Renovating the Basement – Tile Debacle

9 Mar

Remember a week or so ago when I hinted at some issues we’d had with the tile guy and the unexpected changes we had to make in the plan for the bathroom?

Well, this whole thing started with my ReStore find: the beautiful 13 x 20 inch DalTile I bought for a great price.

Remember these beauties?

Soon after we bought the tile, we met with our contractor and the tile guy to talk about the pattern we wanted on the floor (staggered tiles) as well as continuing the lines of tile to the shower, on the floor of the shower and up the wall. I also wanted to use dark grout so it would appear as if the tiles weren’t individual, but one big piece of tile. The tile I bought had a special edge that required a very small grout line, so I was excited to see the final product once it was installed. That night everyone agreed the tile was going to look great and really set the tone for the bathroom, so the hubs and I anxiously awaited ‘Tile Day.’

The day the tiling was happening, thank goodness the hubs went home for lunch and peeked downstairs to see the progress. This is what he saw:

Wait a minute.

Where did that small square tile come from?

And why is it installed in the floor of our shower?

Didn’t we just talk about using the same big tile for the floor, the lip of the shower, the floor and all the way up to the ceiling? Did I miss something?

Let’s just say I was freaking out! Of course the tile guy was already gone for the day (at noon???!) so the hubs made a call to the contractor and sent him this picture. He was also confused as to where this tile came from and why it was laid in the shower. When our contractor finally reached the tile subcontractor he said he’d run into a problem getting the correct angle for drainage with the big tiles we had, so he had to go to smaller tiles. And instead of calling us, he just pulled these tiles out of his truck (no kidding) and laid them. He then apologized for laying the tiles without asking, he said he “forgot to ask.” Really? Really!

When we got home that night from work, we tried to pull the tiles up before they were fully set. Shit.

Not only did we have the problem of the wrong tile laid in our shower, we’d also been made aware that it wasn’t possible to use the big tiles for the floor. It wasn’t long before we went to a few different stores to look for small mosaic tile to use on the floor that would actually match the rest of the bathroom tile.

I was less than thrilled about breaking up the dark tile, but what choice did I have? I wish I had been made aware of this situation at the beginning so we had more time to choose tile, but we ended up finding a really pretty mosaic that incorporated the dark brown as well as a cream in a really fun, modern pattern. My biggest concern was ensuring that the tile on the floor didn’t look like an afterthought, since it obviously was, which led to adding a few rows of the mosaic about 5 feet up the shower wall as an accent to break up the big tiles and make it seem like this had been our plan all along. At the end of the day, it’s growing on me, but I still don’t love love love it.

What do you think?

I think once the entire bathroom is put together, I’ll like it, but right now, all I can stare at is that floor! (and the white grout – where did that come from? Obviously our subs have a tough time with details…)

Crisis averted. Sort of.

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