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Old 02-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
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Porcelain Tile


So I got an excellent deal on some porcelain tile for my kitchen. I'm trying to get the install priced out as I *could* do the work myself, but generally the time spent would be better spent doing other things (I work and own a business as well as have a family).

The room measured at 139 square feet. I'm told that given normal waste percentages the room will require 145 square feet of tile. There is a small pantry and three appliances to go under (Fridge, stove and dish washer).

I have been told there would be a difference in price of the labor for installing them at 45 degree angles versus square to the wall or cabinets.

Given my basic rudimentary explanation, what would you flooring experts charge for installing the tile in this 145 square foot room? I have all the tile all that he'll need to provide will be the spacers, grout and seal after he's done.

The room is L shaped with the small leg extending into the next room. All areas were included in the square footage calculation.

THanks!

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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It'd be best for you to call a few tile setters in your area. Everyone's number will be different.

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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I've got some guys pricing me already but was just curious what the consensus here would be. Generally there is a specific price per square foot but I was intrigued at the cost difference between square and 45 degree angled.

I was quoted $325 for square and $450 for the 45's which both seem high to me.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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the consensus is that people here live in Pa or Oh or any other state and their prices are not going to be the same as the prices in your area. get 3 estimates in your area and go from there. someone in another state cannot tell you how much the tile setters in your area charge. also make sure you actually get a price from a tile setter not some handyman that has done tile before.as for the 45 angled tile, many more cuts involved and a little more layout time.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #5
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As already mentioned, it does no good to ask people half way across the country what labor should cost to do your job sight un-seen. Everyone has their own idea what their time is worth based on their experience, cost of being in business, quality of work they do, and what the going local rates are.

Labor costs in San Antonio are very low for many reasons, but no need to go there now. (One of the reason is that most floors there are concrete, so assuming it's clear and ready to go, it takes less time). I find it ridiculous that you think $350 for almost 2 days at your house is high. Actually, I'd be nervous to hire someone that will do the work for so low. I'd wonder if they're any good and legal. That's not even enough for 1 day labor for a legitimate professional who does good work.

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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You didn't mention any mortar.

It will be easier to grout the tile if they are set in mortar.

I don't know how you can get the work done for less than $550.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
I don't know how you can get the work done for less than $550.
Have you ever been to Texas? Have you ever been to Southern Florida?

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Old 02-11-2013, 10:07 PM   #8
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I couldn't do a 45 square foot bath floor for that------I guess I'll stay here to earn money---
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:03 PM   #9
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I tiled most of the floors in my house myself with white porcellain tile, it's really not difficult at all, but for porcellain you WILL need a diamond blade to cut the tiles because they are so hard the normal score and snap used for bathroom wall tile etc is all but impossible.
I bought a cheap mini table saw at Menards for this purpose, it's a wet, diamond circular saw blade and cut all the tiles for 3 rooms just fine.
I decided to stagger the tiles like bricks and was very pleased with the results.
I did the former dining room, about 13-1/2 x 11-1/2 and the bedroom which is a little larger, the kitchen 9x15, and the hallway with the white porcellain.




I completely tore out the old flooring to the bare joists, replaced 2 joists that had been cut in the middle long ago for a large old floor register for a coal furnace, screwed 2 layers of 3/4" CDX down, and a layer of 1/2" cement backer board, and I have a good firm surface.

I've rolled items weighing over 300# over the floor, and I have a very large solid oak gothic bookcase with glass doors that I built using 5/4 oak boards, it weighs over 400# empty. There are no cracks anywhere.
In fact I had to work around that bookcase because its too heavy and at 9 feet it's too tall to move out of the room.

The base of the tile- the deck basically is THE most critical part of all, it has to be good and solid, no flexing or dipping, it's where you never want to cut corners.

Last edited by RWolff; 02-12-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ssgtjoenunez View Post
So I got an excellent deal on some porcelain tile for my kitchen. I'm trying to get the install priced out as I *could* do the work myself, but generally the time spent would be better spent doing other things (I work and own a business as well as have a family).

