Vent about tile

Mom23EsJune 29, 2012

Seriously? They want to charge us $200 extra to lay the mudroom tile in a running bond pattern. The room is an 8'x10' rectangle (no fancy corners), and we're using basic 12"x12" ceramic tile. What a racket! I really would prefer the look, but that upcharge is ridiculous!

We're paring down as much as possible at the tile and flooring place. I don't like dealing with them, and I feel like they're trying to rip us off. I'm so glad the rest of our building experience has been better. Ugh.

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Mom23Es...don't rmember if it was you or cottonpeeny, but could you take over the arranging of the subs for the tile work? You might find it easier and less stressful to handle that 1 part yourself. Just a thought... Sending hugs your way ((( )))

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 7:25PM
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I have vented many times about our tile upcharges...I totally feel your pain and commiserate with you! Keep pushing...we were able to get him to (slightly) reduce the price.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:44PM
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$200 is a bit steep. It should be more like $100 extra. However, when you're dealing with contractors whom your GC employed rather than you, you don't have a lot of negotiating room. :/

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Don't forget, the GC is likely getting a cut of that upcharge as well as the extra $$ the tile guy will get, so of course it's on the high side compared to the price you can get by subbing it out yourself.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Thanks everyone. I'm hopeful that we have worked out the subway tile on the master bath walls (previous thread), and for everything else we're just going to go with exactly what is printed on our contract cost breakdown. I never imagined tile upcharges would be so outrageous. We can replace tile later. For now, I just need to take a deep breath, keep drinking my wine, and get over it. Sigh.

The next big issue is lighting fixtures. I will be talking to the builder about this one next week, but I'm so hoping I can just do all the ordering online on my own. I don't want to mess with a lighting store. :-/

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I think it would be more expensive to buy and install new tile, than to pay the upcharges. $200 is a bit steep, but demo and replacement will be more.

Hope things go better with the lighting :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Lavender - We can live with the tile for now. It's not terrible to have it run standard/straight. We just would have preferred running bond. I don't prefer it $200 more. KWIM? I'd love to get some nice real slate tile down the road, but plain old "group A" floor tile will do for now. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Tearout and replacement will be MUCH MUCH more than the $200 upcharge you're dealing with now. For natural stone, on the order of $10 a square foot or more depending on the quality of the stone you choose and the layout. So, $200 now or $800 later. It might hurt a bit, but I'd pay the extra now.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:52PM
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As much as I dislike my builder at this point and their upgcharges, in the grand scheme of things $200 isn't in my opinion going to break the bank to get what you want. As much as I think its a rip-off for their upcharges simply because they think they can, for $200 I would pay for it and just be done with it! I think later on down the road you would think we could have gotten what we wanted for only $200, why didn't we do it?

Just my .02 cents for w/ever thats worth! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: our home sell/build log

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:17AM
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Yeah, much as I would hate paying a "rip-off" upcharge, tile is one thing that I would probably go ahead and bite the bullet on and pay the upcharge to get something I actually liked. Tile is "permanent" so it is expensive and a hassle to tear it out. You'll pay extra for tearing out that tile. Even a small room like your mudroom could easily wind up costing a couple of thousand to redo. Bottom line is, chances are good you'll wind up living with whatever tile you install now for the next twenty years.

So, I'd probably try really hard to save $200 bucks somewhere else in the budget and go ahead and do the running bond tile now.

In fact, light fixtures might be the place to save some money. Light fixtures are super easy to replace. You can do it yourself. Takes about 10 minutes if you know what you're doing. 30 if you have to study up on it first. And, as long as you cut the circuit breaker before you start, it's almost impossible to mess up. The wires are color coded.

So, if in choosing your lighting fixtures, you can put in one or two el cheapo light fixtures now, instead of the $150+ ones you really like and would otherwise have purchased, you may be able to save enough on your lighting budget to go ahead and have the tile done the way you want. Then, as soon as you can afford it, swap out the light fixtures. The only money you'll have wasted is the tiny amount spent for the el cheapo light fixtures. And you can probably sell those at a garage sale or on Craigslist for $5 to $10 bucks each.

Alternatively, have you considered telling the builder to just skip tiling the mudroom floor at all and to give you a credit for the cost of the tiles and installation labor that you didn't use???? If you have a concrete slab, I very much doubt that you have to tile it to get a CO and since concrete floors are all the rage these days, your bank isn't going to care that you DECIDED to go with concrete in that one room. It won't make one iota of difference when they're calculating how much mortgage they'll approve.

If you're on a pier and beam foundation instead of concrete, consider priming and painting the subflooring in the mudroom instead of laying tile.

It'll cost you a lot LESS later to tile a clean bare floor that it will to tear out the tile they're putting in now, clean up the old mastic, and then lay new tile. In fact, tearing out the old tile could easily double the labor costs especially if you're going to have any built in cabinetry in the mud room and they lay tile under the cabinetry now. When you're ready to lay new tile, they're either going to have to remove the cabinetry to get out the tile under it or bring in saws to cut the old tiles as close to the cabinets as possible and then lay new stuff up to the edge of the cabinets.

If your builder/tile guy won't budge on giving you a credit for not tiling the room, (and assuming you really like the tile but just want it laid in a different pattern) - how about negotiating a deal where you call it even if they skip tiling the room but leave you with say 120 sq feet of unbroken tile still in the boxes. That way the tile guy saves on mastic, grout, and labor but give you a bit more tile than he would have used so he probably comes out about even or maybe a little bit ahead. And you have plenty of tile to lay it in the running bond pattern that you like later.

Then, you can either hire someone else later to do the installation or install it yourself. Laying tile is not a fun job (hard on the knees and back) but, if you're reasonably handy, tiling an 80 sq ft room in a running bond pattern is certainly a do-able DIY project. If you hire someone else to do it, depending on what part of the country you live in, expect to pay between $3 and $8/sq ft for tile installation if there is no tear out to be done.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:16AM
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I learned my tile lesson. Paying a good installer is worth every penny. I was in sticker shock of the price. Went with the cheaper guy and had to rip so of the tile out and get it redone. It was more expensive than just going with the good guy. It is pretty standard for up-charges even though you feel like you are being gouged.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:22PM
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