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Discuss Problem with wall hung basin in the Plumbing Forum area at

  1. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    I would be very grateful for advice re problems with my newly fitted bathroom.
    A few days after the 550mm basin was wall-hung (because I don't like the look of pedestals), I rested my hand on it, and a tile behind it cracked, and the basin is now very slightly loose. And, no, I did not swing on it! It is 'fixed' to an outside wall.

    The plumber arranged to come back and refix it, but then said he's given up plumbing.

    I would like to have the basin refixed a little further away from the wall, since there is a cabinet above the basin, with insufficient headroom. Could I have a false wall built to hide the pipes and to provide a shelf behind the basin?

    And would it need a metal frame to fix it? Please can you advise me what to do?
  2. chris watkins

    chris watkins Plumber

    In sort yes that should be possible & it could be constructed of of wood or using a metal frame.

    The starting point is the existing basin fixings do you know what was used?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Not sure I see the relevance if it's going to be changed and altered.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. chris watkins

    chris watkins Plumber

    If the tiles cracked & it is loose after such a sort time you have to wonder if it has been fixed correctly, they wouldn't want a repeat when it is re-fixed.

    That was my thinking.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Agree however the fact that it has failed so quickly and the original person has "Given up plumbing" therefore won`t return speaks volumes to me so hopefully whoever takes the job on now will do a proper job.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Masood

    Masood Guest

    Agree - no point trying to repair this install by the sounds of it. Best to start again - no knowing what other bodgery has gone on, if it came loose so easily!
    • Like Like x 2
  7. paulusgg

    paulusgg GSR

    I wonder what the original plumber is doing now that he's given up plumbing. Re-wires, mortgage advice, vicar??
    • Like Like x 1
  8. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    Thanks for your input. The plumber was recommended by my local plumbing/bathroom supply shop. Their only reaction to my plight was to say that the shop and all their plumbers are inundated with work, and that all the other plumbers are booked up until October. I have vented my fury by giving them a rotten rating on

    My concern now is to know what is necessary to re-fix the basin, say, at least 10cm away from the wall this time. The basin is close to a corner of the bathroom, only 10cm from the adjacent wall, so I am planning to extend the tiled panelling to the corner. Would it need a metal frame to make it secure?

    I really appreciate your help, as I'm struggling to find people I can trust.
  9. paulusgg

    paulusgg GSR

    Build some stud work from 4by2 sawn timber ensuring there is timber noggins at the correct spacing to accept Fisher basin bolts. Cover the studwork with your preferred material (ply, plasterboard, tiling). Extend the pipe work to make sure the hot, cold and waste will fit the basin in its new position.

    On the back of the basin you will see two large oval shaped holes, measure and mark the position of these on the wall at the correct height and centres before screwing in the basin bolts. You can now slide the basin over these bolts and screw on the nylon spacers, washers and nuts.

    No need for a metal frame although there are some available on the market

    Hope this helps, even if you're not doing it yourself you'll be able to see the/a correct method.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    Thank you Paulusgg!
    I do appreciate the details, so I know what to ask the next plumber.
  11. lame plumber

    lame plumber Guest

    seems harsh to slag off the merchant when another company fitted the bathroom, only saying, but you have just proved all that is wrong with the internet.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    a) the merchant recommended him, and
    b) the merchant was totally uninterested in helping, and I had spent a lot of money with them.
    c) the plumber himself has no internet presence. This in itself persuades me that in future I should only employ people who have an online reputation to guard. Of course it isn't a perfect system, but I'm fed up of bad workmen. I am equally diligent in giving top ratings to good people - my joiner, car mechanic, painter, gas boiler fitter, etc.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    Roughly whereabouts are you? One of us might cover that area.

    And the prospect of a bad report getting back to this nest of vipers is what keeps us all on our toes!
  14. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    Ha ha. I'm in south Manchester. I've got plenty of spare tiles, and some grouting.

