Disappointed in Tile Installation
I'm just wrapping up a complete renovation of the only bathroom in my house. It was the original, built in 1950, and had held up quite well over the years, but it was finally time for something new.
I am GCing the job myself, and have done my best to find deals on all of the pieces that went into the renovation, especially since we have a new baby on the way. Looks like I may have gone too cheap on the tile and installation, as now that it's done, I'm quite disappointed.
There are a couple things that concern me. First, the height of the tile floor is more than 3/4" higher than the hardwood floor in the hall. This was all discussed ahead of time with my carpenter, the tile installer and myself. I was assured by the tile installer that the floor would be the same height as it was before, which was max 1/4" above the hardwood.
It doesn't seem like 1/2" more should be a lot, but it sure feels like a step up to get into the bathroom. Is this acceptable? We gutted the room all the way down to the subfloor, and now have layers of plywood, wonderboard, self-leveling, radiant heat, thinset and tile. I feel like more could have been done to make sure we didn't increase that extra half inch.
Second, the tile installer has told me that the marble basketweave I got from a wholesaler is complete crap, and made it extremely difficult to install. I can't say I know much about the quality of different tile, so maybe it is crap. That being said, he installed it all, and then proceeded to tell me not to be surprised if the tiles break over time, as apparently many of them broke in between laying them and grouting.
One of the tiles is broken already (and I can tell it was not done by us, as the grout goes into the cracked area), and the unsanded grout is cracking in a number of places. I've read all about how you can't just grout over areas that need it, but need to remove the grout and redo it all. What a nightmare for basketweave! Is it reasonable to think that the installer should fix all of this? He's warned me that adding new grout can mean that it no longer matches, which makes it sound like he just wants me to live with it. Does it all need to be ripped up? Or do I take my chances with my crappy tile and hope that nothing else breaks?
Finally, I should mention that I've already paid him. I'm hoping that he'll make things right, but he seems adamant that the majority of the problems come from my tile selection. What should I expect to be a reasonable solution at this point??