Bad install? Glass tile and coping

Viper1550

Active member
Jun 29, 2020
32
Fl
We selected a 1x1 glass tile for our spa. It looks okay around the outside but the top where the water will go over looks really bad. As you can see a bunch are uneven and chipped. We tried to get him to replace them before he grouted but he insisted on us seeing it once that was done. It still looks bad.

He tried to claim that its impossible to cut those little glass tiles and that they are always going to chip everytime. Pretty much telling us that we have to live with it.

That night i knew within 5 minutes of internet research that its very possible to cut glass tile with the right tool. Wet saw or even a $24 tile cutter from lowes would do better then what they did.

So my questions is, am I being super picky or is that really bad tile work and it should get replaced?
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To go along with the chipped glass tile, the sub contractors just installed broken coping around the spa. Something to complain about? All these issues along the way make me feel picky but this is a brand new pool and spa, how is any of this acceptable!
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,769
Tallahassee, FL
The spa tiles I could live with. No one else will even see them looking at the over all spa. I say let that go. May I see a pic of it grouted?

The coping=NOPE! That cannot stay! "Oops I chipped off the corners. Here let me put them back in." That will stand out like a sore thumb to anyone that looks at your pool. That person has NO pride in their work :( Time to redo those areas.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,799
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

Not the best workmanship but no one is going to be inspecting your tiles that closely when your friends and family are enjoying your beautiful pool. Only yiu will ever know about it.

@kimkats what do you think?
 

Randrx2

Bronze Supporter
Dec 13, 2018
373
Orlando, FL
If you are not happy with it now, you will not be happy with it later. The quality is not good. I would replace the both the chipped glass tiles and the coping tiles.

Even I was able to cut glass tiles with a Dremel and not have them chip!
 
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bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Orlando, FL
We selected a 1x1 glass tile for our spa. It looks okay around the outside but the top where the water will go over looks really bad. As you can see a bunch are uneven and chipped. We tried to get him to replace them before he grouted but he insisted on us seeing it once that was done. It still looks bad.

He tried to claim that its impossible to cut those little glass tiles and that they are always going to chip everytime. Pretty much telling us that we have to live with it.

That night i knew within 5 minutes of internet research that its very possible to cut glass tile with the right tool. Wet saw or even a $24 tile cutter from lowes would do better then what they did.

So my questions is, am I being super picky or is that really bad tile work and it should get replaced?
———-
To go along with the chipped glass tile, the sub contractors just installed broken coping around the spa. Something to complain about? All these issues along the way make me feel picky but this is a brand new pool and spa, how is any of this acceptable!
I had a couple bad pieces of coping after they installed it here. I took pictures and sent it to the company and they said they would send out new pieces and fix the two that had damage. They didn't even try and tell me it was ok to accept. Also I have cut lots of tile and it will chip even with a wet tile saw. But you take that piece out and throw it in the trash and cut another piece until it doesn't chip. Sometimes it takes a couple tries but you are talking about a small piece of tile and I am sure there were leftovers available to remedy the bad pieces.
 

JeanZ1

Bronze Supporter
Aug 15, 2017
96
Newark/DE
Yikes! I think it looked better before grout. In a geometric spa, I'm having a hard time figuring out why the pattern changed. Trying to compensate for a not straight line? It looks sloppy, I would not be happy either and would want it replaced. Good luck.
 

Viper1550

Active member
Jun 29, 2020
32
Fl
I’m going to talk to PBer tomorrow and Give him and his son one chance to make the tiles right but at this point I have zero confidence in them.

The coping sub contractor came over and I had to talk to him about fixing it and not the PBer?

He started off by saying nothing he could do because the spa isn’t sized right and other things about the angle, bleh bleh.

He eventually told me that my 4 inch coping wasn’t big Enough to fix it so If I order 5, 6inch vanilla pavers he could make it look good.

what are my next steps if the PBer can’t correct the spa tile?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,769
Tallahassee, FL
The coping is fine EXCEPT those broken off pieces. How will different coping fix that???

What you do next is how bad you want your tile to look good. Look over their shoulders while they do the work and nope, nope, nope each time they don't do it right and while it is still wet and can be moved.

Get your hands on some of those tiles or some tile the same size and play with it to see what YOU can do to make it look good. My idea is you will dry fit it like a puzzle. See what looks good and go from there. THEN show the PB what you came up with and get them to do that with the real tile.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,799
Northern NJ
My guess is the installer is telling you about changing size but may really wants a tile from a different material or manufacturer that does not chip or crumble at the edges. The size difference looks minimal.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
416
Central Texas
Those look like 12"x12" sheets of 1" glass tile on a mesh, correct?

Looks like an inexperienced tile installer to me. I'm new to pools, but not new to tile work. The installer was probably using the wrong (or dulled) blade, and also going too quickly to avoid chips.

I also agree with the others about the pattern. Again, a sign of an inexperienced installer. A good installer would lay out the critical points which will become the pattern, and know how the sections will line up before ever laying the 1st tile section into thinset/mastic. Your installer didn't plan for how they would align when installed, and therefore when he got to critical junctions, it was off.

This is also what your coping sub contractor probably meant when he said the dimensions aren't right. Meaning, for the 12x12 1" tile sheets, the dimensions of the spa's surfaces aren't done to fit this size tile in a clean and uniform way. Ideally, the dimensions would be such than no individual 1" tiles would need to be cut through, and everything would align by simply removing entire 1" strips from the 12x12 mesh.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
416
Central Texas
Was he using a nibbler? That's fine to use, so long as he was experienced. Using a wet saw on these mosaic tile sheets is pretty tough, as it will actually yank the 1" squares off the mesh and toss them.

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