tile laying disaster--need advice asap!

racheldianeMay 13, 2011

We're having a bathroom renovation disaster.

Our contractor laid down our beautiful 1 inch honed carrara hex tiles yesterday and did a horrible job!!

The tiles touch where the sheets meet up, meaning that they aren't evenly spaced. The tiles we bought have kind of large spaces for grout (about 1/8th inch), so it's really noticeable where the sheets meet up. There are these weird lines going each direction where tiles don't have spaces between them.

The contractors are already a week behind schedule, and now I just don't know what to do. I don't have funds to purchase all new floor tiles if these are ruined. They've already ruined more than the 10% overage I bought, and I just found out this morning I need another box of tiles.

I checked the tiles and it seems like they're stuck in place. Are we beyond the point of no return and I'm just going to be stuck with a bathroom floor that looks poorly tiled?

I'm so disappointed I don't know what to do. I feel like I spent enough money on this renovation that I shouldn't have to settle for a job poorly done. All I can say is thank goodness we decided to go with light gray grout instead of dark gray, which would have made it even more obvious.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Avanti Tile & Stone (Stonetech)

While a picture would be helpful, you hired a professional(?) and should expect a professional job. If the floor is flat, no reason why the tiles should not line up.

If it's a shower floor (you didn't say) then, yes there can be SOME variation as you're tiling a "bowl" but a pro can still make it look good.

Discussion time with this person. The tile needs to come up...you'll never be happy with it. He may be able to save some or all of the marble.

You need to decide, at this point if you want him working on this project, or get someone more qualified.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

But YOU should not have to pay for new tile, in any case.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Sorry to hear that.

Tell your GC your not happy. See what he says. Go from there. Hold of on the grouting until you and your team come up with a solution.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just because the tiles are stuck down doesn't mean they can't be torn up. It will destroy them in the process, but their replacement needs to be on your contractor's dime, not yours. Don't settle just because they're a week behind. That's their problem, not yours (though yes, you do have to live through the mess).

And yes, photos would help.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


When they redo it, please supervise. I know a 'contractor' should know his job but I have seen uneven seams even on designer shows like 'candice olsen'

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are supposed to use spacers between the tile sheets. Not doing so is an installation mistake that not even a rookie DIYer would do! They need to fix it on their dime, not yours. Most likely the fix will be removing the tile, and reinstallation of new sheets that they should supply. Do not accept this crappy, incorrect installation- better to be 2 weeks behind schedule than to have years of an obvious mistake staring up at you.

Sad that their neglect to buy a $5 box of 1/8" spacers is gonna cost them a pretty penny to fix.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for the responses everyone. I spoke with the contractor at least 5 times about this yesterday and today. I've been joking with my husband that I've basically been telling them one thing after another that needs to be fixed. But hopefully that means that when they're finally done it will be done how I want it!

They did a pretty good job fixing the problems and were able to salvage the tile. I think they weren't as far along as I thought they were when I had my panic the other day! Whew! Yesterday morning I was ready to fire them on the spot. But we're working through it. It's not absolutely perfect, but I think I'll be happy living with it.

I tried to take photos so I could show how it looked the other day, but it was impossible to make anything out. I'll post pics when we're done.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the sheets are touching, no pics are necessary. The sheets should, as you assumed, be evenly spaced, so that once grouted, you can't pick out where one sheet stops and ther next picks up. Now, that's by the book. Alot of times sheets won't be evenly mounted, and if yo9u've got a good eye, you can pick out theb sheets installed by even the most conscientious installer. but if they're touching, there's no excuse for that, and as someone already said, it should be the contractor (or his sub) replacing the tile and reinstalling the tile. Repurchase of the tile shouldn't cost you a dime.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe I'm not being of much help here but a week behind schedule is already ahead in the world of renovation. I would speak to the place where the tiles were purchased for help. The person who was in charge of laying my tiles was directly affiliated with that store. They should know someone(hopefully)who can do the job properly. It sounds as if the wrong category of worker did the tile work possibly to speed up the job.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 6:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi racheldiane!

I have the exact same issue with my hexagon tiles. They were just installed today and there are about 5 sheets where the sides are touching instead of leaving any spacing. I literally cried, because it was the one part of our house reno's that I was looking most forward to and now it is the part I want to hide the most.

Can you please share what your contractor did to fix this error? I would be so grateful! We cannot just rip everything up because we had floor heating installed underneath and I don't want that ruined.

Please help!!!!!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The tile can be taken up without damaging your floor heating. However, you contractor is responsible for making this right. If the floor heating is damaged, they have to fix it. I hope you haven't paid the full value of the contract - always hold something back until the job is complete to your satisfaction. If you have paid in full, your only recourse may be small claims court.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi aliceinwonderland_id!

Well, I wish I can say it is a contractor that will be replacing it, but unfortunately it was my partner and his father that did the tiling work. So everything will be re-done by us.

I am extremely new (and quite frankly, useless) when it comes to all this, but is the only remedy to this to rip out all the tiles?

My partner installed ditra underneath as well - so will that come up? The ditra was installed on top of the self-leveling cement which went on top of the floor heating.

I have included 2 pics - be honest...how bad does it look...I have heard (and hoped) that when it is installed, you would not be able to tell that sheets were used. But I can pretty much only see sheets here. :(

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One more photo of it.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think YOU will always notice the imperfections but once it is all done no one else will. Love the floor paired with your tile in the bath tub surround. What tile is on the floor and tub surround.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, but that's bad. The only thing to do is take it up and use spacers this time. I suppose if you're careful you could avoid damaging the ditra.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi aliceinwonderland_id,

We will have to see what happens next..unfortunate but definitely something him and I have learned!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi rtwilliams!

Thanks so much! The tile on the floor is a 1" ceramic hexagon in glossy. We got it at a store called Saltillo Tile Store in Toronto, Ontario.

The wall tile is from a store called Mettro Source in Toronto, Ontario. It's really thick, but it is from Spain and it's gorgeous. It's glossy but not completely flat/smooth on the surface, so it adds some character.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I replied on the thread you started here.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Layout help
Hello, I wanted to ask for feedback on my planned layout...
Anyone seen Hydroban board for sale?
Can't seem to find it anywhere. Can't tell if that's...
Toilets, anyone?
Ten years ago we put in the Toto Ultramax after reading...
Contractor messed up shower pan. Fixable?
My contractor who I'm firing tomorrow messed up my...
So upset about marble floor
This is how my expensive marble basket weave floor...
Sponsored Products
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Kas Rugs Rugs Party Tiles Red/Cream 3 ft. 3 in.
Home Depot
Sample-Infinity Thassos Hexagon With Ming Green, Thassos and Linblue Marble Tile
$2.99 | TileBar
Safavieh Handmade Mahal Ancestry Red/ Ivory Wool Rug (9'6 x 13'6)
42 x 42 Square Granite stone shower base in trendy Gray - PHOENIX
Vietri Arabesca Small Oval Platter
$66.50 | FRONTGATE
15-Inch Tile Temperature Indoor/Outdoor Wall Clock
$126.30 | Bellacor
Mosaic Tile: Jeffrey Court Building Materials White Hills 11 in. x 11-3/4 in. x
$18.97 | Home Depot
Umbria 36 in. Mosaic Fire Pit / Beverage Cooler Table - 21-1339
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™