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05-08-2010, 11:03 AM
I have this bid for ceramic tile in my 8'.5" x 10' 4" bath. The contractor was recommended by a concrete pro I work with. I have been working on this room for too long and my wife is nagging me to have it tiled by a contractor.
As I have always done my own work, I have no way of knowing if this is a fair bid.
It is for 12 x 12 ceramic around a 6' jacuzzi tub (tile flange) 8' on tubwall and 4' on both sides (floor to ceiling) with a 4 ft wainscoat option for the rest.
There is a 6' accent border around the tub. The walls will be floated over existing green board, with hardibacker on floor under 12x12's as well.

Total square footage is about 90 (floor) and 115 around tub, and 55 wfor the wainscoat option.
The contractor is licensed although he claims to be exempt from W.C. (no employees) although my guess is he would need a helper.

I'm trying to find out if it's reasonable, and perhaps have someone recommend another pro in the La Mesa/San Diego area for a second estimate.



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05-08-2010, 12:02 PM
Seems very fair. I would say that you should cross out the contractors name if you are to put the contract on here. The proposal is between you and him.

Almost all of our work can be done by one person, just may take longer.

SP100 beta tester
05-08-2010, 12:08 PM
12 X 12 CERAMIC, ????

Apples to oranges, just exactly what is it are you attempting to compare?

define the labor
define the materials

05-08-2010, 12:22 PM
I'm trying to find out if it's reasonable,Brian, if the price is acceptable both to you and your contractor, it's a "reasonable" price.

It's really that simple. :shades:

My opinion; worth price charged.

05-08-2010, 01:19 PM
I am not comparing, only trying to see if this bid seems to be high, low or average for this area and type of work.
I did remove the contractor's name, and thanks for that suggestion. I have solicited other bids yet, as I am still trying to find someone who can refer me. There are a lot of hacks out there.
He did say he has a helper, and appropriate insurance, but the CSCLB says otherwise. This is not unusual in California, as our comp costs can be obscene.
Basically, I'm trying to establish a range of "per square foot" costs, as I can't afford to overpay. I never look for the cheapest bid when I hire contractors for my employer, and I don't plan on doing that for my house.

Thanks again for the info,


05-08-2010, 04:30 PM
Brian~I wouldn't look at it as a "per Sq. Ft. Price" if it were me. Look at it as a "finished job." I dunno what the average is in Cali.....but is probably more than it would be as you go East. Here is SE Texas, I'd figgure about three grand or therabouts (plus any extras)

Chad Deiter Company
05-08-2010, 05:27 PM
Wainscot seems a little no way that should be more per sqft than the shower walls. All in all seems pretty fair to me with the extra stuff he's doing for you. Keep in mind that these numbers should be great workmanship too not just thrown in there.

05-08-2010, 06:49 PM
Thanks. I assume the greenboard, then paper, then wire and float is the correct prep? He also said he would use jiffy seal around the window.
Thank you for all your help.


05-08-2010, 07:19 PM
um brian before you seal the deal you need to get yourself educated on proper shower installation!! you can start by doing some reading in the famous JB liberry http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5434

05-08-2010, 08:13 PM
seems fair to me.

05-08-2010, 08:40 PM
Yes, but the greenboard is to be used under the paper, wire and mud job. Is that not okay?


05-08-2010, 08:44 PM
Hi Brian,

Why not use the Kerdi system and avoid the extra work a mud wall entails?

It can be applied right over the green board.

05-08-2010, 08:57 PM
I don't float that way, but its acceptable.

05-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Thanks Michael, but what is the kerdi system?

05-08-2010, 09:38 PM
Schluter Kerdi is a waterproofing membrane that can be applied over your greenboard to create a leak proof shower.

Here you go:http://www.schluter.com/8_1_kerdi.aspx

Chad Deiter Company
05-09-2010, 08:14 AM
He already has a bid for a floated shower and this contractor won't have a clue about the Kerdi System anyway. When I float walls I use the 1 step method as described above and it's fine.
Tile Layer just likes to lift and mix mud :D

05-09-2010, 10:14 AM
You're probably right Chad,I missed the part about floating the walls in the contract,thanks for pointing that out.

Brian,if you mention Kerdi to him and he looks at you like you're speaking pig latin,forget about it.

Floating the wall is a true tested method that works well and has been done for many years.

Also,the price seems fair enough to me.

05-09-2010, 10:44 AM
Thanks. So the greenboard backer under the paper is fine?

05-09-2010, 11:48 AM

05-09-2010, 11:57 AM
Brian, mudded walls done right will be plumb and flat. The greenboard right now probably isn't. Tar paper and lath over the greenboard is how I have done it for years on most jobs.

05-09-2010, 03:18 PM

I said it was acceptable! jeez!

Chad Deiter Company
05-09-2010, 03:42 PM
I know I just was saying that you enjoy lifting large quantities of cement. :whip:

05-09-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks very much to all for the input.


