Court rules garantie décennale does not cover tiles

The garantie décennale under which building work is insured for 10 years does not cover floor tiles, France’s top appeal court has ruled.

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This is because tiling is superficial and could be removed without rendering the building as a whole unusable.

The only applicable cover is therefore theperfect completion guarantee (garantie de parfait achèvement), which must be invoked within a year, the Cour de Cassation said.

It can be used to request a company to correct any errors in their workmanship.

In the case brought before the court the homeowners were left with no legal recourse as the year window had expired.

They had claimed reimbursement and compensation for 50m² of tiles, which they said had been unevenly laid because of differences in level.

A third form of insurance cover, garantie de bon fonctionnement, which lasts two years on completion of works, had been previously ruled by the court to apply only to moving elements of the home such as doors and windows, and not to static elements.