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Topic # 153509 29-Sep-2014 15:44
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We had a new bathroom put in in August 2012, it took around eight weeks to strip the room and remake it from scratch, and it cost tens of thousands for parts and labour. Overall the company (who I won't name for now as they're generally good and responsive, just very slow) has done a good job, but there's a problem with the grout between the tiles in the shower - see the pictures below. It's under warranty. They suggested this happened because we scrubbed the grout with a scrubbing brush - I'm not sure how my wife cleans them, but we were never given cleaning instructions. The rest of the grout in the non-shower parts of the bathroom are fine.

I notified the firm of the problem July 15 this year, and they came to have a look. We arranged to have it (and two other minor things) fixed while we were overseas on holiday in September, as it needed a couple of days to dry before repairs, and a couple of days to dry before use. Being without a single bathroom would be quite inconvenient. So while we were away they didn't fix the problem, despite two months notice, as the firm said their contract tiler had let them down. Instead they put a waterproof coating over the shower, which I'm not sure was helpful, as there's a thick orange waterproof coating under the tiles. The did one of the other fixed, and half did the third. They have said they will fix it, but haven't committed to a date, and haven't replied to my most recent email.

So my questions are:
1) What could cause this?
2) How could it be fixed?
3) Given they've had 2.5 months to fix this, and failed to fix it at the most convenient pre-arranged and mutually agreed time, can I have another vendor fix it and then bill the first company? Obviously I want to avoid doing this if possible, but I'd like to know my rights.




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  Reply # 1143611 29-Sep-2014 16:02
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At a guess they have used the wrong product. The existing grouting needs to be removed, the area thoroughly cleaned and allow to dry then new grout applied. This needs to be done ASAP before capillary action has the water getting in and right behind the tiles, that would be a nightmare.




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  Reply # 1143635 29-Sep-2014 16:16
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Thanks Kiwi. It's already been going on for 2-3 months, so if anything bad was going to happen it's probably happened already.




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  Reply # 1143959 30-Sep-2014 08:37
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It does look like a bad product to me. Whether their tiler used a bad batch or whether he did a bad job, the grout should not look like that unless your wife cleans the shower with acids and a wire brush...

You could call around other tilers and explain the situation and that you would like them to come and give you a quote for the work to be repaired. This might be your swiftest course of action (although spending more money is never ideal). 

It would then give you a monetary value that you could give to the original company and bring up small claims court as one solution due to their ineptitude. It sounds like a bit of scare tactic might be a viable option at this point. 

As mentioned above you would need to remove all grout and re-do it all. It's not a small job by any means so I can see why the tiler is dragging his heels. If you had any old grout left in there it would be an obvious weak point. Any sealant applied over the grout in its current state would not last long as it appears the grout is disintegrating. No amount of sealant can withstand that forever. 

Definitely push. Call every day, do not let this go away or you will be paying for the fix yourself.



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  Reply # 1143964 30-Sep-2014 08:41
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Thanks guys. I have a vague recollection of a law that lets you have someone else fix a problem then send the bill to the original company, if they don't want to do the work themselves. Did I make that up or is it real?




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  Reply # 1144011 30-Sep-2014 09:45
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timmmay: Thanks guys. I have a vague recollection of a law that lets you have someone else fix a problem then send the bill to the original company, if they don't want to do the work themselves. Did I make that up or is it real?


From my understanding of the CGA, I believe you are correct timmmay. But be aware that the onus would be on you to extract payment from the original service provider - could be messy.

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  Reply # 1144044 30-Sep-2014 10:16
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Assuming that the grout was properly sealed in the first place did you get any instruction from the installers about periodic resealing? I'd also find out what method was used cleaning the shower and check that it was appropriate. Google might be safer than checking here depending on how extreme ;-)



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  Reply # 1144045 30-Sep-2014 10:18
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We were told the grout didn't need to be sealed, but I asked them to do it because I prefer to be thorough. We got no cleaning instructions. I'll ask my wife how she cleans it, I imagine a plastic scrubbing brush.




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  Reply # 1144949 1-Oct-2014 16:54
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That looks terrible.  It's hard to imagine they used "bad grout" if they were professional tilers.  Bad workmanship - my guess is perhaps they grouted too soon, before the adhesive had set firmly.
IMO it needs to be removed fully and redone.  That's easier than it used to be using a grout removal blade on multitool - shaped like a 3/4 circle, diamond edged.  The blades are expensive ($80 or so for a quality brand), and they aren't fool-proof (you can cut or chip the tile edges if you're not careful).



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  Reply # 1144962 1-Oct-2014 17:22
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They're arranging to fix it now. Instead of the tiler who did it they have some kind of industry rep expert type guy doing it who should do a good job. They'll remove the grout (or at least the top layer) and replace it with a hybrid grout, or ceramic grout, or something different anyway.




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  Reply # 1144963 1-Oct-2014 17:25
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By any chance is the initials of the company CB?

We had them do our bathroom and caused so much stress we did not want to go home at night.

John





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  Reply # 1144984 1-Oct-2014 17:39
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timmmay: Thanks guys. I have a vague recollection of a law that lets you have someone else fix a problem then send the bill to the original company, if they don't want to do the work themselves. Did I make that up or is it real?

 

IANAL, but I beleive you do have to give the company the opportunity to fix it first, and tell them what you plan to do if they don't. 



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  Reply # 1144991 1-Oct-2014 17:55
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SATTV: By any chance is the initials of the company CB?

We had them do our bathroom and caused so much stress we did not want to go home at night.


Nope.




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  Reply # 1145001 1-Oct-2014 18:14
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As others have said, I'd look to avoid paying anyone else out of your own pocket.  I can see that going nowhere with regards to recouping the costs/funds from your original company.

Get some cleaning instructions from the next crowd.  They're usually overly soft to protect them, I remember someone being required to clean their microwave daily with some product for example to meet a manufacturers warranty terms etc.
I wouldn't imagine a scrubbing brush of any sort would be required for a few years at least. 

If the tiles are still adhering to the wall sufficiently then changing the grout is not a particularly difficult job, just annoying more than anything.  Good luck mate!

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  Reply # 1145216 1-Oct-2014 23:14
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Are tiles more hassle than they are worth for shower? They are very expensive to install, and they look to be a bit of a cleaning nightmare, with mould and grouting.

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  Reply # 1145250 2-Oct-2014 04:44
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Potential problems or not tiles seem to be the norm in North America. Almost all TV renovation shows only show tile in bathrooms. Tile owners I know here are strict on using a rubber scraper to remove water after showering.

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