Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Best Laid Tile

Sometimes the best laid tile, like the best laid plan, goes astray. Our powder room is one of those places where things went horribly wrong and I'm not sure there's anyone to blame. The room is 33 square feet. For all intents and purposes, it's a very small room. We fell in love with marble basketweave tiles and then found out they were $31 a square foot. I nearly croaked. We decided to go with a 3 x 6 ceramic tile set in a herringbone pattern with a contrast grout so that we could have a high impact space for a small(er) cost.

Earlier this week we showed up to the house to find that our tile had been laid downstairs and the powder bath was laid incorrectly. Well, technically it's correct. The whole thing is a bit of an idiosyncrasy. Apparently there are two ways to lay herringbone and according to our tile vendor 9 times out of 10 it is laid the way we anticipated it would be. I guess we just got lucky. :::insert sarcasm here:::

What we wanted was for the tile to be laid at an angle creating a fish scale pattern.

What we got was tile laid on the square. In a sense this installation is easier because there are less cuts overall, and the cuts that are made are straight and not angled.

Since technically it was laid on a herringbone we don't have a leg to stand on with the replacement costs. Our vendor knew what we wanted and communicated it to our builder who communicated it to his subcontractor who laid the tile the way he lays herringbone, I suppose. No picture exchanged hands. Our vendor expected the same outcome that we did. There's not really an adequate place to post blame. Consequently, Joe and I are stuck eating the cost of the demo, replacement tile and labor to reinstall. I'm hoping that given the situation, our builder will cut us some slack and absorb the cost of the demo and new subfloor (if it's required, and why wouldn't it be?) but I'm not holding my breath.

Who knew we'd likely pay marble prices for ceramic tile when all was said and done. I could vomit. At this point in our build process I am over the headache. Just fix it, make it right and add it to our effing tab. These are the things -- the costs, the headaches, the battles -- when building that you just can't anticipate. I swear if I ever do this again I will GC the house myself. However, I'm never moving again so it shouldn't be an issue. Which I suppose is the adult equivalent to "I'm never drinking again".

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