Tile Association complains about BBC remarks

The Tile Association has made a strong complaint to the BBC about the DIY SOS program, Bedroom Bedlam, broadcast on Friday 23rd July.
In the programme, presenter Nick Knowles said “Tiling is a piece of cake. I can tile, any old fool can tile”.

The Tile Association objected to what it sees as derogatory remarks about tiling as well as the programme’s general lack of respect for skilled trades and the amount of time and effort it takes to become a skilled tradesman.

The complaint stated “In saying that ‘Julian will be doing the tiling this week’ the producers also added fuel to the fire by implying that any tradesman can tile. This is simply not the case and is evidenced by the number of complaints we deal with where non-competent tradesmen have carried out tiling work in consumer’s homes.

“Tiling is a craft or trade in its own right with NVQ Qualifications Levels 2 and 3 in wall and floor tiling, which is offered by over 20 colleges in the UK. A three year apprenticeship is available to young people wishing to join our industry”.

The complaint went on to refer to British Standard BS5385, the code of practice for wall and floor tiling, “…when tiling a shower area it is important to make sure that the background is already waterproof, we did not notice any background preparation taking place, which would have included waterproofing the background in the ensuite shower area”.

The complaint continued, “Knowles also commented about the size of the tiles being used on the project saying in his opinion that 2ft by 1ft tiles were much better. Had he been technically competent he would have known that fixing those tiles to a background that is not dimensionally accurate and stable using incorrect fixing methods is a failure waiting to happen.”

There were also Health & Safety issues “Knowles was using a tile cutter on the programme, yet there was no evidence of the use of any personal protective equipment being used.”

The complaint went on to say “The Tile Association is committed to ensuring that tile customers do not suffer from the “rogue trader” image that is prevalent in the UK building industry. We are extremely disappointed at the comments made on the programme and hope that by making this complaint that the producers will recognise the importance that all the trades in the building process are carried out by competent specialist contractors who are aware of all the technical requirements for their trade”.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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