Question on Labor Cost of Tiling Smaller Tiles

gocalbearsOctober 1, 2007

Hello. Can someone please help me figure out if I'm getting truthful information from my GC? I'm at the stage to pick out bathroom tiles for my whole-house remodeling project. The style of my home is 21st Century Craftsman/Vintage. When I showed my GC the tiles that I have in mind: pennyrounds, 1" hex, 2" hex for the floor, subway tiles for the walls, he told me that these smaller tiles are EXTREMELY labor intensive, and that he would have to rebid the labor portion of the bathroom tiling. He told me that he had expected me to choose only 12x12 tiles, and that it would be much more expensive to tile these smaller tiles. Our bathrooms are very small; about 50sf each.

My question is this -- Should there be a huge jump in cost of labor for these smaller tiles? I'm buying the pennyrounds, 1" and 2" hex tiles in sheets, no fancy designs. At the most, for the floor with 1" hex, a single row of different color tile all around the perimeter of the floor. If there should be in increase in labor, how much should I expect to (fairly) pay, percentage wise?

Thanks for any help/advice you can send this way!

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If you were choosing 4x4 or 6x6, I MIGHT be able to see it. But the tile you've chosen comes on sheets of atleast 1 foot square, and the hex very well may be 1 foot by 2 foot. So, no, I disagree with your contractor.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 6:50AM
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I'll disagree with Bill here. Small mosaic contours to the surface it's being fixed to and requires more prepparation to create a flat surface. Also, I have yet to run into a sheet mosaic that didn't need tweaking to get the sheets to line up correctly. In my professional opinion, there should be an up-charge for the mosaic tile though it shouldn't be extreme.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 8:31AM
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More grout lines on the smaller tiles, too.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 7:24PM
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More grout lines on the smaller tiles, too.

Means nothing. It doesn't take any longer to grout.

Shaughnn, you've seen the job I just did. That was Dal mosaics, and as critical as it was that everything line up, none of the sheets had to get cut and jockeyed around because of mounting. Sometimes, you're right-- the mounting is bad. but if that's the case, then it gets discussed when the tile gets openned up. Not during initial negotiations. As far as prep is concerned, that's also on a job by job basis. Over here in the northeast, 99% of commercial bathrooms use ceramic mosaics , and Other than jobs that were speced for mud, I don't ever remember having to fix a floor that didn't get charged out as an extra, and that's only been a couple of times.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 8:15PM
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I'm not a pro, just a DIY'er, but my expereince with grouting both has been that it takes longer to grout small tiles than large tiles on the same area, because there are more grout lines.

But then again, I'm not a pro, just a DIY'er.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:40AM
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I seem to recall a certain roman tub with Pennyround mosaic that would have been MUCH easier to install if the client had chosen 4x4's instead. I'm just sayin. :^D

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 12:35AM
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Why does it not take longer to grout? We're facing this same issue, potentially. The small hex tiles definitely have more grout lines, but how is grout installed? Do they just spread it over the top, pack it in, and then clean off the top of the tiles? Or is it done individually in each grout line?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:58AM
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It's spread over the top and the excess wiped off.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Thanks for your responses. So it sounds like it could be fair for my GC to charge a small fee increase for labor for installing smaller tiles, but not a huge upcharge.

Why did he say that he will need to take a knife (or something like that) to make every grout line straight? Is there more than one way to do this? From your responses the grout should be simply packed in and wiped off.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 2:02AM
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He's talking about the same thing Shaughnn was-- cutting up the sheets to straighten them out.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 7:35AM
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Sorry for bumping an really old thread. But it kind of relates to my thread I just posted. Wondering if the advice is still the same?

Thanks and I apologize again. :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 1:12AM
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