New floor, potential problems!

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by IanEagle, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    He should not have attempted to tile on the subfloor that he laid for you.
     
    IanEagle likes this.
  2. IanEagle

    IanEagle New Member

    Thanks for all the help! And this is because the sub floor is not good enough? Should different materials have been used?
     
  3. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    A floating floor is not a stable base to lay tiles on, the movement associated with them is asking for trouble at a later date, especially that your set up of ply and chicken wire(!?) isn’t a recognised floating floor, at least nothing I’ve ever built or heard of. Tilers will not 100% guarantee a tiled floor on top of timber joists and ply (a normal upstairs bathroom setup in millions of homes, including my own) due to the possibility of timber expanding and contracting, which they have no control over, so really your builder should have identified the large format tiles you wished for and advised you accordingly with the floor construction.
     
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  4. IanEagle

    IanEagle New Member

    Thanks so much for all your help!

    Should the building inspector have picked this up?

    Now for my next steps, I guess under contract I should give the builder the opportunity to put things right, but I'm not sure I trust him. Should I get him back and the building inspector to discuss?

    In total this floor has cost me around £4k!

     
  5. masterdiy

    masterdiy Screwfix Select

    How did you get on IanEagle any resolution.??
     
  6. IanEagle

    IanEagle New Member

    Not yet, been doing some background research before I speak to the builder. Will be following up with him soon,
     
  7. Ghost-1

    Ghost-1 Active Member

    How thick was the Ply?

    Floating floors are notoriously problematic, so much so, that I will not do them now. (Tiler by trade)

    That, I’m sorry to say, is an abortion of an attempt at flooring.
     
  8. IanEagle

    IanEagle New Member

    I emailed the builder on Sunday with the following.... No reply yet, but I know he's received the email because he has acknowledged it in a text message. What should my next steps be?


    Dear xxxx

    Following the work that was completed by you at my property in September 2019, I wanted to bring to your attention some problems that are appearing with the kitchen floor. I have included some pictures which show some examples of the problems. (I have many more should they be needed). We have noticed some tiles having slight movement, clicking when being stepped on and grout appearing to crack in many places.

    Having sought some opinions from various sources, it appears that the floor and tiles were not laid properly, causing them to rock/move, which is both making the clicking noises and causing the grout to crack. The issue causing this is believed to be the fact that the tiles have been laid on a floating floor in the kitchen, which was constructed of ply and chicken wire on top of the insulation. I've been advised that a floating floor is not a stable base to lay tiles on, due to the movement associated with them and that the set up of ply and chicken wire that you have used isn’t a recognised floating floor. It's also been suggested that insulation does not provide any kind of solid base for flooring and there are not enough batons for the ply to have a stable base to sit on. It's relying on the insulation. There should have been concrete put on top of the insulation, like there was in the extension.

    I have also noticed, having had to pull out a kick panel to get to the washing machine, that there is no grout underneath any of the kitchen units. To tile underneath the units and not grout them makes no sense?

    I am clearly very concerned about this, especially as I spent a considerable amount of money on the floor being replaced (for which I paid you a cash sum), the high quality porcelain tiles, adhesive and grout. (all in all over £4,000 in total) I also moved my family out of the premises at the time, at a huge cost (over £1300) so that the work could be completed.

    Please can you come back to me in writing within 7 days with your suggestions of how the situation can be rectified with minimal disruption to me and my family.

    Regards,
     
    masterdiy likes this.
  9. jackelliott07

    jackelliott07 Active Member

    Sounds like it's going to end up in the small claims court to me... how has he acknowledged the email?
     
  10. IanEagle

    IanEagle New Member

    The builder is claiming that I had 2 options from the building inspector, one to break up concrete, insulate and screed, and one for the floor that was put in. I didn't get 2 options given to me, so this is complete fiction. I had no conversation about the floor with a building inspector, and have asked the building control office for their documentation, before I respond to the builder.

    He's said he'd come back and re grout, but I doubt that would be a permanent solution to the problem, given the feedback earlier in this thread.
     
  11. IanEagle

    IanEagle New Member

    You guys have all been awesome so far on this saga!
    Here's a transcript of emails between the builder and I in date order. Would appreciate anyone's further advice now I am at this stage.
    Thanks :)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Mar 2020, 16:52
    From: Me To: Builder


    Dear ****

    Following the work that was completed by you at my property in September 2019, I wanted to bring to your attention some problems that are appearing with the kitchen floor. I have included some pictures which show some examples of the problems. (I have many more should they be needed). We have noticed some tiles having slight movement, clicking when being stepped on and grout appearing to crack in many places.
    Having sought some opinions from various sources, it appears that the floor and tiles were not laid properly, causing them to rock/move, which is both making the clicking noises and causing the grout to crack. The issue causing this is believed to be the fact that the tiles have been laid on a floating floor in the kitchen, which was constructed of ply and chicken wire on top of the insulation. I've been advised that a floating floor is not a stable base to lay tiles on, due to the movement associated with them and that the set up of ply and chicken wire that you have used isn’t a recognised floating floor. It's also been suggested that insulation does not provide any kind of solid base for flooring and there are not enough batons for the ply to have a stable base to sit on. It's relying on the insulation. There should have been concrete put on top of the insulation, like there was in the extension.

    I have also noticed, having had to pull out a kick panel to get to the washing machine, that there is no grout underneath any of the kitchen units. To tile underneath the units and not grout them makes no sense?

    I am clearly very concerned about this, especially as I spent a considerable amount of money on the floor being replaced (for which I paid you a cash sum), the high quality porcelain tiles, adhesive and grout. (all in all over £4,000 in total) I also moved my family out of the premises at the time, at a huge cost (over £1300) so that the work could be completed.

