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Old 05-01-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


Hey Guys,
Am getting quotes for tiling the bathroom in my basement renovation project and the numbers seem really high. Bath is a little less than 200 sq.ft and am getting quotes in the $13 to 15 per sq.foot range. Something like $2500 bucks
to finish a floor and shower. Seriously, I am floored by the quotes I am getting. I am looking for input as to whether my expectations are off base or if I have not brought in enough tilers to quote this job. Anyone on the east coast have any recent tiling jobs done and could give some input?

I don't begrudge anyone a living, just asking for a realistic quote in a tough environment. Thanks for input.

Sorry...$13 to $15-labor only

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Old 05-01-2008, 09:54 PM   #2
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


Rates vary vastly from floor to doing showers, they are incomparable.

Assigning one square footage rate to the shower and floor is oversimplifying, but basicaly at those numbers the prices sound good.

When you say labor only, are you taking into account the underlayment, thinset, spacers, grout and any additives to the thinset or grout?

You have to take into account that on small jobs you may not be able to factor it at a SF rate. The job may take just as long as a job twice it's SF would take and the installer still needs to make a living.

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Old 05-02-2008, 12:04 AM   #3
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


To me this sounds a little high when you are looking at the SF price. If you have a small job, you are going to pay a little more per SF. There are a lot of companies and or individuals that won't touch a job that is small like that.
If you are not doing it yourself, you should try at least one cut in tile and try to set them to see the true value of paying someone else to do the job.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:31 AM   #4
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


First of all, like orson said, shower and floors are two different things. A little less than 200 sq ft I would not consider small. If that were all floor, that could be a kitchen sized room (10 x 20). I would charge around $2000 for a kitchen tile job that size but that's if I'm already remodeling it. Add in the shower which you don't go into detail about and it sounds like you're in the ballpark. I guess my biggest question would be about waterproofing. Do the quotes you receive specify anything about that in the shower area? You also don't mention what kind of tile. That makes a difference too. Natural stone is harder to work with than ceramic.
I'd say if your quote is for simple ceramic and no waterproofing, it's high. HOWEVER, I wouldn't use anyone that does not try to waterproof the shower. And when I say water proof, I don't mean use cement backer board. I think home owners watch a little too much HGTV and think tiling is an easy job. It's not! Many contractors see home owners tiling and thing they can do it too. I would check whomever you decide on. Ask to see their portfolio. Ask if they've ever waterproofed a shower before. If they say no or it's not necessary, DON'T USE THEM. If you don't believe me, take a look over at another forum for home owners to ask professionals questions about tiling, http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...isplay.php?f=1
Do a search for kerdi.
Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:35 AM   #5
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


I wouldn't pay that much for a 200sq ft basement bath. I would just do it myself. basements are easier in some respects but can also have issues if the floor isn't flat or smooth. For a DIYer I would recommend using a fiberglass shower enclosure or at least a one piece shower floor in acrylic, fiberglass cultured marble. Tiling a shower floor has a lot of considerations and is not a thing to tackle on your first tile project.

Including buying a really cheap tile saw and the tools needed you could likely do the entire thing, materials included, for under $400 not counting the shower enclosure.

Let me know if you want help going this route.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:14 AM   #6
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


The shower alone, if done correctly could easily cost the $2500. The bath floor would be over and above that.

If you listen to handyman advice you'll have a handyman job when your done, whose gonna stand behind it!

Get several bids in your area. Get references and verify the references. This is the only way you will know what the fair cost is. You aren't qualified to say whether that price is too high or not and neither is any of us here on an Internet forum. Keep it local. You can't verify any kind of pricing on the Internet.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:29 AM   #7
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brik View Post
Including buying a really cheap tile saw and the tools needed you could likely do the entire thing, materials included, for under $400 not counting the shower enclosure.
Even if he buys the cheapest damn floor tile on special at Home Crap-o, he'll pay $250 alone just for that. How do you figure that he can get all the materials for this entire job for $400?

