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New bathroom - Homebase, B&Q, Wickes - your experiences please

(28 Posts)
Twitterqueen Mon 10-Feb-14 17:02:50

I have to choose a bathroom supplier pdq. I also have the option of an independent who seems great, but will probably be a bit slower and a bit more expensive but worth it.

So, any tips, experiences, recommendations?

Much appreciated smile

LEMmingaround Mon 10-Feb-14 17:15:26

Buy the bathroom from wherever you want the bathroom, but get an independent fitter to fit it. My DP did some subcontracting work for someone who was working for bathstore. My Dp got £900 for about two weeks work (he usually charges £750 a week), the contractor obviously took his cut - DP was talking to the clients - it cost them £4000 - £4000!!!! to have the bathroom fitted and tiled etc. WTF??? I don't know if bathstore are particularly expensive, but i was astounded - this was on top of the price of the suite!

For a point of reference, my DP would probably charge about £1,500 to fit a bathroom, including tiling and making good etc - he is on his own so would expect to take just over a week - he never leaves anyone without a toilet though grin. He does a good job as he wants return work, his reputation is good etc - I think that fitters working as subcontractors will be less invested in the job. He also doesn't take payment (unless he has to buy the bathroom!) until the customer is satisfied, apparently bathstore have the money all upfront shock

What i am trying to say is, it shsould be cheaper to get an independant and you'll get a much better job.

specialsubject Mon 10-Feb-14 17:48:59

find your local builders merchant and buy the pieces from there - I got a good bath for £120, toilet and fittings for £70, sink and waste ditto.

The above price for fitting sounds good, depending on what other work is needed.

undertheduvet Mon 10-Feb-14 18:24:33

we had a bad experience with homebase a couple of years ago, although to be fair it was wincanton logistics who do the delivery for them. toilet arrived smashed up so the driver advised us to reject the whole delivery and when a new toilet was reoedered they would redeliver bath sink and new toilet. one week later the delivery came with no sanitary ware only a shower screen. woman on the phone was extremely rude and said we had canceled the other items and it was though despite the fact the plumber was supposed to be starting the next day! ended up only getting a refund from homemade three weeks later and got the bathroom suite from an independent shop.

TeeBee Tue 11-Feb-14 14:29:46

Not B&Q. I know a lot of plumbers/bathroom fitters who refuse to fit them.

bishboschone Tue 11-Feb-14 14:35:57

Bath store have been very good. All problems resolved and new parts sent when requested etc .

bishboschone Tue 11-Feb-14 14:36:30

My dh fitted it , the fitters were pretty expensive to be honest .

DIddled Tue 11-Feb-14 14:37:38

We bought everything from
a trade place (pm not sure if I can give out name) . They price matching high end b and q so loo sink shower base and screens cost £700- lifetime guarantee on the china too!

Twitterqueen Tue 11-Feb-14 15:39:25

thanks all. I have finally, finally made a decision and gone with a local fitter. The quotes I had from Homebase, Wickes & B&Q were all fairly similar. B&Q came in cheapest but the man who came round yesterday made me feel like he was doing me a favour. He was completely disengaged and unhelpful.

And I would far rather my mother's inheritance went to a 'real' person than a chain.

Lem yes - this is what I've heard - it doesn't seem fair does it?

Betty5313 Tue 11-Feb-14 16:50:28

after a nightmare with a b and q kitchen we went independent for our bathroom. units in gloss white from ultra, taps from ultra, bath from homebase, bath panel from croydex. moisture resistant tongue and groove mdf. all in, less than 2k including fitting. gutted we had to leave it when we moved house!!

Rooble Tue 11-Feb-14 16:54:51

I, too, had a B&Q nightmare. The sanitary ware was fine - but the fitters seemed less able than me. Which considering what I was paying was ridiculous

LEMmingaround Tue 11-Feb-14 17:09:37

Twitter - i thnk people like the idea of paying the stores etc because they think the companies they use are vetted - which may well be the case but then they subcontract it out to people. My DP did the bathstore job because he happened to be working at the same property as the company who were doing the work for bathstore (as it happens they were a right bunch of cowboys but thats a whole other thread!) the guy asked DP to do it because his guys were too busy - he had no idea if dp was any good or not (he is of course smile ), to do work for bathstore you have to be CRB checked (or the equivalent now) but DP isn't but no one batted an eye-lid. He was doing the work in a old couples house who would have been pretty vulnerable if he was a cowboy. As it was they gave him top marks on their satisfaction survey - the irony being is that the contractor has to wait 30 days after the job is complete to get the money, despite the bath-store taking money up front!