    Please can you come back to me in writing within 7 days with your suggestions of how the situation can be rectified with minimal disruption to me and my family.

    Regards,

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8 Mar 2020, 14:37
    From: Me To: Builder


    ****

    I sent this email 7 days ago, which you've acknowledged via a WhatsApp text. You said you'd reply "tonight" on 5th March.

    If I have not received a written reply from you by Monday 9th March at 9am, I will be seeking legal advice on how to proceed.

    Regards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8 Mar 2020, 15:26
    From: Builder To: Me


    Hi ***

    Responding to your email ,if you recall you had a hole in your old floor which you asked us to fix ,which we agreed to do ,in the mean time the Building Inspector visited your premises and ask what is being done to rectify the hole which we replied " to make good " he said this was not acceptable as it did not meet building regulations and the hole floor would have to be lifted and brought up to building standards .You had two options from the building inspector ( Which at the time you called there office to clarify the options ) if that part of the process has been forgotten you can get confirmation from building regulations.

    Options

    1) To break up old concrete insulate and screed. Which you declined due to cost.

    2) To Insulate with a floating floor ,ply wood and chicken wire to which you chose to have and agreed by the building inspector and sighed off.

    The only solution from ***Company Name*** would be more than willing to come back and re-grout the floor . I do hope we can resolve this as you did choose the option that was given to you and carried out at your request .

    Kind Regards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10 Mar 2020, 10:01
    From: Me To: Builder


    ****

    Thanks for your response, unfortunately I'm unhappy with your suggestions. I've set out why below.

    I was never given the first option. I have been through all the old correspondence, and there is nothing giving me any options. I was only recommended the floating floor being put in with xtratherm insulation, rather than celotex. I have checked with Building Control and on the site notes it says "Existing ground to be removed with new slab agreed 75mm celotex to accommodate existing floor level." this is not what has been done, and nor was I advised of this. The Building control officer has confirmed to me on the telephone today, that they were not called back to inspect this part of the work.

    The contact with the building inspector, as I understand, was between you and him about using xtratherm insulation instead of celotex. We had a discussion about the possibility of adding underfloor heating, which I decided not to pursue due to cost. At no time was there any option other than installing a floating floor given to me.

    The only time I contacted the building inspector was with regard to the roof on the extension, which had not been installed to specification and had to be replaced.

    I would have expected as a reputable builder that you would have recommended a solution which was suitable for the (expensive) porcelain tiles that were being put in. Some of the tiles are not even level with each other. Can you confirm if the floating floor is suitable for porcelain tiles? The fact there is movement and grout cracking suggests not. Re-grouting is not a permanent solution and I'm not happy with that as a resolution. Can you also explain why the tiles would only be grouted to the kitchen units, and not underneath?

    The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that reasonable care and skill must be used while working. In my opinion, you did not use reasonable care and skill when you carried out this work. I want a refund for the work concerned, cost of tiles and materials refunded, and costs paid to put right the problems I have identified. It's also reasonable for me to claim compensation for the inconvenience caused.

    Can you point me in the direction of an accredited dispute resolution scheme that you are willing to use?

    I await your further response.

    Regards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    18 Mar 2020, 17:08
    From: Me To: Builder


    ****

    You messaged me via WhatsApp on 15th March saying you'd reply to my email once you have heard from building control. Subsequently on 16th March you have messaged again saying you are waiting for building regs to contact you. I am unclear why you need to wait for Building control to contact you about these issues.

    Please can you come back to me in reply to my last email, and specifically my questions to you in that email, including my final one: Can you point me in the direction of an accredited dispute resolution scheme that you are willing to use?

    Regards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    19 Mar 2020, 22:37
    From: Builder To: Me


    Hi ***

    I have been in contact with building control and I can know confirm the option given to you, as previously said we are willing to come back and re-grout your tiled floor. If you wish, we can ask a independent building company from the likes of Check A Trader architect, local builder inspector to give their advice on your Situation, let me know your decision.

    Regards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    20 Mar 2020, 09:28
    From: Me To: Builder


    ****

    To say I am disappointed with your response is an understatement. You have failed to answer any of the questions I have posed. I have already had some independent advice from other builders so I am clear that the floor is not a suitable substrate, in fact they were shocked at the state of the installation from the photographs I provided them, in terms of the tiles not being level, cracking grout from movement of the tiles due to unsuitable floating floor structure, the lack of grout under the cupboards and the ply floor with chicken wire and nails going into the insulation, which I took during the build. t will be up to you to you to provide evidence to the contrary. So far you have been unable to do so, and should this go further I am very confident I have a substantial case to claim.

    I used inheritance from my mother and father's death to pay for all of this work, the price escalated a number of times from the original quote and I ended up spending far more than budgetted. This discovery that the work is not to a reasonable standard, is causing me and my family significant stress and damaging my well being.

    Please answer directly the following questions.

    1. What did you need to contact Building Control for, what was your query with them and their response?

    2. Can you confirm if a floating floor made from ply and chicken wire (?!) is a suitable substrate for porcelain tiles, given the movement of said substrate?

    3. Can you also explain why the tiles would only be grouted to the kitchen units, and not underneath?

    4. Can you confirm if you are a member of any trade association?

    5. Please also point me the direction of an accredited dispute resolution scheme that you are willing to use?

    As previously advised, your suggested resolution is unsatisfactory, as it does not provide a permanent fix for the issues, neither am I happy trusting ***Company Name*** to put it right, given this and the snagging issues I had. I re-iterate my request for a refund for the work to the floor concerned, cost of tiles and materials refunded, and costs paid to put right the problems identified. It's also reasonable for me to claim compensation for the inconvenience caused and now the significant stress this is causing.

    Failure to provide answers to the questions above and provide a suitable resolution within 24 hours will incur further action.

    Regards

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