Sunday, March 4, 2012

check tile specs and measure very carefully during a bathroom remodel

There is a pattern to the contractor’s communications. First the text, “Call me when you get a chance.” Usually I drop everything and call immediately. “What’s up?”

“Hi Rebecca, we have a little problem.”

It appeared that the plank tiles specified in the plan and that the contractor special ordered from Italy were not exactly 6x24 inch; they were instead 5¾ x 23½ inch. The 6x6 inch white semi-gloss tiles had already been installed in both showers. The white squares were supposed to line up in perfect rows with the 6x24 inch planks (the tile feature wall). That just wasn't going to work.

In hind site, there was a clue to the size difference. On the spec sheet for the 6x24 inch tiles, it also listed the metric size, in perfect centimeters, 15x60. Were the tiles 6x24 inches or were they 15x60 centimeters? Can't be both. The tiles were manufactured in Italy, so a good guess would be that they were made in centimeters. 

Here is the spec sheet for the tile we ordered. Can you see what is wrong?



Clue number two: I had both tiles sitting right next to each other on the picnic table and didn't notice they weren’t a perfect match and it didn't occur to me to measure them. However, at that point the damage had been done as the tile order had already arrived. Remodeling Tip: Samples of both tiles should have been ordered in advance and the exact sizes should have been confirmed prior to material order. Learn from my mistakes.

Had both tiles sitting right next to each other and never measured either. Clue #2.
I found a replacement tile with the same look and feel that same day. The only problem was the tile guy, would have to hand cut the 6x24 inch planks (6x24 special order would take 6-8 weeks). I talked to him on the phone and said I was fed up with the whole thing, why don’t we just do the shower in the white semi-gloss 6x6 inch squares and be done with it? The tile guy gave me some wise advice, “Stick to your vision.” I had developed commitment to this design and Albert, the tile guy and I all liked it. Stick with it we did. Damn the costs. The tile guy kindly threw in the labor, and we paid another $1,135 for the tile (tile waste due to hand cutting). And Dahel Tile returned all of the special order Italian tile without a restocking fee. Apparently the guy had some pull.

New tile! I have marked in red the accurate 6x24" measurements in CM for this tile, made in China.
A small bump in the road when all was said and done. And the cabinets got installed this week as well. You can't see them because they are all covered over with paper. Trust me, they are gorgeous.

Alex's Shower, tile feature wall on the right. Was it worth it?
The tile guy does a fabulous job moving from floor to shower pan seamlessly.
Alex's cabinet. Mirror cabinet on top without the mirror.
You can see the wood for the cabinets peeking out in the top mirror cabinet.
Alder stained in "nutmeg."
Tile guys are so precise on their cuts. I love it!
Master bath! A bit of a bowling alley since it was built "between the beams."
You can see the very big cabinet and mirror cabinet on top. We will be happy with all the space.
Master shower and tile feature wall on right.
Master bath again.

Looking towards where toilet will go.

Shot straight in the doorway facing the master vanity.
Tile stacked up and ready to cut. What a lot of work!
New tile on the boards in the middle. Samples of what we originally chose upper and lower.
Not that much difference!

This is the lighter tile. The top is the new tile. The bottom is what we originally picked.
Again, pretty good match. The tile guy says the new tile is much better quality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments keep things interesting and I respond to most.