Is marble subway tile more difficult to tile than other tile?

Sue B Hooven
31 de Diciembre de 2015

I'm really annoyed. Called my contractor 6:45 am to stop work on the tile. I have only ONE shower/tub in the house and it's been a month with not being able to use it. We are all bathing in the kitchen sink. This was supposed to take 8 work days, or 10 max he said. He said I'd be without a tub only a week... and the shower would be longer as they tiled higher. Well it's a month in and not even to the tub yet! Photos will come here of what they did. They are CROOKED. He didn't use spacers on some of the edge and they are butted together. They are JUTTING out. They are not level to each other. I checked the tiles to see if they were uniform thickness and they ARE. The wall is flat and level. So I am guessing then the problem is some have too much mud on them??? They are also discolored from the others. I don't know if they were a bad batch, if they haven't "cured" yet or if they used a different mud that went through the porous stone? The "designer" said you were supposed to seal BOTH sides of the tile so it won't absorb a non white substrate. I tend to agree but they never did this. Hundreds of tiles on the wall now at over a dollar each? The contractor saw the first wall they did and saw how uneven and then said two things: 1) Yeah, it's hard working with marble and no marble tiles like these are will look perfect and it's character and 2) the grout will cover a lot of this. Yeah. I'm sure. NOT. I think he realizes he's now going to LOSE money on this job. Oh and I realized today that they did not put in the edging in the corner and there's no space for it now! So POOR job. Tell me... are marble tiles that aren't beveled and slick on the back/ie no ridges (smooth) harder to do than other tiles? Should any be jutting? Crooked? Do they slip? Are chipped tiles "character"? Here's some photos... I think no to all this. But I need something to go into my letter to Lowe's to show I'm not being a control freak or something. Am I? Two other people walked in and shook their heads and I didn't even say anything. MY husband and son went in and thought it was a bad job. My neighbor said "Is that supposed to be like that?" So I am thinking not.

On this photo above, you can see a couple of the tiles have no spacers and are butted up to each other. Also, the top tile is jutting outwards. As it the bottom greyish tile. I didn't take a photo but will not of the YELLOW tile they put in there... who the heck puts in all grey and white tile and leaves one yellow one.

Comentarios (112)

  • Sue B Hooven

    I was told leave them alone which is what I did. But when they leave I see the freaking mess. cheek or not, I'm very upset right now. My bathroom process started back in September till they started in December and 6 weeks in now and it's not done and every freaking day they have to redo. Do you think that's a good paint job??? LOL They didn't even sand the wall and it's all bumpy. Oh I've contacted the store AGAIN. Nobody is responding... naturally. I'm going to have to hire someone else to come in now. I'm about to come to tears at this point. LOL white grout. I asked for grey.... PS the reason I said the light switch was not removed is you can see he painted AROUND it and missed half the area! LOL COMMON sense... it's not like I'm looking for that specificially. It's hard to NOT notice it.

  • Margo

    NO, you stop what you are doing and take yourself to the store and demand to speak with the store manager. You bring documentation, pictures. You demand to be listened to. If it was written in the work order grey grout and you got white, it needs to be fixed.

  • susanalanandwrigley

    I agree with Margo, show up in person, bring pictures, bring documentation, don't lose your temper, raise your voice, or let emotions get the best of you, just walk through it problem by problem that must be fixed.

  • shelleyuk

    We had exactly the same problem with our marble subway tile. Big colour variation which meant I took out every single tile and laid them all our in the exact order I wanted to ensure they were well mixed. Very large amount of chipping due to the fact that marble is a very soft stone and a big difference in depth variation which to be fair does make them hard to install.

    The only way I found of dealing with the chipping was to carefully check each and every tile and return those that were really bad or sand the edges of those I felt I could live with.

    Now they are installed I actually don't notice the chipping at all (although when the light hits them a certain way the wall looks like the moving wall through to Diagon Alley due to the differences in depth of the tiles).

    My tiles were from Fired Earth (high end UK supplier). They refunded me upon seeing the photos which meant I effectively got the tiles for free. That made a big difference to my ability to get used to the defects!

    Sue B Hooven agradeció a shelleyuk
  • shelleyuk

    I actually think grey grout is much better than white on carrara marble. Mine is grey through choice.

  • shelleyuk

    Oops sorry I thought you had been given grey for your marble when you wanted white. I can see it was grouted in white which you did want.

