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Kitchen Tiling Mess - Should we pay?

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IvyFloodIvyFlood Forumite
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Just hoping for some advice regarding the tiling of our kitchen which was finished yesterday.

Basically, we aren’t happy with the job but don’t really know where we stand on payment!

The tiles are hexagon shape and when the tiler came round to quote he saw them and knew what to expect. He told us on numerous occasions throughout the job ‘a lot of tilers wouldn’t touch these’.

Anyway, I expected him to lay them with the flat side meeting the worktop but he has done it with the point meeting the worktop. I didn’t specify that I wanted them the other way round – just assumed that he would know to do it that way. It was on day one that he got most the tiles on the wall and I must say I didn’t really notice as it was looking good pre grout! Anyway because of doing it this way, he’s had to cut tiny pointy ends of tile to fit the gaps and the edges are really jagged. He’s put a silicone bead along the bottom to cover it but because it has to be so thick to hide the rough cut edges, it covers the point of the full hexagon, which just ruins the effect. So that’s one issue.

Another issue is round the corners of the window sill – I’d expect the pattern to follow round but it doesn’t. Where you’d expect to see the second half of one tile, there’s a full tile in its place. I can understand that with a window sill, it’s impossible to follow the pattern and have it meet in all areas but I’d at least expect it to flow round the wall. There’s also more jagged edges of tile that silicone can’t hide. Originally he boxed it all in using trim and tiny bits of tile – the whole thing looked like a mosaic! So he removed these bits and just left it as whole hexagons with nothing over them.

The tiler claims that you will never get a clean cut with such tiles but I think it’s unacceptable to have such rough edges on show. There’s also areas where the tiles aren’t cut straight and bits of grout are thicker than others. He also didn't start in the middle of the wall where the splash back is whether that's important or not! The whole job is just really shoddy and we are so disappointed. The tiles weren’t cheap either!

Also, we ran out of tiles after the first day which I think is due to the way he laid them. So we had to order a further box and incur delivery charge again.

I really don’t know what to do about paying him and there’s nothing he can really do to put it right apart from ripping them all off and starting again! I know times are hard and I’d feel really bad about not paying him but there doesn’t seem to be any pride or attention to detail in his work.

Help :-(


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Replies

  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    Picture helps, but it sounds like he's talking rubbish. 

    My tiler will always check how I want the tile laid and we'll also agree the setting out because any good tiler also knows to leave 'big cuts' at the bottom and top, specifically to avoid having slivers - even with a large, rectangular tile as floors and walls are rarely level!  It's so important to set out correctly.  

    Yes, the hexagon will be more difficult if you lay it pointy side down, but that isn't how people lay them.  5 minutes on Instagram or pinterest will show that.  It sounds like he didn't consider the other way.  Had he had the conversation with you, he'd have saved you both a world of pain.  

    If I were in danger of having really small cuts against a worktop, then removing the worktop, laying whole tiles to sit behind, and then refitting it saves a lot of labour and gives a better finish.  I'd consider doing that at this point as it will be easier than starting again.  






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  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    IvyFlood said: The tiler claims that you will never get a clean cut with such tiles
    If you use a manual tile cutter or pliers, you'll never get a clean cut. Use a "wet saw" with a diamond blade, you will get a clean cut every time regardless of the type of tile. A half decent diamond wet saw is not that expensive, so I would expect any half decent professional tiler to have one in his van.

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  • stuart45stuart45 Forumite
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    Key points of tiling. The most important tile you lay is the first one. Make sure your tiler has an Italian surname.
  • fenwick458fenwick458 Forumite
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    this thread needs pictures
  • edited 16 September at 6:55PM
    Rosa_DamascenaRosa_Damascena Forumite
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    edited 16 September at 6:55PM
    FreeBear said:
    IvyFlood said: The tiler claims that you will never get a clean cut with such tiles
    If you use a manual tile cutter or pliers, you'll never get a clean cut. Use a "wet saw" with a diamond blade, you will get a clean cut every time regardless of the type of tile. A half decent diamond wet saw is not that expensive, so I would expect any half decent professional tiler to have one in his van.

    I concur (not that I'm an expert, just that my own builder dd a very fine job with my awkward bathroom tiles). OP, what did your tiler use?

    Its sounds to me like he's full of himself and isn't big on listening. He might be a hard person to have a conversation with so have someone with you when you discuss this and stand your ground. He may not want to hear that he has to re-do any of ot, and remember it may cost you extra in tiles.
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  • IvyFloodIvyFlood Forumite
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    Sorry everyone, the last time I thought about uploading photos this site was more complicated! But as you can see it’s a right mess :-(
  • IvyFloodIvyFlood Forumite
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    There’s many edges like this 

  • fenwick458fenwick458 Forumite
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    I wouldn't be paying full price for that job it seems pretty shoddy. 
    but you are also to blame a bit here, why didn't you say how you wanted it done in the first place?
    I've worked for customers sometimes and they just seem to not really be interested in details at first, for example, "ah yeah just put the socket over there somewhere"
    and then at the end of the day when it's all done it changes to "oh you put it there. i'm going to put a cupboard there. can you move it over there?"
    If you have thought about how you want the job done, tell the tradesman that before they start. don't assume they will just read your mind and do it how you want without you actually speaking to them!
  • Clive_WoodyClive_Woody Forumite
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    IvyFlood said:
    There’s many edges like this 

    That really doesn't look great. Not saying I could do better, but then I'm not a tiler. I would have thought a competent tiler would achieve a far better finish than that.
    "We act as though comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about” – Albert Einstein
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