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We had a stone floor installed in our shower. The stones came on 1' x 1' "sheets". The installer kept the stones on the backing, and now you can clearly see lines in both directions where each 1' section meets.

I've seen other showers where the stones are randomly placed so they don't look like tiles.

Is it reasonable for me to have the installer re-do it, or is it normal for those tiles to be installed that way?

Here is a photo (ignore the wet part):

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You normally want to leave the stones on the backing as they are much easier to handle and lay like this.

I think this is a case where the sheets haven't been installed as well as they could be - if you look at the bottom of your photo the joins here are a lot less noticeable. I'd say that the tiler has simply left too much gap between each sheet.

You can make them easier to butt up to each other by trimming the mesh closer to the stones.

The other thing to try is to dry lay them and rotate the sheets so you get a more "natural" look before using the cement.

I'd have a word with your tiler to see if they'd redo the work.

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Do you feel that it's done incorrectly enough to expect it to be re-done? I want to make them re-do it, but I would like to know that I'm not being unreasonable. –  Jason Young Dec 30 '11 at 19:37
    
@JasonYoung - the fact that there is variation with some OK and others not should be enough to allow you to discuss the work. It all comes down to how reasonable you and the tiler are willing to be - something we can't help you with here. –  ChrisF Dec 30 '11 at 20:12

Mosaic stone tile is supposed to be installed still attached to its mesh backing. Otherwise it would be more efficient to go to a landscaping company and buy a truckload of river rock.

From what I can tell, there could be two causes for the 'line' effect you ended up with:

  1. The mesh squares were poorly designed/manufactured with all the stones lining up to form a perfect edge along the sides. There's not much the installer could have done to counteract this.
  2. The installer didn't take time to make sure the edges appeared natural when lining up the mesh squares. It may also be very difficult to tell this effect will occur prior to applying the grout.

My guess is that it's most likely a combination of these two factors.

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Talk to your installer about selectively removing a few stones here and there along the gridlines, and replacing them with different sizes & shapes to break up the lines. This will go a long way toward fixing your problem and should be a lot more palatable to the installer than a complete do-over.

For what it's worth I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the installer to have noticed these gridlines developing as he was laying the stones and to have addressed it then using the same method.

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This is exactly what they have done. It looks great now! –  Jason Young May 31 '12 at 14:43

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