  • PRO
    Florim Ceramiche S.p.A.

    next time use #Florim

  • Natalie

    Hi Sue---

    To say that I am utterly appalled and disgusted with that atrocious renovation would be an understatement. Unfortunately, you have no alternative but to give that Lowe's manager an ultimatum because for some reason, you're not being taken seriously. My suggestion? TELL them they have 48 hours to tear it all out---right down to the studs and give them a choice---either they get a competent contractor in to redo the work correctly OR they refund All your money. If, for any reason he/she will not comply with your requests, tell them you're going to contact your local news station and Mean it. You have been much too tolerant and patient with them---it's about time they heard you RoaR!

    Best of Luck to you. :))

    Sue B Hooven agradeció a Natalie
  • raineycarole
    Get all the documentation you can: photos, contracts, samples, etc. Write everything down. Go to Lowe's and complain. If you don't get satisfactory answers, send a copy of your documentation and complaints to Lowe's district manager and to the CEO. That should get you a response quickly.
    Sue B Hooven agradeció a raineycarole
  • sharlowm
    And STOP making payments on the lowes charge acct until
    This is resolved!
  • happyleg

    I don't know if that's right. Interest will add up. MANAGER & CEO. Complain on their web page.

    Sue B Hooven agradeció a happyleg
  • km kane
    horrible jobs. Both tiling and painting. Perfect reason I never use big box stores. Ugh!!!!!!
  • classysass

    "I knew there was going to be issues almost immediately so it's probably my fault for keep trusting her." This is what you said on the first day you posted this dilemma.

    Pardon me for seeming to jump in here at this time, but I have carefully read every word of this thread and I believe I completely understand what is going on here. You have been urged by many top-notch professionals here to STOP the whole thing NOW! But you haven't done that because you are worried about being a bitch. You need a shower so you'll let your whole remodel and 14k go pretty much literally down the drain. When reading this it's like there are two different discussions.There you are, crying and whining about how awful you feel and then there's the discussion about what you should do. But, you have refused to take anyone's advice. I don't know how old you are, but you need to grow up, put your big girl panties on and do what's right. Margo hit the nail on the head: You seem to like this drama and like the attention and compassion that is being offered to you.

    A piece of advice I'd like to give you knowing very well that you won't take it: Get a lawyer. NOW. These things aren't easy but unless you want this saga to continue for years, you had better get a grip on this thing. IT ALL NEEDS TO BE TAKEN OUT AND REDONE. What about that don't you understand?

  • km kane
    And, never try for high end finishes unless your house calls for it. (marble? - do you live in a mansion?) There is good marble, then there is cheap marble. Maybe subway would have been a better bet. I don't want to sound mean, but there's economy so scLe to think about too.
  • happyleg

    I seen a beautiful granite-like shower surround with glass door( that I wanted to walk in). Just loved it! Don't have to worry about tile lines!

  • km kane

    Sorry, I meant to say "there's economy of scale." In other words, does the size and value of the house call for marble? A $1 per tile.

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    First of all Sue, sorry to hear about your ordeal with your remodeling project and the outcome of that substandard workmanship. There is not much to add but everything should be torn out and re-done, because that cannot be fixed. If Lowe's sold you a package deal I would go after them for tile replacement and for providing inexperienced installers they contracted to do your work who put you and your family in this situation and that is Negligence. You don't have to have them back there to do anything since there is already a bad relationship between you and the contractor. You don't need to sit there and blue tape your bathroom to show him what's wrong, because he knows that everything is wrong. Looking at this tile pictures, it looks like a 10 year old got some glue and tile and started gluing them on the wall, although I think even a 10 year old would have done a better job.

    Estimate all your damages and everything that you're out and what it will take to make you whole again and take legal action. You don't need to deal with the attitudes, or dirty looks, or silent treatment, just do what needs to be done. Period. Remodeling should be a pleasant experience and a well done job can only be accomplished by having a great relationship between parties involved...

    Smithcraft Tile & Stone hit the nail on the head. On many occasions we were called to fix/ tear out work done by big box stores... the work was just terrible, workmanship was terrible and materials that came from the box stores were of poor quality. It seems like all the materials they purchase, like tiles, flooring, lumber, etc come from a special line which each manufacturer has set up specially for the Box stores and it seems most of the materials are downgraded. 15 years ago we stopped doing installations of materials on our remodeling jobs purchased by homeowners from the box stores.

