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Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Posted by kitchen_maman (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 18:35

Ugh! He said it was too difficult and that it was for floors and bathrooms. The on site manager told me that the GC takes this guy for his word and that it would be difficult to convince him otherwise. I am so angry and just really tired after a large 6 month reno. I sent everyone involved, including the president and architect, pictures of the tile as backsplash, including DIY pictures. I just want one wall. Someone better be showing up soon to install.

I am on my second glass of port.

They also said they would refuse to install our fireplace surround. But that is another story and another glass of port.

Thanks for listening!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Kitchen, that's terrible! What tile is it; can you post a picture a picture or link? What does the tile company say; does it specifically say it's only for floors?
What tile are you using for your fireplace?
Well if he won't do it, sounds like your GC needs to find someone else who will. Ridiculous.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Island it is Merola tile from Home Depot. 1929 used it in her kitchen. It should be easier because it comes in sheets and isn't placed one by one. Sigh.

Once I emailed everyone and CC'd everyone GC said that it will get done.

Unfortunately, the fireplace surround is a code issue. The wood has to be 12 inches from fire on each side. They will prepare the area and we will have to attach after inspection. We will get an insert so it will not be a fire hazard.

Thank you!


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Port makes everything but the next morning better.

My guys had a heck of a time installing that tile. As soon as the backing got wet, it disintegrated. They did a good job, but it wasn't easy.

....but, you didn't hear that from me! ;)

You'll find someone who can do it, but make sure you find someone good.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I used the Pratt & Larson small Arabesque. My GC's tile guy had no problem doing a backsplash with it. Well, he did mess up a bit ... I used the same color in matte and shiny tiles, in alternating columns. He started laying them up not realizing there was a pattern. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that! He was able to pull some of them up and replace to get the pattern corrected.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Look at it this way. You can be very thankful that he knows his limitations and did not try to install your tile when he didn't think he could deliver a good and "perfect" job. It could be worse!

You'll find someone who's experienced with that format, although the price might be steep. Don't tell them this story!


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

On the bright side, you can count your blessings that they guy knew upfront that he wasn't up to it. There are many a horror story of tile jobs gone wrong, and at least you didn't get a hurried hack job by someone who wasn't capable of the job. Your tiles remain intact and ready for a more skilled installer.

Okay, I know that's not a HUGE bright side and you'd rather your tiles were just installed already. Maybe it's something though? :-)

Good luck to you.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I think your tile guy is letting you know that you need to get someone with more expertise and experience. Is him telling you that the tile is more for bathrooms his way of getting out of it? Would it be easier to install in a bathroom? Perhaps you should tell him to pretend your kitchen is a bathroom if that makes it easier to install. lol

I'd have used that tile in a heartbeat but it wasn't right for my kitchen. I see it in a future bathroom remodel though! Just gorgeous.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

That doesn't sound like a tile guy who is inexperienced. I think it is quite the opposite. He probably knows more than anyone else that it doesn't belong there. It is like putting molding in the wrong application. I have seen people use colonial base in the absolute worst ways possible.

But you want what you want and you will have exactly that.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Seriously, Kent? What's the purpose of that exactly?


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Home Depot shows it as floor and wall tile.
There is no mention of where the wall has to be.
The tile guy may be a craftman, but that doesn't make him an artist.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arabesque- Home Depot

This post was edited by dan1888 on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 21:13


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I don't understand what makes it so difficult. Is it the arabesque shape or something about that particular tile?


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I agree, you're fortunate the tiler didn't attempt a job he knew he couldn't do well.

Hopefully, your GC will find someone else who feels confident and comfortable with the installation. Or, put a toilet in the kitchen and see if he'll give it a go. (The tile, that is.)
 photo OB-gw_zps381f573c.jpg


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I LOVE the tile you chose! Good luck!


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Seriously fori. I could spend an hour explaining it, but I think it is futile.

