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Project managing a bathroom

Discussion in 'Personal' started by mancminx, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    Almost 18 months ago I had a new bathroom fitted.
    I got a plumber and a tiler who sort of worked around each other. Then a few months later had the floor done. So in my very small bathroom I employed 3 different bodies. Now, problems have arisen in all areas. The floor looks a mess so needs changing, but the original floorer broke a tile. Bath is always blocked and the bath panel is so flimsy I always think it's going to crack.
    In the Easter holiday I intend to get the job finished. The new floor shouldn't be a problem as I'm using a more reliable firm. But I'm having the same plumber back. I want a new bath panel and it needs to be a flat one as the one I have is curved and the tiler cut around the tiles in an arch shape so now the panel needs to be out rather than 'flush' with the bath. I don't know if I should have the plumber in first to unblock bath pipes and replace panel or do I get the tiler in to replace a few tiles in first?
    Opinions and suggestions welcomed.
    I do wish I paid the bathroom company the £4500 for a new bathroom rather than going for the cheaper option ....
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    These flexible panels are all the rage but ours have caused problems in both brum and london. Fortunately, under the baths is tiled right to the wall in both properties but I find the panels move at the top and have to be pushed back in. Other problems too but too boring to go into here!

    Got to brum tonight to find a small leak at the kitchen door. I think it's the washing machine and praay that it's not going to be an expensive job to fix it.

    Then there's the guttering at the back of the house, which is worse since I paid to have it fixed!

    Good luck, mancminx. What we have learnt is that there always seem to be things that need tweaking, however well the job has been done.
  3. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Contact them both and ask them what their preference is . . . .
  4. Alf58

    Alf58 Established commenter

    Get the plumbing done but leave the bath panel off until the floor done. The panel then can be shaped to accommodate the thickness of the tiles as this is fairly simple to do. If at a later date you choose to change the bath panel you don't need to have the floor done again. Simples:)
    oldsomeman and wanet like this.
  5. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Tis a sore subject with me. In my ensuite there was a very high step up into what I can only describe as the smallest shower in the world. So I decided to update/renovate and duly called in the firm of plumbers/electricians I usually use.
    After discussion it was decided I couldn't have a floor level shower because of the siting of a drainage pipe but I would have a slightly longer shower cubicle with shallow step in, power shower installed, and just retiled 2 half walls and the back wall (I liked the original tiling which matches the rest of the ensuite so wished to save as much as poss. We decided to retile the areas which had to be done in white and...we got away with that and it works.
    work done more or less over 4 days before Christmas day. Cue Xmas day and smoke alarm screaming at 9 30 am...... water is leaking into it from hall ceiling from below airing cupboard/ensuite. Frantic attempt to contact plumber and to stop alarm screaming ! (No one ever told me that the alarms are on the mains electric as having to renew batteries for them I presumed they were battery powered....grr.Thankfully a neighbour helped with that. Mr REMfan being American approaches everything with an unhelpful..... 'It's different in the States")
    The leak stopped, which then made me suspect the shower draining.
    Plumber rang me about 12 and I said he didn't have to come out till after Boxing day, that we would cope with just the other bathroom
    Plumber comes on the Monday ...says it was the sealant leaking and re seals. We leave the shower to "set" for longer than he recommends
    I try not to be too upset at the water stain mark on the hall ceiling (freshly decorated before Xmas)
    Move on a few weeks and..... it leaks again. Phone the company..... am warned that I might have to pay if it isn't to do with their work. Mmmmmm I reckon that is highly unlikely. Plumber on the job says he isn't finding anything and is going to check the loo plumbing. I am sceptical because...s last time... the leak coincides with ppl having had a shower and the leak stops after so long.... i.e. water has drained.
    Again the plumber says..... there is a crack in the sealant. Re seals and he leaves

    I go to see the job. The grouting....well I could have done a better job.... it looks like the finish on a wavy baked Alaska pud. A friend of mine told that there shouldn't be any water standing in the shower tray..... so I decide that this might be part of the problem.... I now recognise that the waste "plug hole" in this new shower tray is rather small...smaller than what was in the old - never leaked in 10 years of use -shower. To top it all when I look behind the loo the skirting is hanging off the wall.... part of plasterboard is cracked - all in all a mess

    Phone plumber...... and outline my issues. Boss came out last Monday. Scratches his head re the slow draining of the shower...... starts to tell me that the volume of water is greater because of the power shower...... I task him that seeing as he is the expert that that issue should have been factored in and that it wasn't rocket science and should have had an outlet large enough..... He agreed re the awful finish of grout/sealant in places and damage behind the loo. He went away to think about it all. He did mention I might have to have a shower tray replacing.

    Now..... my issues are these. I admit I have lost some confidence in this shower..... the plumber's solution/suggestion is that they turn down the output of water in the new shower. To those in the know @Duke of York @oldsomeman does this mean I have wasted my money on paying for a "power shower" that will no longer have much power? Where do people think I stand re them rectifying the water stain on my hall ceiling following 3 leaks from the shower I have paid £1400 for?

