Time and labor for my tiny tile job?

kendrahroseJuly 15, 2013


We are adding a teeny powder room to our first floor: about 25" x 60". We will have a wall hung small sink, toilet, and A/C vent as the only things to work around on the floor - there are no zig-zags in the wall - it is just a simple rectangle with plaster walls and we will have a simple wood baseboard. We plan to use Daltile 1" white hex. that are adhered to a mesh backing. We are going for simple and hoping that will mean less expensive too.

Our contractor estimated it would take a full 8 hour day for the tile job and maybe some of the following day too. I know nothing about tiling but this sounded like a lot of time to me. Does anybody have an idea of what a realistic time frame is for this kind of tile laying, and maybe even a general idea of price too?

I know, I know, people will tell me it is easy and we should do it ourselves but we are just not DIYers. My husband already works close to 80 hours a week and doing this when he comes home is just not how we want to spend our time. And I don't want to take this on myself. I know nothing about home repair and we'd rather pay someone to do it... I'm just ignorant as to what it would involved.

This post was edited by kendrahrose on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 12:09

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Whether it takes 5 hours or a full day unfortunately your going to pay for a full day due to the fact that he cannot schedule another job in case it does take the entire day.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 2:04PM
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I hope that 25" is a misprint. That's not wide enough at all. The minimum legal width of a powder room is 30" (interior space), and that's terribly tiny. And that is only if the toilet is on that 30" wall. In reality, by the time you add in the wall thickness, the 30" is more like 40" needed to carve out a powder room.

4 hours to prep and lay the tile the first day and 4 hours to grout for the second day would be right. 8 hours, but over 2 days time at the minimum. You can't grout the same day you lay the tile without using specialty rather unforgiving products.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Thanks for helping me to understand the break down of prep time and grout time. Clearly I have a lot to learn. I think I am heading over to youtube next just to get an idea of how this is done so I will be a more educated consumer.

Yep, you read it correctly. Our bathroom will certainly not meet the legal minimum. We have accounted for the thickness of wall space, so it will indeed be approximately 25" to 28" on the interior and we will put the toilet against the short wall. We'll at least meet the legal minimum of 21" in front of the toilet!

At first I worried about it being smaller than code. I called our realtor and asked her if she thought it would be a problem with re-sale. Her response: "Are you kidding? People will just be so happy you have a powder room in this neighborhood they won't care what size." Which seems true when I think back to the houses we looked at in our neighborhood. Some of them had bathrooms that were smaller than ours will be. It is tight going trying to fit them into 1850s rowhouses that have no closets on the first floor and no room under the stairs as that is where the narrow, cramped stairs to the basement are situated. .

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:10PM
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The realtor is an idiot. Yes, you WILL have issues at resale when an adult cannot use those facilities. Plus, you will have BIG issues with unpermitted work at resale. That's one of the first thing that people do is to pull the permits filed for a home. And since what you propose CAN'T be legally done, you will lose the money you spend, the "value" of the powder room, plus potentially have to pay a fine. And while you might find a dubious handyman to do the plumbing work here, no licensed plumber will touch anything that far below code. He could be fined big time if it was found out. So, if you want this done, you may have to DIY in order to make that happen.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:59PM
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I will chime in to agree with previous posters that a bathroom that small will be WAY too small to use. And it might be something wacky at resale that will cost in terms of people not wanting a bathroom that small.

I'm not so sure that it will actually cause major issues at resale... I've purchased homes in metro areas in the US and never once pulled a permit for purchase - during our inspection our inspectors pointed possible violations and problems but it never led to anything. Right now in my metro area people are waiving their inspection contingencies to get in before other offers go through. For what it's worth... YMMV.

Maybe one day I'll stand corrected, but none of my friends in real estate have voiced concerns regarding this either...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:49PM
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For better or worse I live a rather dysfunctional city where stuff like this happens all the time. I was astounded when I first moved here but have since gotten used to it.

We are indeed using a licensed plumber. Last week, once the subfloor was down and the framing up, we brought in a toilet and the sink and put them in the space to see how usable it all was. It was not spacious, but it seemed useable. We had a few workmen sit on the john (lid down) to see how they fit. I am claustrophobic and as such afraid of flying. I have decided I might use our powder room for desensitization therapy!

Regarding pulling of permits at the time of sales - we looked at a good number of homeowner disclosures when we were looking to buy our current house. There is an area on the document where you say whether you had a permit to do the work or not, and very often the home owners just checked off the "no permit" box.

Fly by night construction is not something I am generally in favor of. I think that most codes are created for sensible reasons. There are parts of our house not up to code for which we would be grandfathered in, however, we have chosen to upgrade none the less because we feel it is an important safety issue. With the size of the bathroom, we had to make a call and decided to go for a less than ideal size. Those who can do stairs will probably prefer to go upstairs, but for those who cannot, I am glad we were able to find some kind of option.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 7:36PM
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I am going to suggest you watch a few YouTube videos. You might be surprised at how straight forward this job is. You just may decide to do it yourself and save some money

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 7:48PM
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FWIW, many jurisdictions are much less uptight about permits/inspections than some of the above posters describe. They may be Nazis in larger cities, but in smaller towns they're often much more relaxed. I called the county permitting office once to find records and they had records of the permits but not the inspections, and they just attributed it to the inspector not putting his inspection paperwork into the system. They said "we always recommend that you hire an inspector if you're concerned about the quality of the work." They had no inclination to go fine someone and make them tear it out.

And when we got permits for work that we did, it was merely an administrative function (no engineer checking calculations or anything). Inspections ensured that the work met code, but it didn't have to be exactly to the plan as drawn (we modified a couple things along the way).

So definitely check with your permit office, not your realtor, but don't assume they'll make you tear it out.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:21PM
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I guess I can chime in on time as well. I tiled the floor of an 8'x10' bathroom (~60 sf total) in 6 hours. That included cutting and laying Ditra, dry-fitting to get the right layout, and cutting and tiling the whole shabang. It was a rectangle with an adjoining toilet room, done with a mix of 12x12 and 4x4 porcelain tiles. I grouted the next day.

Unless the tile saw is a long walk away, I can't see a 2'x5' rectangle taking a day. Mosaic tiles will be a little trickier than larger ones, because they can come off the mesh or not naturally all lay flat, but still...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:30PM
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