Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Pool is finished!

Dirk

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Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

So sorry to hear of your disappointment with the tiles, and with what can be done about it. If your PB ever shows up to address the issue, you're going to be at his mercy, I'm afraid. Not what you want to hear, I'm sure, but he's got a pretty good out. Of course you can first try to see if he'll replace the tile on his dime. But I can't imagine that's likely to happen. I do believe he has at least equal culpability here, as it would have been in everyone's best interest for him to have had you approve the tile that showed up. But he's going to say you picked the tile, and you signed the contract with a clause that basically gives him carte blanche regarding color variation, the degree of which is nowhere defined. It would have been nice had he gone over this with you, verbally, as you say. But he did "go over it" with you in writing, which you presumably read and agreed to, which is not an unreasonable way to deal with this pretty common issue. So while you can (and should) be mad at him, and blame him, that's not going to be productive in terms of a solution. Negotiation time. Maybe he'll split the cost of replacement with you? Or only charge you his actual cost? You can hope for a miracle, but prepare for the actual cost scenario. Technically, unfortunately, he's not liable even for that.

Or... (probably equally unhelpful just now) embrace your pool, and its flaws. Pretty much all of us have to do that, to some lessor or greater degree. Virtually every build thread here expresses some disappointment somewhere along the way. It's a huge project, with lots of moving parts, and they rarely, if ever, come out exactly as envisioned. Did he get the shape right? Did he get the depth right? Did he put it in the right place!? Some here have to live with much worse than the hue of their edge tile. Much, much worse. Plus, no matter what color they are now, or even if you changed them all out, the perception of that color is going to change radically once there's water in the pool. For better or worse. Plus, they'll be half underwater! You're focusing on the tile because that's all there is in the pool just now, but it's the finish of the rest of the gunite that is going to dominate the look of your pool. This tile color issue could all just fade away in time. They didn't accidentally install pink tile. Or blue. What you have is a beautiful earth tone, that fits in well with the pool's surroundings. The color is subtle, and understated, and I think that is classy and timeless. I know it sucks that they may look like a mistake to you at this point, but I'm certain you'll be the only person that ever thinks so, if that's any consolation.
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Dirk-Thank you so much for your input it is very helpful. I am hoping at the very least they will split the cost with us and/or do it at cost. The PB came by while I was out but my mom was home with my kids and put me on the phone with him. He said he took a few pictures so he could compare to the tile sample they have at the showroom and I also suggested he take a tile from my install with him to get a better comparison. I really hope they are reasonable and see what we see and will work with us. He said he will get back to me tomorrow with an answer.

I hear what you are saying about just living with it if they will not fix it and I do agree that when it comes to the waterline tile it probably won't be very noticable to me once the water is in. My bigger concern is the tiling that is on the outside of our raised spa. That will always be very visible and its just not the color we wanted. We just bought this house a few months ago and plan to stay here for the long haul and raise our kids here so we feel like we should be 100% happy with everything and if that means spending more money and delaying this pool process by a couple weeks then so be it. As long as the cost isn't completely ridiculous I think it will ultimately be worth it. We are thinking we will actually do a stone on the outside of the spa instead of tile. As for the waterline tile color I am not sure what we should go with. I am nervous with all the variations now.
 

Dirk

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Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

That sounds like a good course of action. Only you can decide what you can live with, and I've often redone things that others just don't see why. I get it. Though I can also admit that I rarely notice the difference later, and often forget what I redid and/or why! It's just the way my brain works...

Don't be nervous about variations. At least now you know what to do about them. Have the PB issue a change order, which will be signed by you both, that specifies the new tile selection by name/number, and clearly states that you will inspect the tile, on site, before it is installed, and that you have "right of refusal" before installation. Simple. He shouldn't balk at that, that'll protect you both equally. Take the time to open each box, and look at each tile, and lay them out on the coping, too, if you really want to be thorough. It's a chunk of work, for sure, but that's the way to make sure it gets done correctly next time.

When I was having my tile work done, I was onsite, right with the installer, helping him lay out the tiles, as he was mortaring them in place (mine vary greatly in color, so need a good eye to blend them together for the overall effect). I picked the tiles I wanted, I rejected others whose colors were too far off, and I arranged them, or had him rearrange them, according to my sensibilities. He didn't seem to mind (and I wouldn't have cared if he did). I think he might have been fine with it, since by allowing me to do all that, I couldn't later claim anything but satisfaction.

Be more involved next time around and you'll end up with a better result...