    As the contractors/installers go, it seems that Box stores will hire anyone who will meet the min requirement or a guideline they have in place, most important part of the process is, if you carry insurance and meet the installation rates they want you to work by, you're hired. They have contractors bidding against one another and the lowest rate will always win. After it happens they swamp you with a workload and there is no time to pay attention to quality, it becomes a volume race. If you cannot keep up with the workload, you will be replaced by another company when that position is up for a bid again. I hear this from carpet and flooring installers all the time and I guess that goes for everyone else who is doing installations.

    Good luck, I hope it works out.

  • Margo

    GN Builders- with all due respect, I am here to tell you that with the Big Box stores that is NOT always the case. I have been burnt by reputable?contractors. Good reviews, work portfolio, etc. Now how do I get anywhere with a small company? Some people advertise and give the illusion of being a big outfit when in reality they are just a one or two man show with a long list of sub contractors. Example: I met with a couple from a company called B&C. They looked good, talked good, got recommended. I hired them to get my granite counters put in the kitchen and all the stone in my master bath. The day of the install of the tile in the shower, I found out that they hired the guy that did the work at Starbuck's that morning. The tile guy turned out to be THE BEST person morally and skillfully. He actually was worried about me as he came to me with how they hired him. I was lucky they did hire him as he actually directed the job properly. The so called *experts* were nothing more than stone brokers. I got lucky. The B&C people are out of business. Seamus (Starbuck's found tile guy) is going strong after 10 years and just tiled my sun room. The tiles he used I bought from the Tile Store. I wish I could have found tiles at the big box store I liked for this room. The Tile Stores tiles were triple the price and were given to me broken, chipped. Long story...

    The moral of the story is... Hiring ANY contractor, designer, installer,etc, IS a crap-shoot. I have found more leverage with the big box stores. I do not find that the big box stores quality in products are of less quality in most cases. I have Delta faucets in my home from big box stores. After 10 years the shower failed and Delta sent me new parts to repair at NO cost. I could go on, and on and on. I guess I am a Big Box Store advocate and not afraid to admit it, lol.

    Sue B Hooven agradeció a Margo
  • keako

    This is exactly what I was trying to say. We hired a reputable company. Portfolio - check; Reviews - check; BBB - check; work quality - horrific.. in fact, criminal! We next hired a lone wolf.. His attention to detail and work ethic was amazing. He was actually unlicensed and uninsured but he did a fantastic job fixing and rebuilding everything the "reputable" company did.

    Now, we are learning to do things ourselves. At least if we screw up, we only have ourselves to blame. We use tradesmen (plumbers, electricians) for specialized jobs, but other than that, we learn
  • Sue B Hooven

    So many people to respond to. To keako Thanks for sharing your story! I'm sooo sorry you had to deal with that. I was losing sleep for the last three nights. BUT they are GONE now. I send them packing today! I hope you are okay now? I guess we all need to lower expectations. I did know for a fact that it's not like "property brothers" or HGTV. I understand that. I knew that going in. I knew that the prices were skewed, I knew there were defects after property brother's leaves etc. You find that on the forums. I also allotted them an extra week. They told me 8-10 days so I allotted 15 work days to be done or three full weeks. It has lasted Five full weeks and three days and it's not 100%. I hope you are ok now. It's not worth it. Instead of renovating anymore, we decided to vacation all the time instead. LOL

    To shelleyuk Thanks for telling me you had the same problem with the marble. I never blamed them for that. WHen I saw what was happening, I did what you did on a lesser level. I didn't say put them in a certain order, but I picked out all the worse chipped tiles, all the odd colored ones, ones with splotches or funky things going on and really dark ones. Then I would throw in a slightly darker one in the piles I was making for them. I hand picked but let them put them up using "common sense". After a while, the one guy did acutally worked on an HGTV episode in a house in Norfolk... and he did a good job. For that part. The other parts were different guys. That was a huge factor. That cabinet with the backing? GORGEOUS. Very nicely done!!!!