I agree that I would do this job myself (I think tiling is a good DIY project if you're a careful worker). But I wouldn't fool this guy about the costs of the project. Your quotes for $2500 are likely right on, especially if you're getting a number of them in the same ballpark. For one person it's nearly a week's work, and the expenses are going to be around $1000 if you get a moderately nice looking tile.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


Thanks Bud! DIYers have greater motivation for doing things correctly. Just note the other recent post here. I was not attempting in my post to explain how to DIY a tile job, just some things to consider if DIY. Notice I do not recommend a DIYer doing a shower base tile job for instance. i am confident that a DIYer can do a floor of that size on a slab and do a good job of it. I have taught many DIYers with excellent results. Yes, a DIY job can be bad and a hired handyman jb can be very bad. No argument. But, a DIY job can be as good as a pro job too IMO.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:15 AM   #9
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Just because you're not gonna accidentally start a house fire by installing tile incorrectly does NOT mean it's a good DIY project. There are many things to consider BEFORE tiling, even when over a slab. If a home owner has never tiled before, instruction is something they need to consider. I understand there are many owners that want to cut costs or want the "satisfaction" of doing the work themselves. If you absolutely decide you're going to tile yourself, at least check out your local Home Depot to see when they offer FREE tiling classes. I'll guarantee that a first time, home owner installed tile job will be done incorrectly. Why would anyone want a home project done incorrectly? And Brik, your comment, "But, a DIY job can be as good as a pro job too IMO" taken literally is an insult to a professional tile setter. I'm fairly certain you didn't mean it that way but I bet 99.99999% of DIYers cannot match the years and 100's of 1000's of sq ft of tile laid by a professional, especially with Bud's credentials.
I'm not telling Mikedks it can't be done himself. I'm saying it is not an easy job and IF he considers doing this himself, he needs to really educate himself more than reading a thread on the internet or watching a 1/2 hour show on TV. The advise he's receiving about his current quotes seems to be similar. His question was about the cost. Without knowing more details, the consensus is the numbers are in line. Just be careful about the shower....(waterproof!!!!!).
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:27 AM   #10
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


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I'll guarantee that a first time, home owner installed tile job will be done incorrectly. Why would anyone want a home project done incorrectly?
Oh really? You can guarantee that? Why would you be so sure that a capable patient diy'er who educates him/herself about the project before starting would do it wrong? Not saying that DIYers don't make mistakes when they don't learn about a project, but your hyperbole is not helpful, IMO.

Quote:
And Brik, your comment, "But, a DIY job can be as good as a pro job too IMO" taken literally is an insult to a professional tile setter.
I think if I tiler is insulted by that, then they're awfully insecure. A DIY job can certainly be as good as a pro job. And a pro job can in some cases be worse than some good DIY jobs. There are a range of abilities and attention to detail in both the pro and DIY world.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:54 AM   #11
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


"a DIY job can be as good as a pro job" CAN is the operative word. I didn't say will be. Education, access to good resources, attention to detail,
willingness to learn, patience and knowing your limits all play into it. I talk to DIYers all the time. One of my goals is to not just jump in and tell someone how to do something but to gauge their sills first and get a feel for ability and steer them to a pro when I do not feel they might be up for the challenge. I also take my own advice. I have done hundreds of DIY projects and I know my limits and hire out when needed or wanted.

Making a decision as to DIY anything or not is key. The TV shows make it seem like anyone can do anything DIY. Go rent a bobcat and dig up for a patio, finish your basement, I could go on. Some projects are certainly NOT for every DIYer. Next weeks podcast is on planning a basement finishing job. We talked about considerations as to DIY or not and how to find a good contractor. Knowing your limits and realizing the scope before you start, etc.


Good discussion - If I offended anyone that was not my intent. I hold pro contractors who do good work in very high regard.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:01 AM   #12
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


I encourage DIY projects for most people. Been doing it on the Internet for almost ten years now. Yet some that come to an Internet Forum for advice you can just tell by their questions they have no business doing the project they describe.

I have seen many very successful first-time tile projects completed over the years that looked very professional. And all with a little guidance from guys on the Internet. Shower construction is not to be taken lightly however. To properly install a successful tile shower requires some technique and attention to detail but it can be done by most anyone.

To shop prices on the Internet in the fashion it is being done in this thread is totally fruitless. The wiser more talented more experienced installers already know that their circumstances are different from everyone else's and that the compensation they require for their services are determined by their own personal needs. Therefore their charges are their charges and no one else's.