    I'd be delighted to find someone here to do the work for me. :smile5:
  15. Radioman

    Radioman Active Member

    Caveat Emptor! How many references did you take out on your "plumber" or was he just the cheapest? And if you did take out references how did you do that? Before I retired and we closed up shop we supplied a written list of past customers for reference, including phone numbers and email address, with every estimate supplied: (note Estimate as opposed to Quotation). I can count on 1 hand the number of times a reference was taken in 15 years. Due to the changes in consumer protection in October 2015 I am surprised even more tradesmen are not ceasing to trade.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    I like your style of business. And I appreciate that choosing the cheapest estimate is not the best policy. Though, I have sometimes paid a high price for a job - believing I would get good service - only to be very disappointed. It is really difficult for the layman to gauge in advance.

    In this case, the plumber had worked for the merchant for 10 years, and he told me he'd had no complaints. I had asked for 1 reference from a recent job, and that lady kindly showed me her bathroom, and she had nothing but praise for him.
  17. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    I have received an estimate for doing what sounds like your suggestion above.
    Does £350 sound reasonable? (I am supplying the tiles and grouting).
    It sounds very high to me. But maybe I am out of touch!
    Any opinions would be much appreciated. :smiley2:
  18. paulusgg

    paulusgg GSR

    Without the benefit of seeing the job or the amount of work involved it's very difficult to estimate a cost but for what I imagine you require £350 sounds about right (in the south east)
    Are materials costs included in the estimate/quote?
  19. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    Yes. The only materials would be some wood, and screws?
    The area is 650mm wide x (height of basin + a few mm) x depth of cavity.
    The whole area is already tiled, but the one broken tile needs replacing.
    Thanks for your opinion!
  20. chris watkins

    chris watkins Plumber

    They will still have to go buy a full sheet of water proof ply or similar, full lengths of tube etc. we don't keep off cut bits in the van waiting to construct a small piece of boxing. etc. etc.

    Plus a days labour,

    I fear that you may be out of touch on the prices for a quality plumber who can alter & extend pipework, construct some bespoke carpentry, then tile & finally run a mastic seal.

    Not a bad skill set & warrants a reasonable return for acquiring them wouldn't you say?
    • Like Like x 1
  21. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    Fair enough. If that's normal in the bathroom fitting line of work.
    Thank you for your contribution!
  22. Radioman

    Radioman Active Member

    Can I make one observation regarding your first installer. You state that he has worked FOR the merchant for 10 years. If you are saying that you paid the merchant for the labour and materials then the merchant is liable for rectification. If you are saying that the installer has bought his materials from the merchant for 10 years and is a sole trader then under the new act the installer is financially responsible in law for the work he has done for 6 years. It is for that reason that we still take out public liability insurance with efficacy cover even though we ceased trading as sole traders (not as a Limited Company) 2 years ago just in case a serious problem arises and an ambulance chasing lawyer decides to pursue us personally. Work done after Oct 2015 carries a massive protection for the consumer. So even if your installer has "given up plumbing" you can still pursue him for costs under his insurance at the time.

    With regard to your question regarding costs. I think that estimate reflects the situation. Eg there is a cost factored in for rectifying faulty work carried out by an unknown tradesman for an unhappy customer. I would expect to pay £150 to £180 per day for a qualified installer plus his helper, then there is waste removal either via a skip or licensed waste removal, he cannot take any commercial waste to a council tip, but you can! Then he has to travel to purchase materials, possibly make a second visit 24 hours after tiling to carry out the final install etc. If so it sounds about right to me. You could probably get an economic migrant to do it for much less though.
  23. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    In my case, I bought a lot of equipment from the merchant myself. I transported or arranged delivery of almost all of it. The plumber gave me receipts for materials (including new boots!) which I paid.

    I personally took my old bathroom to the tip, in order to save costs.

    Yes, I do believe that the plumber should recompense me for simply re-fixing the basin. However, in practice, it is probably not worth the bother. I cannot prove how little ‘force’ it took to crack the tile. I might try sending him a bill.

