Bathroom Fitting Question

Freestanding bath & floor tiles

Hi

Could someone please advice me how to deal with a contractor who refuses correct his bad job?

I have had entire bathroom redone (new plasterboard on walls & ceiling, old wooden floor removed and chipboard installed instead, tiles placed on top of it, fitted shower, sink, toilet and free standing bath).

The problems are with:

1) the freestanding bath (acrylic) was installed and now it rocks from side to side (quite significantly), on top of it the hot water doesn't run properly, it barely drips, however when I tilt the bath slightly it runs OK. It seems to me the bath is placed on the flexible water pipe that sits between the two bath panels and that's why the water doesn't run.
Also it seems like the feet that are inside the panel are not standing on the floor, it simply rocks on the outer panel (here is a link to the bath so you know which one I am talking about: http://www.bathstore.com/_application/bathstore/products/baths/roll-top-baths/London-free-standing-bath-576.html). The contractor claims that the bath is rubbish, really bad designed and is installed correctly by him, and refuses to fix it.

2) the floor tiles are cracking along a straight line. I have photographs of the "work in progress" and it looks like the tiles only crack along the line where the chipboards are joint (and they also move int hose places). A total nightmare - again the contractor claims that the floor joints are old and it is not his problem.

It would seem to me that having an empty canvas to work with it would be straightforward to install entire bathroom, however now I am left with a mess.

Any suggestions, ideas how to deal with it? Any help, advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot
Di

PS. My mistake - I have double checked now and it is not chipboard but 16mm ply. Adhesive, grout and tiles we bought from the ToppsTiles and they were definitely flexi (I have double checked this as well). They have already fixed one crack that run along in a different place by putting wire mesh on the ply, however different cracks now appear and they refuse to fix it.

Re the bath - Here is the video to show you what happens with the hot water when i gently rock the bath. Mind you I am not very strong woman so am not in any way pushing it or forcing. Please also note I am not switching the tap on/off...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAQcj752Brg

Thankfully I didnt pay them yet as there are other parts of the overall job they need to finish (I do have a written contract for the whole job). Also will gladly keep some retention money - however would this have ti be agreed before the work started? How is this from the legal point of view?

Thanks so much all of you for replies and advice, hopefully I will sort it out with them and at least feel more confident now! :)

D.

8 Answers

Best Answer

Hi Di
1) Any that you have should be addressed by the tradesman as he has a minimum duty of care to gaurantee his work for 1 year minimum period.
The bath itself is unlikely to be faulty, and is a widely manurfactured product.
2)If you have had previous problems with water pressure and/ or flowrate prior to new installation taken place then it is not the installers issue, however if the pressure or lack of in your case has occurred after installation then there is obviously an issue with the quality of the install itself i.e. has the correct bore pipework been used, and ideally if flexi tap connectors have been used care should be taken not to over bend thus resulting in restricting the water supply. Some manufacturers of flexi connectors state that they should not be bent more than 90 degree's radius bend.
When installing florr tiles it is neccessary to check the level and stability of the surface prior to tiling.
Area needs to be fixed at regular intervals and a correct floor tile adhesive chosen. As a company we normally fix 9mm marine ply down, and use and anti fungal strong yet flexi mirco adhesive supplied in most Topps Tiles outlets.
Hope this sheds some light on the situation.

Regards

William Pickering
Director
WJP APPROVED PLUMBING & HEATING

Answered 1st Dec 2011

WJP APPROVED PLUMBING & HEATING

Member since 23 Nov 2011

First of all did you not check all the work before you paid him.
From what you say the bath has not been installed correctly and the legs need leveling up which is down to the insaller.
As for the floor it should of been lined with thin ply before any tiles were put down,again down to the contractor.
If the installer/contractor wont put this right and he has been paid in full then contact trading standards.
When you hired the contractor did you not check his work,what guarantees he gives and his liability insurance.
Hope this helps and good look getting things sorted out.