Only a fool looks for or charges a "going rate" when it comes to tile showers, and almost all tile for that matter. No one in his right mind would offer up a legitimate quote to an inquiry on an Internet forum based on what the novice owner was reporting as conditions and facts. It can not be done. All projects are different there are no two exactly alike no matter how much a person thinks they are.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:06 AM   #13
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
I encourage DIY projects for most people. Been doing it on the Internet for almost ten years now. Yet some that come to an Internet Forum for advice you can just tell by their questions they have no business doing the project they describe.

I have seen many very successful first-time tile projects completed over the years that looked very professional. And all with a little guidance from guys on the Internet. Shower construction is not to be taken lightly however. To properly install a successful tile shower requires some technique and attention to detail but it can be done by most anyone.

To shop prices on the Internet in the fashion it is being done in this thread is totally fruitless. The wiser more talented more experienced installers already know that their circumstances are different from everyone else's and that the compensation they require for their services are determined by their own personal needs. Therefore their charges are their charges and no one else's.

Only a fool looks for or charges a "going rate" when it comes to tile showers, and almost all tile for that matter. No one in his right mind would offer up a legitimate quote to an inquiry on an Internet forum based on what the novice owner was reporting as conditions and facts. It can not be done. All projects are different there are no two exactly alike no matter how much a person thinks they are.
I agree 100%!
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:17 AM   #14
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


Yes, Nate, I have NEVER seen a DIY tile job done correctly. Now I'm not a flooring inspector and I don't travel around the country looking at DIY installations. I'm simply stating what I've seen over the years. You'd be surprised how many times I get calls for me to come fix a job started by a home owner that went bad. I spend time on the internet in forums trying to HELP people. Part of that help is to let them know it's not a simple job. They need to ask questions and take it upon them self to understand it's more than going to Home Depot, buying some ceramic and premixed thinset and spending a few hours laying tile. Unfortunately, that is a common error 1st timers make.
Hyperbole? Perhaps you didn't read my ENTIRE reply. "I'm not telling Mikedks it can't be done himself. I'm saying it is not an easy job and IF he considers doing this himself, he needs to really educate himself more than reading a thread on the internet or watching a 1/2 hour show on TV."
Actually, Nate, the original poster never even asked about doing it himself.
Why would I be insecure? Seems you're the one that is offended by my comments. Look, I'm not trying to start a fight with you or anyone else. I did say "I'm fairly certain" the comment wasn't meant to be literal but to think that a 1st timer doing ANYTHING can match a professional that's been at something for years is ludicrous. So because you watch ER on tv, you know how to perform CPR? Because you play the video game, Halo, you know how to use a firearm? Because you drive alongside tractor trailers on the road, now you can drive one? All of those statements are ridiculous just as saying a home owner can match the skills of a professional tile setter. Perhaps a home owner can do a job they're proud of....perhaps they can be satisfied with their work. Does that mean it's as good as a 15 year pro? No. That's all I said. Nate, I would hope you can get past whatever nerve I struck with you and realize this discussion is meant to educate DIYers. That's all I'm trying to do. To randomly say a tile job is DIY friendly is not very educational.
Brik, I appreciate your willingness to help potential DIYers. That's very admirable on the time you spend to educate people. I was just making sure the overall message of this thread wasn't that tiling is easy and just any DIYer should attempt it them self.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:01 PM   #15
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Bathroom tiling job cost per square foot.


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Originally Posted by NateHanson View Post
Even if he buys the cheapest damn floor tile on special at Home Crap-o, he'll pay $250 alone just for that. How do you figure that he can get all the materials for this entire job for $400?
Back of an envelope
220 sq ft = x .89c/sq' for cheapest damn floor tile = $196
thinset $60
Trowel $5
cheapest damn tile saw = $70
grout = $30
spacers = $5
sponge = $3
gloves = $3
tax 6% = 22
total = $394

Maybe I left something off, didn't figure pricing exactly or HomeCheapo wont run a sale or you want the 10$/sq tile, maybe off on thinset. Anyway, this is how I came up with $400 in my head since you asked.

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