Everybody’s seen them. Tile jobs that went wrong. If ever there’s evidence of needing to hire a professional, it’s those times when I walk into the bathroom at a restaurant or public facility and gaze upon the destruction of a tile job obviously undertaken by a staffer or otherwise unqualified individual. And I’m not saying that Joe Schmo shouldn’t try to take on a small tile job, but if you don’t have the required skills, a discerning eye, or just a sense of personal pride – you’re better off hiring the pros to do it for you. Last year we took a look at some of the worst tile and grout jobs we’d seen. This year I think we topped that list in terms of atrociousness and utter devastation of both technique and character.
Without further ado, here are this year’s winners (and our obligatory running commentary of sarcasm):
#10 Don’t Drink and Tile
Maybe you should wait until after work to have that beer. Seriously, if you can’t make a straight line you might want to get some help, or a laser layout tool… or something. This tile job looks more like an M.C. Escher painting… and that’s before you consider the dirt and grime.
#9 Just Add More Grout!
Layout is everything, but when you come to a wall and there’s no way you’re going to add that sliver of tile you can always just add a ton more grout…Right? What’s not pictured here is the wrap-around portion just off to the right where the grout is literally 1″ wide. I guess since it’s black they figured no one would notice.
#8 All I Got is White, So It’ll Have to Do
I guess this tiler didn’t want to take the extra half hour to run to Home Depot, Lowe’s, or the local hardware store to pick up a more appropriate caulk color. No, “We’ll just use what we got” seems to be the motto. And apparently, he only “got” white grout. What’s sad is that this probably isn’t the same guy that laid the tile in this well-known restaurant where I live. The tile is impeccably laid. But when you get to the counter top, this is what you’re greeted with. Shame, really.
#7 A Little Bump Won’t Be Noticed, Right?
This little bump may seem like nothing, but in a sea of tile it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. With the proliferation of multi-tools on the market (and every tile guy should have one these days), there’s no reason you can’t grind your way to a flat surface.
#6 Just Slap Some Caulk on There
We’re not sure what was being thought of here, but the bottom line is that it looks like the solution was a lazy, thick line of white caulk. It’s not the worst thing we’ve seen, but it sure isn’t pretty. There are sanded caulks on the market. They will cost a bit more, but assuming you can charge the client, there’s no reason not to at least attempt to blend in better with the existing grout.
#5 Color Schmolor, That’s Close Enough
It’s hard to see here due to the nature of Yellow and cameras, but the replacement tile is a pale Yellow as opposed to the brighter original color. And let’s not get me started on the poorly planned layout which resulted in two thin pieces of tile at the corner… or the bumpy replacement job… or the cracked tile… or the…
#4 Grout Sponge? Never Heard of It
A sloppy job removing excess grout will leave streaks like this on corners. If you don’t get all the way in there, you don’t remove the excess and you are left with residual that is harder to remove down the line. If you notice, this was a re-grout, so we can’t blame the original installer. Whereas we’re thankful they went with grout over caulk, finishing the job properly would have been better. Instead, we get a good decision, followed by poor execution.
#3 Plan Your Tile, Then Lay It
When you don’t plan your tile you end up with odd results. Here you can almost see the gears turning as the tile guy got to the corner and realized he’d be laying split tile down the inside corner of the door – or he could opt for a whole piece… of course at the top of the door you’re left with a dilemma – and this very odd-shaped L-tile which he apparently broke, rather than cutting out the corner notch with a diamond blade.
#2 Wrap Around Pet Peeve
I hate tile that lines up but doesn’t take the extra step to continue the pattern around the wall. It just comes across as lazy, though some will argue they do it on purpose. When you get to a corner, you should continue the tile where it runs out. That way you get a nice wrap-around effect rather than a “I started over at each corner” look. It will involve more cuts, but that’s just the job.
#1 Ah, Just Slap It In There
This tile job is at the local baseball field where the minor leagues play and the majors hold their Sprint training. Apparently some tile fell out – possibly from mold or humidity – who knows. To some maintenance guy the solution was simple: use liquid nails to secure new tile to the wall! Yes, of course, why bother fixing it when you can just slap on some glue and affix said tile to the wall. I mean, this time they’ll at least stay! And while you’re at it, don’t bother making sure the tile is smooth, or even bothering with pesky grout. Grout is for sissies.
BONUS: It’s Straight If You Lean a Little
This beauty may not be a tile fiasco, but it was hilarious to see that somebody thought they’d just go a little diagonal on the urinal plumbing rather than deal with getting a proper fit. Every time I go to the bathroom in this place I feel like I’m listing ever so slightly to the left.
Hope you enjoyed our little tile article… And if you’re a tile guy, please feel free to contact us and let us know of any horror stories you might have encountered. We know you’re looking!