uneven glass tiles - are they unacceptable?

Super45sonicNovember 15, 2012

Hello all,

I am contemplating if I should accept my GC's explanation on why the glass tiles are so uneven. He said the glass accent tiles are much thinner than the surrounding porcelain tiles. So tile setter has to put a lot of extra thinset behind the glass tiles to push the glass tiles up so they can be flush with the porcelain tiles. But the end result is I have crooked glass tiles. But am I too picky? Should I accept the glass tiles like that?

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More pictures of the glass tiles

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:48AM
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    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:50AM
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I am sorry i don't know how to post all pictures in the same post. Have to do it one by one.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:51AM
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one more

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:53AM
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No, that's not acceptable. There are proper methods to make the tile flush, which your tile setter does not seem to be aware of. The grout also does not look good. I hope you haven't paid for this yet.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 8:43AM
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No, you're not too picky. Also, on picture 4, it looks like the grout lines are crooked. Is that the case?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:04AM
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The grouting job is not acceptable to me, nor is the crookedness of the grout spacing and the surface elevations/depressions. The tile is so pretty. I think the tiler is not a good craftsman.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Yes, the lines are all crooked. Just spoke to contractor. He agreed with me 100% and will take out all the glass accent tiles. But the reality is, the glass tiles are substantially thinner then the big porcelain (beige color) tiles around them. So in order to bring the glass tiles out, they have to apply an excessive amount of thinset, which makes it difficult to have a flat surface. At least that's how he explained to me. He is going to take out all the glass tiles (except in the shampoo niche) and redo. But this time he will put a thin board of hardibacker behind the glass tiles first (to better reduce the difference in thickness), then apply thinset and put the glass tiles back. Do you all think it will work?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:42AM
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DH either built-up or recessed a portion of the tub surround wall for the split-faced mosaic border in our hall bathroom. Our tile guy is very exacting, so he then used more or less thinset as needed in order to make sure all was straight and level (tough to do with the varying thicknesses of the split face tile, but he and his helper are true artisans, and even more detail-oriented than I am, if that's even possible!).

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:19AM
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The problem with applying a thick bed of thinset is that when thinset cures, it shrinks. So if your setter uses a thick bed of thinset, as the thinset cures and shrinks, it can pull the tiles out of alignment. That's why you don't use a "thick" bed of something with "thin" in its name.

The wackiness of your wall looks part intentional, part unintentional.

For your situation, I'll do what your contractor is now proposing. I'll pad out behind the thinner tile with an additional layer of "something".

Years ago I used to apply a thickness of thinset where the thinner tile would go. Let it cure. Then tile over that thicker starting bed as usual.

Now I'll use a strip of Ditra for thin pad outs. I've never had a case where I had such a substantial difference that it warranted putting in a layer of hardiboard or another tile backer board.

The tile backer boards are 1/4" or 1/2" thick plus the thickness of the thinset to adhere them in place. Ditra is about 1/8" to 3/16th" thick.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:45PM
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