Project managed bathroom, en suite & downstairs loo installations

Bathroom Horror Stories

Here are some examples of that you may wish to avoid if you are having a new bathroom installed.

 

7. Irresponsible landlord

Bathroom Horror Stories - Shower Tray ProblemsBathroom Horror Stories - Shower Tray ProblemsBathroom Horror Stories - Shower Tray Problems

This shower enclosure in Headingley was 2 years too late to fix – grout was no longer in the tile joints, there was no silicon seal around the shower tray and water had run through the gaps, soaking the wall adjacent to the shower into the next room and had rotted the joists, which could be inspected from the basement below. As a result, the whole enclosure was at risk of falling through the floor.

I quoted to strip, re-board, tank and retile this shower area and install a new shower tray and re-instate the shower. I also told the landlord that I may have to replace the rotten joists and certainly the subfloor.

So what happened?
The negligent landlord ignored the problems and had the existing tray re-siliconed only. I hope the tenant doesn’t fall through the floor.

Potential cost of electing not to put right
Injured / killed tenant + cost to repair

6. Lazy plumber

I subcontracted on a job last year ands found out that the plumber had neglected to fit a baton to support the bath rim and had primary sealed the bath without filling it up with water 1st.

A coupe of months after the work had been completed, I found out that the rim of the bath had been moving so much (with the weight of the occupants and the water) that the silicon seal had broken around the bath and water had started to permeate in between the bath and the wall.

Over time, this water trickled down the boarded stud wall before hitting the floor and spreading under the newly laid floor tiles in this bathroom and also the newly refurbished en-suite next door.

Bathroom Horror Stories - Lazy Plumber

So what happened?
All of the floor tiles had to be lifted, the sub floor had to be replaced as it had swelled due to the excess water and both rooms had to be retiled with new tiles.

Also, the bath had to be removed and then fixed in place again.

Cost to put right
£750 + 2 weeks without bathing facilities when the remedial work was done.

5. A stitch in time saves 9

In the past, in-between project managed bathroom installations, I sometimes carried out repair work, often on buy to let properties. In 9/10 cases the vast majority of the work could have been prevented by acting sooner.

On this job, little attention had been paid to the broken silicon seal round the bath, until the water had flowed under the tiles, causing the wooden floor to expand and contract, rot and pop some of the tiles.

Bathroom Horror Stories - A Stitch In Time Saves 9Bathroom Horror Stories - A Stitch In Time Saves 9

So what happened?
I re-sealed the bath to stop any more water from getting into the floor and I also checked for any other leaks from the bath or basin wastes that could be contributing factors. I then only replaced the cracked tiles despite my pleading with the landlord that this was only a temporary measure if he didn’t look at the bigger issue of the sodden sub-floor.

By the looks of it, this wasn’t the 1st time this had happened either as the floor already had 2 different styles of tiles before I came (3 when I left!)

Cost to put right
£150

Plus, he will be paying more in the future without doubt as the rest of the original tiles work their way loose due to the soaking wet, rotten floor underneath.

4. Wet room disaster

This ‘wet room’ was done on the cheap with no correct procedures followed. As a result the ‘fall’ to the drain was insufficient and the fall on the waste was also insufficient. This meant that whenever anyone showered, the whole room filled with water until it started to leave the bathroom. This was only noticed after installation and I was called in to put it right.

I was also asked to repair a leak that had occurred behind some tiled boxing in with no means of access. Magic wand time!

Bathroom Horror Stories - Wet Room DisasterBathroom Horror Stories - Wet Room Disaster

So what happened?
I smashed the tiles off the boxing in and cut away the plywood to reveal the leak, which was then fixed.I then re-tiled the area – this time with a removeable panel to allow for future maintenance.

I priced for adding a shower tray into the wet room to facilitate an adequate fall and to contain the drainage as an alternative to ripping all of the floor up and re-doing it properly.

This action was never taken in the end due to budget constraints.

Cost to put right
£200 to find & fix the leak & retile, grout & silicon.

£500+ to fix the wet room problem which remains unfixed.

3. Incorrect fitting of shower tray

I was called in to fix this bodged installation. The shower tray wasn’t sealed against the walls (which weren’t flat or level) and the pipes feeding the shower weren’t recessed into the wall far enough so they were effectively pushing the tiles off the wall. The failed seal had caused water to permeate and resulted in much damp and mould growth and an awful smell.

So what happened?

  • I had to remove the existing enclosure and strip the tiles back to get the old tray out.
  • I then had to repair the walls & recess the pipework further into them.
  • I then had to supply & fit a new shower tray and seal it correctly.
  • Then I had to supply & fit new tiles to match the existing ones, grout & silicon.
  • I then had to fit a new shower enclosure as the old one could not be saved when it was 1st removed.

Bathroom Horror Stories - Newly Installed Shower Tray

Cost to put right
£690

Lessons learned –
Do things right the 1st time!
2. Leaky pipes

When the existing bathroom was fitted, pipework was not correctly fitted at 1st fix stage.

Pipes were not clipped down or recessed far enough into the joists so they rubbed on the underside of the floorboards when people above walked on them.

Bathroom Horror Stories - Leaky Pipes Repair

So what happened?
Over time, this caused a pinhole to develop in one of the copper pipes, flooding the bathroom when the tenants were on holiday. This meant that the bathroom floor had to replaced, along with the kitchen ceiling and some kitchen units and worktops below.

The landlord elected to fit a new bathroom using the money from the insurance company as a starting point.

Cost to put right
£3500

Lessons learned –
Don’t bury your head in the sand – Fix problems when you find them.
1. Miscalculated plumber

The taps were fixed to this whirlpool bath before installation as access would have been extremely limited once the bath was installed.

This bath was then installed in accordance with best practise i.e. primary sealed against flat wall when full of water & supported by a baton along its length etc.

However, upon commencement of tiling it because apparent that the bath taps had been sited too close to the wall, meaning that the mixer handle would not tilt back (or turn on fully) but only when the tap was turned to its hottest setting.

Bathroom Horror Stories - Miscalculated PlumberBathroom Horror Stories - Miscalculated Plumber

So what happened?
The bath had to be removed (which as it was fitted correctly albeit in the wrong position) was an absolute nightmare. Floor tiles had to be moved and the bath had to be re-instated and sealed.

I’ve put this at the number 1 spot because this was one of my jobs!

We’re all human after all, and I put it right immediately for free of course.

Cost to put right
£0

Lessons learned –
Employ someone who learns from their mistakes and accepts responsibility! > Ukbathroomguru

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