Help tile gurus... Large glass tile backsplash

love-hate-remodelFebruary 11, 2014

Seems the tile gurus are in this forum...

Doing a kitchen remodel and the GC is a small do it all kinda guy. As such he was great with the cabinets but I am uneasy with the backsplash. A few things looked a little off and after doing some reading we are concerns. Right now 3x6 tiles are installed with a 1 inch accent strip. He has yet to do the grout. Trying to determine if we should let him finish with the grout or reassess.

1 - all of the tiles are not flat with respect to on another. If I run a board across they catch the edges of adjacent times. Worst looks to be 1/16 to 1/8th.
2 - the wall was uneven to begin with and he did not prep it level first. If I place a straight edge along it, I can see bowing of 1/8 inch or more. Could this cause the flatness issues? Should it have been prepped better and will it cause any problems later
3 - he placed the tiles directly on the granite countertop. No spacing at all for expansion. This is a huge concern to me as we do have some heaving from season to season.

Just not sure what to expect in terms of install nor what to expect in terms of the cost for replacing the already installed tile should we want / need to start over.

I've tried to attach a few pictures...

So, do we fix the worst offenders of tiles sticking out, live with the risk that there is no expansion gap to the granite and let him finish with the grout and see how it goes? Or find a specific installer and have him start fresh? If we do the latter do We eat the cost of the material or expect him to?

Thanks in advance...

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You give the original installer a chance to fix it. Is that a wood spacer under the bottom row of tiles?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 3:45PM
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If you have heaving, then the glass-granite would be a concern. There should be a gap between the two, and that gap should be caulked, not grouted.

The bowed wall, if the tile is over drywall, the bump could be a drywall joint compound "speed bump". But it should be gradual and not sudden, and a bump like that shouldn't cause lippage.

I have seen installers who simply don't press tiles "flat" into the thinset. Some press more on the top edge of the tile, a few press more on the bottom edge of the tile. Those habits can result in "vertical lippage", but the tiles are usually consistent on the side edges.

It's a backsplash and it's decorative. So a little lippage here and there, while not desirable, it's not really going to affect function. But if there are lights that reflect off the splash and it can be viewed at a low raking angle and it looks nasty? Then perhaps a "poor worksmanship" line has been crossed.

The kicker though is the lack of a gap between the bottom course of glass tile and the granite.

In your photo, is the cut glass tile at the j-box cracked? Might just be reflection/refraction.

And for grins, the tile setter should have used a cement-based powdered thinset that is mixed with water to set the glass. Not a premixed mastic.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 4:32PM
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