Here's my bench. I didn't redo the edge tile, just the marker tiles. But I wanted them to look "just so," so I micro-managed the placement of each of those individual stones, on the bench and three large steps at the other end of the pool!! When I say "I get it." I mean, I get it!! ;)

bench.jpg
 

geneargyle

Gold Supporter
Oct 9, 2018
31
Argyle Texas
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

I think you should stick to your gut and your feelings on the tile. If you don't like it and it ends up being your expense you'll have to see if it is in the budged. Cause there is nothing worse than spending so much money and having to look at it and being unhappy. No matter what else anyone tells you about it possibly being covered up by water, it is still going to bother you and you'll never forget it. And if you're like me, it will ruin your pool experience every time you see it. So don't put it on the back burner and don't live with it.
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,215
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

I was hoping the tile company wouldn’t say that. Jim has a point though, you don’t have natural stone, you have tile. Although there will be a little variation between batches, it’s not like natural stone that fluctuated wildly. With our travertine it was plastered everywhere that there can be significant variation in appearance due to being a natural product. Geez, I was even given two different samples of the same travertine to show the variation that we might get. All the man made tile samples we got they only gave us one indicating there would be minimal variation. I hope your Pb is reasonable. If not, then you can easily get them to redo it’s just the cost will be on you. As you said though, you’re the one who has to live with it and look at it. I would absorb the cost if it were me and the Pb didn’t come through. Maybe he might split the cost.
 

Dirk

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Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Who knows how long those sample tiles were sitting in that showroom, or how many times the formula was altered over the years, to appease production challenges, since those samples were first produced. Lighting is huge, too. You can't reliably pick the color of anything in a showroom, or from a picture, brochure or website. It has to be done onsite.
 

Poolbella

Silver Supporter
Jun 28, 2018
246
Houston, TX
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

If it was ‘natural variance’, you would expect at least some of the tile to look like the sample. But none of it does.
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Dirk-That is all very good advice. I will make sure to inspect the tiles before they are installed next time to avoid these issues. If I was given that opportunity this time around I could have avoided this headache altogether but it is what it is.

Your stone choice is beautiful! I think you were smart to micro-manage that installation. I did not know you could use stone at the waterline. The sales girl for my PB said only tile.


Riley-I agree that there shouldn't be that much variation in tile. If you look at the picture I posted of the samples from the showroom it shows some variation between the two tiles however they are still the same color scheme, its just that the pattern varied and a little more of some colors were present in one versus the other. That is the type of variance I expected not a totally different color.

- - - Updated - - -

If it was ‘natural variance’, you would expect at least some of the tile to look like the sample. But none of it does.
That is exactly my point! Thank you!
 

Poolbella

Silver Supporter
Jun 28, 2018
246
Houston, TX
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Do you live close to a Noble Tile showroom? Or are there other stockists in your area that you can compare your extra tile with?
 

Dirk

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Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Your stone choice is beautiful! I think you were smart to micro-manage that installation. I did not know you could use stone at the waterline. The sales girl for my PB said only tile.
Thanks!

She might have been thinking porous-type stones? Mine could be anything, real or manufactured, I suppose, but I think they are stone. They look very much like the river rock in the background of my pic, sliced up into 1/4" thick chunks. The surface is flat, with grout in between each stone, so it seems to perform just fine, just like small tiles. It's holding up to pool chem's, and it's been bead blasted at least once with no ill-effects. I like that it is organic looking (to me) and not manufactured.

I like your tile choice, too, as opposed to the frilly, pattern-heavy style that some prefer. Nothing wrong with those, I just prefer a more natural look.
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Thanks!

She might have been thinking porous-type stones? Mine could be anything, real or manufactured, I suppose, but I think they are stone. They look very much like the river rock in the background of my pic, sliced up into 1/4" thick chunks. The surface is flat, with grout in between each stone, so it seems to perform just fine, just like small tiles. It's holding up to pool chem's, and it's been bead blasted at least once with no ill-effects. I like that it is organic looking (to me) and not manufactured.

I like your tile choice, too, as opposed to the frilly, pattern-heavy style that some prefer. Nothing wrong with those, I just prefer a more natural look.
I do really prefer the natural look and thats why I want to change the spa area to some kind of stone. We also are not big on the frilly stuff.

The tile manufacturer is located not too far from me so I could call them to see if I could come in, although someone from that store told me that is the correct tile and its a normal variation so I have a feeling it would not help.
 

lazygirl1978

Gold Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
234
Missouri
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

So I still haven't heard back from our PB about the tile but I reached out to the tile manufacturer and sent them the pictures comparing the show room sample to what was installed and they are telling me this is a normal color variation. That is absolutely ridiculous to me. So basically we are screwed and stuck with it unless we want to foot the bill to rip it out. I told the PB no one warned us verbally about this and he stated it's in the contract we signed that there can be variance. I'm furious right now. Its not that it doesn't look ok but it is not the look we were going for. I dont know what else we can do at this point and I have to imagine it will be costly to take out.
Rachel, I was so hopeful that you'd get a better response than that! My first thought was (1) normal variation does not mean a different color, and (2) your PB should help you with this if the PB has a relationship with the tile manufacturer. Did you look around to see if they just sent you a different color of that same tile type? If you could match your tile to a color they DO offer, then I think you'd have an even better argument. And (3) unless you spoke with the tile manufacturer owner, I'd move up the ladder...no reasonable person could look at the tiles and say they're the same tile.