I would never consider getting the stores to fit as they simply sub-contract out and they are not fussy. Of course there is always the danger that a tradesman you pick might not be very good but you can usually get a feel for someone, ideally there should be three quotes and if you can go by recommendation then more the better - my doesn't advertise, he gets all of his work through word of mouth and certainly wont go via these massive stores as the prices are tight and he values his reputation.

cafesociety Tue 11-Feb-14 19:56:22

I have done up a number of houses and seriously I would not touch B&Q [cheap ones are cheap, dearer ones too dear], Homebase [they sold me inferior goods in a sale, I returned them!], and Wickes...extortionate. And the people who fix them have no interest in doing a good job as no reputation of their own to worry about. They often flit from one company to another.

I use a local plumbing supplier and a reputable local plumber. Last cloakroom suite though was Victoria Plumb...excellent quality at a good price.

wetaugust Tue 11-Feb-14 20:02:13

Bathstore quotation was �2K more than B&Qs but B&Q fitter hadn't a clue.

Wickes - made an hour long appointment with their designer but was kept waiting 30 mins, so told them to stuff it.

Now waiting for independent's quote sad

May just move house instead sad

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 11-Feb-14 20:05:06

Bath Store (in the sale - if you order stuff at sale prices then need to change or add to your order they still only charge you the sale price) then independent fitter

ThoughSheBeButLittle Wed 12-Feb-14 08:48:51

We order the bathroom stuff online at Victoria Plumb and had an independent fitter put it in and tile. I was really pleased with the suite etc. I think the bathroom and downstairs loo inc fitting was about £3000

TattyCatty Wed 12-Feb-14 08:50:41

Do not touch B&Q with a barge pole! We had a nightmare from start to finish, and were still paying the price with water damage up to 2 years later. Still makes me shudder when I think back.

everydayaschoolday Wed 12-Feb-14 09:06:43

Homebase full vanity suite, floor to ceiling tiles - bought and fitted. Not cheap (£6K) but I chose the more expensive products (granite worktops, curved heated towel rail, radiator, large tiles, floor tiled after levelling etc) and great installation. I reckon half the cost was installation. Started mon, finished friday. 2 tradesmen who were motivated, polite and cleaned up every day. The installation regional manager paid a visit to me during the week to check on the plumbers and to check I was happy with the installation and progress - left me his card if I had any concerns. Very happy with service.

6 months later we had a slight leak through the sealant round the bath and one of the bath taps had become slightly loose. Homebase were out the following day to rectify. No quibble. All very polite. All covered by their guarantee. The installation was probably more expensive than other providers, but the aftercare was worth it.

everydayaschoolday Wed 12-Feb-14 09:09:45

oh yes, as others have said, with the 'chain' I did have to pay upfront in full. And I had a wait of about 2 months from purchasing to installation (they book up in advance).

bionic77 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:33:07

We've just been recommended Eastbrook by our bathroom fitter. I think they are stocked by the Plumb Center. So we're going to order through them and get an independent to fit.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 12-Feb-14 15:46:21

Another B&Q fitter nightmare here. Don't touch with bargepole. I assumed it would make life simpler and the quality of work would be ok with a big firm - how wrong I was.
Find a local plumber to fit. It's this reputation thing.

BooToYouToo Wed 12-Feb-14 19:31:49

Another vote for Victoria Plumb, really pleased with ours. We got the bath, sink, vanity and loo from there., good quality.

Only thing I would change is to have taps for the bath. We opted to just have a bath filler but as it runs via the shower plumbing it takes 10 minutes!

OnePlanOnHouzz Thu 13-Feb-14 09:20:48

Showroom kitchen bathroom and bedroom CAD advisers in this well known store are simply sales people on only £6.24 an hour plus commission.
They don't need any design or planning experience to apply but must be sales driven!

so this is an indication of their goals I would say !!!

Twitterqueen Tue 01-Apr-14 15:16:58

So my independent fitter has just about finished and OMG it looks totally AMAZING!
I am so proud of my lovely new bathroom - they did an absolutely fab job.

I went mad and got the downstairs loo done as well, so spent a lot more than I'd anticipated originally but sooooooo worth it.

I've got the zazziest black. gold, silver mosaic feature tiles in the middle of the bath wall, all other tiles white with a faint grey streak. Black basin surround, black bath panel, deep plum towels...

I'm off for a soak..

Anotheronesoon Tue 01-Apr-14 15:45:44

I would avoid b and q- we had loads of problems with them which are still ongoing- never again!!

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