I employed Daniel to install backsplash in our kitchen. At first he made impression of skilled and experienced contractor. We chose 1”x2” polished marble mosaic for our backsplash – quite expensive but beautiful material.
What a disappointment it was when I saw first results. Tiles were laid very unevenly in all directions. There were bulges (usually in the middle of each sheet – way too much adhesive there) and concaves (usually in sheet joint areas – too little adhesive there). Horizontal lines were waving, no one single edge was level. The fact that counters were not perfectly level was not a good explanation, because top of the backsplash was usually not level even more in the same direction. So instead of correcting the problem, Daniel made it even worse. Gaps between tiles were uneven, ranging from standard 1/8” to 0. It caused that at one corner there was ½ tile difference at the top. Many tiles were pushed too hard towards the wall that the others were sticking out by 1/8”. Many tiles at the top layer did not have enough adhesive and started falling off. Corners and edges were cut uneven. Gap between top row of tiles and underside of cabinets was between 1/4” and 5/8” and left not filled with anything. Electrical box extensions were not installed – Daniel told me they are not necessary and that he will install receptacles using longer bolts.
We asked Daniel to correct his job but to our surprise and disappointment he refused to do so. After he and his worker left our home, I and my wife purchased extra adhesive and spacers and spent more than 5 hrs of work trying to save our tiles. We had to remove 7 large areas of tiles and a lot of single tiles and reinstall them one by one. This was hectic job but it allowed us to believe that there is a chance to save the project.
Next day Daniel and his worker came to continue their job. After four hours of doing something there were only a few areas improved, and also a few made worse – I did not see any dramatic improvement over what I and my wife have done the day before. As adhesive was still wet, Daniel promised to return for grouting within next few days.
Grouting day started with cleaning of tiles from dried adhesive. Daniel said they will be all cleaned, shiny and not scratched. The job began. I and my wife had to leave home for less than an hour and when we returned grouting was well advanced. Cleaning of tiles was either abandoned or done 10 times faster, then before we left. The fact remains – tiles are dirty and we will have to clean them one by one by ourselves. Fortunately I managed to convince Daniel to use unsanded grout. Before he intended to use sanded one and was unaware that this would definitely scratch marble tiles. Despite of that our tiles were scratched for some unknown reasons.
After job was “finished” I informed Daniel how disappointed I was and paid him even more than I thought his workmanship was worth. We decided that we do not want Daniel to continue this job.
About an hour later we finished cleaning our kitchen and decided it was time to turn on electrical circuits which, for everyone’s safety, were off all the time since start of the job. To our surprise one of the circuit breakers was tripping and we noticed sparks coming from one of the above counter receptacles. After some investigations I noted that cable in this receptacle was punctured by too long bolt Daniel has used to compensate for additional wall thickness added by backsplash tiles. When I slightly pulled the receptacle, two wires, one in black insulation (hot) and one bare (ground), came off the sheathing. Bolt was partly melted by heat from short-circuit. Wires were broken just 1/2” from the clamp. When I requested Daniel to come back and repair the damages, he refused.
In summary, Daniel represents very low knowledge, experience and workmanship compare not only to what he promises, but to any average handyman or DIY person. He made not only terrible job, but also left us with unfinished project and full of anger. Moreover, damaging electrical system in our home was much more than lack of Daniel’s knowledge and experience. This was his unimaginable negligence of the safety of my family and property.
Considering all the above I do not recommend anyone to hire Daniel for any, even the simplest project. Hiring Daniel is a waste of money and best way to stress and frustration.