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Help!!! Tiling disaster!


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[quote user="the build doctor"] More pics of the mixer / valve please?[/quote]

I didn't take any, but I can when I go back tomorrow. I'm not sure what you mean about the plumbing being bad. It looks OK to me, but then I'm not a build doctor! I'll take loads more photos and post them here.

Thanks again everyone!

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I've just looked at your pictures. That work is truly awful. Even worse is the fact that Lapeyre tried to tell you it was OK. Thanks for posting this - you give your location as  Normandy, can you give a general indication of area or even just branch of Lapeyre that you use as we purchase from the Lapeyre in Bernay and I had considered using their fitting service. AFter seeing this it would take a lot for me to do so but I guess that these fitters only work in their own locality.

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To add leverage point out that their are XXXX British people who have read your story on the web site and want to know how your problems will be resolved as they are thinking of or have previously bought kitchens and bathrooms from them or GEM. And unless you get your problems sorted out will never buy from them again.

Get a couple of links to the EXPOS sorted out  so they realise we are talking serious money and full scale renovations.

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[quote user="cooperlola"]I see your point!  They kind of remind me of the tiles in Armley Swimming Baths in the early 60's![:-))][/quote]

Now I have seen these tiles I am seeing thie same style everywhere - in lots of the decor magazines, on the cover of Bathroom & Kitchens etc. Perhaps its nostalgia [:D]

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I'm glad somebody else mentioned the plumber... If he new the shower-room was to be tiled ,he should have left an allowance for the tiles behind his fittings. Better still on a decent job, he will either return to the site after the tiler has finished or he will leave spacers for the tiles to go behind washbasin /pipe covers etc.  I wouldn't pay for any of it untill it was put right. I only have to get a spot of grout missing and my site labourer/cleaner/goffer, also known as my wife, very quickly points it out.

Regards. www.ourinns.com

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Agree that, from what was shown in the pictures that his plumbing looks questionable - the way that the silicon sealer is 'smeared' is not very good either.

There have been instances on national firms in the UK who have glossy brochures and offer an installation service or only offer an all inclusive service that have been shown up as being well below standard. The fitters never have to demonstrate that they can do a good job to the customer. Possibly the best thing is to use local tradespeople whose reputation is important to them.

Wish you luck in getting it sorted - and do not let them tile over. Take those off and start again.


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I had two new windows fitted;two of the scruffiest workmen turned up-late-one was wider than he was tall,wearing a pair of towelling shorts and the other was barely 5ft. tall.Two hours later,they left leaving a perfect job;and I mean perfect;didn't even need redecorating where the wallpaper touched the window.
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Jc - Do they know how to tile and are they anywhere near Normandy??? (ha ha). If so please PM me their details!

Just got back from France, not much else to add. Went back to the shop this morning and have picked out some new tiles. They are still trying to blame it on us for not having prepared the wall properly. As they didn't have a huge selection to choose from in stock, I stopped off at the Calais branch on the way back. I showed the photos to the bathroom salesman there and he was shocked. He said that it made him want to cry and he took the photos off to show his fitter who said that it the person who fitted it could not have been a professional.

I now have all my facts straight and will compose my letter to send to the branch and to the head office. We are going to stand our ground and ask for the tiles to be removed completely and for it to be redone. Will let you know what happens next...

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Hi Catherine,

I would also send copies of the photographs to the tile manufacturer with details of your complaint. Surely they would not like such a nice looking product (looks nice from the brochure picture), ruined by poor installation. They might be interested to see how your bathroom installers rectify the problem.



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I've had another look at our contract, and the work that they were supposed to do includes:

"Depose du receveur de douche, de la cabine existante et de la robinetterie murale." (i.e. deinstall the shower tray, existing shower cabin and taps).

But later it says that we were responsible for

"Le redressement des murs avant la pose du nouveau revetement". (i.e. prepare the walls before the new coating).

But how on earth were we supposed to do this, as we couldn't get to it before the plumber "deposed" the shower????!!!!

Could any plumbers advise me on this point please? I think it is quite an important one for our case, as they are still trying to lay the blame on the uneven walls. (To be honest, the walls weren't that bad).

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There's rough.....then there's dog rough.

Shower stall preparation and tiling.

Isolate services

Remove old mixer valves / shower units

remove wall tiling

remove shower tray

Alter supplies and wastes to suit new installation (Chase out walls if need be)

Rough fit valve / shower unit to ensure alignment (Drill a piece of ply and use as a template to hold pipes at correct centres if no spacer provided)

Protect pipes in wall with  denso tape or similar

Fill pipe / cable chases,

Apply pva as an anti suction coat do not pva existing tiles unless you want a shower tray full of holes!

Skim walls if need be.

Install new shower tray and ensure it is level, connect waste protect tray with tape and hardboard

Silicone seal tray to walls of enclosure to provide initial seal

Ceramic tile up from tray edge carefully cutting tiles around protuding services

Grout tiling and polish (Waterproof adhesive and grout)

clean all traces of dust from enclosure and remove tray protection

purge pipework

install mixer valve /shower ...riser rails accessories and cabinet door if needs be

clean area thouroughly and leave for a couple of days for every thing to dry out thoroughly.