    I still think that £350 is a bit steep. I am just jealous that my responsible, conscientious endeavours, with an equally broad skillset and vast experience, don’t earn me anything like that rate of pay. But I digress…
  24. Stoney Ground

    Stoney Ground GSR

    Why would you pay for his boots?

    It sounds as though you agreed to pay a day rate or set rate plus materials. If that is the case he has no materials mark up to cover any errors he may make or minor accidents, as that would have to come out of his labour cost.

    Have an existing customer who has just bough a buy to let, wants full bathroom strip out and refit asap. He has purchased all items from a major bathstore, some items impractical for what he needs.

    Have offered to do it on day work as on price I have to price for worst case scenario, possibly reboard 2 walls alter all boxing. He doesn't want to get a skip or hippo bag and will take rubbish to dump.

    So many customers now want installers to take all the risks but buy materials themselves, which eats in to any margins.

    If I buy materials I put a mark up on them, if there is a problem I go to merchants and get it sorted.
    • Like Like x 2
  25. ToolGuy

    ToolGuy New Member

    Moving back to the job, why has the sink come lose, the tile broken? How was it all fixed to the wall? Sounds like it might be tiles on plasterboard on stud wall with simple plasterboard fixings. A steel or wooden frame needs to be securely fixed to start.
  26. QualityFirst

    QualityFirst New Member

    It is fixed to an outside wall which the plumber had stripped of old tiles, and re-tiled himself. The basin was supposed to have either a pedestal or semi pedestal, which I didn't want. However, both the merchant and the plumber assured me it would be fine wall hung.

    Also, the plumber hadn't consulted me re the height, and he fixed it too high for me, and so I asked him if he could move it. He then moved it so that the top is now 85cm above the floor, and this suits me fine. I wonder if moving it caused the problem.
  27. jonnyswamp

    jonnyswamp Plumber GSR

    I'm curious about your last paragraph
    What do you think is reasonable to pay a self employed plumber per day
    Also, what are your skills
    • Like Like x 2
  28. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    900mm high for washbasin.
  29. paulusgg

    paulusgg GSR

    I generally put washbasins at 850mm, after all that's the height a pedestal would set them at!

    But perhaps the problem with the loose basin was caused by it being moved after the initial fit resulting in the basin bolt holes becoming loose. In my experience if the basin bolts are fixed securely the basin will be fixed securely.
  30. AlexGas

    AlexGas Plumber GSR

    Some of them are 820...
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  31. chris watkins

    chris watkins Plumber

    male chicken height,

    although my basins seem to be a bit higher than they use to be.
  32. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    I must have short arms.
  33. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    You usually want a basin to be about 50mm higher than what the standard old basin with pedestals height were and they look better IMO. So maybe about 850mm high. Unless obviously the users are small people who want it lower.
    I like to be able to reach my hands into base of basins without having to bend my back.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  34. spanner

    spanner Plumber GSR

    Maybe you forgot to stud it. Won't HANG on tile plasterboard wall. Simple remove the basin and cut out a hole in the wall (square! ) get loads of 4x2 and batten together and make sure you've placed a batton horizontal at basin height around the 700x800 line patch back the plasterboard hole. Tile up and refit the basin. Then try sitting on to see if takes the weight.
  35. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    If it's on masonry, it can be a right pain.

    Refixed a loose programmer for central heating recently. Soft red bricks, lime mortar. Mortar joints nearly an inch wide. Of course , you can't tell what's under the plaster at first. Ended up using lots and lots of Gripfill and wasting the best part of an hour.

    So if your workman fixed to a wall under the tiles he may just have been unlucky enough to have hit a section of wall that lended no support, hence the tile took the weight.

    My question is why should the tile crack? Experienced tiler on this forum may be able to tell you if this means the tile wasn't properly adhering to the wall or if it's what would happen anyway.
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