The room measured at 139 square feet. I'm told that given normal waste percentages the room will require 145 square feet of tile. There is a small pantry and three appliances to go under (Fridge, stove and dish washer).

I have been told there would be a difference in price of the labor for installing them at 45 degree angles versus square to the wall or cabinets.

Given my basic rudimentary explanation, what would you flooring experts charge for installing the tile in this 145 square foot room? I have all the tile all that he'll need to provide will be the spacers, grout and seal after he's done.

The room is L shaped with the small leg extending into the next room. All areas were included in the square footage calculation.

THanks!
Am I the only one who thinks that 145 sq. ft of tile to do a 139 sq. ft. room is not nearly enough? That is less than 5% waste. Also, on the pricing, much of the time you get what you pay for. This is a forum of folks who do things themselves...Hence the DIY chatroom website. Your best bet when getting work done is to get references or better yet, actually look at jobs they have done. You will get what you pay for most of the time.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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You're probably right, but no way to know how close the 139 is. I sometimes get messages that say something like: Yes, my room is approximately, 157.75 sq. ft. ...........and so how much? Ridiculous....

I was thinking if the room is actually about 140, I'd want at least 155 or so on the job. Even if you don't use em all, you always want an extra box or so of spares, just in case. Cheap insurance. Plus if I run out and have to go get more, labor will cost way more than the cost of 10 sq. ft. of tiles.

But the thread is so ridiculous, that we didn't feel like wasting time, unless something was to be learned. Thanks.

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Old 02-13-2013, 07:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GOLDBIO View Post
Am I the only one who thinks that 145 sq. ft of tile to do a 139 sq. ft. room is not nearly enough? That is less than 5% waste.
Not if you are careful in how you CUT the tiles so you don't break any beyond use, if the measurements of the room closely match a full number of tiles across and down, there should be NO waste at all as you shouldn't need to even cut any tiles if the room is square and all that.
I don't remember having much waste at all, because my rooms pretty well matched either the width of full tiles laid across or full with one half tile, I didnt have to cut any tiles other than in half in one room.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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Listen guys I have way more than 145 square feet of tile, the online calculator I used was the one who gave me the 145 for a 139 sq ft room. I bought plenty so I'm not worried about running out.

Second just because labor costs are cheaper in Texas doesn't mean everyone is illegal. The guys I normally use (who laid VCT in my business) are insured, bonded and I even sent them a 1099 which indicates that they are legal as they had to provide a tax ID number.

I realize this is a DIY forum and I do think I *could* do the work myself. The only thing I lack is a saw with a diamond blade to cut the tile. I've laid tile before but given that 1) I'm not a professional and 2) I have no idea what a going rate should/would be, I thought it prudent to ask.

I also realize that varying labor rates makes the question difficult...but not impossible.

Much of the info presented here makes me think I should probably just do it myself. Under the vinyl that is on the floor now is the bare concrete so I should not have too hard a time. The house is relatively new so I won't have to level it or worry about any major inconsistencies that would have to be dealt with.

Is porcelain the same as ceramic how it goes down? Use spacers and grout and that's about it? What about when done does it require a seal of some kind?

Thanks to all those who provided good feedback.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssgtjoenunez View Post
Much of the info presented here makes me think I should probably just do it myself.

Is porcelain the same as ceramic how it goes down? Use spacers and grout and that's about it? What about when done does it require a seal of some kind?
I did my floors by myself, and I never laid tile before, you certainly can do it.

Tile is tile, you make sure you buy the right thinset mortar, and mix it exactly how it says to on the bag and I'll tell you now you WILL need a power drill with one of those metal jiffy mixers because you mix it for a while and it gets VERY thick.
You also need the recommended notched trowel the mortar bag instructions tell you to use, and apply it per the directions to the floor in a small area to start with, then lay the tiles down.

