need contractor advice for laying kitchen tile
Yes, I realize this is a DIY website, however, time simply does not permit me to do this job myself.
I have a small section of kitchen vinyl tile that was ruined in a drain backup. I would like to have a new floor laid down using ceramic tile. I have obtained several estimates ranging from $650 to $1800 for the labor alone. The job would entail removal of the ruined vinyl--about a 2' x 8' section--the use of thinset to bring the level up to the existing tile and placing ceramic tile on top. I realize from reading various other posts here, that placing ceramic tile on top of vinyl is not recommended, however, given our budget and our intent to sell the house this spring, I am really just looking for a reasonably inexpensive cosmetic fix.
I have called a number of contractors--based on recommendations, local ads and through craigslist. However, the vast majority don't return my calls. I believe the low quote of $650 was provided by an unlicensed contractor who balked when I asked him if he had proof of insurance. The high quote, I hope, was someone who was just pricing himself out of it because he did not want it.
Does anyone have any ideas as to other possible ways to locate a reliable contractor? I realize this is not a six-figure kitchen remodel and many people are just not interested in the smaller work or simply have enough other work to keep them busy--but there has to be someone out there who does this sort of work. Both guys indicated that this was a one day job. Assuming it takes ten hours to complete, one guy is charging essentially $180/hr!!
The area to be floored is approximately 180 sq. ft. I am located in central/northern NJ.
Thanks in advance for any help.