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Thread: Bathroom remodel - This looks like a big mistake, what do I do?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Maxie's Avatar
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    Default Bathroom remodel - This looks like a big mistake, what do I do?

    We're remodeling a 5x8 bathroom in my mother's 1963 house. New sub floor, tub is in, plumbing in, walls boarded up. We are putting in a new 2ft length of baseboard heating (hotwater heat), which is shorter than the old one so the pipes under the floor (accessed from the basement) had to be moved. The plumber came today to do that. We got home and saw he installed the new radiator before the floor and wall tiles have been installed, and I immediately thought that was weird, b/c how would the tiler now be able to tile behind the radiator. The contractor came by the check up on the work, and I pointed this out, and his first excuse was that they always do it that way in a retrofit rather than new construction. So, I pointed out it is new construction because the entire bathroom was gutted, and it would be much nicer and more professional to have full tile behind the radiator. He said he would squeeze tile behind it, but not all the way. It will also result in more cut pieces of floor tile to go around the pipes running up through the floor, because now you can't just drill holes in the tile. (Floor tiles are 6"x24")

    His other excuses were that they had to get the heat going, when my mother has repeatedly said it's fine, it's not too cold yet, and she doesn't mind a bit of cold. (we've had some chilly nights here NY but nothing a sunny day can't fix, which we've also had) Then he said he's just trying to keep the cost down. Whatever his reason (which I think are all after-the-fact excuses for something he didn't realize), I think he should have clearly asked if we would rather have heat now at the expense of wall tile behind the baseboard radiator.

    Do you all agree this is very sloppy, incorrect and a missed opportunity to tile the wall fully and properly while the radiator was out of there? And to have the floor done with only 2 drill holes in tiles, rather than piecing together bits to go around the pipes? The original old bathroom from 1963 had wall tile behind the radiator. I think that chalking in the radiator to seal the bare wall from any potential water damage would also be very ugly.

    Should I insist that the plumber come back and remove the radiator until everything is tiled? Should I do it even if it'll be at my expense? I am a perfectionist and I can't stand seeing a job not done properly.

    Thank you all in advance. I hope to hear from you soon since this conversation will be continuing tomorrow morning with the contractor!

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It was both sloppy and unprofessional. NOBODY would connect the baseboard before the room was finished, regardless of whether it was a new, or remodel, job.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It was both sloppy and unprofessional. NOBODY would connect the baseboard before the room was finished, regardless of whether it was a new, or remodel, job.
    Thanks for posting that reply hj.
    I was thinking the same thing. It's nice to have the walls in and finished before you start installing the fixtures.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    Since you are acting as a GC, it's your responsibility and authority to make sure your subs follow the right sequence.

    Have you paid the plumber in full?

    Get him over there at once and have him remove what he installed until after the tile is in. End of story.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Maxie's Avatar
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    I have a general contractor for the job. He is in charge of the plumber, electrician etc, and he is the one that had all the lame reasons for doing it this way. I'm starting to feel though that I could have been the GC for this job. I haven't paid the contractor in full though. About 1/2 at this point. But thanks for your firm position. I like that. It sure is nice to get some confirmation from all you guys that it was simply wrong to install that radiator before the tile was in.


    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    Since you are acting as a GC, it's your responsibility and authority to make sure your subs follow the right sequence.

    Have you paid the plumber in full?

    Get him over there at once and have him remove what he installed until after the tile is in. End of story.

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