There's a big difference between can't and won't. Sounds pretty certain that he has the capability, but wouldn't for some reason.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

KentWhitten - arabesque tile doesn't belong on a backsplash?
Tell that to beekeeperswife who has possibly the most famous backsplash ever given that both her arabesque backsplashes (two different kitchens) have appeared in magazines and one at least is on Houzz and appears on various websites all over the place.

They may not be this brand of Arabesques, but I fail to see how that would make a difference.

OP you have that glass of port and I hope your installation goes smoothly. Nothing worse than contractors trying to force their design sense (or lack thereof) on you. I do think it's a good thing that he spoke up if he doesn't have the capability to install it though - a bunch of mangled tile would be tough to deal with! I hope your install goes well and good for you for sticking to your guns.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

The bevel on the edge of that arabesque means that you need a really patient person for the install. Any mortar that gets into it is more difficult to get out, and the grouting takes twice the time. Is it paper faced or mesh backed? Paper faced often doesn't line up quite right, and you can't tell because of the paper. Then when you pull it off, it's not quite aligned correctly.

This isn't a bad thing at all! It's a GOOD thing that he didn't tackle something that he didn't have the comfort level attempting. Now, you just need to make sure that whomever does tackle this has enough skill.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Hoboken... I never said that, so don't put words in my mouth. Please stop misquoting me.

This post was edited by KentWhitten on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 12:48


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Bee's kitchens are epic. Your choice is too. Be glad the sub has walked away, but the GC needs to get it done. That's where the problem is, unless this was some last minute change order. Enjoy your Port. We've got your back.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Kent- Hoboken wrote it as a question not a quote. I didn't take it as words from your mouth.
I've seen pictures of arabesque used on ever surface and the OP said her tile is for floors and walls so why do you assume the installer is an expert who's refusing to do it because the application is wrong? Thanks.

This post was edited by island on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 13:47


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

KentWhitten - arabesque tile doesn't belong on a backsplash?

Hoboken... I never said that, so don't put words in my mouth. Please stop misquoting me.

Kent: "He probably knows more than anyone else that it doesn't belong there. "

I had been wondering why you would think or agree that it doesn't belong on a backsplash too. ?

I think it's probably just more difficult, prone to error and time consuming with the details. Then they've got the HO coming back to ask for something that's off to be corrected. So he doesn't want to get involved in something risky. Could be that his skill level isn't high enough yet to handle it with ease like a master or it's not a good fit with where he's at mentallly (for example, patience for details). Some of these guys get tired. Tired of our precious stuff, tired of tedious work and details, tired of HO's complaining about something they often consider petty.

If its roots go back to floors, maybe applying on the vertical makes it harder to get or keep (slipping) alignment correct.

You're lucky he stepped back from a job he knew he wasn't up for. Whatever the reason might be. That's where experience often comes in.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Anyone think just for a second that it's not really the tile, but the substrate? There is a whole system here folks. It's not just tile.

I have seen quite a few people here who assume that the guy CAN'T install this tole, so I wonder just as much as you exactly where you get that from.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Um, my Artistic Tile waterjet is meant for flooring. But I had an amazing guy who is wonderfully talented and put up my special tile behind my range and it looks fabulous. Most tile guys and gals would run away. But I had someone who was talented. Kitchen, hope you find someone talented, because your original tile guy clearly isn't (or is too lazy and doesn't feel like doing it). Insist on getting someone in who is capable. It will look beautiful. Good luck!


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I agree with the others, it's a blessing that this guy, who's intimidated by your different/challenging project, didn't attempt the job then mess up your b-splash.

I once had a cabinetmaker say, when I decided not to go with full flush & inset doors, "What a relief that you decided to do overlay! Full flush is really hard."

When I later saw his skills as a cabinetmaker, I realized it would've been a huge mistake to have him try to do something that required exacting skill like full-flush inset doors.