Answered 2nd Dec 2011

IAN PRICE PLUMBING&HEATING

Member since 1 Jun 2008

bath sounds like just needs levelling etc. Tiles onto chipboard flooring - definate no no, tiles and flooring needs taking up, then replacing with 18mm plywood then re-tiling!

Andy

Answered 1st Dec 2011

AJ Plastering & Building Services

Member since 14 Jan 2010

did you have a written agreement at the pre start. sometimes a retention payment is witheld for a period after completion and the idea is to identlfy any problems and give the builder a chance to fix them within an agreed time. if the builder fails to correct the problems you can keep the retention payment and pay another builder to correct the problems. if none of these are in place you may have to look down the legal route but it is not easy to get money of these guys

Answered 1st Dec 2011

John Hodgins Plastering & Renovation Services

Member since 17 Nov 2011

Hi Deirdre where are you based?
Sounds to me you've been left with a shoddy installation, from previous experiance with Bath store Bathrooms i will admit they are sadly pretty poorly made however i decent plumber should be able to either let you know of problems fitting before hand or sort out a way of fitting suite.

As far as floors concerned he should have checked that the floor was suitable before tiling i still prefer to ply floors over wood chip / boards to stop any movement then PVA Seal the wood before tiling so adhesive an tiles stick.

Make a portfolio of problems then try Trading Standards

John.

Answered 1st Dec 2011

J&M Plumbing Services

Member since 18 Oct 2011

Well where to start! 1st off the bath should be able to be fitted level and stable on the feet, and if not using wood could create plates under the feet to level it if they cant be seen. So simple put he has installed this wrong and needs to correct it for you. Plus the bathstore would not sell something that wont work the way it should do and would replace anything faulty.
2nd problem is hot water, i think your idea that its a flexi pipe is correct, and sounds as if it is kinked and isolating water to the tap. This is basic plumbing and should be fitted with no restrictions of flow to tap. Again he needs to fix this asap.
3rd problem tiling on a chip board floor! this is basically asking for trouble im affraid. it should have been at least a 9mm plywood flooring fitted to make sure there is no movement in the floor this could have been done on top of old floor or put straight onto joists. Or at least if chipboard is fitted properly it would need noggings in between joist to strengthen floor and stop movement.

So unfortunately there is no quick fix, floor needs re fitting before tiling re done. Bath is very straight forward, re do pipework and fix feet to floor level with no movement. An option would be to remove tiles and lay a strong lino style flooring onto chipboard. this would allow for the movement under foot.

Thank you David Oliver

Answered 1st Dec 2011

Build It 24/7

Member since 1 Dec 2011

Not sure about your bath problem without seeing the full picture, But if he's laid tiles onto a chipboard floor then you are going to have problems. Also their could be a lot of other factors such as the adhesive and grout used, The type of tiles used etc. It does sound a bit of a bodge tho.

Answered 1st Dec 2011

C H Kitchen & Bathrooms

Member since 6 Nov 2011

I'd get a different contractor to take a look. See what they advise...

Obviously it's not right, if you have to tilt the bath to fill it up.

Floor tiles shouldn't be laid directly on chipboard. Needed ply etc on top of the chipboard first... chipboard floor will flex too much.

Old joists, if they were weak, should of been replaced or new ones installed. Baths full of water are heavy...

It sounds like poor preparation, rather than weak joist, and a rubbish bath.

...just seen the vid of the tap, obviously...that's not right at all

Retention usually need to be agreed beforehand and be written on the contract...

Legally if he won't fix the problem, he doesn't get paid. I certainly wouldn't expect paying if I hadn't finished a job to a satisfactory standard. Cracking tiles before the jobs finished,is not a good sign the floor is strong enough. I can't see why he wont fix it bearing in mind he hasn't been paid at all. Unless he feels it's going to cost him more to rectify it etc.

In all honesty, it sounds like the floor needs to come back up and joists strengthened, and I think he knows that's going to cost him a lot to put right.

Answered 2nd Dec 2011

Rebel Carpenter

Member since 24 Sep 2008

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