    To raineycarole Thank you. I did what you said. I took photos every night when they left. I then forwarded it on to the 'designer' with the sentence in there "this is for documentation, but feel free to pass it to the store manager or whomever". I did this four times. The crooked tiles, the tub spout flying off... yes, that happened this morning... the bad paint job and one just with a long list followed by photos of all the stuff. It's documented in emails. I have every one of those in my "sent" box.

    to classysass: it's fine and well everyone keeps telling me to STOP and get a lawyer etc. However, it's quite different living through it. 1) It's my only bathroom that has a shower/tub. 2) they keep telling you "tomorrow" and "I'm going to fix it" and "Lowe's backs it all up" etc etc etc. So when you're in the middle of something and it'll only be a couple more days or whatever and it'll be perfect; just leave us be and we'll get it done... well I listened to them and trusted if I let them be... so I tried that. I still came off as a bitch/witch. Don't care now. I did in the beginning but it was a learning process. And here's the last comment I have to make. I've had MUCH MUCH work done from Lowe's before. I did a kitchen to the tune of 18k (plus another 4k in granite, another 500 in backsplash and I spent other money on things like paint and wallpaper). That entailed ductwork being moved, plumbing. under the cabinet lighting, rewiring the microwave, and a ton of gorgeous high end cabinetry. It came out PERFECT and the guy doing it was STELLAR. In addition to that, I had windows installed. I had a door installed. I have had NO PROBLEMS till this incident. In fact, I was so impressed before, I asked the store management to consider that designer in the kitchen for employee of the month or something for her great work. So this was my dilemma. I hope you understand.

    to kmkane Marble comes quarried. There are various types and some may be better than others. I knew what I wanted and don't care about your opinion of my house. You do not have to live in a mansion to have something nice. I am older, I've been around the block and came to the conclusion we can't move, so I decided I wanted the best little house I could have to enjoy for once in my life. If I want marble, it's my choice. They wouldn't sell the damned stuff if nobody knew how to install the damned stuff~ Give me a break. I just talked to a contractor who said it's not a problem cutting it and he could do it. We shall see. I don't expect perfection like from a factory. I just want it to look "decent". I don't think that's much to ask for! That's NOT expensive at 1 dollar a tile by the way. It's fairly cheap. It equates to about 10 dollars a square foot. Less actually. In fact, granite and slate and other materials even some porcelains are more expensive. So whatever...I never said what kind of house I live in. But if you must know it's a middle class neighborhood, about 1800 square feet. 1797 to be exact. It's value is probably the national average.

    To GN Builders L.L.C Thanks. I am putting painters tape on all the stuff. There'll be about 20 minor issues now. I think I'm going to have them fix about 3, I will do the rest and ask for compensation on the painting and tile work that needs to be done. I'd rather fix the small cosmetic stuff myself now because honestly, I have more pride, patience and can do it better myself. We could've done a lot of this ourselves, but we were treating ourselves because we're older and we wanted it done "professionally". However, when your tub spout flies off and your toilet shifts... and i think the faucet is backwards... not sure but it goes hot to cold counter clockwise and the other went clockwise cold to hot? I just want it the way it should be. That's no big deal. I was only concerned for the granddaughter who is 8. I don't want her scalded. I will just draw her bath for her then is all. But I asked and they don't know. They said it only goes on one way? Whatever. Anyway, it's over now. I'll live with the rest of it. It seems fine mostly in the end. Minus those tiles and poor wall areas that need sanding/repainting, the loose toilet and fix my door and toekick. The rest I'll do. If you look not close, I think it's beautiful. But just don't scrutinize it! LOL

    To Margo: you're right. It's all a crapshoot? They told me legally they all have to have certifications. Lowe's does background checks (criminally etc) which was also another reason I used them. They are insured/bonded. They showed up on time every day. They never "skated". In fact, the irritated me a LOT for showing up too early and leaving too late. But I let them do it because I wanted it done. They worked New Year's Eve and even worked on a SUNDAY because they admitted it was taking Far longer and they were overwhelmed. This brings me to the problem. I know what the problems were. 1) Poor communication skills amongst too many bosses. 2) subcontractors hired who then hired even MORE subcontractors because too much work projects going on. I think they said they have 5 or more project simultaneously. One guy was sick. The plumber quit. The tub was ordered wrong by the designer and there were holidays. They made up for the holidays by working Sunday and nights and early mornings. Shocked me when they are at my house with no notice 6:50 AM! I was still IN BED. LOL The other problem was if they needed say grout, they had to call their boss. That boss called his boss who then called the contractor to "get permission" to buy it. Then work slightly different than scope had to be approved by ONE person at Lowe's, who seemed to never be in (on vacation one week, off on Mondays or what have you). This was all part of the slowness. But the inneptness was picking up some guys who were not like your Starbucks guy. A couple of these guys were laborers who stand out in front of Lowe's waiting to get work. I have seen them there. The plumber was fired. They had issues beyond my problem (where he just walked in said wrong tub and left me standing there...and then refused to come back? For no apparent reason?). The tile guy was fired. They told me that's not the only time he's done a poor job. He hasn't been paid (that's the one who showed up at my home taking photos). I think though it's not Lowes. This could happen ANYWHERE with any contractor. I've had two bad contractors in the past before. But the vast majority have been stellar? It's a crapshoot. I don't know how to vett them. Which is why I picked the big box store. Supposedly they do that? So there ya have it.

