Tile installed, I see problems! Bill V & others please help!

janealexaDecember 17, 2011

We just had our tile installed last week and I see several problems:

20x20 rectified porcelain tile with 1/16 grout line:

Problems:

1. Inconsistent color: We chose the grout color haystack which is a med beige color. In some areas the grout is haystack and other areas the grout looks white

2. Inconsistent depth: The grout doesn't come up to the surface level of the tile in some areas creating a gap/crevice for dirt to collect

3. Some grouted areas are already cracked

4. Some caulked areas have a lot of airholes

5. Some grout spaces are larger than 1/16 especially at the master tub deck/backsplash

The GC said the installers will fix problems 1-4 but did not say anything about problem 5. In order to fix the grout, do they have to remove all existing grout and re-do? I have a feeling they will grout over the existing grout. I have the same question about the caulk. As far as problem 5, would they have to remove the existing tile and re-do it in order to fix that?

Your input is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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bill_vincent

If he scores the grout a little, he should be okay to go over it in the necessary areas. As for the lighter areas, that's most likely water left on the joints when he was grouting. no big deal-- he should be able to remedy it. As for the larger spaces, can you take a couple of pics and post them? If you don't know how to post, email them to me, and I'll take care of it.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:39PM
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janealexa

Bill V, thank you SO much for the quick and helpful response!! I am going to the house later so I will take some pics.

Also having some issues with our backsplash, just did another post (see below). I will take some closeups of the backsplash too to see what you think.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are always so helpful!

Here is a link that might be useful: backsplash issues.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 12:57PM
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janealexa

Bill - I went to the house today and saw there are some areas where the grout spaces are inconsistent and there are lippage issues in some areas. These problem areas are not very noticeable though. As DH says, "any normal person wouldn't notice that!" They'd have to pull all the tiles up in order to fix that...I don't think that is an option so I guess I will just have to live with it. I tried to take pictures, but the issues didn't even show up in the pics.

Here is one though:
The area right under the bullnose trim piece is definitely not 1/16. You can also see how the grout appears white.

DH did clearly see grout color/depth issues and airholes in the caulk. So my questions are:

1. How will they remedy the grout areas that appear white?

2. Is it ok to caulk over existing caulk?

3. Should I trust these same people to do my kitchen backsplash or should I find someone else?

Thank you Bill!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 1:17AM
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bill_vincent

1) They may try a non-acid chemical wash, and if that doesn't work, score and regrout.

2) Yes.

3) You have two choices-- either get someone else and end up paying a second time (because you didn't give the original contractor a chance to fix minor problems) or let them try and get it right. I have to say-- if that ppicture is indicative of the workmanship in that backsplash and countertop, it looks like you had a pretty conscientious installer. I don't know what happened with the grout, but the tile looks great! I'd give them the chance to fix it. This doesn't look like the work of a "chop artist".

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:02AM
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janealexa

Thank you again Bill for your time and advice, you are the best!!

Like I said on the other thread, I will live with the master bath vanity backsplash.

They haven't even started the kitchen backsplash yet, so I'm glad to hear that you think they are conscientious installers. I will give them a go ahead with that.

Thank you again and Happy Holidays!!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 11:13AM
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janealexa

Bill - more issues :(
(I emailed you too)

Wanted to check in with you because it appears that they used grout where I asked them to use caulk. So far I noticed grout where the backsplash meets the granite countertop and I think they used grout at the shower corners.
Can they remedy that? How easy is it to remove grout and replace with caulk?
Then they used unsanded grout at the backsplash, the joint space there is 1/8...is that ok?? According to your FAQ on GW, it should be sanded...

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 12:02PM
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bill_vincent

So long as it's not cracking to shrinking in the joints, you're okay. Techinically speaking, 1/8" is the max you can go with unsanded, but even then, alot of times you'll have the pronblems I just mentioned. So long as those problems don't show up (and they would almost immediately), you're good.

As for removing grout to caulk, it's no problem at all with fresh grout. A utility knife will carve it out pretty easily. (and I would require it)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 11:02PM
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janealexa

Thanks again Bill, you're the best!! I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they will resolve all issues. I'm hoping too that the kitchen backplash installation will go well, that should be going in within the next couple weeks. I greatly appreciate your time and advice!! Happy Holidays!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 11:57AM
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torontotim

One thing I try to always keep in mind, and have to remind my wife from time to time about, is that your entire home is hand-built. Every board, every tile, every stroke of the sandpaper on your drywall mud.

So expect some imperfections - it's part of the deal. Also, time = money, so if you want a perfect tile job, expect to shell out more money and insist on perfection.

We're just about to lay 30 sq ft of marble tile in the basement powder room and I'll be pushing my tile guy for perfection, as it's a small space and I don't mind paying for a few extra hours work to make it perfect. If I was tiling 300 sq ft I wouldn't be so interested, as a) the imperfections are less noticeable and b) perfection would cost a fortune.

Don't let these things get under your skin, and if you want to feel better, go visit some open houses / show houses of places that cost 2-3 times as much as your house is worth and look for the imperfections there - they're everywhere and you'll see them if you look for them. Inside corners of drywall, tile lippage, grout inconsistencies, gaps in baseboard corners...

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 3:34PM
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bill_vincent

If I was tiling 300 sq ft I wouldn't be so interested, as a) the imperfections are less noticeable

With marble, wanna bet?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 9:04PM
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bsspewer

I agree with TorontoTim, just relax. There will always be very minor things that as homeowner, you'll notice. Because all work is done by hand, it's very difficult to be exactly perfect. There are many spots throughout my kitchen (which I renovated entirely myself) that I know of, but nobody else has seen and I haven't pointed out yet.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:26AM
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janealexa

Bill V- They redid the grout. However the grout color is still inconsistent in some areas. They said to wait a while since the grout will change over time. GC said that if the inconsistencies don't change, he will ask them to dye the grout. To my understanding the dye also seals the grout. Do you recommend this?

Also, there is one tile with a large grout line and it is higher on one side compared to the other tiles. It is in the walkway/entrance of the bathroom so you can really feel it underfoot. Any way to remedy that?

Thanks again Bill!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:00AM
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bill_vincent

To my understanding the dye also seals the grout. Do you recommend this?

Absolutely. I also agree with waiting to see if the color evens out. Sometimes it can take as much as 4 weeks to completely dry out.

Also, there is one tile with a large grout line and it is higher on one side compared to the other tiles. It is in the walkway/entrance of the bathroom so you can really feel it underfoot. Any way to remedy that?

Remove and replace the tile, and again, I'd require it, if it's sticking up that much.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 4:01PM
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janealexa

Thanks again Bill!! I always appreciate your help!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:10PM
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