Does this estimate for a very small tiling job sound right? )

duchampApril 5, 2014

When you enter my condo, there is a TINY landing, right in front of a stairway that comes up to my apt. It's too small to call a foyer! :-D ... It's about 4' by 4.5' feet.

I need to re-tile it. Currently it has (very) old dingey 1" tiles.

Contractor came over to give me an estimate for installing the new tile. He quoted me $475 for the demo and tile work. That does NOT include the tile itself, as I have already bought it at a tile store. It was $150 total, it's a nice, simple Italian wood tile.

I have no idea how tiling contractors price things out but this seems high to me for such a tiny space. Or does it sound normal? Any input? Thanks!

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I think tile work depends on the tile, the square feet, and other factors. Some tiles more than others and some jobs are more difficult than others. Some charge more if you did not get the tile through them. Some will charge a flat fee for small job. Some areas tile work costs more than other areas. Check with other locals to get estimates.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 5:56PM
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What area do you live? Prices will vary from region to region. I think the reason it sounds high to you is that although itâÂÂs a small area sometimes old tile comes off easy and sometimes not. An area that size could take thirty minutes to remove or several hours if one then needs to chisel the remains manually. Removing old floor tile is horrible work that I will never do again. Laying the tile itself is the easy part for someone experienced but they still have to come back the next day to grout which is another trip. Also, does his price include going to the store to purchase the grout, thin set or whatever he needs to put your tile down? If so I donâÂÂt think itâÂÂs over the top but I would still get at least two more estimates to make yourself feel better.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:19PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I bought the grout myself. He'd bring the thinset.

I re-measured the space and it's even smaller than I thought. 3.5' x 4'.

I'll be getting more estimates. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 8:00PM
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Here are some averages on different flooring type install costs.

Here is a link that might be useful: average costs of install

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 8:22PM
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This will give a basic idea of removal cost.

Here is a link that might be useful: remove tile cost

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 8:26PM
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It's because it is a small job, he is likely charging you a minimum. They generally don't like to take on small jobs for portion of a day, so they just charge for a half-day or whole day (depending on person) regardless of how long it actually takes.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:07PM
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What do you think the hourly rate for a tiler should be? For fun, let's say $25.

That means he'd be working 18 hrs plus $25 for thinset.

is your job an 18 hr job for 1 person? Any tradesman I know starts the clock when they leave their home/workplace. Yes, you pay for travel time.

If I'm all wet on the hourly rate, it's easy to recalculate.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:10PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Wow, I'd love to find someone for $25/hour! I need to move. :(

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:18PM
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I just want to say that there are tilers and then there are tilers. You get what you pay for most of the time.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:30PM
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I live in the upper Midwest; experienced tilers in this area charge the following labor rate:
$3.85 per square foot for removal of old vinyl flooring.
$4.50 per square foot to install cement board over existing subfloor.
$10.50 per square foot to install tile.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Patricia I agree! We are remodeling a house at the moment and we thought $750 to stucco the chimney was ridiculous but paid it. So when it came to removing a slider door in one of the bathrooms and replacing it with a windowed storm door we were faced with the stucco thing on the exterior. My husband found someone who said they could stucco and charged a pittance. Well itâÂÂs cracked all around the framing. Guess who gets to fix it?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:54PM
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jterrilynn, that's a bummer :-/

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 8:28AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You've got a 2 day job no matter what. The thinset has to cure before grouting. The tile pros that I deal with would charge you two half days and hope they could squeeze in another small job or the afternoon. That would be $600 plus any materials needed. If the demo turned into a bear, it might even go up a tad. Depends on if rotten floor joists are discovered under the existing, etc.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:28AM
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I'd love if someone would charge that to do our foyer, about 7 x 6. As long as the guy's an expert tiler, I'd be all for that. We had a guy do our backsplash, it's a crappy job, I'm embarrassed that I paid for it. I'd also get more quotes, maybe I'm way off.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:25AM
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In our house we have small tile in a square just inside the front door....probably 3 .5 x 3.5. Our ceramic tile is set in cement. I do not like the tile....needs updating but I am sure it would cost a lot to take out the tile embedded in the cement and leveling everything and putting down new tile/grout....Just not going to do it. I will clean it and shine it and pretend I like it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:13PM
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I would love it if I was charged that for my two very very tiny foyer areas as I was charged over $1200 for just labor as I bought my own tiles and supplies. I am in Northern NJ where everything is so expensive. Thanks for sharing this thread.

Also beware of tile installers who do not know what they are doing as the first one was so bad, I had to pay someone to remove his tiles before I was able to find someone to do the tile job right. I had to buy many more tiles. Then I had to live with the floor looking terrible until I could find someone to do the job. Prices from Tile people that knew what they were doing ranged from $1200 to $1800 just for the labor.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:46PM
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For a small job, you cant really look at price per square foot. As mentioned above in a couple of different ways, with small jobs, you run into minimums because of the time that is taken for travel, set up, clean up, etc. as well as possibly excluding other work. Done right, it probably is a good part of two days and might be the only work the guy is able to schedule those two days. That's what you are paying for -- and, with a little luck, a good job done by a honest person who cares about their work.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Thanks for all the feedback!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:55AM
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