Help with poor wall tile job

ayla33October 3, 2013

Hi everyone!

I'm new to these boards and feeling desperate for some help. My father, who I love dearly but can be a little too "take charge" just recently helped us tile the bathroom. When he was tiling around the window my husband was at work and I noticed the tiles looked terribly cut around the window opening. He assured me I wouldn't "notice it at all" after he grouted.

Long story short, my husband and I left for vacation the following day and when we were gone, he came back and grouted the whole thing!! Needless to say, it still looks terrible. I'm grateful for his work, but his "help" has left us in a tight spot. It seems obvious to me that he should have used some kind of a bullnose tile or those corner pieces. So, where do we go from here? Is there anything we can do to "fix" this? Would we be able to rip out the tile around the window and just redo it ourselves or would that create more havoc and a noticeable seam?

I'm going to upload some pictures so you can see what I mean. Thank you so much for your help. I'm desperate to get this resolved as this is our only bathroom and we've been without a shower now for 2 weeks!

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live_wire_oak

That's pretty bad. I'm afraid you know the answer to this already. It needs to be removed and replaced. However, with this quality of work, I'd also have to ask about what waterproofing method he used behind the tile. Tile and grout aren't waterproof and you have to take steps to protect the surrounding framing (especially around a window) from the moisture that will get behind them.

If you want to be the one to redo it, we can probably talk you through it. But, since you got your Dad to do it, perhaps you'd rather just call a professional and blame it on a leak behind the wall "destroying all of his beautiful work".

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 10:54AM
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ayla33

Well the sad part is that he IS a professional, or at least what I'd call a semi-pro.! He's a housing inspector and has a side contracting business for like 30 years. I always joke that he's the kind of contractor you wouldn't want to hire. He's pretty knowledgeable when it comes to all that stuff and I remember when he and my husband were discussing it he was explaining the process and the importance of making sure it's all waterproof. So I'm probably about 90% confident that we're set on that. He says he ran out of bullnose tile and this was just the quickest, easiest solution which is typical of him. Nice, right?

So, what my husband was thinking is to start grinding down the grout and remove the tiles around the window. We'd put the bullnose tile on the side and just cut a smaller tile to fill in the gap (like it is on the wall edge). I measured the top tiles and amazingly they're measuring 2" which appears to be the same exact width of the bullnose tile so we thought we could just pop those out and substitute without it affecting the seams of the surrounding tile. Does that sound doable?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 12:58PM
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kalindi615

Is there any sort of PVC trim that can be used to frame the window? Just something large enough to hide the bad cuts. It is a window after all.

I am actually asking the professionals on here. I know enough how to DIY tile, but wouldn't presume to know how to fix this for the record. But it would be my first inclination trying to make it pretty and hide the bad. Or would that lead to more water issues.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:59PM
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ayla33

That's one of the things we had wondered too. We used the PVC on the inside (you can see it a little) and for the sill. We didn't know how we could attach the trim though. My husband thought putting an additional piece inside to mount it? But, like you, we were questioning how watertight that would be.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:09PM
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kalindi615

I was thinking an incredibly well sticking silicon or something of the sort. I was hoping that there would be some advice from someone who knows. I figure if they can make things like liquid nails in a tube for wood, and other materials, there may be something comparable in the waterproof/sealing department. Heck, have you seen that new paint from Rustoleum - Never Wet. Now that is cool! It makes me think they can do anything, we just have to know enough to find it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Trebruchet

ayla33:

Remove the trim and sill. Have a solid surface fabricator make some "L" shaped trim and a window sill. Install the sill with a slight pitch to drain water and silicone the solid surface trim into place. It will function perfectly and look great.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:08PM
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mongoct

I'd do what the others recommended, cover it up.

First grind down any tile or excess grout (if there is any) that is projecting inside the existing jamb.

Then my preference would be to install a jamb liner that runs about 1/4" proud of the face of the tile.

I'd mill a 3/16th" deep rabbet in the edge of the casing, and have the edge of the protruding jamb nest in that rabbet.

Without removing anything that is currently installed, the casing will be installed over the tile, so adhering it with adhesive would be the most practical choice. Run full beads, set the trim, use tape to hold it in place while the adhesive sets.

Simple to do but tough to describe. If that doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll attach a drawing.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Trebruchet

ayla33:

Remove the trim and sill. Have a solid surface fabricator make some "L" shaped trim and a window sill. Install the sill with a slight pitch to drain water and silicone the solid surface trim into place. It will function perfectly and look great.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:14PM
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