    To everyone else. Thanks. I'm done with them. I will get the rest fixed professional and do the cosemetics left myself. I will get some sort of refund and get in writing my concerns. I will keep all photos and documentation for future use. But for now, I don't want to rip it out and start again. I cannot go through this hell again! I'll just get an ulcer. So I hope you all won't be so harsh on that subject. Yes, I whined. Apologies to all. I'll post photos in a day or two. Right now, I am cleaning. There's stuff EVERYWHERE and I've just reloaded the medicine cabinet/vanity and just put in the shelves in the closet and hung up the toilet tissue holder. Going now to clean more, hang up the robe hook and maybe tomorrow I'll do the cosmetic stuff ... then I'll take photos. Bear in mind I still need those tiles fixed and a door for the shower. I'm NOT using Lowe's for that. I'm calling a glass company I've used in the past to see if they do that. I need a custom door that will fit probably as my walls are a bit crooked.

    Thanks everyone.

  • km kane

    I've always done all my own tiling jobs. Sick to death of it, but at least I can trust the guy (I mean gal). I've got a bucket of grout in my hands right now!m

  • Sue B Hooven

    exactly! I rather just do it. But I'm older and it's harder. But when you do it yourself, you have homeowner pride... so you are more careful?

  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.

    Homeowners have one advantage over many a contractor: They READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. At least they do with their flooring.

    I'm still waiting to hear about having this thing inspected by a certified pro. If you want to create pressure (legally speaking) an inspection by a certifed pro will get you all the legal leverage you need. Still waiting for the inspector's report.

  • keako
    I find that many contractors who have been "doing this since they were knee high", don't take the time to learn and grow within their trade. Some of them are cocky, few are humble and most don't want to be told what to do. At least homeowners dedicate hours and hours to researching, reading and watching YouTube videos BEFORE we start a project. We are hungry to learn because we desire to do things correctly and we can't understand for the life of us, how "experienced" tradesmen can be so negligent and lazy. Also, as a woman, they can be very intimidating and will be darned if some chick "corrects" them. It's rare to find the combination of craftsmanship, reliability, work ethic AND humility. When you do... God bless!
  • Margo

    So true keako, since I have been on Houzz, I must say that I have learned A LOT. When my tile guy Seamus came the last time I asked him how he put down his hardy cement board. I had Googled it and read things on Houzz. I was asking even though not one tile he laid in this house has ever failed. No grout has ever even chipped. I was curious. He told me he applies with thin set and screws it down. That is what I wanted to hear. He did not get offensive at my question. He also knows I am a helicopter customer. He told me he actually likes that as I know what I want. He still recommends things to me and sometimes I bite and sometimes I don't. I just wish I could find more of him in other jobs in the trade. Now I could tell you about the guy I found on Thumbtack, lol, who built my deck off the bedroom...I truly got what I paid not funny at the time... but laughing now! One must find the humor!!

