.

The small blue graphic tiles are about 2" square, on the backsplash over the kitchen counter.

The brownish-beige tiles are in the master bath next to the tub and shower.

I'd just like to have an opinion on this work from somebody who's has some experience. Thoughts? Are we overreacting? Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:08 PM   #4
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You are not overreacting. That is very poor work. Have him fix it
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:11 PM   #5
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Sorry craftsmanship. Your money is all you have to hold over their heads. Don't pay till it is right.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:25 PM   #6
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Just asking, no offense.... what credentials do you guys have for having those opinions?

In any case, the builder has already paid the contractors, and even then, there's not time to tear it all off and do it over. We HAVE to get moved. And frankly, I don't think this guy is even capable of "doing it right." He's just sloppy (IMHO), period. I think we're going to have to just bite the bullet on this one. But I will definitely send these pictures and others to the company owner, a really great guy who will NOT be pleased to see this.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:26 PM   #7
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Negative GhostRider !!!
Grout doesn’t hide anything.
This is the problem with builders these days .
They don’t even check up on the work their subs are doing!
I wouldn’t pay my builder for that at all !
It is the General Contractors job to verify and validate all phases of construction .
Start to finish !

Last edited by sasqy; 05-05-2019 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:29 PM   #8
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I am no pro, but have laid tile before. I don't think this guy has
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:44 PM   #9
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That’s $#!+ work!!!!!

I’m high and tell them that when I bid it... but you won’t stump your toe on kick up tiles... or look at that mess.

Make him fix it. Accidents happen and maybe it was an honest oops. Give them a chance to fix it. Any flax and I’d front his @$$ and withhold payment. I got a 7yo that can do that work
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:48 PM   #10
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That nitch in the shower will pool water too. He did frame it which surprise me... just did bottom wrong. Water will get in grout line. And if not red guarded completely below that or other barrier it will take in water
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:01 PM   #11
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I've done finish work on homes ranging from $150k spec homes to $30 million customs. I don't think this work would be acceptable in the low end homes I've worked on. Grout may make this look worse unless the color closely matches the tile.

Sorry to see your home is turning out this way. I'd do whatever I could to not have to look at this everyday. It would drive me nuts. Hopefully the builder can help make this right.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:02 PM   #12
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I’m not a pro, just have done tile on my house and for family. Pictures you put up show poor work I can do way better and don’t do it as my day job. Don’t pay any money to anyone until it’s done right otherwise you will live with it forever... It’s quite common to pay contractors and get work like that if you don’t babysit them at all times. It’s annoying especially when you’re paying a contractor I wouldn’t put up with it. Just take a hammer and smash anything that doesn’t look good It’s what I would do and no one would get paid until fixed right. You have to set the bar on what you expect from your builders contractors or else they will give you subpar/sloppy work
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:16 PM   #13
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Yep. If you accept that mess, your telling them you will be fine with poor trim work and all other finish work. And they will sub it out according.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:23 PM   #14
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I build cabinets for a living.

Even I can tell you that is sub-par in a big way.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:25 PM   #15
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That is horrible, spacing and gaps not consistent etc.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Fence View Post
That nitch in the shower will pool water too. He did frame it which surprise me... just did bottom wrong. Water will get in grout line. And if not red guarded completely below that or other barrier it will take in water
It is all covered with Kerdi under the tile, and they did make a very slight slope in the bottom of the niche so water will run out.

I'm not sure where it can go from here. We still may owe them a couple of thousand or so for the tile work. I'm going to have to tell the owner of the tiling business we're not going to pay for this kind of work. But the pressure is on: we're supposed to move in in 2-3 more weeks. There's no time to tear it off and do it all over. He MIGHT have another tile guy working for him who can do a better job. I'll be calling him tomorrow and lay the cards on the table.

You are right - the builder himself doesn't really have a clue what's going on, unless I point it out to him. And you are right - it's painful when your lifetime dream home ends up with these issues, especially for my wife, who has always dreamed of having a beautiful home, nice kitchen, etc.

I appreciate your opinions; I just wanted to hear from some other people and confirm that this wasn't normal or acceptable work.

