…You have to grow some balls and tell them. Which is exactly what I had to do this week. Wait that’s not a good visual. Metaphorical balls guys, metaphorical balls.
So far we’ve been lucky and had great experiences with our laminate floor guys, our electrician, our roof guys, and our plumber who is seriously the most awesome plumber in the world (if anyone in SL or Houston needs plumbing work… Mike Tidwell everybody). But remember when I mentioned that we decided to hire somebody to do our tile? Well we found a guy. Lets call him “Guy 1.” Tried all week to schedule him. Finally he shows up, drops off his friend to do the work instead, and leaves. Lets call his friend “Guy 2.” I assume Guy 2 knows what he’s doing, but then the red flags start popping up.
First red flag. He shows up without self leveling compound or grout, and we have to go buy it ourselves. Hmmm.
Second red flag. He doesn’t measure/mark the center of the room and doesn’t lay out the tiles at all before cutting. You might remember from our last post that I saw online you should start from the center mark of the room so that you don’t end up with tiny awkward tile slivers on one end. And also, you’re supposed to lay them out beforehand before you start cutting away. Instead, he starts cutting tiles based on the lower right corner (like the middle image below), which was probably the easiest route but was NOT what we wanted. I try to explain to him that we want him to measure the middle of the room first and base the layout off that. He disregards me and says that no it’ll be ok his way. Psh.
Third red flag. He comes in to tell me that something is wrong with my tile. Something is wrong with my tile?? He says that the tiles keep breaking each time he tries to cut them so I go outside and see that he’s using a little handheld rotary saw the size of a pizza cutter that takes about ten swipes down the cut line to actually cut the tile, and on the final swipe it breaks every time. Apparently he tried this on an ENTIRE box of tiles before letting me know that they were all breaking.
I know that a handheld rotary cutter CAN cut some tiles. And I’m by no means an expert. But I did about a bazillion hours of research on installing tile (since we originally thought we’d be doing it ourselves) and I know that a wet saw is probably the most sure fire way to successfully cut a tile without breaking it. So I suggest he tries a wet saw. He says he doesn’t have one and tells me that I need to go get one for him to use. What the what?? We argue for a couple minutes, him saying I need to rent it for him, me saying he needs to rent it himself, and I end up calling Guy 1 to tell him the situation. He says he’ll come himself with a wet saw the next day, and says to send his friend home.
Fourth red flag. I politely tell Guy 2 that Guy 1 is coming to do the job tomorrow and he says that Guy 2 should leave for the day. I say thanks and goodbye, but instead of leaving Guy 2 calls his other friend to bring over a wet saw and puts me on the phone with him and says to give him my address! I say no and ask him again to please leave because the Guy 1 is going to come back tomorrow to do the job himself.
Fifth red flag. Ok so the guy finally leaves… only to show up unannounced later that afternoon with a wet saw! When I again tell him to go home (because at this point I think he has no clue what he’s doing AND he clearly doesn’t listen to me), he tries to make me feel guilty because he spent money renting the wet saw. Sorry dude. You need to leave.
To top things off, Guy 1 never showed up the next day and never returned any of my calls after that. So we are delayed a week, we have a box of broken tiles, and we’re going to hire someone else.
I guess the moral of this story is do as much research as you can on any project you’re hiring out. If I didn’t know a thing about wet saws or proper tile layout techniques, I would not have known to speak up when I did, and we could have ended up with one hack job of a floor. Do your research. Pay attention to whatever repair/installation/etc is going on. And don’t be afraid to speak up if the guy you hired sucks.