stone shower tray failure

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by arsenalboy, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. arsenalboy

    arsenalboy Member

    I have a stone shower tray. It was professionally installed 15 years ago in my victorian house on a suspended timber floor on the first floor. It has developed a hairline crack from one side to another. It came with a lifetime guarantee and I have contacted the manufacturer. They asked me whether the tray had been laid on a bed of cement. I said from memory it hadn't. I am now in dispute with them as they say this invalidates the guarantee. My arguement is that a bed of cement on a suspended floor isn't a lot of good. To allow for waste pipe clearance and a fall over 4 or 5 yards of flooring I seem to remember a wooden frame of 2 by 2 or 3 by 3 was constructed as a cradle and screwed to the floor.
    Your comments would be gratefully received.
  2. Tony Soprano

    Tony Soprano New Member

    the bed of sand aactually helps to distribute the weight evenly across the tray thats why it would have been a good idea to lay it ,but i suppose for you hindsight is not a wonderful thing I do hope you manage to get some sort of compromise with the company otherwise it will be a lesson for the future so the new tray might last more then 15 years :)
  3. bathstyle

    bathstyle Active Member

    Most manufacturers recommend a weak mix of 5:1 sand/cement.

    I'd say 15 years is pretty good for the life of your Bathroom, it probably needs updating now anyway ;)
  4. r2d2

    r2d2 New Member

    It came with a lifetime guarantee .

    Depends on how many years constitutes a lifetime in a manufacturers book.
    You get imprisioned for life for murdering someone which is 15 years.
    If our legal establishment can use this for sentencing criminals, then why can manufacturers not use this method also.

    Who is more in the wrong ?.
  5. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Ah, so you managed to post on the Plumbers' forum - I said my tu'penth worth on the Carpenters'... :)
  6. Walterfilter

    Walterfilter New Member

    Sounds like you are describing that a frame was constructed without a flat surface of ply or other, so only the edges of the tray were supported. Should have had a flat base on top of the frame and then a weak mix of sand cement over thewhole area to take up any gaps between the underside of the tray and the frame surface.

    Seems that you should congratulate the manufacturer for a product that lasted 15 years without being installed correctly..
  7. tgs

    tgs New Member

    Manufacturers warranties are not governed by laws as such except where they try to infringe basic rights. Most manufacturers will try to honor their warranties as it is good business but there have to be limits. A lifetime warranty is a vague term (who's life, the family gerbil?) and if it was a specific number of years then you might be on more solid ground. Even then the limits apply.

    I think this case shows one of the limits. The tray was clearly not installed according to the manufacturers instructions and if it was it probably would still be OK.

    I think this is a case of chalking up to experience. I personally dislike stone shower trays. They are heavy, difficult to install (even the ones on legs) and I don't see they offer any advantages. (they chip just as easily)

    I also think that customers do need to ask about any conditions for guarantees so that they can see if they are carried out or not. I make a point of telling customers any specific conditions I come across and explaining how I have complied with them.
  8. arsenalboy

    arsenalboy Member

    Thanks for those replies guys, you have all majored on the guarantee aspect. What about the fact the tray is on a suspended timber floor on upstairs of victorian house. The boards are pitch pine and in parts of the house where I have them stripped, apart from looking great the amount of movement is very visible. If cement had been laid on top of moving boards it would have cracked or something like that. I would have imagined that the fitter would have taken up any gaps with a non setting mastic?
  9. You cannot make your excuses for not complying with the manufacturer's installation instructions.

    Other excuses could be: The cement shop was closed! My mother in law did not me to mix messy cement in the house! etc.

    The situation is simply that had it been properly fitted it would not have cracked. If it really did then the maker would replace it.

    If your floor were substandard it should have been upgraded. You could for example have fitted 100 mm of reinforced concrete with a 8 mm mild steel mesh.

  10. doitall

    doitall New Member

    The interesting thing about this discussion is;

    The manufacturer of the stone trays do an identical tray with feet (free standing)

    Dropping a bottle of shampoo will crack the tray if it falls in the right place.
  11. arsenalboy

    arsenalboy Member

    I don't believe my floor to be substandard and I am not trying to make excuses!!
    I didn't instal the bathroom, I paid a hefty price for professionals to do it. They had a tremendous reputation locally 15 years ago when it was done but the partners have long since retired so I cannot go back to them. I am now trying to look for a legitimate way of countering the manufactures argument.
    As regards the replies saying how long is a lifetime guarantee, the manufacturer offers 4 levels of guarantees on its trays. They are 2 years, 5 years, 10 years and lifetime. Therefore I would expect the lifetime to exceed 10 and suggest that 15 is not out of the way?
    The crack is hairline and has not been caused by an "accident". It is in the wall of the tray and not the base and stretches from one side to another in a near perfct arc.
  12. I dont understand why you are wanting to find a "legitimate way of countering the manufacturer's argument".

    Its quite clear that the shower was not supported in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions when it was installed.

    Any claim would therefore be on the installers. However its a well established principle of English law that the Statute of Limitation applies to smaller claims like this.

    The manufacturer probably ensures his guaranty only applies to the replacement of the tray and not to installation costs. ( Ignore all those who quote instances where they have been paid to reinstall replacements for faulty goods. That applies to new itens and is usually to keep plumbers sweet. Triton refused to do that with us or even to refund the £130 cost of their pump which failed within a week! I have never used or recommended their products since, they have lost thousands!)

    I have no idea of the cost of your shower tray but presume £50-£100. That does not seem to be a vast amount when its been OK for 15 years and is presumably still working in spite of the crack.

  13. r2d2

    r2d2 New Member

    It was professionally installed 15 years ago

    Or so you thought.!

    I paid a hefty price for professionals to do it ?.

    How hefty ???.

    15 years is a long time and this tray has served well when you consider it was not properly installed.
  14. h2o

    h2o New Member

    15 years you're lucky, at my work local college we have these fitted some are only lasting 5 years and they are insalled as per instructions you had a good one, also know someone had 1 fitted only lasted 3 months but they got replaced.

    so 15 years go on out and spend spme of your hard earned cash anf fit a new one.

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