Not everyone has what it takes to do right by the TKO ;)


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Just wanted to add, I found a very skilled tile guy by contacting one of the really high-end tile shops and asking for a referral.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Kent I get what you're saying, but in the end we're all just assuming. None of us will really know what the dilemma is in this situation until the OP directly asks that question.

Just seemed like you were so quick to defend the tile installer that the rest of us must have been missing something, but I don't think so.

So Kitchen Maman do you plan to ask that question and insist on a valid answer? Inquiring minds want to know! :>)


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

"I have seen quite a few people here who assume that the guy CAN'T install this tole, so I wonder just as much as you exactly where you get that from."

This is kind of fascinating, lol. Because he said so?

"He said it was too difficult and that it was for floors and bathrooms. "

If there's a substrate problem, he should have stated that clearly so it could be addressed, whoever did the job. Don't you think?

On his stating that it's a flooring tile, ceramic flooring tile can go on the wall (I'm sure there are exceptions!). Wall tile cannot go on the floor. An experienced tile man knows this. If there were something else going on like a poor substrate, a professional would advise. If he did, it wasn't relayed here. That is not to say he might not do a good job with projects within his scope. But a true professional knows his limitations and is a wise man to decline when a job is not a good fit for him.

Of course, he might just hate doing them because he is perfectionistic and done with them because they are too difficult to lay accurately! Though putting them on backsplashes is new, I believe. If they are traditionally a bathroom flooring tile, I still keep wondering if he balks at trying to apply them on the vertical.

Ask over at JB if they are a bear to install and you need to find someone experienced with their pitfalls.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

The product description of the Merola Tile does specifically say floor or wall. However, if the installation is extremely difficult, I could understand a tile installer refusing to do the work. I know in the bathroom forum, at least one of the tile installers has said he will not work with some low quality stone tiles because the installation cannot be guaranteed to come out correctly. That said, I think the OP has a right to question the GC and find out what the exact problem is and how the GC intends to solve the problem. If the installer feels like the substrate is not right for this tile, or that the tile backing quality is too poor for this kind of installation, then that's important information. Perhaps the tile installer can recommend a different comparable tile that the installer would be willing to install. I don't have any experience with a GC, but I would imagine if the contract says that the homeowner can choose any wall tile and it will be installed, then the GC needs to make it right. The GC can find a tile installer that will be confident to install this tile, or perhaps find a substitute tile. All in all it sounds like a very frustrating experience, but hopefully the GC will come through and help find a good solution that doesn't result in a poor installation.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Well, I'm sure it's a PITA to install since every edge has to be cut. Buuuuut that's different from it not belonging there (which the guy should have said if that's what he meant instead of pretending to be incompetent for the installation).

ANywho, in regards to that comment above: "But you want what you want and you will have exactly that.", that sure seems unnecessarily witchy. If you don't like it, just say so, or better yet, don't, since you aren't getting asked over.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

What I find unnecessary fori is name calling.

I really think you have misunderstood the tone of my comments.

I also do not see where anything was mentioned about the installer pretending to be incompetent. He could very well be, I don't know. But the GC and on site manager seem to agree that the tile guy knows what goes where.

Maybe he is particular, I don't know that either. One thing I do know is that the tile guy needs to install according to manufacturers specifications or be subject to the possibility of callbacks because he voided the warranty by improperly installing something where it is not supposed to be, or installing it on an improper substrate.

See, these are things someone in business needs to be aware of 24/7. How does installing this floor tile on the walls affect me in the future? I would say that is one damn good question, don;t you? Because I assure you, there are floor tiles that are absolutely NOT supposed to go on walls. Maybe this was one of them. Do you know this for an absolute fact?

This doesn't affect a homeowner one bit because they are not going to be held responsible for possibly thousands of dollars of work like the installer is. The customer wants what they picked out to go on that wall. End of story.

This post was edited by KentWhitten on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 17:10


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Why don't you ask the tile guy to pick a tile in the sme same shape and color that he CAN install. Really, I watched the tile guy install my backsplash tile, also from Lowes, and he would have said the same thing if he had been asked. On any other job, he probably would have torn it down, thrown it in the trash, and bought a similar tile that would have held up to the install.

