webuser_888018392

Does this niche look horrible or am I just being too picky?

Nina B
last month

Our bathroom renovation has been ongoing for 2 weeks now, and the guys are finishing up tomorrow. They grouted today, and just have to caulk and they’ll be done. I was so excited to get home today to see the grout, only to burst into tears because of how bad it looks. Granted, I am 8 months pregnant, I have a toddler and dog who I have had to get out of the house everyday for 8+ hours the last two weeks, and then come home and vacuum and dust like crazy every single day because the house has been totally filthy when they leave. I am extra emotional and tired. I’m usually a very reasonable person and very non-confrontational. I’m so so ready for this renovation to be over that I can’t get myself to say anything for fear of it dragging out longer. I would love for it to be redone but I just want my house back and need them to be done. That being said, I’m trying to talk myself into at least asking them money off the total cost (which we’re settling tomorrow) because I truly think this looks awful. Not only unnecessarily asymmetrical, but the border/corners don’t line up, and I just know if they would’ve put even a little more thought into it, it could’ve been more symmetrical and just overall better. The cost to add a niche was $450.

I mentioned some worry to the GC about the state of the niche yesterday before they grouted but he assured me it would look better with grout, but also kept saying the problem is the tile I chose, and that it was difficult to work with. How was I supposed to know that? I picked it because I like the way it looks, I don’t know anything about tile application. I also showed it to him during the bidding process and he didn’t say anything about it being an issue.

Apologies for rambling. Basically, what should I do? Is it reasonable to ask for the $450 to be taken off the total? Help! I know it’s dumb but I’m so upset over this.

Comments (48)

  • LALA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You shouldn't accept sloppy work and you're not being overly emotional. I would ask them to fix the top piece and then reevaluate. Don't be afraid to ask for a different installer to correct and finish up. Do not pay in full until it is completed to your satisfaction!

  • LDJHouston
    last month

    I agree that is unacceptable. I'm also averse to confrontation, and I know you want them to just be done, but please consider insisting they redo this. You will be looking at it for years after you have spent the $450 you may "win" and it will probably bug you.


    Part of the issue, I think, is the poor alignment of how the niche is set into the tile, not just the interior tile work being asymmetrical. If they had moved it up, they could have used mostly full length tiles Actually moving the niche would be a lot of extra time, mess and $$. I think a different material could distract from the poor placement of the nich and would be quicker to accomplish.


    Any chance if you've redone countertops that you have a small piece of quartz that could be used here instead of the matching tile? Or do you have a band of an accent tile in the shower you could also use in the niche?


    I can't photoshop an alternative, but maybe someone else can....


    https://www.flooranddecor.com/deco-glam/dover-carrara-diamond-glass-mosaic-100086123.html#prefn1=productSubtype&prefv1=Mosaic&start=49

    Or this?

    https://www.flooranddecor.com/tile-decoratives/abalone-ellipse-ceramic-mosaic-100243120.html#prefn1=productSubtype&sz=300&prefv1=Mosaic&showBrand=true&start=1

    .

    Good luck - and best wishes for your growing family!

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  • nickel_kg
    last month

    What are you going to put in the niche -- shampoo bottles? Why not put a couple in there and see what you think. It might look better when it's not empty. Best of luck!

  • LDJHouston
    last month

    Something else to consider - matching the niche to your floor tile if it's suitable. Or, depending on the size of the niche, any chance of trimming one large white tile to fit inside without any seams?

  • Nina B
    last month

    Thank you all for responding, you’re making me feel a lot better. LDJHouston- I really like both of those options, thank you. And Nickel- that is a good point...I bought large, refillable amber bottles which will take up most of the niche so the I guess the back won’t regularly be bothering me, but the border still will unfortunately.

  • stefaniebogles
    last month

    I think you should have it fixed. It does not look terrible but it with bother you every time you look at it ! Renos are expensive....if you are not happy....let the contactor know! Best Wishes

  • ltangell24
    last month

    That is unacceptable workmanship, very sloppy. I would demand they redo it at their own expense.

  • suedonim75
    last month

    Is it crooked? Or is the angle of the photo?

  • Nina B
    last month

    Sue- it’s not crooked, just bad pics. Thankfully!

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    It looks like the nosing sticks out further on the left? It should all be flush so you can squeegee.

    I prefer not to make niches a feature by accenting them with another tile, keep the wall tile in the niche. It’s a utility space.

