Consumers should check tile for color defects before installation



A Mesa woman says her expensive new tile has a cosmetic defect that she didn't notice until after it was installed. The problem is most manufacturers expect customers to spot those defects before the installation.

Most consumers know to get a full-size sample from the tile retailer to make sure it looks just as good in their homes as it did in the showroom. But that doesn't mean the specific batch you order will look like the sample. That's why customers need to conduct an inspection.

Sandy Watson purchased wood-look tile made by a company called MSI Stone. The morning after installation, in the bright light, Watson noticed about a third of the tiles looked washed out.

"You know, during the whole install it was very, very dusty and dirty and you're just not going to notice that kind of thing," Watson said.

There are sections of tile that look great and sections that don't. Watson filed a warranty claim with MSI Stone over the defect. She says the company agreed to provide new tile for free but has yet to decide whether it will pay for installation or the removal of the defective product.

"It's completely frustrating having to wait because everything is on hold," Watson said. "We still have things boxed up and put away on our patio."

Watson only brought home a sample of the tile. The batch she ordered differed from that sample. She's since learned how to spot defects prior to installation.

"Buy one or two, maybe more, boxes of the tile and just make sure that it really is exactly what I want and that there are no issues with this tile," Watson said.

Watson suggests you lay out several pieces from your actual order and see how they look in bright daylight. She hopes this won't be an expensive lesson and wants others to learn from her experience. Her advice is simple.

"Not to make your decision based on one single tile and to get a couple [of] boxes and look at all of them," Watson said.

After CBS 5 News contacted MSI Stone, the company agreed to pay $4,300 to remove the defective tile and install the new batch. CBS 5 News thanks the president of MSI Stone for his quick and fair resolution to this problem.

MSI Stone's response is impressive because many manufacturers only provide new product. That $4,300 the company agreed to pay would typically come out of the customer's pocket because it's up to you or your installer to inspect tile for defects prior to installation. Now you know how to do it.

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