I told him it was exactly how I wanted it to look, so he left it, and grouted it. In the package, you cannot TELL the tile is not all the same thickness, not evenly spaced on the mesh, and then, like someone already mentioned, the mesh melts, and the tiles start sliding down the walls.

Nancy


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

What I thought when I read the post is that the specific tile would be a different job than the tile guy either bid or scheduled.

If he bid and scheduled what he planned to be a day's work and then found a material that would be three days work, and he knew that the GC bid was his bid... I figured he walked.

Isn't it funny how we can all make up scenarios in our heads?


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

There are just as many installers who don't KNOW what tile can go where, what the difference between mastic and thinset is (or at least what should be used where), that greenboard is NOT the same as cement board or what the difference is between sealer and sealer/enhancer. All personal experiences. And all those contractors would have argued with me that THEY know best about THEIR profession. None of them did.

Not sure about the installer in this case, but don't assume that he, the professional, knows what he's talking about just because he calls himself a professional.

Sounds like there should have been more explained to the homeowner as to WHY is couldn't be installed. "just for bathrooms" makes no sense... I've never heard of such a tile. Tile is tile. And a bathroom would take MORE abuse than a backsplash.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Edited to remove text.

This post was edited by hobokenkitchen on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 20:54


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

One thing I do know is that the tile guy needs to install according to manufacturers specifications or "be subject to the possibility of callbacks because he voided the warranty by improperly installing something where it is not supposed to be, or installing it on an improper substrate.

See, these are things someone in business needs to be aware of 24/7. How does installing this floor tile on the walls affect me in the future? I would say that is one damn good question, don;t you? Because I assure you, there are floor tiles that are absolutely NOT supposed to go on walls. Maybe this was one of them. Do you know this for an absolute fact? "

Of course. But the manufacturer states it is for floor or wall applications (above link). So that's a moot point.

He didn't say anything about a poor substrate, poor quality tile or anything like that to indicate it wouldn't be a sound installation. I think he would be irresponsible if he declined for those reasons but didn't mention them. He said it was too difficult, i.e., he wasn't able or interested in the job.

Ditto with Annetta. I'd love to find these diligent professionals you speak of, that actually follow product manufacturer or industry specifications, to work at my house. They seem to be few and far between. The days of assuming those things were bliss.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 21:50


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Check my post. Third one down. It can be done.

 photo P1010333.jpg

That is all.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I'm dreadfully sorry, Kent. Your comment really came across as though you were calling the OP a spoiled brat for wanting what she wanted even though she wanted something pretty reasonable. If that wasn't your intent, I apologize from the very bottom of my soulless heart.

Kitchen Mam, I support your right to want what you want and get what you want whether it be wall tile on a wall or inappropriate molding that neither I nor Kent would like (but I'm sure you wouldn't want to do that!).


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Spanish, I missed (or forgot) that you actually had that same brand tile installed. Too bad for the backing. What a beautiful kitchen! Looks like they did a great job.

Maybe another brand should be tried? I'd check with a tile store rather than the big boxes. If you go with this one, be sure to give a heads up on the backing to whoever you interview for the job. It might or might not be a common problem. Make sure they've dealt with it before.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

I love arabesque tile and am going to have it either in my kitchen OR my master bath -- but not both. Not when so many other lovely things exist!

Anyway, I agree with the majority: You're fortunate that he said he couldn't do it rather than screw up your tile and leave you with a sloppy job.

I can give an analogy:

I used to bake cakes professionally. While an unexperienced person might say, "Cake is cake. All shapes should cost the same", I charged LESS for round cakes.

