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HELP! Bad tile job of backsplash!

ocrose
September 21, 2017

Just had beveled, marble subway backsplash installed. I am not happy with how it looks--especially at the corner! Please let me know how the corner tiles should have been cut/laid. I'm ready to cry! The contractor has sent a different guy to "fix" . He is here right now. So any advice much appreciated! I will demand re-do if need be

Comments (33)

  • mark_rachel

    Redo. Can you take a picture from further back?

  • ocrose

    Here's photo. Please explain how to redo. Remove specific corner tiles or redo entire backsplash. I was told corners can't be mitered cuz marble too fragile to miter. Is that that true?

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn

    I have always been told you can miter most tiles with the right tools.... I will leave this to the pro tilers! The grout does need to be cleaned up though - it looks inconsistent....

  • mark_rachel

    It's not the best but it looks a LITTLE better from further back. Have you paid for the install? I would not be happy, but I'm not sure I would rip it all out either.

  • ocrose
    Yes, guy is trying to clean up/ straighten out look of grout lines.
    I have been searching sites to find pictures of corner areas with my type tile. Cant really locate.

    Any expert tilers out there who are experienced with beveled marble subway tiles?
  • ocrose
    Im not happy right now. Havent paid last installment. It needs to look right up close as well. Just need to wait. He's still working on it. Ugh!
  • salex

    If you end up having to rip it out and re-do, tell the installer next time to make sure that wherever a partial tile meets the corner, the tile abutting it should make it appear as one length of tile. As it currently is, the layout itself isn't horrible but isn't quite right. Each pair of tiles that rounds the corner should have a sum length approximately equal to one tile length. /ocd rant.

  • ocrose
    Thanks salex! Since the tile comes in sheets, then redo needs to continue the length of entire counter ,correct?
  • johnsoro25

    My beveled subway isn't marble, but the corner is well done and shows what salex describes. Good luck.

  • salex

    Yes, that's correct. But if it's not worth it to you, don't worry about it.

    Also, simply removing one wall and redoing it to meet the corner properly may result in a weird edge on the other end of that wall.

    Ideally the installer would have done a full mock-up of the layout, where full tiles begin on the most obvious edge of the wall, and then when they reach the corner they cut tiles to proper length as described above. Sometimes during mock-up it becomes evident that the other end of the run might look weird, and the tiler shifts the layout one way or the other to minimize those weird-looking spots. Ask me how I know that it's way too common that sub-standard installers skip this step of mocking up the layout... wait, no, please don't ;).

  • Mrs. S Wants Sophie Back

    Oh, come on. A good tile person with the right tools can bevel marble tile. I think I have that exact same tile on my fireplace, and the handyman cut it with no problem.

  • ocrose
    Johnsoro25,

    Yes yours are ceramic with minimal grout lines/space. My tiles came in sheets so spacing is fixed. Now Ive been told ceramic much easier to work with. Too late now for me. Thanks!
  • Mrs. S Wants Sophie Back

    Also, it looks like they grouted it right to the horizontal surface. I've read here that's a big no-no? Is that white caulk or is it grout? They certainly could've done a smaller bead of caulk there, and probably color matched it to the counter.

  • ocrose
    Thank you all for your help! I am thinking they should remove tiles at the corner, replace with mitered ones to meet? What do you all think?
  • crcollins1_gw

    I don't think the bright white grout lines look very good at all. Someone who is skilled could remove the grout and use a grayer color that would blend in better with the tile, I think. And that corner is just awful.

  • ocrose
    Ugh! Crcollins ,I know corner looks bad, dont rub it in!

    Ok , experienced tile contractors I need YOUR expert advice on how to approach this dilemma.
  • Chessie

    "Each pair of tiles that rounds the corner should have a sum length approximately equal to one tile length"

    Exactly that^^!! I would absolutely have them rip it out. The corners are a complete mess.

  • chickadee2_gw

    Ditto the above. That guy didn't know what he was doing. The way I see it is you're paying a contractor to protect you from shoddy construction or what's the point in hiring one? You're entitled to have it done correctly. They can't just patch a corner because there's a set pattern there.

  • ocrose
    Hello all!

    They are going to demo entire backsplash and I will select new tile. No extra cost to me
  • blfenton

    It looks like they ended the two walls into the same corner - you can't do that. Start at one end and keep going in the same direction till you reach the other end keeping salex's hint in mind.

  • Fori

    Marble is easier to cut that most things tilers cut--much softer than ceramic or porcelain tile!

  • syjsmom2




    I had the same issue - I'm just sick about it. Don't know how to make that "finished" edge look finished. They even put the rough end of the cut tile on the outside instead of putting the finished edge to the finished side. This is inverted beveled ceramic subway tile. Grout is wet, so darker than it will dry.

  • Chessie

    Rip THAT^^ out as well. Was that a professional tile guy that did that mess?

  • syjsmom2

    Self proclaimed "pro" tile guy. Can't afford a redo - trying to figure out the corners - the big areas we can live with.

  • Chessie

    It should not be on your dime. The so-called "pro" needs to correct his mess.

  • ocrose

    Hi syjsom2,

    I experienced the same botched job (scroll to my photos/post Sept 2017). The contractor agreed that his guy did terrible job and the next day they ripped it all out and I selected new tile to be installed w/no extra charge!

    The same should be done for you.


    If you can find your tile in the store displayed as a “sample wall”, take a picture of it and show your contractor. He will realize yours is botched.

  • Chessie

    ocrose, are you happy with the redo? Can you post pics?

  • ocrose

    Happy with redo. I replaced beveled marble subway with flat marvle subway (See pics)



  • Chessie

    Now THAT is a nice looking tile job. I think the flat tile over the bevel, was a wise choice.

    ocrose thanked Chessie
  • crcollins1_gw

    syjsmom2 - Your "pro" should know that they make pieces to finish the edges. There are multiple ways to do it and since you are not the expert, he should have asked you what you wanted. The grout lines are also bad - too big and not even. Make him remove it all and re-do it at his expense. That is a hot mess and totally unacceptable.

  • syjsmom2

    So "pro" was supposed to come back today and caulk. He planned to do sanded gray caulk OVER the sanded grout he put in the seam between new granite and b/s. Grout is already cracking. Countertop guy came today to fix a scratch and said you never use grout in seam between counter and b/s. Is this correct? Honestly, I don't even want my guy to fix it because he left such a mess and I don't think he'll be careful with new granite when cutting out grout to replace with caulk. I'm at my wit's end. He said he was coming today at 2:30 and called at one and said he was running 2 hours behind. Finally at 5 I texted and he said he had a plumbing emergency and just couldn't do another late night. So we had everything off the counters and waited all afternoon for nothing.


    He just texted and said our countertops are off 1/4' and that is why he grouted. Is this a valid reason?

  • Chessie

    "you never use grout in seam between counter and b/s. Is this correct?"


    Yes, that is correct.

  • syjsmom2


    Nightime pic - Christmas trees in corner disguising bad tile in corner. Baskets moved from on top of cabinet - put them there to get them out of the way.

    Nightime pic - gives a view of large tile area - not too bad from this distance.

    Daytime pic - tile not too hard to look at overall

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