Google+ House Revivals: Tile in the Master Bathroom

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tile in the Master Bathroom

We finally have tile in the master bathroom!  It has been quite the ordeal, but it is finally installed.  We are planning to tile the countertop, after the cabinets are installed, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
When we returned from a trip to Colorado a few weeks ago, the tile was supposed to be finished.  It wasn't.  Only the shower stall was finished, but it was wrong.  I walked into the bathroom, after driving eighteen hundred miles, to discover the wrong tile had been installed!  They installed 6x8 field tile, instead of 3x6.

The tile setter was there, and when I told him it was the wrong tile, he told me he had worked for days on that shower stall, getting it perfect, and it was too late to tear it out, and why couldn't I just live with it?  I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  Who talks to a homeowner that way?

I called my GC, who called the tile setter's boss, who came out and argued with me that I told him the wrong tile.  Seriously?  The boss pulled out his notes from our conversation, to prove his point, and right there in his own handwriting was "3x6 subway tile".  He was embarrassed and apologetic.  His tile setter refused to pull off the wrong tiles, so the boss did it himself.

You would think that would have been the end of the drama.  It was not.  As it turns out, the tile setter was slow as molasses.  I've had plenty of custom tile work done, so I know it does not take three weeks to tile a shower stall.  We've started living in the house, so I would often peek into the master bathroom to see just what was taking the tile setter so long.   Most of the time he was sitting on the edge of the tub texting.

Poor guy, no wonder he was having such a rough time finishing my tile job.  Have you ever tried to set tile and send a text at the same time?  It's very nearly impossible.  He also needed many, many smoke breaks.  And beer breaks.  The last straw was when I caught him smoking IN MY HOUSE.  I had him fired.  I was really livid that he would smoke in my home, especially knowing that our daughter is expecting (she is staying with us while her husband serves in Afghanistan).

You would think that would have been the end of the drama.  It wasn't.  I was running errands when the tile setter was fired, so he marched back into the guestroom wing of our home and KNOCKED ON MY DAUGHTER'S DOOR.  Who does that?  He proceeded to tell her his whole sad story, then wouldn't leave. He actually went back into the bathroom and resumed setting tile.  I was pretty upset, as my daughter was alone in the house with a very disgruntled man, so my GC had the tile setter's boss go immediately to my home and escort him from the property.  And then I had a word with my GC for firing someone over the phone.  He was pretty embarrassed and apologetic, and had not realized that my daughter was in the house at the time.

And do you know what really burns me up about this story?  The tile is still wrong.  Why is it so hard follow simple instructions?  I will not be having it ripped out and redone this time.  I just don't have the time, and I need my house back.

Of course, nothing is ever simple, is it?  These tile setters were also supposed to patch my kitchen floor. I've decided not to bother with it for right now.  For several reasons.  The main reason is that grandbaby number one is due to arrive in the next week, but another reason is that the tile setter had said his floor patch would be a focal point in the room.  Really? A focal point? I don't think so.  I had my GC drop some plywood in the hole.

Edit:  I realized, after posting this, that it might seem I am unhappy with my GC.  I am very pleased with my GC.  He is hard headed, and sometimes boneheaded, but he is honorable and dependable and hardworking, and he is an expert in his field.  He is a good, honest man, and I will definitely use his services again. 


  1. It's looking good! I love that shower!

  2. oh my goodness ..
    i'm so sorry this happened and that you're still dealing with the shower situation and the GC (and tile guy...argh!!!). you have every right to be upset. you're wise to let it go for a time and focus on your expectant daughter.

  3. AGH!!! Feeling your frustration from here...
    Seriously...smoking in your house??? & Beer break?? He should have been gone immediately..
    I had something similar when we built & left it alone after a very small "discussion" & now I am still unhappy 10 yrs. later...
    Just stop fretting for now & enjoy the new baby about to change your world... : )

  4. Really?? Oh my goodness. Can you fire your GC? He is not doing his job either. I am hoping you can contact a Better Business Bureau about this. However, I do love what you are doing. I am about to engage in a similar project. I hope to learn from you!

  5. Wow!....That story is worthy of an episode of Renovation Realities (Is that the name of the show?) Anyway, so sorry you've had so much unwanted drama!!!

  6. oh wow! how horrible that the tiler wanted you to accept the job as is and scared your daughter ... i wouldn't have put up with his behaviour either, but his boss should have personally fired him and escorted him out ... I hope that the rest of the job is going much smoother ...

  7. I could tell you have a good GC from his reaction to the smoking in your house. But I don't blame you at all for being very, very disgruntled. You should be able to depend on getting what you've asked for and what you're paying for.

  8. Oh My Word!!! That is just awful. Sadly I can relate. We once hired "Boozy the Clown" to do our drywalling. long story short?...I finished the drywalling myself after he stood on top of my new glass induction stovetop!

  9. That story just infuriates me. Your GC should have NEVER hired him. With tile installations, I check on it everyday to make sure it is perfect. You were expecting your contractor to do that. I am sorry you had to go through this.

  10. I'm practically speechless about this entire episode. It's outrageous! And then after all that to have it be wrong AGAIN? There's be flying tiles and probably inappropriate language if this happened to me. You sure are patient!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  11. Oh dear… That is a clear example of how to test your temper and patience. Some homeowners who had the same situation could have gone mad! Good thing you have a blog to release all of the feelings you had. Tsk.


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