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Direct tiles Warehouse - Faulty Tiles - Claim Issued


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i've an ongoing issue with a ceramic tile company and wondered is there a certain length of time that i can say these tiles are not fit for purpose.


Bought the tiles april 2018 laid two parts of a £40,000 kitchen project.

Last part completed in november 2018


discovered a fault in the manufacturing of the tiles that causes them to be defective and not fit for purpose.

Have been arguing and waiting on the tile company up until now.


Thanks for any advice.

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The tiles have to be of satisfactory quality. This means that they have to do meet reasonable consumer expectations of that kind of tile for a reasonable period of time given all the circumstances including price paid and any claims made for them.

You say you bought the tiles – who installed them?

I think you need to tell us a little bit more detail about the tiles and what the problem is. Who did you buy them from. Which company have you been arguing with dashes at the supplier or the manufacturer? What is the value of the tiles

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I'm very sorry but you're not really explaining to me what the problem is. You have posted a couple of images with absolutely no explanation or description.

We need to hear from you your explanation of what is wrong, how you discovered it, how it has affected you – in simple terms – not technical and with as little narrative as possible.

Also you better tell us something about the exchange you're having with the supplier. Have all of the tiles now been installed or have you interrupted the job.

Why don't you lay it all out in simple terms as you would explain it to a mate in the pub so that he didn't he have to keep on asking you questions. Then we can get on and understand your position and hopefully give you some advice.


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  • BankFodder changed the title to DTW ceramics - faulty tiles

They call themselves direct tile warehouse.


I bought the tiles in April 2018. Installed 3/4 of them and finished the installation in November 2018.


The problem in the pictures arose during the final grout process and is only noticeable at that time.

DTW are saying to me that because ive accepted the tiles they are not now to repair or replace and we can go to small claims court.


Ive sent a letter before action and a 2nd follow up letter with the same response.

I've 15 tiles left.


The cost to replace the defective tiles is close to £3000 pounds because of the nature of the work.

The pictures are a close up of the defective tile and the 2nd picture is the ecstatic view.

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Thank you. That's helpful. So I don't understand is are they DTW ceramics in Portsmouth or are they DTW tiles in Wales https://www.directtilewarehouse.com/? You told us that they are DTW ceramics but in Wales – so which is it? Or is it the same company trading under a different names?


And so I understand that for a year and 1/2 you have been arguing with this company. You have now sent them a letter of claim and then instead of following up with your threat, you have sent them another letter? Is this correct?

You say it will cost £3000 to replace – are you referring to the cost of the tiles plus the cost of removing them plus the cost of a fresh installation?

Have you had any independent assessments of the quality of the tiles, the apparent defects – and also any independent quotations for the removal and replacement of the tiles?

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Yes they raised some points in the first letter about not dating the LBA and addressing it to the manager who i've never dealt with and some questions about the tiles.


Initially they just offered to replace 6 tiles but on closer inspection and a close up picture that then said replace ALL defective tiles and issue us with new grout and adhesive and pay a £1000.


All without prejudice though.

Its 100% DTW wales. £3000 is the total cost to replace yes


. Many thanks.

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I'm sorry but you're not addressing the question again which company are we dealing with. Are we dealing with the one in Wales or the one in Portsmouth? Are they the same one? Why did you call them DTW ceramics? If you have started making those allegations about a company which is completely unrelated to the one that you have been dealing with then we have to correct it because what you're saying is then potentially defamatory. So please will you address the questions I ask.

You haven't addressed any of the questions as to whether or not you've obtained independent assessments and estimates

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Faulty tiles

Looks like a glaze defect so a manufacturing problem.

Now your first problem is the tile co are only liable for the replacement of the tiles or refund for their cost and they will have to chase up the maker to get their money back.

your second problem is the time elapsed since you bought them, you have to prove the problem was there at the time of manufacture and that will mean an independent report at your expense.

your next problem is that as you have paid someone else to install you will have let the vendor off  most of the cost as your "experts" should have noticed a problem and advided you more than a year ago. the tile seller is not responsible for your tiler being rubbish.

I would leap at their offer, you should then consider carefully who does the remedial work

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sorry, but most of this is wrong – and it would be helpful EB – if you could wait until we get the whole story and the questions which I keep on putting properly addressed by the OP

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Thank you. So you have the company name wrong at the beginning.