  • keako
    The "reputable" company we found on Angie's List sent their crew in last November to do a large scale reno to our home. Phase 1 of our project was the renovation of our guest apartment and pool house.. we were present for that project and it involved setting a toilet, vanity, trim work, painting, recessed lighting and a step. They came in gangbusters and did a good job. We left the state the day after Thanksgiving and foolishly trusted this company with our keys and their promise to have Phase 2 (renovation of our main house) complete by Christmas Day. The guys we dealt with sent strategic photos daily and we believed the work was going well. When we arrived on Christmas Eve, the house was COMPLETELY torn up, the ceiling was sagging due to botched plumbing in the second floor bath, the first floor bath's floor was slowly caving in. The tile work was ten times worse than Sue's and we wound up ripping out both bathrooms and losing thousands of dollars in materials. The hardwood floors were ruined because they removed our popcorn ceilings and didn't cover the floor with the paper we provided, two of the kitchen cabinets were broken, the new front door was installed incorrectly and the siding was ruined because of it, my newly installed steps were soiled, the AC handler was dismantled and broken and they drilled into my concrete stoop. Prior to this, a Craigs List guy botched our window installation and an Angies List guy screwed up our fence install. We wound up getting our money back from the "reputable company" but nothing for materials. They felt there was some value added due to their installation of recessed lighting and trim. We accepted our money back and the company considers the dispute settled but we are considering going after them for materials or publicly shaming them. Apparently, the crew they sent out cut "side deals" unbeknownst to us. It's been an emotional and financial nightmare. Since we've been living here, it's been easier but still very stressful. The lone wolf was very talented but absolutely DID NOT want to be told what to do. I was very intimidated by him. Recently, we had a floor guy who was skilled and humble, again, rare to find!
  • happyleg

    Did u talk to the manager? You may need a lawyer.

  • Sue B Hooven

    It's not bad enough for a lawyer I don't think. They did make everything right to my specs after doing things two or three times over... but nagged and came off as picky homeowner? I didn't care after the first two weeks though. I did keep documentation thank you. I got the manager of the entire store and also the installation manager, as well as the designer to see it. Now two of them are coming AGAIN for the final time. So I'm covered. I also have it documented here right? LOL All I'm asking for is compensation for things not done, and redoing the paint and whatever I have to spend for the tiles they could not do. They wasted a lot of material, cut marble baseboard and a marble threshold they also could not figure out to install and oh so many tiles. WASTED. I am not even asking for all that wasted time, my dishtowels they ruined and didn't ask me to use, my trash can they took and used for a grout bucket which was thrown out, the NEW lampshades they dropped paint on, the materials like sandpaper and tools they had to borrow... LOL See, there's more stuff I never mentioned because I didn't want to sound whiney. But all that added up to so much stuff which is why the frustration was there and I looked like a witch to them.

  • km kane

    You don't look like a witch. You have legitimate grievances, all of which should have been noted. When workers don't bring their own tools, ruin homeowners belongings, etc, that all should be noted. Plus, you've not been able to use a significant part of home for some time now. Horrible!

  • Margo

    keako- I joined Angie's list and have found that to be a joke too;( The BBB, Home Advisors, Angie's list, all just driven by money. I hired a guy out of the local newspaper to install a new construction door. He asked me if I saw his A+ rating on the BBB site. He told me he paid for it?? Luckily he turned out to be good, but I pulled a homeowner's permit , just to have a back up inspection.

    Sue- I am glad things are winding down for you. I think we have all had construction nightmares and have felt a version of what you went through. You sound a bit better and look forward to seeing the final pictures;)

  • keako
    Susan, congratulations for being at peace! Ultimately it's your home and we all have the right to decide what we can and can not live with. Despite all the angina this caused, you now have a bathroom you love (or at least like very very much). I totally understand where you are at and I'm sure it came out gorgeous! Can't wait to see pictures..
    Sue B Hooven agradeció a keako
  • Sue B Hooven

    Here's the photos. I did put them up in a separate post but there ya go. You will see some issues still to resolve. I also forgot to take a photo of the threshold. There is none. They don't know how to do it. LOL Just like the corners of the baseboard behind the toilet and by the tub (see photos) etc. I still have the corner issues that are shown in previous photos. The crooked tile was fixed...

  • sharlowm
    despite all the problems, your choices look great! once you fix up the stuff that was done wrong, is bugging you, enjoy it, it looks great
    Sue B Hooven agradeció a sharlowm
  • Gerry
    I just want to respond to your comment about the faucet seeming to run hot to cold. In two of our bathrooms, this was the case. When we developed a leak n the master bath shower when the house was still under warranty, they removed the wall and switched the feeds and now just one bathroom runs "wrong." We warn our guests so they don't get scalded. I should have known their contractors were not the best because we rented an apartment built by the same company while our house was being built and the toilet flushed with hot water. Lol. By the way, your final photos look very nice and I hope all will be resolved.
    Sue B Hooven agradeció a Gerry
  • keako
    Your bathroom is very nice! The shower area looks very luxe and I love the niche! Now, you can enjoy it :)
    Sue B Hooven agradeció a keako
  • Sue B Hooven

    Keako, thanks. I'm sooo sorry you had to go through all you did with those horrible contractors! Why don't they just try to do things right and be reputable and thereby do BETTER business. I mean doing it right leads the people to recommend to friends right? Not be on here talking about them! So I don't understand why some do what they do. I hope you can recover something!

