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News & Press: 2020 News Items

Tiling - Beds and backing - how should they be described?

Saturday, 07 March 2020  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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The EduTech Q&A

Should the description of ceramic tiles on brickwork state that it includes cement plaster backing or when fixed with adhesive, that plaster is measured elsewhere?

Here is a problem that arose where the preamble stated that backing or plaster was deemed to be included:

A building contractor has raised a query on the interpretation of our Tiling BOQ Supplementary Preamble in respect of plaster and screed backing under tiles.  The building contractor is of the opinion that the screed/plaster should be separately measured elsewhere.  However, in our professional opinion, we understand that the item description in this instance does not call for the screed/plaster to be measured elsewhere and it is therefore deemed to be included as stated in the Preamble.

The Preamble is copied hereunder for your reference:

“Unless described as "fixed with adhesive to plaster or screed (plaster or screed elsewhere)" descriptions of tiling on brick or concrete walls, columns, etc shall be deemed to include 1:4 cement plaster backing and descriptions of tiling on concrete floors, etc shall be deemed to include 1:3 screed bedding”

A typical item description is also copied hereunder for your reference:

“300 x 600mm Porcelain tiles (PC R280/m² delivered to site) fixed with approved tile adhesive, etc and pointing with tinted colour grout

On walls”

We have taken the liberty of confirming the English syntax with a language specialist where they have confirmed that the sentence is logical.  In their plain words, it reads, “except where the item states ‘elsewhere’ the plaster is deemed to be included”.


Notwithstanding that, in our professional opinion, the intention of the preamble is clear, could you kindly peruse the aforementioned preamble and item description and provide your view on whether or not the screed/plaster is deemed to be included in the tiling as per the copied excerpts from the BOQ.  We would like to forward this correspondence to the building contractor in order to clear up the matter.

To find out what our panel of wise men concluded please click here

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