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 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
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.
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 area
Lesson learned (the hard way).