During any remodel, there will be challenges. It’s just like your wedding day – something is bound to go wrong. At that point, it’s about fixing the problem and keep things rolling in spite of the challenge.
The Challenge: Tile Colors Do Not Match
We had a bathroom project that is a good example of how we handle adversity during a remodel.
It was a master bathroom. The walls and the shower were done in white subway tile, which was going to be trimmed at the top with a matching bullnose where the tile stopped on the walls. The bullnose and the subway tile were ordered from the same company at the same time, and both were called “universal white.”
However, when the products came, the homeowner noticed that the bullnose was not the same shade of white, and that was going to be a problem.
Weighing The Options
We had to stop the job for about a week to go through all of our options.
There was no guarantee that if we reordered the bullnose tile that it was going to match what was already there, so we thought we might have to reorder all of it from a different company – the subway tile, the bullnose molding, everything. This would have added a great deal more time and money to the budget, so it wasn’t our first choice.
In the interest of keeping the job moving along, we also talked about separating the two types of tile with an accent tile to separate the two so that the color change wouldn’t be as noticeable.
We worked closely with the team at Custom Floors and More, our flooring and tile supplier and installer, and went through different options to find a solution that would deliver the best possible outcome for the client. After putting our heads together and looking at the pros and cons of each option, we were able to get the manufacturer to run a custom batch just for that bullnose to get a perfect color match.
It was an unforeseen situation, but we were able to come up with the solution fairly quickly. Thankfully, the client was very understanding. Even though it shut down the job for several days, it had a much happier ending than it would have had we just gone ahead and done the installation and not realized the mistake until it was all over.
When the color issue was identified, it would have been easy for some builders to brush it off and try to convince the client that it wouldn’t be noticeable. Instead, we turned to our trade partners to help us get it right and get it done quickly.
Custom Floors and More was able to reach out to the manufacturer and find a reliable solution that would work for everybody. We sent one of the subway tiles to the company, and they did a custom run of the bullnose based on that.
Could we have prevented this situation?
In this case, there probably wasn’t a whole lot we could have done to prevent what happened. It was lucky that the homeowner was going through some of the boxes and picked up on it right away.
It’s All About Relationships
What we were able to bring to the table is our relationship with the supplier. These are people we have come to trust, and we know that if there is ever a problem, they’ll be right in there fighting with us to find the best resolution for our clients and us. It’s always nice to know you’ve got someone in your corner who will go the extra mile to make it right.
This is an excellent example of a case where our relationship with the supplier delivered better results than the customer could have had on their own. We’ve got some clout in the area, some buying power, so the company is eager to support us any way they can. This is one of the reasons we choose to work with them as opposed to the “bargain basement” suppliers.
Had it been the customer on their own, it may not have turned out so well.
Design-Build: It’s A Team Effort
Had the customer found the tile and just put it back in the box without saying anything, the outcome would have been much different. We always encourage our homeowners to speak up if they notice something is off. You’re never going to get brushed off or trivialized. We would much rather take a step back in the interest of getting things done right rather than live with the regret.
Are you getting ready for a remodel to your St. Louis home? We’d love to show you how we can help! Reach out today to schedule a conversation.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.