Questions about Bathroom Improvement

Hello everyone,

I have some questions regarding fitting a new bathroom. Our original plan was to replace the bathtub, shower head, and toilet, while keeping the existing floor and wall tiles since they are in good condition.

Recently, a tradesman from a plumbing company visited our home and suggested that we consider replacing the tiles and floors as well. He explained that when performing a like-for-like replacement of the bathtub and toilet, the tiles or floors could be damaged. If that happens, it may be difficult to find the same or similar tiles to repair the damage. He also mentioned that changing the type of shower may require the removal of tiles from the walls to access the pipes behind them. After some discussion, he suggested that we consider refitting the entire bathroom.

Additionally, I asked the tradesman about improving the water pressure in the taps. He checked the water tanks and determined that the low pressure was due to the old-style gravity tank. He recommended that we replace the tank with a newer one that has a pump to increase the water pressure. I initially suspected that the pressure issue might be caused by a blockage somewhere.

As a novice in this area, I am unsure whether the tradesman's recommendations are correct or if he is simply trying to sell us more services. Therefore, I have the following questions:

  1. Is it common for tiles or floors to break when replacing a like-for-like bathtub or toilet?
  2. Can low water pressure be caused by the type of water tank in use?
  3. What qualifications or certificates should a tradesman have to fit a new bathroom? Should they be a member of a Competent Person Scheme?


    • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
      33.4K Posts
      Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
      1. Yes, can be
      2. absolutely. That is the reason in your case. 
      3. None.  

      Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • edited 17 March at 7:00AM
      tristanjourneytristanjourney Forumite
      80 Posts
      Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
      edited 17 March at 7:00AM
      1. Yes, can be
      2. absolutely. That is the reason in your case. 
      3. None.  

      For the third question.

      I know there is probably no legal requirement for that, but practically wouldn't a person in Competent Person Scheme is more rest assured to do the job? Especially from the Building Regulation perspective. Certain works in the bathroom require building regulations. If you ask them, some of them respond "No building regulation is needed for this" because they don't actually know the right answer.
    • twopennytwopenny Forumite
      3.6K Posts
      Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
      Y e s tiles could be damaged as fittings are removed. At best marking of the tiled and replacing after install will never look as good.
      A pump is often recommend for the new types of showers - or any. Depends if you don't mind a gentle shower of just nicely running water and a bath that takes a while to fill.
      Best way to check a tradesman is to ask people who've had work done.
      Many check a trade type things memberships are just purchased by the individual. Really there a few trades where a qualification is needed unless like gas it's dangerous not to. Most is apprenticeship

      The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

    • mi-keymi-key Forumite
      1.1K Posts
      Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
      Replacing a like for like toilet and sink shouldn't cause any tiles to break unless the fitter is very heavy handed ! Most sinks are just held to the wall with a couple of screws, and if there was any damage to the tiles in that area, they would be covered by the sink.

      The same with the toilet, often they are screwed to the floor, and floor tiles are generally more robust than wall ones. It really isn't a hard job to replace them both, and if the fitter is careful shouldn't cause any damage.  

      I do think in this case the fitter was trying to get extra work for themselves !

      If you are just replacing the shower head, and not the whole shower then this wouldn't involve doing anything with the pipework. If the new shower head has a different pole fitting you may need to drill new holes in the tiles to mount it, but again, this shouldn't damage the tiles

    • mi-keymi-key Forumite
      1.1K Posts
      Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
      Of course you can also look around and see if you can find a good match for your exisiting tiles, then if any do need changing you know they can be replaced easily.
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