I'm so sorry this happened! I hope that it works out in the end with a pool that you love...
 

Poolbella

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Jun 28, 2018
246
Houston, TX
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

At the NPT showroom, they have every single tile up on the wall. If the Noble showroom is the same, it will be pretty easy to spot which tile your spare one matches.
 

jimim

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Jun 20, 2016
2,955
NE/Pa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

i'm on my computer now. i see the difference u guys r talking about. ok i'm going to through this out here. i know no-one wants to hear this but. . .

i looked at my leftover tile. urs is tile. it looks like stone the pattern is generated to make it look like stone so there are many many patterns they use with different pallets to make it look natural. i pulled my leftover tile and some leftover ticker head markers i had cut out of 6x6's. they all differ very very much. i can make a set of 10 piles that all are different. what i'm saying is they use a lot of patterns with variation to get he stone natural look. so if u pulled a box of 30 tile i would assume since my tile is like urs but a diff color that u will think you got like 10 different color tiles. i picked my tile from seeing a physical box of tile and pulled them out. my wife picked form the boards in the showroom and then i went in the back and looked at a full box. i just remembered this as i looked at ur pics. that;s why i pulled out my extra box of tile and extra tile markers made out. i also remember when we looked at tile they told us in the showroom, cause i asked. . . lots or variation or little variation. . . some that they said lots of variation my wife said no and moved on. i know you totally don't want to hear that but figured i would share. even as i type i am looking at my kitchen floor. it's tile that looks like "stone" and the tile are all so different. i mixed my tile when my buddy laid it but there is only so much you can do. there is variation, but not like natural stone. my backsplash is natural stone and my parents have the same color i do 5 years later and we look like we each have different colors. huge difference. it makes sense though. think of granite. some colors aren't sold anymore cause they have been mined out so far the color doesn't look like it did 5 years earlier.

so to close. . . from thinking back. some tile has a lot of variation sone less. some none.

jim

ps. i think ur pool coping and tile looks awesome! but i totally know how u feel and are coming from. i have been there so many times cause i was my own general for my home so everything was on me and 1 thing wasn't what i had in my head it drove me crazy. . . then i would have to set my time on something else and the first thing fell to the back burner and didn't matter cause i wasn't just looking at that. i was later looking at the whole picture. easy for my to say to you but i know hard for you see. . . but trust me it looks good and i bet you will end up loving it.
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

i'm on my computer now. i see the difference u guys r talking about. ok i'm going to through this out here. i know no-one wants to hear this but. . .

i looked at my leftover tile. urs is tile. it looks like stone the pattern is generated to make it look like stone so there are many many patterns they use with different pallets to make it look natural. i pulled my leftover tile and some leftover ticker head markers i had cut out of 6x6's. they all differ very very much. i can make a set of 10 piles that all are different. what i'm saying is they use a lot of patterns with variation to get he stone natural look. so if u pulled a box of 30 tile i would assume since my tile is like urs but a diff color that u will think you got like 10 different color tiles. i picked my tile from seeing a physical box of tile and pulled them out. my wife picked form the boards in the showroom and then i went in the back and looked at a full box. i just remembered this as i looked at ur pics. that;s why i pulled out my extra box of tile and extra tile markers made out. i also remember when we looked at tile they told us in the showroom, cause i asked. . . lots or variation or little variation. . . some that they said lots of variation my wife said no and moved on. i know you totally don't want to hear that but figured i would share. even as i type i am looking at my kitchen floor. it's tile that looks like "stone" and the tile are all so different. i mixed my tile when my buddy laid it but there is only so much you can do. there is variation, but not like natural stone. my backsplash is natural stone and my parents have the same color i do 5 years later and we look like we each have different colors. huge difference. it makes sense though. think of granite. some colors aren't sold anymore cause they have been mined out so far the color doesn't look like it did 5 years earlier.

so to close. . . from thinking back. some tile has a lot of variation sone less. some none.

jim

ps. i think ur pool coping and tile looks awesome! but i totally know how u feel and are coming from. i have been there so many times cause i was my own general for my home so everything was on me and 1 thing wasn't what i had in my head it drove me crazy. . . then i would have to set my time on something else and the first thing fell to the back burner and didn't matter cause i wasn't just looking at that. i was later looking at the whole picture. easy for my to say to you but i know hard for you see. . . but trust me it looks good and i bet you will end up loving it.