05-09-2010, 05:02 PM
FAIR!.....but if are thinking twice about it,it may be because YOU feel its too expensive.and that a bad sign for me.i would have taken that bid,said thank you and gone home..i hope you pay this guy.customers like your self that cant make up their mind on a fair price have the tendency to find any little thing to get refunds or discounts...let the guy do his job,and especially if he is a refereed contractor,take that in consideration....

05-09-2010, 05:17 PM
He's baaaaaack:postitbg:

05-09-2010, 05:21 PM
Its a fair price, but expect top quality install for that price. Of course the mud work is a plus too.

But orlando is right in a way. If you have this guy on referral, you trust him, and have seen his work then you are going to pay him and be happy.

But if you simply are looking for price then maybe not. One good way to find out is to find two well referred tile guys and have them bid, then compare and see.

Higher Standard Tile
05-10-2010, 01:42 AM
But just because one reputable installer's price is higher than another's doesn't mean his price is not fair. It is what he is willing to do it for, someone else may be willing to do it for less.

I got this from a client I provided an estimate for recently-

"We have received bids from several reputable tile installers and have chosen one that is nearly $1000 lower than your bid.
We know that it is a competitive market and appreciate all the time that you took to make your best estimate. "

Considering the total cost of the job, I was about 15% higher than the bid they accepted.
I think that if a client thinks that that all tile installers provide the same level of quality and service then I understand why they would just choose the lower bidder. Why spend more if you think you are getting the same.

So I wish they had asked my why I was more before they made the final decision. But they didn't. ( I thought I explained it will in the initial consultation and the proposal)

So ask questions, what is included? What installation materials do you use?
And ask for and actually call the references. Go visit some completed or in progress jobs.

05-10-2010, 02:48 AM
customers nowadays are too well informed to ask reasonable questions..somtimes the " proper information " does not apply to the actual conditions of the job..and with the " economy" ( which is a lame term being used to say " give me a cheap price cause I'm doing' you favor " customers expect that..and one more thing ,and i know i have said this before ..BUT THOSE DAMN HANDYMEN....... hitting the dirt with their prices,pigs rolling in mud are cleaner on dirt then them on their prices...i was once told, " you contractors think just because you have a licensed ,you can take our money and over price us ( the customer / client ).but there are some honest people out there and they are called handymen "..........since then my respect for them is lower than the sole of my worn out steel toe boots worn out by many years of FLOOR COVERING INSTALLATIONS ONLY..... if this is the last reply that i may post, i was honest,maybe i spoke my mind too much,but this business is here to make money,not make friends our trade needs to be respected and admired we make houses into homes " floors make the home "...

05-10-2010, 07:18 AM
..if this is the last reply that i may post, i was honest,maybe i spoke my mind too much

Whether you participate further in our forum is entirely up to you.

05-10-2010, 07:26 AM
posted x orlando ....if this is the last reply that i may post, i was honest,maybe i spoke my mind too much,but this business is here to make money,not make friends our trade needs to be respected and admired we make houses into homes.

there is nothing wrong with speaking your mind around here. we just try to keep it civil.

not that im the best at it :crazy:

but around here it is about making money, and making good friends along the way. and in my business the customer is always right even if there not we try to educate the in the right direction. its for there own good.

05-10-2010, 07:50 AM

I will disagree with you on one issue, I would like to make money and make friends along the way. So I think it is a balance of charging what you need to do a job but in many cases if you are fair and do good work, that new friend may get you more work. The friends I have made along the way, have gotten me much more work cause they know I will do a quality job. I give a fair price, I don't give it away. They know by recommending me they are in a sense putting they're reputation on the line cause good or bad its coming back to them. In my own experiences I have lost work to the low baller but I know what I need to do a job.

We want you to be honest, we expect that, you're never gonna be criticized here for that. I agree that in many cases its the homeowner who does not have the education to know what the best price is for what the tile person is going to do. Many of them do "know it all," cept for them actually doing the work. And yes with the "economy" many people feel like they are doing you a favor by giving you work, not that fact they are lucky to have a good floor guy who takes pride and passion in what he or she does. In many situations its what is it gonna cost them, they look at that bottom line price, not the materials or how much experience you have. Cause whether the economy is good or bad most people are tight with they're money, they want to pay as little as possible. Some don't care bout price they just want it done right.

In my own experiences I say most cause I have given bids in many cases to fit the needs of the customer, I wanted the job and knew if I went higher I wouldn't get the work. On one last note, the handyman types have hurt many of the trades, they are at someones house and the homeowner says "I can't get someone to do this for me, etc. So if they can get they're foot in the door it may lead to other work. Do they have to be licensed to be a handyman, probably not. I think if you are going to be a handyman you should be licensed in any thing you do in that home, cept for little things like changing light bulbs.