Last edited by Ruark; 05-05-2019 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:39 PM   #17
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I just retiled a bathroom for the first time last weekend and it's not that hard to do a quality job. Those pictures show the work of someone who just doesn't care. Or who is drunk and/or high.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:45 PM   #18
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You should listen to guys on here and go with your gut. Obviously your gut is telling you it's not right. Many guys on here are telling you it's not right. I can lay tile, I'm no pro, but I've done my whole house, bathrooms, backsplashes, my cabin floors, and what you got is junk work. Grout will make it look worse. You need to refuse to pay and find another contractor now if you have to move quick. I'd try to help you myself, but I live in dfw. The only way to fix it, is to tear it out and start over.
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:43 AM   #19
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Sorry Ruark but that tile will have to be torn down and redone. I would have to hold my wife back from tearing those installers a new one.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:23 AM   #20
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Been doing remodeling and new construction for a long time and that is real poor work. Suck it up, put your foot down and get it corrected now. If you donít, It and she will bug you for years.
Hire a third party building inspector and hand the report to your builder.
Hope you builder is not too far ahead on his draws.
Also No excuse for a few days of tile work going on for a month
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:05 AM   #21
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No tile pro here but that looks terrible. If it was me, I would be worried that the tile was laid correctly. If the guy takes zero pride in how the finished project even looks, I seriously doubt he gives a crap about how well the tile was put down.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:30 AM   #22
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I'm a builder and here are two pieces of advice I'd give to you.

1. Have him fix it
2. If you ever want to sell that house, regardless ho much you live that maroon tile, get rid of it. Go with more of a neutral. I've seen too Many people go with a bold tile like that to only regret it at a later date. Make your bold statements with paint or decor. They are much easier to change.

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Old 05-06-2019, 07:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
It is all covered with Kerdi under the tile, and they did make a very slight slope in the bottom of the niche so water will run out.

I'm not sure where it can go from here. We still may owe them a couple of thousand or so for the tile work. I'm going to have to tell the owner of the tiling business we're not going to pay for this kind of work. But the pressure is on: we're supposed to move in in 2-3 more weeks. There's no time to tear it off and do it all over. He MIGHT have another tile guy working for him who can do a better job. I'll be calling him tomorrow and lay the cards on the table.

You are right - the builder himself doesn't really have a clue what's going on, unless I point it out to him. And you are right - it's painful when your lifetime dream home ends up with these issues, especially for my wife, who has always dreamed of having a beautiful home, nice kitchen, etc.

I appreciate your opinions; I just wanted to hear from some other people and confirm that this wasn't normal or acceptable work.

He has enough time to fix it. Builder just has to make it happen. Itís totally doable if you do it right now.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:47 AM   #24
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My dad would say that looks like fido's arse.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsctx84 View Post
He has enough time to fix it. Builder just has to make it happen. Itís totally doable if you do it right now.
This is very true !!
In a pinch they can redo that whole bath in 2 days.
Itís amazing the reaction of someone ,when you tell them they ainít getting paid until it meets satisfactory standards .
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:05 AM   #26
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You don't have to be a tile pro to see that's shoddy work.

I'm not a pro, but I've laid a LOT of tile.
Another thing you need to do is take a rubber mallet and tap all over, EVERY tile ... especially on the floor. This doesn't make sense now, but it will, once you do it. Most are going to sound like your hitting concrete, which is the way it should sound. Some of the tiles are going to have a hollow sound. You need to mark EVERY one of those and make them replace them.

The ones that have a hollow sound aren't installed properly. They are not completely stuck to the floor. On a backsplash, it's not a big deal, on a floor, it is. If the tile isn't completely stuck to the floor (hence the hollow sound), it can very easily crack under normal use.

Here's why I say this. These gadgets look like a spacer that's used to get the tiles faces flush.
Name:  tile.JPG
Views: 588
Size:  44.2 KB
They do make the tile nice and flush, but when you're setting tile, the whole thing has to be pushed into the thin set, or mastic. These devices actually lift the tile, a bit to get the faces flush, but in the process, will lift it out of the bed of thin set, and create those hollow spots where the whole tile isn't stuck to the floor.

A professional tile guy doesn't ever use things like that. They're a crutch for people that don't know what they're doing.

