$1377 to install tiles in a 10 x 11 laundry room????

avalynetteDecember 22, 2012

Hi all! We are building a house out-of-state and our builder just finished up tiling all the bathrooms/laundry room. We were shocked at the laundry room installation price....$1377. We bought the tiles ourselves (12x12 porcelain tiles) and there were no fancy installation requirements (squarish room, tiles laid straight...no diagonals or special instructions). That means it was over $10 per sq ft to install. That seems really high to us! Is it? This particular room was originally supposed to be vinyl, with all the bathrooms being ceramic tiled. The installation charge for all these rooms were included in the base price of our home except for the laundry room. Since we changed it to tile, they had to charge us for installation...but never said how much it would be. I am just frustrated at this point with the home building process as we have gone waaaaayyyyyy over budget so every $1000 over at this point is a real hardship. Any input? Oh yeah, I should let you know I have PMS right now. Please be gentle and kind to me. Thanks in advance!

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Sophie Wheeler

Slab or crawls space? Slab install will apparently be cheaper up front if it's not done correctly. Crawl space has additional costs in backer board needing to be installed. If you are on new slab, and the builder didn't do control joints to control the cracking, putting down tile over a fresh slab should involve a crack isolation membrane to keep it from cracking in the future, which also adds to the cost.

Irrespective of the above additional costs, 110 square feet X $7 basic labor= $770. Plus the $250 change order fee, plus the 20% margin on the labor and the materials. Yes, even if you buy the materials, most spec type builders will charge you a markup on them because they might break one and have to replace it. By my calculations, you're up to around $1200 for the job. Now, if you are in a higher cost of living location, that extra $200 could easily be accounted for in the additional labor costs that such a location has.

You have to nail down what changing your mind costs before you sign the contract to even do the dirt work. Builders always charge more than "just" the actual price difference in material and labor. They want to discourage anything that will slow the build down or have them handling unfamiliar material and procedures.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:30AM
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Okay, thanks for the helpful information. I'll try to find out what is contributing to the cost. The laundry room is on a slab. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Did you just buy the tiles or did you also buy the thinset and grout too? Also, were there transition pieces needed and did you but those also?

Price doesn't seem out of line if it included the installation materials.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Yes, we just purchased the tiles. So the grout and backer board and thin set would add that much? Gee, I guess I had no idea. I just wish my builder had told me before I agreed to tile. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 6:28PM
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When you add about #100 for the backer board, extra morter to bed it in, labor to install, morter for the tile, grout, any necessary prep work or leveling....the price doesn't seem too far outta line. They didn't cut you a smokin' deal, but they didn't really "bend you over" either.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 1:23PM
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I'd check with the place where you bought the tiles. Maybe they can recommend an installer.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Thanks, everyone for chiming in.....it helps to hear all the input!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:18AM
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Timely question for me. I just came from Lowes as I am looking to replace the carpet in my den with porcelain tile that looks like wood. Our den is about 12 X 12. They quoted me 2.49 per foot to install (less per square foot if I had a larger area) and about $75 for mortar and $25 for grout plus the cost of tiles. So total for installation is about $475. I'm sure there will be extras but this is the quote they gave me today. The porcelain I am looking at (they only had six different ones) were 2.49 each so I may be able to get it done, including tile and installation for about $1000.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Not a bad deal if the result is pleasing to you...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:32PM
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I paid my worker by the hour. $12/hour x 16hrs (2days) = $192.00

50lb bag of thinset = $75.00
10lb grout = $25.00
no backer board needed if on slab.
My total cost $292.00

$1377 minus the extra $100 for materials means you paid them $1277.00 or $67/hr to do the work.......and that's if it takes 2 full days, which it should not.

you got hosed IMO.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Respectfully, if you paid $75 for a bag of morter, YOU got "hosed," at least on the thinset.

Few professionals charge "by the hour." You got it done cheap...which is OK, as long as you're satisfied with the result, and were given a decent warranty.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 11:25AM
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What many of you are missing here is that this isn't a case where the homeowner is engaging a tile professional to do a job. In that case, she'd probably get a quote for half of that amount. This is a case of a new build, and the general contractor is the one that sets the parameters of the job. Upgrades are where they make their money on a build, and that's why they have all of those fees and upcharges attached to changing your mind.

What most people do in a situation like that is to take the basic offering from the contractor, and then after closing, pay a contractor themselves to do the project. Of course, that only works on easily upgradable things like tile, or putting in a granite top instead of laminate. But, the homeowner will come out many dollars ahead to do that rather than engage the contractor to do the upgrade and add in all of his $$ to the project.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 2:39PM
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@cleanfreak0419: "I paid my worker by the hour. $12/hour x 16hrs (2days) = $192.00 "

No self respectable handyman would do the work for $12/hr. There's overhead: Licenses, truck, gas, insurance, wear & tear on tools, health insurance, FICA - I could go on an on.

I can't see any pro working for less than $50/hr - and that's any trade.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:44PM
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I worked for those kind of pennies in a family business. Got smart and got the heck out!

If a person in a skilled trade cannot make a minimum of $50 an hour, then they ought to find some other line of work.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 7:19PM
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buddysmom- Make sure to research who Lowes is going to send to install your tile.

The previous owner of this house hired Lowes to install the kitchen tile and it is the absolute worst tile job ever. My 11 yr old could do better with no instruction or supervision.

Tiles are not level to one another. Some are off by almost 1/2 an inch. They left baseboards in place and tiled them in. I had to use a crow bar, sawzall to remove a wall of baseboards. They didn't pull the dishwasher out so after closing, we went to pull the DW out to replace it and it would not come out. We had to loosen the counter. The grout was not mixed correctly and it is rough, too low in some areas, too high in others, it is spaced at a good 1/2"-1" apart. No, nothing is lined up perfectly. It is a really bad job.

The neighbor went with her to Lowes to complain and Lowes said, too bad, that she knew it was independent contractors, Lowes would not work to fix any of the issues. She went through Lowes for some other work and it was done really well so I am not saying all the contractors do subpar work but I would want to speak with the company or person actually doing the work and to make sure they do quality work before the work started.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 8:08PM
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I don't know the sizes, but I just had a master bathroom, hallway bathroom and 1/2 bath done - I purchased everything needed. 1/2 bath was on slab downstairs the other two full baths are upstairs. I used a local handyman (that we trust and has done a lot of different jobs for us), and he charged me $500. I had to do all the clean up including taking the haze off the tiles.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:06PM
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