Apply silicone seal to shower tray tiling abuttment and vertical internal joints (Note many cubicles /cabinets should not be sealed horizontally as they have concealed drainage back into the tray)

Stand back and admire.

I can assure you that rough walls are not the problem, rough plumber may well be!

If you use a toothed trowel you will by virtue of the raised adhesive ridges be able to set tiles level in relation to each other particularly if you use a high build adhesive (BAL used to do a good one)

The work that you have there is way below the standard you are entitled to expect from a professional. I would not waste my time listening to someone  trying to defend it, different if they are saying they are going to remedy it immediately and they are terribly sorry.



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[quote user="CatherineS2"]"Depose du receveur de douche, de la cabine existante et de la robinetterie murale." (i.e. deinstall the shower tray, existing shower cabin and taps)[/quote]

dépose du receveur de douche = installation of the shower base

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...


Lots of to-ing and fro-ing on this, but to cut a long story short, we arranged for them to come and do the work week commencing Sat 28/4, as we had guests right through since March.

Last week they sent me a registered letter to confirm the appointment, and advising us that the same artisan was coming back (on the saturday and sunday) and that he was going to tile over the existing tiles - NOT what we were expecting.

After various research (eg UK trading standards, www.euroconsumer.org.uk, www.econsumer.gov, www.quechoisir.org, I got in contact with the Seine Maritime branch of the "Association de defense des consommateurs" (www.clcv.org). The woman was very helpful and specific and she told me that they were obliged to remove and replace the tiles, and that it was our right to ask for a new equipe to do the work. If they did not do this, I should contact the CLCV again and they would help us to take it to court - she made it sound very easy to take it before the juge, it would be free and that we shouldn't need to engage a solicitor in such a clear-cut case, and that we could even claim some of our money back if necessary (at the moment I only owe them about 900E). I'd be interested to know if others have had to do this and whether it really is that simple?

Fed up with all the blaming, dithering and obfuscation, I have sent a registered letter telling them that they have to replace the tiles, using a different installer, by 19th May, otherwise the work cannot be done until October, and I will be withholding payment of the balance until it has been rectified.  I also reminded them that the bad tiling job would be seen by all the guests we have throughout the summer, not a good advertisement for them!

I also sent a copy of the letter to their CEO at their Paris head office - let's see what he thinks of those photos!!!

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Thanks for this update Catherine.

It's great to see you sticking to your guns and also getting help though the maze. Now that you have the backing of a consumers association, I'd like to think they are going to sort the problem out without any other delay.

Good luck!

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OMG! I just found this thread, and Catherine I hope that you not only get everything sorted, but that you get either a full refund or significant compensation. That's awful!! No-one else has mentioned this, so maybe it's just me, but didn't your tiler have any grout the same colour as the tiles, either??
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[quote user="Gluestick"]One fears, Clair, that you have now self-adopted this Forum's role as its resident Tile Guru![:D][/quote]

No way! I just collect a lot of useless information, some of it about tiles!

I do like hand-made tiles and in my past days in the tile import business, I bought (at special price!) some lovely ones form a reputable tile maker in Salernes (south of France), which travelled from Draguignan to West Sussex, sat in boxes in a shed for about 8 years before I took them back to France and finally fixed them in my current kitchen!

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  • 4 weeks later...


After my letter to the company and their CEO, I got a response from them, giving us the choice of accepting the work done so far and not having to pay the balance (about 900E), or for them to come back to replace the tiles. Only problem with the latter option is that they couldn't do it within the last couple of weeks and as we are now booked up through the summer, the work would be done in September - but by the same workman, and they require us to be present while the work is done (presumably because they want to make sure that we hand over a cheque at the end!)

I contacted the CLCV (www.clcv.org) and the woman I had previously spoken to has taken up our case. She has contacted the company and they have now agreed to send someone else - in fact, apparently the original subcontractor has now been licenciee (let go) and I have to say that I feel really bad about that, I don't want people to lose their jobs on my account :-((  Apart from the cr*p tiling job, he was very helpful, polite and punctual and the rest of the work didn't seem too bad... Oh well...

Also, when I told her that it was very difficult for us to spend a couple more days over there mid-week in September, she said that she and her colleague would go along to our house on the final afternoon to check the quality of the work (bear in mind that her office is 80kms away)!!! I was very pleasantly surprised and thanked her profusely, but she shrugged it off - "c'est normal!".  She is only in the office two afternoons a week, the rest of the time she is a sort of roving dispute resolver, and she often goes along to court with plaintiffs too!

I have to say that I am so impressed with the way the CLCV have taken up our case, even though we aren't members (although I have now joined the association - it's only 30euros p.a.). I would really advise other people with consumer-related problems to contact them if you feel you need some assistance with any disputes. I'm going to post something in the Legal section of this forum too. 

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