8

I had a tile backsplash (mosaic tile of a herringbone pattern) installed in my kitchen. I wanted tile border to match and for the tile to wrap into the window above the sink. the way the corners look going into the window sill are not at all what I was expecting. The grout line ranges from 1/4" to 3/8" thick,

They told me that making a thinner grout line or a 90 degree angle would have exposed the inside color of the tile and the rough edge, but I think the way they did it looks pretty rough and chipped. When I asked them to fix it they added more grout and said that the only other thing they could do would be to rip it out. These are pictures after the additional grout -- How should they have done these corners? Can anything be done to fix this (short of ripping it off the wall)?

left side of window

Left side of window, from front

Right side of window

Right side of window, from front

8
  • 7
    That looks frumpy to me. An end cap piece, even a vertical piece of the top half-round cap, would have looked better. This question may be off topic, though, as it invites opinion. If you don't like it, you should be able to make them change it before you pay them. Sep 13, 2023 at 16:53
  • 1
    I would have them come back and do it right(at their cost). If the tiles cannot be cut to look finished, then there are corner/end pieces that should have been used.
    – crip659
    Sep 13, 2023 at 16:54
  • 5
    Should you be "mad"? No. But you should nicely ask them to come back and make it better.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 13, 2023 at 19:04
  • 2
    You'd rather it be a black strip or, glaringly shiny aluminum? Without doing tile-edge, this is gorgeous. The way they did it is 99% the best it could ever look w/o edging. You already got 'em dealing with herring bone, waddaya want.... Next time you spec: "I'd like you to use edging anywhere where appropriate." - don't assume it's going to look like Better Homes and Gardens w/o specking that is to be so. - I wouldn't do anything (sans a gut job) because you'll always be able to tell where you then did something.
    – Mazura
    Sep 14, 2023 at 2:36
  • 2
    I wonder how obvious it's going to be once the room is in use. In my kitchen there are curtains that would hide this, and if there weren't, I'd have more herbs growing on the windowsill, also masking the edge. It's not dreadful, just not quite as smart as you had in mind
    – Chris H
    Sep 14, 2023 at 8:04

3 Answers 3

21

A professional with a good tile saw can miter cut the tiles to match at the corner just as the top trim piece was done.

Another alternative would be to add a piece of aluminium end cap to the tile for a more finished look. ( The end capping comes in a number of colors and sizes to fit most any tile, but usually is in an eight foot length.)

Tell the tiler to come back and miter the ends or add the cap.

14
  • 1
    is it still possible to add a tile border piece or something instead of a metal cap? I don't know if one is more difficult to install into grout or not.
    – TilePerson
    Sep 13, 2023 at 17:20
  • 1
    @Tileperson, Both the miters and cap will require the tile be removed and that corned done again. A border would require removal as well. A piece to cover over what is there will probably ruin the overall look.
    – RMDman
    Sep 13, 2023 at 17:29
  • 1
    @ Freeman, I , won't blow smoke at you...yeah it is a feature that carries strong potential to chip.
    – RMDman
    Sep 13, 2023 at 17:36
  • 1
    @RMDman I'm sure you do, but they won't make the partial mitre I suggest in one pass unless they have 2 blades. Think of a straight cut to half depth from the front, then a 45° cut for the back half. That leaves a 90° corner on each tile which should be tougher than the knife edge of a full mitre
    – Chris H
    Sep 14, 2023 at 11:36
  • 2
    Don't know about "failure of imagination", @AloysiusDefenestrate. My wife and I have been tile shopping for months now, and it seems that bull nose corner pieces are in short supply (i.e. not made) for many tile patterns. It would be even more difficult to find one designed for a herringbone. A thin trim piece that could have been run vertically up the corner may well have done the job, but even that's not guaranteed to be found in every color/pattern...
    – FreeMan
    Sep 14, 2023 at 18:00
5

You should be happy!

There is no "correct" way to do this. If you don't like the way this looks, you need to specify, and buy, something you do like. You could have chosen a different tile that has an available outside corner piece. Or you could buy a ceramic or metal or resin corner bead. Or you could wrap the marble window sill material up the wall and use its edge to butt against the tile. You can do anything.

But for what it's worth, I think this looks great. Beyond great. The attention to detail is stupendous, and even beyond the aesthetic, it makes me feel good to see something done so nicely. The herringbone pattern matches perfectly around the corner and the grout line is beautiful and unobtrusive. Wherever two materials meet, including the cabinet, the interface was done with thought and precision.

You have A LOT going on there, with the tile pattern, the marble window sill, the half wall, the pencil tile at the top. In my opinion adding yet another element would look like someone was trying too hard.

4
  • 1
    My thoughts exactly. I wish I could find a tile person that did such clean jobs as the one in the pics.
    – Cheery
    Sep 14, 2023 at 18:18
  • 2
    Happy? Did you zoom in on the pictures? The edges of the tiles are all chewed up and look like utter garbage. If the contractor knew the result was going to look like this, they should have turned down the job.
    – nobody
    Sep 15, 2023 at 1:31
  • 1
    Looking at this I'd say whoever did it either didn't have the right tools to cut the tile, or didn't know how to use them. About half the tiles have chipped corners, the one on top just right of the corner in pictures 3 and 4 is particularly egregious. Even if this is an acceptable way - in general - to do the corner; the worksmanship is awful. Sep 15, 2023 at 4:51
  • I think you must be looking at different pictures. If I'd done that myself, I'd want to re-do it. If a "professional" had done it, I'd be pissed off.
    – SiHa
    Sep 15, 2023 at 10:45
1

No, you shouldn't be mad, unless you specified what kind of corner you wanted before it was done. Even then, count to ten before you holler.

The corner is straight, and this kind of outside corner is one of the most durable for corners. (But there's nothing wrong with asking for a different finish, like the ones RMDman mentions). Especially, it looks like the grout could be a bit smoother, but that's a matter of style.

1
  • 1
    +1 for specify. If you get what you asked for you cant really complain. You can ask politely and they might change it to how you want These things need to be sorted out before the job, not after. This is an important lesson as the mismatch of expectations on the next job could be bigger. Sep 14, 2023 at 17:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.