Advice please on tolerances for tiling


Postby wickerman1138 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:40 pm

We are at the tail end of an extension build and it has become obvious to us in the last week that the poor standard of tiling isn't confined to just the bathroom but to the open plan kitchen. A friend just came around with a gadget that threw a thin red line around for us to measure against and whereas I was aware that the level was not good at one end of the kitchen its clear from the readings we took that the flooring is uneven all over. I don't think anyone can justify the differences we have measured but is there a tolerance for how much tiling can vary over a set number of square metres? One reading we took showed there was a 3cm difference in the space of about 4 metres which is pretty horrendous to me.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist so would not be happy with anything but a level floor so this is all a bit academic but I am getting my facts together to present the builder with this evidence.

I read some of the other postings here and think myself it would be better to ask for some recompense as I just don't trust them to fix it.

The head builder is a nice guy and any issues we have had so far they have taken on board and done the work to correct it but none of the issues we had were as substantial as the one we have just uncovered. We live on an island so its slightly different to living in the uk where a builder could disappear into the landscape and never be seen again. So we are not worried about him disappearing. We still owe them money so there is the ability to withhold payment until something is done to correct it.

In retrospect we didn't follow some of the don'ts of employing a building. We did accept the lowest offer as we couldn't afford the next one up so we are guilty of ambition outstripping our budget. The builder came recommended by 2 people and we inspected a site they were working on. I just cannot believe how sloppily the work has been done.
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Postby JRS » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:27 pm

Have you got any pic of the floor. I am trying to paint a pic here of what you have said but i dont know wither its the tiling thats off or the extension. The tiler can only go on what is infront of him. Are the tiles stepping up or are they level?

The floor should have been ply'd and then screeded with self level.

But as you said the poorest prices will not be the best quality workman ship. I am never the cheapest but i offer quality where as the lower prices offer a lower product. You get what you pay for, I cant lower my prices to match these guys as i cant offer my quality so i would rather not bother.
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Postby wickerman1138 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:39 pm

JRS wrote:Have you got any pic of the floor. I am trying to paint a pic here of what you have said but i dont know wither its the tiling thats off or the extension. The tiler can only go on what is infront of him. Are the tiles stepping up or are they level?

The floor should have been ply'd and then screeded with self level.

But as you said the poorest prices will not be the best quality workman ship. I am never the cheapest but i offer quality where as the lower prices offer a lower product. You get what you pay for, I cant lower my prices to match these guys as i cant offer my quality so i would rather not bother.


Thanks for replying. Yes my post was a bit sketchy. I won't post any photos as we have decided to get another professional in to look at it. The tiler did put ply and some rubber matting down, which we asked to have put down on the advice of another professional.

Its one large flat area which is making it deceptive. At a glance the tiling is level. There are no tiles massively higher than any others. Maybe by a few millimetres but that tolerance seemed OK to me. It looks OK but when I walk about I'm aware of the differences which I can easily check as I can just touch the roof at one end but at the other I can touch the roof with my second index knuckle (thats how we measure things here :). So a difference of an inch and a half. That to me suggests its more than the tiles as there would have to be some seriously bad tiling to wander that much.

In a number of conversations with the tiler he has tried to fob us off with some laughable explanations as to why he did certain things. He's the type of guy who can never be wrong.

If I was a builder I would take the same approach as you (although easy for me to say). I like things done spot on right and take pride in my own work so when I see what I think is slapdash it gets my goat. Especially when I'm paying for it! Anyways. I am a perfectionist so I may find out I'm being unreasonable but the differences seem enough to be investigated.

Thanks. I will let you know how I get on.
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Postby JRS » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Sounds more like the floor thats off more than anything. Unless he put a tile on top of a tile :lol: I am the same i take loads of pride in my work and wont leave until i am happy, I would prefer someone to give some criticism we are only human after all so a second eye is always good expecially when you look at something too long. :shock:
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Postby adamwilliams » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:59 am

Not at all! Uneven level will lead to a very short life of flooring. You may need to replace it within 3 or less years.
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