1" x 1" glass tile does not look straight

johig

Member
May 23, 2019
6
Orange County, CA
I will add photos to this post as soon as the sun comes up tomorrow, but I wanted to post my question sooner rather than later. The installation of our waterline and spa tile started today and I'm hoping for a reality check on my expectations for how perfectly 1" x 1" glass tile can/should be installed. Standing in the empty pool (approx. 35' x 15') I can see various imperfections in terms of how straight and how flat the installation is along the waterline. Is that typical? Is it something I should worry or complain about? Or is it the type of thing that will effectively disappear when the pool gets filled and I'm no longer obsessing over this phase of construction? This is my first pool build so I am new to the whole process. The tile we are using is NPT Jules Bright Cobalt Blue Blend (Tile Series: Jules). Photos coming soon...

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,681
Damascus, MD
"I've seen worse" of course is not what you want to hear. The variations on the individual tiles on the mat backing is normal but the tile sheets look like they sagged a bit during installation. Spacing between sheets looks good though I don't see any obvious spacing issues. I think once it is done, you will not really notice much at all though. Let's see if someone with more tile experience comes along.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johig

johig

Member
May 23, 2019
6
Orange County, CA
I appreciate the feedback and have raised my concerns with my pool builder. He is going to check the work and give me his feedback tomorrow. In the meantime, I would still love any feedback from other folks - especially experienced installers or those with similar tile in their own pools. Basically I am trying to decide how big of a stink I want to make of this issue. Where does this fall on the spectrum of imperfect -> acceptable -> bad?

For perspective we are doing a full remodel of our entire front/back/side yards. On the one hand it is very expensive and I want the proper quality. On the other hand I have a hundred details to worry about (pavers, plants, fences, gates, colors, lighting, grill, etc., etc.) and don't want to burn time and energy fighting about an issue if it will effectively be unnoticeable to me 6 months from now.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,991
Northern NJ
To me it is acceptable. No one is going to judging the position of individual 1X1 tiles when in your pool. Tiles hand laid on a vertical surface with no support under them will have some variation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johig

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
112
Sunrise,FL
I kind of agree with everyone, but.... that third picture makes some of the sheets look a little saggy. You will really notice something like that when your water level exposes the wavy grout lines.......
 
  • Like
Reactions: johig

smracing

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2011
215
Carlsbad, NM
Terrible work. I installed my own 1" glass tile and it looks much better. I'll try to get a picture straight down it so you can see how level it should be. My 100 linear feet is level to the water with in 1/16, and no 24" section is worse than 1/32. I installed a ledger board prior to the tile, looks like they didn't.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johig

johig

Member
May 23, 2019
6
Orange County, CA
Terrible work. I installed my own 1" glass tile and it looks much better. I'll try to get a picture straight down it so you can see how level it should be. My 100 linear feet is level to the water with in 1/16, and no 24" section is worse than 1/32. I installed a ledger board prior to the tile, looks like they didn't.
A photo would be great if you can get one. Thank you!
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,171
Morris Cnty NJ
its acceptable to a pool builder, but if your picky, it could be alot better. I personally wont let anyone install waterline tile without a ledger board. its very easy to spend a half hour and shoot the line with a laser or transit and attach a ledger. this solves 90% of the issues. then the occasional tile thats popped up gets set back tight by the following cleanup guy and spot checker. I would not accept that from my guys and the coping should have been taped off too, the thinset underneath it would drive me nusts. But as said once its plastered and water is in the pool you will not notice it at all, I would make them pop off any proud individual tiles and set them flush and keep going. pick and choose your battles for bigger things, and make sure you express to the PB that you want it perfect, very few builders pay attention to detail like this, they rely on their guys or subs
 
  • Like
Reactions: johig

Mam262

Bronze Supporter
Jul 26, 2015
132
Lansdale, PA
Keep in mind, the only time you will really notice it is when the water is 100% still. With people in the pool and the water moving I would not think you will notice it. I am sure you want it 100% perfect, but overall it does look very nice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johig

johig

Member
May 23, 2019
6
Orange County, CA
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the feedback and would continue to welcome any other input. The range of opinions is why I love this forum. The method with the ledger sounds 100% obvious now it has been mentioned, and it seems ridiculous that not everyone does it.
A quick update: The PB has various "project managers" and some are clearly more salesmen than construction managers. However, they sent out one of their more seasoned guys and he immediately agreed things could be better. To his credit, he even pointed out some things I hadn't noticed. We marked up the most visible areas and the tile crew is supposed to be back out on Monday to fix them. Wish me luck!
 

johig

Member
May 23, 2019
6
Orange County, CA
Hi all. A quick update - the tile is looking much better overall but we are still back and forth on small (but obvious) mistakes. Chipped/broken tiles, missing grout. It's very annoying. I have a hard time understanding how a "craftsman" walks away from that thinking they've done a good job?! I guess the obvious answer is they are not the craftsmen they think they are.
My biggest frustration is that the company is not checking their own work. It seems pretty clear they are trying to do the least work they can get away with, which is backfiring because they are about to come back for the 5th time! I hate playing the nagging customer but that seems to be the only way through at this point. I'll update again when there is any news to share. Thanks!