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Why you should avoid cheap bathroom shower plumbing in Sydney

We helped this property owner fix a stormwater drainage issue they had with water pouring onto the street and neighbour's properties.

Summary

How poor quality work lead to shower waterproofing & tiling issues

We pull our hair out every time we come across one of these jobs. Nu-Trend has a team of plumbers & bathroom renovators in Sydney & we are asked to quote on all types of jobs every day. We are not cheap, will never promise to be the cheapest & spend a lot of time trying to educate people on the dangers of choosing a quote just because it is a low cost presented. 

 

Think about it – how can it be possible for one or two trades to be so much cheaper than everyone else? There is always a reason.

 

Below is another example of a job we missed out on, but the owner called us a few months later because their new shower they had installed in their home in Bexley had developed all sorts of waterproofing issues. The concerns had become so bad there is now a case going before NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) who provide specialist tribunal services to help people resolve an issue or dispute fairly and according to the law.

What was required for this shower bathroom plumbing in Bexley?

The owner wanted to replace a shower cubicle that had failed, that’s right, they already had issues in the bathroom plumbing that needed to be resolved. The home owner got multiple quotations and we even provided a free measure and quote for his site, but we found out later we were nearly double the other prices quoted.

In the end they spent $5,560 to have the existing shower stripped from the room and a new one reinstated.

To some people this might seem reasonable, but you have to consider the amount of work involved to do this properly because it is essentially a mini bathroom renovation considering it involves dealing with things like tiling and waterproofing. Our typical scope of work would include;

  • Demolition
  • Rubbish removal
  • End to end project management
  • Drop sheeting
  • Rendering
  • Preparation
  • Priming
  • Water proofing
  • Tiling
  • Plumbing
  • Tile supply
  • New custom made drain waste 
  • New custom made shower screen
 
It would involve around ten visits from five different trades to get it all done properly to Australian Standards & to a level of quality to make sure the new shower fits into the existing aesthetic of the room so it doesn’t feel out of place.
 
Sadly this isn’t the choice the owner made, so they are nearly $6,000 out of pocket, their shower is causing water damage to their home & they are now in the middle of a legal battle via NCAT with the trades. 
 
What’s probably worse is that the typical NCAT processes will mean they give the original contractors a chance to rectify their work. Most cases this is done with a few simple photos & in this example would mean re-doing a lot of it. So there is a high risk that even more patch work is done to try and resolve the issue.
 
The only real way to get it resolved is to have an inspector from NCAT visit the site. Although all of this costs even more money in legal fees, time & stress, potentially more than a repair or getting it done right the first time.

What were all the issues with this shower bathroom plumbing we found?

  • Shower floor tiles are picture framing indicating water proofing was not applied correctly, or had adequate time to dry
 
  • Shower floor tiles are bouncy and feel like water may be waterlogged under them. This could be due to water proofing issues or tile glue not installed correctly
  • Floor waste appears to have no water proofing flange installed during water proofing
  • Mold on shower screen door. We presume this is due to the amount of water trapped beneath the door and tiles.
  • Shower floor is raised higher than existing bathroom floor, with no brick tile hob step up to tank the shower
 
  • Shower angle water stops are in the wrong spot, allowing water to leak under the shower screen door and into the bathroom
  • Excessive Silicone has been used everywhere, to try and patch leaking angles, door, screen and tiles
 
  • Shower Door is not custom made to fit the cubicle, resulting in large and excessive silicone beads to try to minimise leaks
  • Finishes are terrible and not to trade standard. The cubicle does not blend into the existing bathroom, resulting in large silicone beads to cover messy tile finishes, and exposed cut tile edges. The work does not look like it has been done by an experienced licensed tradesmen.
 
  • Bathroom floor gets covered in water when shower is in use

What is needed to repair this bathroom shower properly?


After seeing the state of this bathroom our suggestion is to completely demolish the shower cubicle and start again. The cost to do so would range between $13,000 and $14,000 for this shower. This would involve demolition, allowance for plumbing provision, possible installation of a tiled hob when entering shower due to existing floor heights, waterproofing, tiling, custom shower screen, dispose of trade waste etc. 

Some floor and wall tiles outside the cubicle may need to be replaced to warrant water proofing and cannot be guaranteed to exactly match unfortunately which is always hard with old vs new renovations.

The better alternative would be a complete bathroom renovation and the cost would range between $25,000 and $30,000. This would be the preferred option as the entire bathroom could be warranted and guaranteed, but also add value to the property vs a repair job.

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Rick and Rob are the hands-on directors for Nu-Trend. Rather than hire sub-contractors and manage their business from a distant office, they are on the tools, at your site & working towards delivering your bathroom renovation or plumbing service. It means you are talking directly to the owners of the business, the guys who are accountable and responsible rather than via email or through customer service teams.

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Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent bathroom renovation and plumbing contractor in Sydney. Rick and his team provide a wide range of services for home owners in houses, units, apartments or businesses.

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