    Any photos during construction. Two week turnaround?

  • millworkman
    last month

    Poor workmanship like that unfortunately always makes one wonder about the quality of the behind the scenes work, as I do believe Hallett was starting to refer to with his asking for construction photos.

  • AJCN
    last month

    Looks very bad. I would not be okay with this.

    What else have they done in your bathroom. Are the other things ok?

  • AJCN
    last month

    Yeah Millworkman, I was thinking after 10 responses someone would have asked about waterproofing.

  • Toni McCormick
    last month

    I have a similar situation from 15 years ago--the tile was crazy expensive but the AH who installed it didn't have a clue. The niche not only looks like crap, but leaks (because they didn't LISTEN to me and 1) put the niche where I required it 2) wanted to get back home up north (this was after Katrina) so they slapped the tile together. 15 years later I wished I had ripped them a new one and stopped payment on the check! This was a licensed contractor (which means squat) and I STILL want&need to redo the shower. If you DON'T get them to redo the niche--and the piecing together of the tile to make the size is going to look horrible 5, 10 years down the road--you won't love your bathroom.

  • loriaaa
    last month

    I would never settle for that or buy bottles to hide it. If what you can see looks like that, what does it look like inside the walls?

  • Stacey
    last month

    Please get it done the way you want it. It’s your house.

  • Steph
    last month

    Why wasn’t it caulked? I don’t think you will see any issues with caulk.

  • ker9
    last month

    You will forever regret not speaking up...it’s not worth that every day. They did not do a good job and any self-respecting tile person would do better.

  • Nina B
    last month

    Ok now you guys are really scaring me. These are some in progress pics...

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    So... what did they do for waterproofing? Is there plastic behind the durock?

  • chispa
    last month

    How nice of them to use a guide to keep the tiles straight ... while making big screw sized holes in the Durock! Did they fill those in or turn your Durock into a sieve?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    This is why I'm not a niche fan. Too much precise geometry for the present talent pool.

  • PRO
    Prika Design
    last month

    Bad tile job

  • HU-527663426
    last month

    Nina, ask your contractor about how they did the waterproofing.

  • felizlady
    last month

    The interior of the niche should have been matched to the wall pattern. It isn’t that hard with so few tiles. Lazy job.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    I can see three screws holding up the Durock in the second picture.

  • how2girl
    last month

    Oh dear, that doesn’t look as though it’s been waterproofed.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    Another reason to avoid niches in showers . I don’t see waterproofing so that worries me for sure , cement board is not waterproof. That niche is just plain bad but the problem now is if there is waterproofing ripping that out could cause issues .How much did you hold back from payment?

  • eastautumn
    last month
    last modified: last month

    As others have advised, please don't pay in full until this is fixed, and don't be afraid to replace the tile person if you don't have the confidence that he can do it properly. Just judging from the aesthetics (possible waterproofing issues aside), I'm not sure I would trust him given his statement about the "problem" being the tile you chose. The problem is his shoddy work. He should have laid the tile out before installing it to make sure the niche placement was accounted for and the tiles were centered around (and in) the niche. At a minimum he could have centered them left-right so it doesn't look so awkward (though vertically centering them would have been nice too). And the pencil tiles around the border are completely unacceptable and should have been miter cut and installed symmetrically. No way should he get paid to leave it like this. If the grout was the same color as the tile it may be less visible, but still completely unacceptable in my book.

    We recently had a bathroom done in our basement with some pretty complicated tile challenges (including an arched opening, stub wall, niches, and decorative tile borders). The tiler was amazing and took great pride in his work. Such skilled craftsmen still exist. I hope you can find someone to fix this who cares about the quality of his/her work. I can imagine how much stress you are under in your situation, but I would hate for you to have to accept and live with this. If you are anything like me, you will regret it every day for a long time. On the other hand, if you are not like me and think you can look past it with some shampoo bottles to block it, then at a bare minimum don't pay for it.

  • Diane Meyers
    last month

    If not too late, I would not use the same tile in the niche - would look better with a coordinated tile - not the same exact tile.

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think that the way the niche tile projects out does not look good. If it were my shower, I would ask to have the niche redone. At the least, I would ask the tile person to use the most unobtrusive Schluter edging to finish off the edges of the niche. This is what it looks like (not a niche, but a window - same difference).