You need to have a serious talk with whoever is in charge of that. If it's your builder, have him bring his wife over and ask them if that crap would be acceptable if it was in their house. That is below amateur quality work.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:52 AM   #27
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Grout will hide the one issue in th corner.
We use silicone or grout caulk in the corners and joints form granite to tile .
I have hired many tile guys over the years being a remodeling contractor. I've seen worse, and my current guy better
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:29 AM   #28
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I would say that your contractor deserves a very stern phone call letting him know what you think about the quality of the tile installation. That's **** poor work even by production home standards. Get you some blue tape, and stick a piece everywhere that you feel needs to be fixed and take a picture of each area on your phone so you can look back and ensure that they did actually fix it. It looks like you will be doing the punch walk for your contractor since he didn't do it himself. Also make sure that they re-waterproof any areas that they have to remove tile from.

Make sure you don't pay your contractor until that's 100% fixed, this will get it fixed much more promptly. If you pay him for it, it may never get fixed.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:37 AM   #29
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I would be on the builder. No way I would sign off on that. I have been doing work in my own houses for years. My wife and I can easily do better work than this. If we need spacers for some reason we use coins so it prevents air cavity behind the tile. Never seen grout cover s mess up.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:41 AM   #30
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Don't move in until its tore out & installed right. Do you really want to move into a new home and have to live through a remodel?

The grout will fix it is classic.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:41 AM   #31
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Quote:
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Just asking, no offense.... what credentials do you guys have for having those opinions?

they have eyeballs
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:58 AM   #32
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Just asking, no offense.... what credentials do you guys have for having those opinions?
The company I work for designs and builds custom homes with construction values ranging from $2 million to $6+ million. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a couple of those pictures look like a toddler did the work. The part that would worry me is that if that's what the work looks like on the part of the job you can see (i.e. tile installation) , I wonder what the work was like that got covered up that you cant see that is more important from a longevity standpoint (i.e waterproofing)
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:14 PM   #33
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Looks like sh**!
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:21 PM   #34
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Don't think that all that can't be fixed in a day or two just because its taking your guy forever to do the job up to this point.

You have to withhold payment. Have to. Doing so will get your issues fixed. If you pay what is owed you will never ever see these guys again. And the owner may be disappointed in some pics but if he got paid then he won't really care and will be on to the next job.

Tell them now you aren't going to show up to closing until this is fixed right and you'll see a new level of work and pace of work.

No way in hail I'd accept that tile work
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:49 PM   #35
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Thanks for all the responses - it was more than I expected! The builder was very concerned, and on his instruction, I sent about a dozen pics and some notes to the tiling company boss, with a cc to the builder. We'll see what the response is.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:55 PM   #36
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No time to fix? My tilers could rip all that out and redo in a couple days max.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:29 PM   #37
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wow. might expect that if this was your first time and you limited yourself to 7 mins of youtube instructional videos

those first 2 pics made me cringe
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the responses - it was more than I expected! The builder was very concerned, and on his instruction, I sent about a dozen pics and some notes to the tiling company boss, with a cc to the builder. We'll see what the response is.
Its good that your builder was concerned, as he should be. But I can't believe that your builder had you contact the tile installer to attempt to get the issue resolved? Why couldn't your builder deal with the problem. He's the one that hired the guy that created the problem in the first place.

As someone that works for a builder, I'll be the first one to tell you that **** happens on every single build and something will need to get repaired/replaced/fixed. But your builder should be taking the reigns to get the problem fixed. Not asking you to send pictures to his subcontractors letting them know that the work was not acceptable.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:18 PM   #39
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I had a tile person rip a 3 wall bath down as it wasn't done near as bad as yours. They did, but not happy.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:08 PM   #40
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I’ve never laid tile in my life and guarantee I could do a better job than that on my first try.

I would be livid and my builder would be figuring out the solution, not me. Otherwise what is the builder good for?