Could you please answer the questions I put about whether you had any independent assessments and quotations.

I'm out at the moment but I'll be able to give a fuller reply later on – particularly when you have answered these last questions

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I didn't realise there was another company with the same name. An independent assessment, from the only company that does this work in the UK, of the tiles would cost between £2000 and £3000. I just need to know if the time frame of the failure of the tiles to now affects my rights as a consumer.

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No the time frame doesn't particularly affect your rights. This would be a breach of contract and you have six years from the date that the cause of action arises. I would say that the cause of action has begun when you could reasonably have discovered the breach.


Have you got this assessment and quotation in writing? you're going to have to be very methodical as to how you deal with this and I suggest that you come to us every step of the way to be certain that you are maximising your opportunities




also, I have to ask why are you firing off letters of claim when you don't really have a plan, you don't know what your next step is going to be and you really haven't got all of your information together.

this is the way that you lose credibility and I think that you have probably done a lot of damage to your  credibility already.

I think that you need to take a more careful and more methodical approach and make sure that you are fully ready and you fully understand the steps and that you have a plan which you will follow through before launching your attack. We will help you all the way of course

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I understand.

I've sent pictorial evidence and emails and phone calls to DTW since November 2018.

It took them 2 months to organise 3 types of cleaning liquid, sent from Spain, and instructions in English, but that's another story.


At first they offered to give me "in good faith" 6 tiles to replace the 6 worst tiles but no reimbursement for installation which would of been met by myself. After a close inspection of the tiles under the printer lens and forwarding that picture on to DTW they then offered " without prejudice " to replace the 15 tiles i have left over, and replace the now found 15 defective in total ,  with new grout and adhesive and a £1000.


But this doesn't cover the total amount to replace the 15 defective tiles.

I then sought advice from WHICH legal and they forwarded me the LBA to which i forwarded on to DTW.

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Ok thanks.

i'm trying to get my head around this but please could you post up a copy of the letter of claim which you sent and also when did this happen? 

also you will have to get at least one written estimate and quotation and assessment of the damage and two will be much better.

also you will have to send notice to them that you are doing this and give them an opportunity as well to carry out their own inspection by appointment with you. Do this in writing straight away


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I've given them every opportunity to come and look and assess  the tiles at there own discretion and it was never taken up.


I've supplied them with three quotes at there bequest and told them of my actions to take this further on the 28/7/2019.


The letter was posted on the 4th of December.

1. Letter-Before-Action correct. pdf.pdf

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They are not the same name. You told us you are dealing with DTW ceramics but actually you seem to be dealing with a completely different company which is in Wales. I'm labouring these points to try and show you how difficult you are making things for us – and of course for yourself.


also, it's only now that you have partly addressed my question which I put in post number 8 to this thread about three hours ago as to whether or not you have had any independent quotes. You are now suggesting that you have had three quotes – although somewhere else you seem to have said that there was only one expert capable of giving this quote so forgive me but I'm not quite sure where we stand.

If you have had three independent assessments and quotes then please would you post them here.

Also, you say that you have given them every opportunity to come and look and assess the tiles…. How many letters have you written to them? And what dates were they written?
The letter of action which you have posted here for us to see seems to be reasonably competent – but it seems to be undated. Why is that? When did you actually send it? When the 14 days expired, why didn't you then follow up with your threat?

I think you will have to understand that you have come onto this forum and as far as I'm concerned we are starting from zero. If as a result of the information which we eventually discover – and it doesn't seem to be a very easy job – we decide that you have got a good case and that is worth proceeding then we will be placing you in a position of risk, albeit minimal risk, we hope. You have to give us the best chance to let you know what your chances are what your risks are et cetera.

Although we give our advice here for free, you should treat it with the same seriousness as I'm sure you would do if you are paying £300 per hour or even £400 per hour which could well be what the going rate is.

Although this is a public forum, it's not a social media game.

Please can you be careful to read the thread and to address the points and to provide the information I've asked.


Just to add, this morning – that if everything pans out and you have the evidence that we think you should feel comfortable with, then you should probably look at beginning a legal action within the next three weeks.

Are you comfortable with this?

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Direct Tile Warehouse - Faulty tiles

Happy to start proceedings.

Concerned about reports not prepared by an expert only a tile installer with 15 years experience


. I have 3 quotes to reinstate the defective tiles. 

