Bathroom tile pricing -- please help!

socalssSeptember 12, 2012


Our new master bath is ready to mudset and tile. Our GC had an original allowance of $3100 for mudset, shower wall/floor tile and bath floor tile. The tile guy he wants to use had an actual quote of about $4100. The GC got an alternate quote which works out to be $2900, but he doesn't like the guy as much and is pushing me to use the first guy (who is his "main tile guy"). When I asked why they were so different he said that cheaper guy hasn't worked as much so he is low balling his bid.

Here are the details of the shower:

Mudset the shower

About 130 sqft of subway tile for wall + part of shower seat + tub/vanity backsplash (2"x6")

About 15 sqft of shower floor mosaic (12"x12" mesh)

About 75 sqft of bathroom floor (6"x6" marble tile)

Any thoughts? Thanks!

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I'm sorry to bump this, but I would really appreciate an opinion! I need to let me GC know soon. Thanks very much!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:37PM
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I thought a bunch of people would jump in to say you should use the more in-demand tile guy. Is there any chance your GC would ask his favorite guy to reduce his bid - maybe halfway between the original and the low, even if there's no way to get the popular guy down to the GC's original estimate? That's a pretty big difference, though it's apparent that the high bidder has plenty of work and doesn't need to cut his bid. But maybe as a favor to the contractor? It wouldn't hurt to ask.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:55PM
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I'd say your gc's pretty much right on with his allowance. I'll tell you, though-- if he's pushing to use the 4100.00 guy, then he should cover it in his allowance without an extra charge. Tell him that, and see what he says-- You'll use his guy, so long as he'll cover it in his allowance, and not charge you any more for it.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Does it matter if you are fixed fee vs. cost-plus here? In fixed fee, it seems you would have an allowance to choose the material...your allowance covers that. The GC is on the hook for the labor, so he can do what he wants there. If he wants to use his guy then he covers the original quote for labor plus any upcharges for using "his guy".

I'm in a similar situation but we went over in material too, it sounds like you are mainly over in labor portion if you use his guy.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Thanks for all the replies!

kmcg, it's funny you said that because I did ask about it and my GC talked to the tile guy and the tile guy was willing to go down $300 and he said he might be able to go do a little bit more on the flooring. So it looks like the difference between the two is $900 now and possibly a bit less.

Bill, I see what you are saying. I probably implied that the GC is pushing very hard. He isn't, he just said he prefers working with the first guy. I asked him who he would use if it was his house and he said the more expensive guy. He did say that both would do good work.

Sowega, we are doing a room addition and have fixtures allowances and a labor allowance for a few items.

Thanks again everyone, this really helps with my decision fatigue!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:00AM
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