In my own home (I bought it, didn’t build it), I’ve started to notice certain things during the 2 years I have been here. A Toilet that isn’t perfectly square to the wall, a door jamb that isn’t quite square, little things.
If you don’t have this fixed, it will aggravate you every day you have to look at it.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:55 PM   #41
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Well, I sent a polite, but very negative email to the tile boss with a cc to my builder, with about 10 pics. This morning the tile guy was working and wouldn't speak to me. Probably got in a truckload of trouble. I finally broke the ice and we talked a bit. He was popping off and re-doing all of the areas in this pictures. He wasn't happy about it, but tough cookies, eh?
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:10 AM   #42
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Quote:
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Well, I sent a polite, but very negative email to the tile boss with a cc to my builder, with about 10 pics. This morning the tile guy was working and wouldn't speak to me. Probably got in a truckload of trouble. I finally broke the ice and we talked a bit. He was popping off and re-doing all of the areas in this pictures. He wasn't happy about it, but tough cookies, eh?
Glad you’re getting it taken care of. I’m really picky about tile work and have only seen one on a similar level as bad as that. It was a shower at my buddy’s place and he was having them redo it. I expressed concern that if the guy did that the first time he probably wasn’t capable of doing it correctly. The company sent out another guy to re set everything.

It’s not your fault he did garbage work, it’s not like you’re nitpicking tiles that had microscopically chipped corners or decided you wanted different size grout joints after it was done.

Last edited by gatorgrizz27; 05-08-2019 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:48 AM   #43
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Quote:
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Well, I sent a polite, but very negative email to the tile boss with a cc to my builder, with about 10 pics. This morning the tile guy was working and wouldn't speak to me. Probably got in a truckload of trouble. I finally broke the ice and we talked a bit. He was popping off and re-doing all of the areas in this pictures. He wasn't happy about it, but tough cookies, eh?
If the guy did that quality work to begin with and then showed up with an attitude, I would be telling the builder that someone actually qualified needs to be fixing it.


I do a lot of my own home repairs and have done a lot of remodeling....but I suck at tile and I know it. When I need it done I get someone that knows what they are doing. That guy doesn't.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:07 AM   #44
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I agree with Rick!

Look this stuff over, very well, before he even opens a bag of grout. If it's not right, send him home, and tell him to tell his boss to send someone else! You shouldn't be the one taking care of these issues, but that's a talk you need to have with your builder.

Did you tap on all the tiles, like I suggested?
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:15 AM   #45
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Quote:
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Well, I sent a polite, but very negative email to the tile boss with a cc to my builder, with about 10 pics. This morning the tile guy was working and wouldn't speak to me. Probably got in a truckload of trouble. I finally broke the ice and we talked a bit. He was popping off and re-doing all of the areas in this pictures. He wasn't happy about it, but tough cookies, eh?

They work for you, don't worry about it. Do yourself a favor and walk the house with a pad and paper and write down every single issue you have with something. No matter what it is write it down. Chances are high they will screw some more stuff up trying to fix the issues. Add that to the list as well. Send a copy of the list to the builder saying these are the issues you want fixed prior to closing. Waiting till the last minute to address issues will just make matters worse for you and your wife.

Yes your doing their job for them but its your house and your close to moving in. When all the items on your list are X'd out y'all will be happy and in the end that's all that matters.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:55 PM   #46
Ruark
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I'll be at the house this afternoon and will tap the tiles. I have been through the house with the builder and we put blue tape all over the place. Everything is getting addressed, though. Man, what an ordeal. I can see why some people just buy a spec house: just sign the paper and move in. Arrggghhhhhh.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:16 PM   #47
Texastaxi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
I can see why some people just buy a spec house: just sign the paper and move in. Arrggghhhhhh.
The last spec house I bought had impeccable tile work!

Really, though, you're paying the builder to take care of all this stuff. He should be taking care of it, not telling you to send an email to the trade ... unless you were the one that directly hired them to come in and do the work.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:37 PM   #48
Chance Love
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Ya that's crap work. I acted as the GC on our current house. Had major issues with our tile guy as well. I pointed out everything that needed to be fixed. Never saw the guy again. Luckily I was still holding a good bit of "his" $$. Ended up hiring a guy to rip out and completely re-do one bathroom. Still have one more to go. That was 2 years ago. Get yours taken care of PRONTO.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:27 PM   #49
junkmanhunter
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All I will say is, get it fixed before you move in!!!!

The builder knows you are up against a deadline to get moved in, they will use that against you. Find a place to live for 30 days and postpone closing. You won't regret it.


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