Compensation for a Poor Tiling Job in Kitchen?

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by Chris101, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Chris101

    Chris101 Member

    4 Years ago we had the kitchen extended and due to substandard ground work (suspended floor, poor tiling, incorrect materials used), we have had to have our kitchen floor completely taken out and done a fresh.

    We have a kitchen of around 40sqm2 surface space.

    The new floor consists of concrete, insulation blocks, wet underfloor pipes, screen and our new rectified porceline tiles (tiles alone cost us £1500).

    The company we appointed for the renovaton of our kitchen along with the kitchen floor this time around were aware of our previous issues and therefore gave us a lot of reassuranced/gurantees and proimised they would get this right for us.

    When the screed finally went down, ready for the tiling, it was obvious the floor was not level.
    The contract we had produced mentioned we should of had a decoupling membrane put down prior to tiling.

    When the tiler started the job, no membrane was put down and the builders on the previous day forgot to trun off the underfloor heating so the floor was very hot when he laid 15 tiles down.
    That evening we inspected the work and sraight away identified -
    1. The floor was uneven
    2. The tiles were unevenly laid (lips and grout lines)
    3. The tiles had hollow sounds in them ( as he was not back buttering them)
    4. The height of the floor was higher then our passage and therefore they needed to use a threshhold big enough and at an angle to get away with the small step into the kitchen (I specifically asked for no steps into our ktichen).

    The tiler/PM was notified about the issues and while they put a membrane down and some SLC, the completed tiled floor still has the same issues.
    Most of the floor runs at a 3mm-4mm gradiant...
    There are also many chips on the tiles (16 tiles) as when he kicked off the leveling clips, they created small chips in the tiles...

    Due to these issues, initally the PM wanted to part ways without acknowldging the issues and he thought we was simply making a meal of things.
    Since he has now visited the site, he has seen the issues and has sent us an email to compensate us £800 plus removing/replacing the tiles that have noticeable uneven lippage and grout lines (Is this posisble without damaging other tiles and the membrane?).
    Do you all think this a good form of compensation?

    We would request the whole floor gets redone but unfortunately our new kitchen is due to be fitted in by the kitchen company next week and we cannot have any more delays...
  2. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    A rock and a hard place.

    First scary question - did you buy the tiles or did they?

    If the latter, then it's as simple as this - they don't get a single penny until they redo the whole floor to acceptable standards. That means fully redoing it - because if some tiles have become loose/hollow due to the adhesive going 'off' too soon, then you can be pretty certain that other tiles are barely clinging on and will become loose over time. I'd say that this is almost certain to happen.

    Add to that the unevenness of the floor - it should not be noticeable between tiles (assuming the tiles are all of a regular thickness and perfectly flat themselves?!).

    So, if it was a supply and fit job, then you send them a letter stating what you expect. If you haven't paid, then you don't. If you have, then you go SmmallClaims/MoneyClaim.Org - and you will almost certainly win. You tell them their options are to either redo it all at no additional cost to you, or you will get someone else to do so and sue them for the full cost - and you will win.

    If you supplied the tiles, then that complicates things. If they are arrisols, they can try on things like "it's the tiles wot dun it - they were too porous" etc, and then you have to juggle between the tile supplier and them - and that's a hellish place to be. Having said that, from what you say it seems pretty obvious that it was their work that's failed, and I can't see any way the tiles could be 'blamed' - so chances are that litigation would still be straight-forward.

    Obviously you don't want to have to go that route, and you shouldn't have to; they should accept that they are liable.

    Next step - contact Trading Standards and CAB in your area for further advice.

    You have a kitchen waiting to be fitted? That's tough - makes thing far more complex again.

    What I would suggest is you get advice and then put it in a simple, non-belligerent letter to the tiler - make it 100% clear what you expect (a perfect job as paid for) and that if they procrastinate they will also end up being liable for the costs of delaying the kitchen installation.

    (That is all based on your description, of course - the floor has been laid incorrectly: no decoupling membrane fitted (I don't know what that is), the heating was left on and that affected the adhesive, the step from the finished tiles to the hallway could/should have been avoided with a thinner screed, and that the differing slopes of some tiles are obvious in places due to the uneven floor levelling compound used.)

    I personally think that's enough for you to have no confidence in the work. And I would lay bets on more tiles coming loose over time if it isn't completely sorted.
  3. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    Just to add to DA's answer, you say you can't have any more delays, but personally I think you have no choice. Proceeding with a substandard floor is just a recipe for unhappiness for ever. I would use any delay costs as a further lever to get the original contractor to re-do the whole floor properly. If you have legal expenses cover on your home insurance it may be worth a chat or even go to a solicitor anyway. You need some leverage if the contractor is not playing, and need to start talking about damages and consequential losses. I agree with DA that it looks fairly cut and dried that you would win if it goes to a court claim, but to begin with a non-belligerent but contractual sounding letter is a good start. A bit of compensation and a few tiles squared up isn't going to leave you with a good job!

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