    Sorry to hear of your probe @mancminx .... seem plumbers are not what they used to be :(
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I can't add anything to help, but just wanted to say that I was talking with my hairdresser yesterday about how stressful it is having builders in to do anything and we agreed that even with the ones who do a good job you end up wanting to kill them.
  7. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    DIY is often the best way for those of us that can.
  8. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Design and Build.

    Emphasis on Design.

    You should get out the A4 and the graph paper, design it all up and sort out a work schedule.

    Even something as simple as hanging a door.

    Design and Build.

    Design, Design, Design.

    Don't touch anything until you done your designing.
  9. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    As I mentioned.... Mr REMfan cannot so much as change a lightbulb ("It's different in the States") I recognise my limitations..... if I have had to deal with something before.... I can sometimes do stuff.... I am better than anyone else in the household....but that doesn't say much. I had discussed with the plumbing boss what I wanted. I just sort of expected that I would have a new, improved and most importantly working and non-leaking shower

  10. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    In other words, compromise because the drain isn't up to spec.

    It's difficult to advise without seeing what's been fitted, but it's quite possible that the shower tray was designed for styling rather than efficient disposal of waste water. I needed to have a shower tray replaced at work and looked online to get an idea of what the cost of a new tray would be. I found that the type we had, which was installed in the early 80s and has a high rim, is no longer available, because the trend has been towards slimline trays. What this can mean is there is restricted space for the waste pipe to go and consequently a smaller diameter, flexible pipe has to be used.

    Waste pipes can be 40 or 50mm diameter with the larger one obviously having greater flow capacity. It may be that the design of the shower tray will only allow for the smaller diameter pipe to be used.

    I've found that issues on any job can be avoided when a specification is drawn up. For example, when I ask a cleaning company to tender for cleaning the estate, I list everything I expect them to clean. It can't be taken for granted that the cleaners will do what I expect of them unless it's written into the tender document. If I find for example, they haven't washed the skirting boards and I complain, I can show them the specification they agreed to when they quoted for the job.

    It gets a little more complicated when technical specs are involved, but the non-technical can still make a specification for the work by insisting that all the components will match the requirements of each other.

    So in the case of the power shower, there will be a specification for its water flow rate. The shower tray has to be capable of handling the volume of water being delivered without over-flowing and the waste pipe has to have the capacity of removing the water at a minimum of the same rate it is being delivered to the shower tray.
  11. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    You have cheered me up no end @Duke of York as my totally lacking in tech expertise brain had sort of worked that out ! (and the plumber hadn't!)
    I feel sort of quite **** a hoop.... save.... I am left with a problem. So in a nutshell it seems I have paid to install a power shower which I will have to have "governed" to quite below optimum power or not to have an over-flowing shallow shower tray. So money down the drain as it were....

  12. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I thought it was the water that wasn't going down.
  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    The reality is with a the shower drain which is insufficient capacity,possibly the route of the pipe which does not have enough angle to drain away quickly and with the job done to seal the shower basin.

    The shallow level might mean a low capacity shallower shower drain off, along with the width of the piping is installed,He could have also fitted a cheapy model shower trap.
    The run off should have been measured by the plumber before he connected to the external stack or in to the hopper.This would enable him to see the shower water is exiting fully and not lingering( think blocked basin plug and how long it take water to drain away).

    Assuming the tiles where laid to the edge of the tray and not behind it (they can fit water proof fitment which acts to repel water which might find it way past the mastic( by the way you have had the walls grouted correctly and there are no gaps in the grout?). The mastic has to be in one continuous strip and make sure is no gaps in it.
    I might ask one point..is your shower tray firm? If it moves in any way it needs sorting as its not meant o be flexible..flexing can lead to joint failure. This problem is often found in slimline fiberglass trays which use floor supports to hold the tray off the floor. A lot of the older plumbers used solid concrete blocks under the tray to stop a tray moving!,,,or you by a tray which stands upon its one outside edges......with good reason then the pipe exits under the tray in the floor..leaving the tray steady.
    I might point out that I am no expert but I have never had a feed back about leeks in shower.Tap joins are my pain in the rear
  14. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    @oldsomeman ...you too make me feel better.... I did mention to the original workman fitting the tray was there enough "support' underneath it. We had originally planned for it to be floor level until they discovered the outlet pipe..... so we ended up with still a step up into it...but at half the original height. I had thought that if it wasn't 100% stable and moved at all it would put pressure on the fixing sealant and cause splitting. The bloke has always said it is stable. I feel I might be correct and he might be wrong. I might venture to try mentioning that again!!
  15. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    How are the edges of the try supported Helen. If it a stone try there should be no movement at all.....glass fibre ones do move a little,
    Can you peer under the tray and see....ideally the edge of the tray should be on the floor but in the last one I did i had to raise it,so it had concrete blocks under and I fitted a painted wooden trim around the bottom of the tray.It did the job and lady was happy.
    You could try stand in the shower and around on it.or someone else and observing to see if it moved or wobbles.

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