Only complete nincompoops need spacers, they are a gimmick, don't waste the money or time on that stuff, you decide what size grout lines you want, it might be say 1/8" or 1/4", and just eye it in after measuring the first one or two to get a reference in your mind's eye.
Make sure you clean out any squished out thinset from inside the grout space- you can avoid getting that in the space by laying the tiles down right and not placing them and then SLIDING them over towards those already laid- you squeegie the thinset out and into that grout gap when you do that.

Once all the grout spaces are reasonably cleaned of any stray thinset you can grout usually the next day but walking carefully on the tiles as the thinset is not strong yet. Better wait 48 hours.
You mix the grout the same way- power drill, jiffy mixer exactly as the instructions say, it too will be a thick paste like wallboard compound.

You use a rubber float with a handle and press the grout in the lines diagonally across them, working it in well.
As you work you'll see a white haze form, get a BIG sponge and a pail of water and rubber dish gloves and start carefully cleaning off all the excess grit, haze, grout etc and smooth the grout flush with the tiles as you go.
You will be changing that water a LOT! Keep the water fresh and clean, it gets full of grout, gritty sand and more in 2 minutes.
Once the floor is clean leave it alone for a day or two before walking on it.

After I think 30 days or so, you can apply grout sealer to the grout with an applicator, it only goes on the grout!

As far as ceramic v/s porcellain, they are the same substance- fired clay, but the ceramic tile is much softer, easier to break, chip, scratch and it's cheaper. It's kiln fired at a lower temperature. You can cut ceramic tile with a glass cutter making a score and snapping it in half like glass, you cant do that with porcellain!

The porcellain is extremely hard and strong, denser and fired much hotter.
My floors are grade 5 commercial porcellain tile.

Last edited by RWolff; 02-15-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWolff

I did my floors by myself, and I never laid tile before, you certainly can do it.

Tile is tile, you make sure you buy the right thinset mortar, and mix it exactly how it says to on the bag and I'll tell you now you WILL need a power drill with one of those metal jiffy mixers because you mix it for a while and it gets VERY thick.
You also need the recommended notched trowel the mortar bag instructions tell you to use, and apply it per the directions to the floor in a small area to start with, then lay the tiles down.

Only complete nincompoops need spacers, they are a gimmick, don't waste the money or time on that stuff, you decide what size grout lines you want, it might be say 1/8" or 1/4", and just eye it in after measuring the first one or two to get a reference in your mind's eye.
Make sure you clean out any squished out thinset from inside the grout space- you can avoid getting that in the space by laying the tiles down right and not placing them and then SLIDING them over towards those already laid- you squeegie the thinset out and into that grout gap when you do that.

Once all the grout spaces are reasonably cleaned of any stray thinset you can grout usually the next day but walking carefully on the tiles as the thinset is not strong yet. Better wait 48 hours.
You mix the grout the same way- power drill, jiffy mixer exactly as the instructions say, it too will be a thick paste like wallboard compound.

You use a rubber float with a handle and press the grout in the lines diagonally across them, working it in well.
As you work you'll see a white haze form, get a BIG sponge and a pail of water and rubber dish gloves and start carefully cleaning off all the excess grit, haze, grout etc and smooth the grout flush with the tiles as you go.
You will be changing that water a LOT! Keep the water fresh and clean, it gets full of grout, gritty sand and more in 2 minutes.
Once the floor is clean leave it alone for a day or two before walking on it.

After I think 30 days or so, you can apply grout sealer to the grout with an applicator, it only goes on the grout!

As far as ceramic v/s porcellain, they are the same substance- fired clay, but the ceramic tile is much softer, easier to break, chip, scratch and it's cheaper. It's kiln fired at a lower temperature. You can cut ceramic tile with a glass cutter making a score and snapping it in half like glass, you cant do that with porcellain!

The porcellain is extremely hard and strong, denser and fired much hotter.
My floors are grade 5 commercial porcellain tile.
Excellent advice. I'll likely do it myself.

What mind sound like a stupid question but...

I pull up the quieter round and lay the tile to the baseboards right? Then lay down new quarter round when done.
Right?

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