Your Worst Nightmare…..this is a good one, folks.

I did a kitchen / bath renovation about 10 years ago, where the plumbing walls were common. One side of the wall was the tub and the other side was the kitchen sink and dishwasher. The contractor set the tub in cement as he usually did. It was an acrylic tub and the cement is really not needed but many contractors do it anyway, a holdover from the cast iron days. The client was out of town for the renovation, and came home to house beautiful! GREAT. But….he called me the next morning and said that there was a bump in the middle of the tub and if he stepped on it, it popped up and down like an oil can. OY. I immediately called the contractor and we sped over like demons. Upon examining and brain storming we figured that there must be an air void in the cement, thereby producing this popping action. SO. My contractor pulled the dishwasher out from the kitchen side, and opened up the common wall, thus exposing the internal side of the tub. He proceeded to lay on his stomach for the next eight hours and chip out ALL the cement. Then, he reinserted new cement making sure that it was all packed in nicely. We waited a day or so till we were sure it had dried. The proof would be when my client stepped on the tub.

I got a call. IT WAS STILL HAPPENING. We sped over like demons. We were completely perplexed and thank goodness the client was cool as a cucumber. Concerned, but cool. I called American Standard (the tub) and after 30 minutes on the phone with tech support I found out that there is a certain cement that causes a chemical reaction and “repels” the acrylic in this tub and should not be used. The cement my contractor used was that very product. BUT, there was nothing in the literature that came with the tub that warned about this. This early job is where I sharpened my eye teeth on what needs to be done when it ALL GOES WRONG. I raised holy hell…… in the “nicest possible way”. Within 10 minutes I got American Standard to not only replace the tub, but to pay for all the tile that had to be ripped up, AND pay for the additional labor needed to do the job. I had them sign off and fax it to my client’s fax number. DONE. It worked. I am still working with that contractor, 10 years later. The client is a repeat customer, having moved to a new place since then. We laugh about it occasionally and it is in the category of YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP, and I GOT OUT OF IT ALIVE. It is the power of a tenacious designer who can and will solve the problem.

4 thoughts on “Your Worst Nightmare…..this is a good one, folks.

  1. ivy

    I love this story… it is easy to give great customer service when things go smoothly, this story shows what an expert you are in your field and on customer service. When things get tough, the tough show through with flying colors!

  2. Jean

    I knew exactly what the story would be after reading the first sentence! You handled it beautifully and all was well in the end.


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