  • happyleg

    I love it, very nice! Enjoy!

    Sue B Hooven agradeció a happyleg
  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Sue I'm glad everything worked out. You have a beautiful bathroom.

    Enjoy and good luck!

    Sue B Hooven agradeció a GN Builders L.L.C
  • Sue B Hooven

    Not yet. 22 minor things to fix/check. LOL That's my "punch" list. Three of those things I have to get others to fix. 8 of them at least they need to do because I don't know what they did exactly (grout mixture etc) and I don't feel like sanding/patching better the light switch area or sanding that ceiling... LOL

  • Margo

    Your bathroom looks great Sue. I know we are not there to see what you see with the imperfections. The ceiling would be my first item on the *punch* list;)

  • PRO
    Inspiration Kitchen and Bath

    Wow, I am just looking at this a bit later in the game and wish I would have seen this advice article weeks ago.

    That is seriously the WORST tile setting I have ever seen to date. As a kitchen and bath designer who does full service design with skilled installers, at times a client will say "I can get the work done cheaper, I am going to use someone else"... I always comment back "you can always get it done cheaper, good luck" as we all know there are a lot of people working in an industry they should not be working in. Also, tile setting is a skill that not all people that consider themselves "contractors" are capable of doing.

    For a quality marble installation, you have to use high end material from marble suppliers that hand select what they sell and a skilled tile setter. It also starts with the backer board, it has to be installed properly for the tile to look nice.

    Your contractor looks like one of those people who think the grout will make it look nice, NO chance of that happening.

  • Stacy Lawrence

    Small claims, asap. If the contractor is licensed and bonded and you win in court (which you will), you can file a claim against the bond if they don't pay the judgement.

    Unfortunately, I had a very similar issue with a licensed contractor who said he could do our entire bathroom. Turns out, his drywall and electrical work were terrible! We pulled the drywall down and found out he didn't insulate; he either forgot or just charged us.

    Our previously outdated bath was better in quality than what we paid this guy to do. The judge sided with us in a NY minute based on our photos/documents. He was a no-show at court; judgement mailed to him and after a few months, we contacted the bond company who reimbursed us. His licensed is revoked until he pays the judgement.

    Worst mistake I made was trying to resolve it and letting him back in my house to lay my marble mosaic floor and he did a horrible job and walked off and we never saw him again. Sometimes, it's best to cut ties early and never look back. Instead, we try to work it out with someone who is ok with taking your money for subpar work.

  • PRO
    Creative Tile Eastern CT

    After 105 comments Houzzers need to be aware that this shower is still over drywall! Marble tiles are porous as is the grout. Failure will be the outcome. I do feel bad for the OP but this should have been stopped long ago. When you start to ask yourself what are those small brown circles in the stone it will be moisture and the alkali in the thinset breaking down the drywall screws which are holding up the deteriorating wallboards.

  • PRO
    Mint Tile LLC

    Evrery Homeowner can request in their contract.......

    "All tile work and material selections to be specified and installed to meet or exceed 2016 TCNA and ANSI standards "

    Insist that this is written into the tile detIailed scope and get it in writing.

    The real frustration wont start until as mentioned above by CT, things start falling apart , sad, unfair, not right but true.

    Sue , I do feel for you and youre struggles it really leaves A bad mark on every PRO tile guy/gal out there in the internet age.

    Comes right down to ethics.


  • PRO
    Legacy Floors

    Unfortunately, as stated above.. no matter how nice this tile looks now, it is a failure underneath and therefore will be a disaster in just a matter of a few years.
    Hire a certified tile setter who follows TCNA guidelines and get the most important room in your home done correctly. Water does the worst amount of damage, and legal action should have been taken here against a negligent contractor.

