Newlook tiles and bathrooms – When only the best will do!

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.     

William A. Foster

The bathroom is second only to the kitchen as the room with the highest per m2 construction spend in our modern houses. Great care and attention is demanded when planing and completing new or upgraded bathroom projects.

Clive Buckley is the CEO of newlook tiles and bathrooms.

Using cheap tiles and sanitary-ware or worse still the seconds marketed to an unsuspecting public can destroy the look of even the most beautifully designed bathrooms. Even slightly different sized tiles for example, can throw off the pattern and grout line, fixing a botched tiling job is expensive, disruptive and messy, especially if water has seeped through the grout and ruined joists, studding, ceilings and finished walls.

That’s why hiring a seasoned professional and making sure the job gets done right the first time is essential. All good jobs require experienced and and highly skilled tradesman to maximise the effect of a quality design.

Good tradesmen are hard to find

Instead of getting prospects for contractors from retail tile and bathroom showrooms, go where the pros go by checking at a tile-suppliers that cater to contractors. These outlets are more likely to know who does premium work.

Also consider hiring a commercial contractor willing to take on residential jobs like yours; because a large percentage of tiling goes into commercial buildings, these are the most experienced pros. And politely decline any offers to do tiling or bathrooms on the cheap from a carpenter, labourer or other non-expert already working on your home.

Once you have a few names, start qualifying them by checking for current insurance as you would with any contractor. Look for tilers and bathroom fitters in business at least three years — the minimum needed for them to acquire an arsenal of specialty tools and a verifiable track record of quality work. Ask for and check references.

What to look for in their previous jobs

When viewing a contractor’s past work on site, keep in mind that each tile is exactly the same size as the next. Look for consistent spacing between joints. Look down grout lines to be sure they’re perfectly straight.Focus on the bathroom layout next. Is it balanced?

A good tiler begins in the centre of a room so cut tiles at opposite ends of the pattern end up the same size. Also check doorways, windows and corners — especially odd-shaped angles in the skirting board or trim. Finish your inspection by checking the sanitary-ware and walls to be sure they’re free of splashed grout or water stains.

Another way to qualify tilers: Ask if you can stop by a current job site. Once you’re there, get a sense of how organised the project appears. Because tilers have to work quickly to take advantage of mortars and adhesives with short drying times, neatness counts. Check that the tiler uses some type of plastic dust containment to seal the work area from the rest of the house. Also see that the contractor protects wood trim, a bathtub or an appliance with tape.

Pricing and estimation?

Beware of the temptation to go for the cheapest price. There is no need to pay above the going rate for quality work but anything that sounds cheap usually ends up not only cheap but nasty. The cost of redoing bathroom and tiling works is quite significant and could result in severe delays to project delivery. Take with a pinch of salt, anybody boasting about being cheaper than the rest or having a friend that can supply top quality tiles for a less. In the current climate most good quality contractors are busy and may not be available in the short term. They very rarely negotiate on the price.

Make sure that the price includes any preparatory works including removing all units and tiles and protecting the area. It is also important that the price includes protecting the rest of the property from damage or dust.

Who buys the materials and sanitary-ware?

Most contractors prefer supplying the materials. Don’t worry. With their professional discount, they can often make a profit and charge you the same or less than you would pay for tiles yourself. And with the many tile types, finishes, edge treatments and porosity ratings out there, it may be better to let them supply and be responsible for the quality. plus, you want any material failure to be the installers responsibility, not yours.

If you would like to set up a free phone consultation with Clive, have a question about specialty products like marble finishes etc

Click here to arrange quotation