  • Gcubed
    last month

    following (and learning)

  • sajeja
    last month

    See Houzz’ own Becky Harris’ article: Bathroom of the Week; ran Tuesday 2/25. Your tile...and a shower niche, with chevron tiles. Check it our!

  • territheresa
    last month

    The niche is definitely askew and the tile cuts are all wrong.

  • Katie
    last month

    I would definitely refuse to pay the 450$ for the niche

  • Nina B
    last month

    Thank you thank you for all of your input. The GC and I agreed to have him redo the pencil around the border to make it look more uniform, and he is taking money off the total for the inconvenience. He completely understood and agreed that it could have been done better, and admitted that he should have done it himself and not had one of his guys do it. He offered to redo the entire niche but since it will be filled with big bottles I will be fine with just the pencil being redone.

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    last month

    I was just wondering if someone installed the cuts upside down in the niche.


  • Toni McCormick
    last month

    i would make them redo the entire niche. However, if you are thinking of selling in the near future or few years, it could impact your value.

  • suedonim75
    last month

    ^^^ seriously, lol?


  • PRO
    Creative Tile Eastern CT
    last month

    The niche is irrelevant. The fastening schedule for USG cement board is max. 8" on center. There aren't anywhere near enough fasteners. Next the cement board is to be shimmed out to continue past the tub flange not leave a gap above the flange. No there is not any barrier behind the board. If there was it would be visible as it also would be In front of the tub flange. Clearly no waterproofing at all. Setting mortar was not keyed into cement board as required for a proper bond. This is confirmed by looking at your photo of the partially tiled wall. There should be mortar visibly keyed on the board at least to top point of tile. These tiles were installed by applying setting mortar to the tile then placing on wall. To be installed properly first the board is hit with a wet sponge to stop the board from pulling the moisture out of the setting mortar and weakening the bond. Next the mortar is keyed in as it states on every bag of setting mortar. Last a gauging trowel is selected to achieve 95% coverage as required for a wet area. I see mortar on the joints but no mesh tape. Sorry Nina. Just pointing out the facts. Your contractor is not doing you any favors. If you let him get away with this you are not doing yourself or the next person in line any favors either. This is how contractors like this stay in business and keep taking advantage of homeowners.

  • catlady999
    last month

    following

  • suezbell
    last month

    Consider asking they remove all the material creating the niche and consider reinstalling the niche made without the overhang and without the pattern in the material. Alternately, if you can find a stainless steel insert box that has a trim that will overlap and frame it all the way around the box, consider that.


    https://www.bing.com/shop?q=square+stainless+steel+insert+box+for+bathroom+niche&FORM=SHOPPA&originIGUID=A1338FB5379344D5A17498349E6F4118

  • eastautumn
    last month

    Creative Tile Eastern CT are you sure there isn't another way they could have waterproofed? I don't know enough to know what the possibilities are. When our recent shower was done I know they used something to level the walls on top of the cement board and then the tiler applied a green substance that I think was the waterproofing. But maybe there are various ways to achieve waterproofing? Nina, I hope you talked to your GC about possible shortcuts on the waterproofing as that concern would definitely trump any superficial concerns.


    I didn't notice that the niche trim tile was sticking out from the surrounding tiles at first glance... Looks like it's not really pencil but some other kind of tile. Hope it's all taken care of to your satisfaction soon!

  • PRO
    Monticello Tile & Stone
    last month

    While it may be surprising, even today, most tiled showers are not positive or topical water-proofed. They should be though! Unfortunately, the majority of tile installers are using products & applications that are decades behind technological advances of today. Furthermore, too many installers are not even following the manufacturer's instructions. Creative Tile Eastern CT pointed out some other very pertinent observations as well. I've been to many custom builds costing 2 million + dollars that were using a cbu (cementitious backer unit) with: improper fastener patterns, incorrect staggering of the boards, no tape on the seams, nothing addressing the corners and no water-proofing, too many times. I've seen installers apply an organic topical water-proof product without dampening the cbu and without using a depth gauge to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. It's either ignorance or defiance...but it's always less $$.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    east:


    If CETECT told me to stick my tile up with peanut butter, I'd do it. What he said isn't what you wanted to hear, unfortunately that doesn't make it any less true.

  • J Williams
    last month

    It does look as though the tiles were glued onto drywall. Will this even be useable as a shower? I would be worried about the potential future damage to the rest of your house. I am no professional.

  • cpartist
    last month

    This is a complete redo because it is not waterproof and you're looking for problems down the line.

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