  • PRO
    The QM Team

    I'm getting late in here but I cannot agree more with Creative Tile Eastern, Tundra Finish Work and Legacy Floors. Your tile will have tons of problems in the coming years. Our whole business is tile, stone and wet areas. We been doing this for 10 years and 6 of them in this area. I have attend dozens of seminars by the Tile Council of North America and manufacturers of humid area products. I can tell you that based on the photos you post this job won't last. Your mistake was to let lowes act as your contractor and let a handyman do the job of a tile settler and a humidity designer. To make things worst you have a soft stone so the water impregnation will happen rather quickly and it will show faster that if you had use porcelain or harder stones. Tile, stones are forever and are a luxury item. They are not a place to look for lower prices. Low prices means low quality stone, untrained labor and no expertly on the design.

  • wannabath

    I said it before we have become a society that just does not care about quality. All people care about is having a "Look At Me" product. Years ago you bought the best you could afford and did the best possible job installing it.

    Now we have people driving salvage BMW's, wearing fake Rolex watches and feeling the need to exceed their budget on every purchase they make.

    My favorite part of this thread is there are still people saying how good it looks??? How does a bathroom look good that can't be used as a bathroom??

    I truly feel horrible that this happened to you but the idea that you could get a full marble bathroom at that budget had to have been a red flag. I know cheap Chinese marble plastered all over the internet is alluring but again is just a fake designed to fail product. The Chinese have been dumping these copy products on us and we are buying them up with zero care for it's quality. Ask the people in the South about Chinese drywall. The majority of these products don't meet any US building codes or specifications and are sold anyway. Faucets with lead? No problem they still look good. Certification??? No, who cares if they poison my family they look great.

    There is no way you should have accepted that work and let it continue. Anybody who thinks someone without serious training and experience can lay tile is insulting a lot of tile craftsman and woman. It is a trade that requires education and apprenticeship to learn.

    Sorry but hire an attorney and correct this before you do serious damages to the structure of your home. Even worse you now have documentation that you are aware of the problem.

  • km kane

    $1 per tile, other more, others from eBay. Who knows about the quality of this marble, it sure sounds low end to me. And with no backer board, whooo boy, what a mess in the near future! Sue, on the other hand, knew what she wanted, has good taste, and with a good contractor, could have had a good end product. I hope the best for her.

  • Nancy in Mich

    Sue, you came on here asking for advice. Next time you do that, look at who is answering you and what their credentials are. Listen to that advice and if you don't understand why they are saying something, ask some questions.

    I can't believe that you understood the implications of not having waterproofing behind your tile. Do you understand that the phrase, "marble is porous" means that marble is like a very hard sponge? That grout is not waterproof and never has been? (Your old acrylic walls WERE waterproof, so their keeping the drywall dry only means that they stayed intact.) That green drywall being water resistant means that it will eventually get wet, so you will have mold behind your tile? That those metal washers in the drywall, if not completely sealed, will rust and that the rust will come right through the tile and show on the front? That applying Red Guard starting halfway up the wall does almost nothing to protect your tile, since the water is going to pool at the bottom? (You can expect those bottom rows of tile to be discolored from being wet much of the time.) That a couple of memberships at the gym (which is what my husband and I did this summer while our only bath was down) is cheaper than a later tear-out? That you agreeing to a fix for only the second half of the shower may take away some of your right to demand that it be fixed later? That the only time you have any power to get a change made is before Lowes finished paying the contractor for the work, and that since it was Lowes who hired these guys, it was Lowes who had the ability to demand the job be redone and that it was Lowes who you should have been working with all along for any complaints?

    You don't make a complaint by sending some pictures to the order taker and suggest that she should send them along to the manager if she likes. You find out who the manager of the bathroom renovation contracts is and you send that person an email with return receipt, and follow up with a phone call. Or you see them in person.

    You have decided to be happy that the outer part of the tiling job now looks pretty good, and that you have someone coming to fix the final goofs. I would suggest that you do an addition to the house and put in a shower next to your bedroom that you use for your every day showers and that you leave this one for guests who come rarely. It will take days for the shower walls to dry out between showers once the wall gets wet. Meanwhile, though, it will look pretty nice, and that seems to be all you were concerned about.

  • ana_46

    Woah ... just read this whole thread. What a nightmare. I was so stressed reading this thing. After all the atrocities on here, the fact that they used her kitchen towels and bathroom garbage bin for the mud had me the angriest!? :/

    @Sue B Hooven - keep us posted on the state of the bathroom - I’m too invested!

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