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Thank you. Please post them here in scanned PDF format.

also I'm assuming that you haven't begun a county court action before in which case I suggest that you start looking at the steps as to how to bring a small claim in the county court. It is pretty straightforward but you need to know the path


Incidentally are you operating as a private individual or or did you purchase these tiles as a business

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Okay thanks for this letter.

I think we may as well have a look at the three quotes that you have to replace the defective tiles. Do they refer to the fact that the tiles are defective? Or are they simply quotes for removing and replacing tiles? Let's have a look

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Okay. You seem to have some quotes – although one of them is talking about only about four tiles or something – but at least the couple are talking 10 to 15 tiles.
I have to say that the discrepancy doesn't help because it means that you are uncertain of what work actually needs doing and frankly you would be better having quotes for a fixed number of tiles rather than saying that it is "either this or that" which means that there is a range of values. Immediately that opens you up to argument either before a court process or during court as to what is the true value of your claim.

Secondly, you really haven't got any assessment as to the problem. You got one rather casually written letter by somebody who says that they have got 15 years experience – and that's quite helpful but even then, he ends up expressing a reservation and simply saying that he's just speaking from his experience.

You've been arguing with the supplier over this for about 18 months and so I'm extremely surprised that you haven't got is your absolute starting point, expert opinions which very clearly say what is wrong and what needs to be done to remedy it.

Those expert opinions must broadly agree as to the number of tiles that need replacing – why they need replacing, what work that will entail, whether the electrics need to be redone as well – et cetera.

Then on the basis of those assessments, you should be producing quotations for the work which needs to be done. The quotations need to be very clear as to the amount of work that needs to be done and I'm afraid that saying that the work involves replacing 10-15 tiles – there is a huge difference in the number of tiles.

Also I notice that they are giving a fixed price – but are they saying that it is going to be an identical price whether they are replacing 10 tiles or replacing 50% more than that – 15 tiles?

The proper approach would have been to obtain the assessments of the damage and the work needed to address the damage – including electrics, to contact the supplier and provide them with the two assessments and invite them to instruct somebody to carry out their own assessment.

If they then refused to carry out their own assessment then that is up to them but at least you have got written evidence that you have attempted to be reasonable and to sort this matter out in as practical a manner as possible and by proper discussion and agreement. If they refused to participate in that process then this would help you later on. I believe somewhere in this thread you have said that you have contacted them about this and they have not replied. Did you do this in writing?

But despite that, you don't have proper expert opinions which you then made available to the supplier so that they understand fully the position.

I think somewhere you said that there is only one person in the country that is able to give an expert opinion. I must say I find this rather difficult to believe. I would have thought any competent professional and reputable building company should be able to come along and have a look and give your proper assessment – but what do I know?

So I'm afraid I think that you need to start from zero. I think the wrangling you have had with the other side is 18 months wasted time.

Obtain your professional assessments. Also the quotes for the work. Send them to the other side by special delivery – tracked and invite them to comment and also to carry out their own assessment. And to comment on your quotations.

Depending what they have to say you would then issue a letter of claim and then sue them within 14 days.

At the moment on the evidence you have provided, although it is likely that you would win, I would have thought that your chances would only be about 60% and I don't think that these are great odds.

You have to calculate your risk factors which are the claim fee. Consult the County Court website but for a claim of this value it might be £150 also. If they decided to push you to hearing then you would also have the allocation/hearing fee which might also be about £200 and you would not recover these costs if you lost.

On your side is the fact that you are litigant in person suing a trader and that means that although they would be the defendant, if there is a hearing it would be listed in your local court and so your opponent would have to consider the trouble and inconvenience of travelling to your local court which I believe is a bit of a journey. They would also have to factor in that if they lost the case not only would they have to pay the cost of the work but also they would have to bear the claim fee and also the hearing fee. On the other hand if you lost, you would have to pay their reasonable costs of travel.

Personally I think that you are ill-prepared to begin a court action but if you started to get your act together then I can imagine that within two or three weeks you could gather all the information you needed and then we could help you go forward.

I'm afraid that the 18 month delay has not helped you.

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Because the tiles are in two different locations one company did two quotes.


Most of the waiting has been on my part ie it took two and a half months to get there supplied cleaning liquids and instructions in english. 


Thanks for your help.

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Direct tiles Warehouse - Faulty Tiles - Claim Issued

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