I get what you are saying and appreciate your view from your experience and that makes sense that within a box there will be different colors to give it the natural stone look. I would be ok with it if there was variation like that, however every single tile we had installed is the same color as the one in the picture I posted. There is not one that even closely resembles the tile in the showroom sample. So we feel like we were given something totally different from what we picked.
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Rachel, I was so hopeful that you'd get a better response than that! My first thought was (1) normal variation does not mean a different color, and (2) your PB should help you with this if the PB has a relationship with the tile manufacturer. Did you look around to see if they just sent you a different color of that same tile type? If you could match your tile to a color they DO offer, then I think you'd have an even better argument. And (3) unless you spoke with the tile manufacturer owner, I'd move up the ladder...no reasonable person could look at the tiles and say they're the same tile.

I'm so sorry this happened! I hope that it works out in the end with a pool that you love...
I am waiting to hear back from our PB tomorrow on what they will or will not do for us. I know that the tile manufacturer told me that is a normal variation and it is indeed the correct tile. My PB also reminded me it states variation is normal in the contract so I am assuming that once they confirm with the manufacturer it was the "correct" one installed they will come back and tell me I am stuck with it. I am praying I am wrong and they will be reasonable and see what we see. If they refuse to do anything for us then I will try to do what you suggested and try to match it to another one so I have proof it is not right.

- - - Updated - - -

At the NPT showroom, they have every single tile up on the wall. If the Noble showroom is the same, it will be pretty easy to spot which tile your spare one matches.
That is a good idea to go to the actual showroom for the manufacturer so I can see all of the tiles to compare it to.
 

Dirk

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Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

I had a small tile project and was looking to match something existing. I found what I was after at a local tile shop, but realized that the tile had a huge variation. I mean way more than what you ended up with. I pleaded my case and they let me in the back warehouse, pointed me to the shelf and let me at it. I spent 30 minutes picking out the 12 tiles I needed! I grabbed two extra, just in case it looked different at home (which it did). They didn't have enough to choose from, so I had to compromise.

Point was: can't hurt to ask, go to the source (or the distributor), see if they'll let you pick out the tiles yourself. Get 5 or 10% extra, to cover breakage and bad variations.

Regarding your "natural stone" idea for the spa walls, be cautious about what you use for the spill over. Even with carefully managed TFP water, a spillover tends to collect calcium deposits that frame the water fall. Removing the deposits from a very hard and smooth tile surface is one thing. Getting it removed from porous stone would be quite another (probably impossible).

Here's my little tile project, which I built as my dining table center piece to match the existing inlays on my buffet. Now this is variation! It bugged me so much that I later had my stone guru come over and die the worst ones to better match the buffet tiles. Those 12 were all from the same lot.

tile variation.jpg
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

I had a small tile project and was looking to match something existing. I found what I was after at a local tile shop, but realized that the tile had a huge variation. I mean way more than what you ended up with. I pleaded my case and they let me in the back warehouse, pointed me to the shelf and let me at it. I spent 30 minutes picking out the 12 tiles I needed! I grabbed two extra, just in case it looked different at home (which it did). They didn't have enough to choose from, so I had to compromise.

Point was: can't hurt to ask, go to the source (or the distributor), see if they'll let you pick out the tiles yourself. Get 5 or 10% extra, to cover breakage and bad variations.

Regarding your "natural stone" idea for the spa walls, be cautious about what you use for the spill over. Even with carefully managed TFP water, a spillover tends to collect calcium deposits that frame the water fall. Removing the deposits from a very hard and smooth tile surface is one thing. Getting it removed from porous stone would be quite another (probably impossible).

Here's my little tile project, which I built as my dining table center piece to match the existing inlays on my buffet. Now this is variation! It bugged me so much that I later had my stone guru come over and die the worst ones to better match the buffet tiles. Those 12 were all from the same lot.

View attachment 87925
Wow that is a big variation! I do not understand why there can't be a little more quality control when it comes to these things. Thank you for the advice about the spillway. I will be careful as to what we choose for that. Maybe we will keep that part of it tile. I am waiting to hear back from the PB today as to what they will or will not do about our tile issue. To be continued...
 

Dirk

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Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

Sending... Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts...
 

Rachelmarie

Bronze Supporter
Sep 14, 2018
83
Tampa
Re: Not happy with tile choice-advice please! UPDATE: Tile is not the right color

GREAT NEWS!! He called this morning and said they will take it out and replace it with a new tile. We are heading over to the showroom this afternoon to look at options. I am so relieved that they did the right thing and worked with us on this.