Why? At first glance it seems random, but the fact is that a round cake is easier to bake. Round cake pans are available in 5" deep models; thus, I don't have to bake two thin layers and put them together (which also means hiding the seam in the middle). It pops out of its pan easily, and I can set it on a turntable and ice it in no time flat. I charged a little more for oval cakes. I charge a lot more for heart-shaped cakes or petal-shaped cakes because edges require more time: I can literally frost a small round cake in the time required to do one corner on a shaped cake.

And I will not for any price make a square cake. Square cakes are the devil -- oh, not small ones, but if you make a small one, an 18" monstrosity is always required to go underneath it. For reasons unbeknownst to me, square cakes do not obey the same baking laws as other cakes. ONCE I was hired to bake a very large square wedding cake. I tried all my tricks: Lined the pan with wax paper, used my homemade no-stick spread, wrapped the pan with strips of wet towel, used less baking powder and baked at a lower temperature. Still, it fell in the middle. The next attempt crumbled when I removed it from the pan. If memory serves, I baked that cake 7-8 times before I finally created a cake (this required two trips to the all-night Walmart for more materials) I was willing to sell -- and it wasn't up to my usual standards. I was ashamed, AND I lost money on that cake.

My rule now: I will not bake a square cake. No, not for any amount of money.

If I weren't a very skilled baker, I'd assume that a square cake required no more than a round cake. Mayhap tiles have similar "hidden" traits?


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Just to be clear, I never said that it COULDN'T be done. I am only stating my viewpoint of what I have read that could be one of MANY reasons why the tile guy booked it. One reason is that it is most certainly possible that he doesn't know his ass from his elbow.

But I'm certainly not going to make a wild assumption based on only one side of the story. There is ALWAYS two sides. I am just trying to convey that there is as much of a POSSIBILITY that something was not right with the tile, or the substrate, or the situation in general as there is the possibility that he just couldn't hack it.

I think we can all agree that it is tough to find decent, qualified people to do quality work at a reasonable price. It is a struggle for both sides. 30 years and I have found a small handful of really decent people to work with me.

I can only imagine how exasperated some feel. We can all work together to accomplish things. There's no need to hang this guy out on the line. Just let him go and move on. You have good people behind you in the form of a GC and PM, let them have the stress.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Thanks Snookums. I found the tile before finding GW. It was right for our house. AND it was cheap!

The other thing is there is no trim tile. We had two exposed "ends". Since I'm not fully TKO, I Didn't worry too much. The tile is white throughout. I asked the contractor to cut it, grout it and we painted the wall almost the same color. I don't notice. Many other more important things to worry about.
 photo DSC00650.jpg


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Just for the record, I was not hanging him out. I am impressed he passed! lol That's to be respected, imo.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

That's a nice straight edge, Spanish. I can see why it doesn't bother you. Mine is so jagged, adjoining trim is a problem.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Sorry I have been MIA. I had to work extra hours yesterday.

Update! The guy was really just worried that he couldn't do it. I don't know why. I was told he has been stressed out lately and that he has a new baby.

He installed it beautifully today. I couldn't be happier.

I thank you all for your support. The port helped me and all the stress at work has helped me not think about it . Grouting tomorrow!


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

deleted

This post was edited by msrose on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 22:13


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Soooo, much ado about nothing. Gee now I feel stupid for even jumping in. Sigh.
Glad it worked out for you though.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Good luck.
I wish I'd been wearing my backbone when my DH's sub put in our MBR tile.

To this minute, at my 5'2" eye level, the 2x2" tile grout lines don't match up. Either with my back under the shower, or facing the shower wall. This is a walk-in, completely tiled shower. Well, it's not completed, of course, but completely tile.

I want to take a hammer to it and someday probably will. I shower with my eyes closed.

I think your backsplash will be lovely. Hopefully everything supporting it will be in order and easier than anyone had thought.


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RE: Tile guy refused to install my arabesque backsplash"

Island, I really appreciate all that you said! Really. i read the situation like ou did...I was very surprised by that all unfolded and very pleased with all the support.

I really was very surprised that he came back. It all seemed so final on Monday night.


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