Tile "Guy" Removal...

In another recent thread I explained that I hired a tile guy who came recommended from a co-worker. The job involved laying diagonal 12x12 tiles inside a 3" wide mosaic border in a bathroom about 50 sq. feet. The room was already prepped with 1/4 hardibacker on 5/8² T&G. He quoted $400 and I gave the ok.
The guy looked over the job and the materials and claimed he would have no problem completing the work. I looked at examples of his work and although none were like my job (w/ mosaics), they looked good so I thought he was qualified.
He started by fastening temporary 1x2 wood strips to the floor as the border and proceeded to lay the 12x12 tiles inside this border (I started to worry). The first problem is that the diagonal does not start evenly at the corner of the border, but off to one side. The second problem is that once he took up the wood strips and started to lay the border everything came to a halt as he is having a hard time dealing with the paper mesh backed mosaic and claims that the mosaic falls apart from the backing when he tries to cut them or lay them in place. From what I now understand this is common for this material and it requires experience and great care to work with.
Upon his request I let him take the mosaic material and he claimed he would work out a solution (something like attaching a nylon mesh backing to the mosaic) and return to finish the work. Now he claims after talking to my tile shop he will have to dry cut the tiles and just work very carefully laying them... duh!
At this point I have no confidence in this person and I am not happy with the work he has done so far. I think he has made a real mess of things and he misrepresented his abilities.
The questions:
Am I justified at this point in sending him packing, ripping it all up and try to find someone who has experience with this type of job? If so, do I pay this idiot who wasted my time and material? I figure he cost me at least $300 in materials I will have to replace.
Will I even be able to get the tiles up without damaging the hardibacker and having to start from the beginning again? If so, how?
I feel stupid for hiring this guy who now has demonstrated that he is not qualified to do the proper job and just wish I had known that special skills would be required to handle this material. I would have been much more careful the 1st time about hiring someone who had experience in this areaŠ
Lesson learned (the hard way).
GR
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GRLCOPM wrote:

sheets. Paper mesh backed tiles can't be cut with a wet saw. They need a dry diamond blade.

What does your contract with him say? Is the final product specified clearly? Has he done what he contracted to do? My guess is that if he chooses to fight you may loose and you just get to chalk this up as a learning experience. Sorry.

Probably not for all of the tile.

one can be difficult.
RB

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GRLCOPM writes:

Sounds like he should be paying you.
Find somebody else. Most contractors love to fix the last guy's foul-ups. Gives them a real sense of superiority over the competition.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Well.. the thing is, if you've got a firm price, why do you care how much work he makes for himself by not knowing what he's doing? If the layout's wrong, that's a problem. If the tiles don't end up firmly attached, evenly spaced, and level, that's a problem. If it takes this guy three times as long, and twice the aggravation, that's not really YOUR problem, it's his.
--Goedjn.
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as long as another bathroom is available, besides the corner filling station.
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Your position is weakened somewhat because you supplied the materials and only hired the installer to install your tile. If you had hired him for a turnkey job you might be able to fire him and hire another installer to complete the job and deduct what you pay the new installer from the first guy's contract.
Live and learn.
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snipped-for-privacy@uri.edu writes:

If he's learning on the job, then this bathroom will end up looking like a student project.
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