There is a big need for the handyman types, where a homeowner needs a bunch a lil stuff done, they can't get someone who wants to come out to do a bunch a lil stuff so a handyman is perfect for that. But he or she shouldn't be doing any work in the house if it requires a licensed person, running the vacuum, doing a lil painting, cleaning the carpets, hauling out some junk, cleaning out the gutters, thats handyman stuff. Leave the jobs requiring skilled trademan to the person who has that skill and experience and training.

post by Orlando

floors make the home

Well.... they help make the home but a number of skills and trades make a home ......we are just one a them!:wohoo:

Chad Deiter Company
05-10-2010, 08:08 AM
I'm with Jon skilled trades are what can make a house a home. The skilled work can also make a house a crap hole. Finish work is really where it's at.

As I do believe that Orlando can not like having to compete with them but our education in the field is what closes jobs. Especially after last year a lot of homeowners are realizing the mistakes of taking the lowest price.

This guy isn't questioning the setter or the bid I think he was just looking for input on whether or not it seemed fair. Unfortunately the prices vary so much across the country it's not too much help to ask all of the people on here. :D

05-10-2010, 08:55 AM
thank you my friends!.......now, off to work...lets go!.

05-10-2010, 01:00 PM
Very fair price. Any lower and I would question quality.

John Corley
05-10-2010, 05:28 PM
I think the price is reasonable as well.

05-10-2010, 05:42 PM
Great reply Jondon,

I am one of the dredded handymen, and 99.9% of my business is exactly what you describe, alot of small things that nobody else wants to do. The small amount of tile work I do is for well established customers who know my work and call me first no matter what type of job it is. If I can do the work legally I will oblige, and I do the work at a fair trade price and spend the time to do the job right. Cracks in the cement floor, isolation membrane....tile a shower or tub surround...kerdi.

On the other hand, I get calls all the time from people who have gotten quotes from an electrician for $175 to install a ceiling fan, or a plumber who wants $95 an hour to change a faucet and these are the people that we service. I mentioned this in another post but I watched a plumber spend 6 hours changing out 2 shower mixer valves with the walls wide open... at $95.00 an hour. So while I agree that there are way too many handymen out there willing to hack things up for dirt cheap prices, there are some honest ones like myself who know our abilities and do not overstep our bounds.

05-10-2010, 07:13 PM

05-10-2010, 07:18 PM
Good post Lenny! :tup2:

05-10-2010, 07:32 PM
I kinda browsed this thread and see if kinda derailed a bit... IMO. I think you gotta charge right so that your not rushing the job cause you came in too low. I don't budge on my prices. If I don't get the job, I don' get it. Its better then losing money. But... I am fair and I build relationships with the clients during the work process. I did a basement floor w/ a full shower. After the job me and the customer are good friends, and hes referring me to a few people who are blown away by my install. :shrug:

05-10-2010, 07:35 PM

Yes good post from you as well, you make some very good points as well. Your in Vegas so when it comes to having people in to do work, its really like the casino....gambling......lol Many trades want a minimum amount of payola to come out and just put foot in the door so a Handyman like yourself fits the bill, and you got other skeels so you should use them. If you can get into a house to do some handyman stuff, you might end up with other work as you have stated and thats the benefit of your job,,,,,"hey I can do tile"

Just want to make one more point here and actually just want to reiterate what you were saying. Because one is qualified to do something, has experience in that trade, does not mean they are efficient means they are qualified. Good points!

Rick just read your post, I agree... cause a that friendship you developed during the job you'll probably get more work cause he would be proud to recommend you and would enjoy going out for a cheesesteak with you, this is what a nice installation does for you when you befriend the client and make them happy.

05-10-2010, 09:05 PM
I guess my question has been answered and then some.
Just to reiterate my point;
I have over 30 years in healthcare facilities renovation, have built a room addition on two previous homes, and am quite able to do this myself, albeit I'm not good enough to mud it. It's much more difficult when you don't do something for a living, it's why you need pro's.. I was simply wondering if it was a fair price, as I don't usually hire outside help for my home.

As far as word of mouth referrals, I use a concrete contractor where I work, who I have used exclusively for years, because he is honest and does the job right.
I appreciate all the comments (except Orlando's "people like me comment".)
I would never look for a reason not to pay. I expect to pay a fair price for quality work. It's as simple as that.

Thanks again,


05-10-2010, 09:41 PM
so why not hang the drywall and use kerdi and do it yourself ? heck u ask questions we answer for a fraction of that bid

05-11-2010, 10:26 AM
yes sounds like you gotta lot more than was asked, we tend to do this but hey more good things come up!

I am gonna agree with Jeff, with your experience you could put up sheetrock and kerdi it, save you lotta payola, less you are intent on having mud walls. Key to it is its wateproofed correctly whether its sheetrocked and mudded or sheetrocked and kerdied.

I will personally apologize for Orlando's people like you comment, it was uncalled for and he is still a lil green here on the forum(he admitted to that), so will you accept this rose as an apology? Every person is different in the way they go about things and we don't like to see any stereotyping, profilin, etc. You were just lookn to see it was a fair price and we gave you way more than that but it was 99% good:yo:

05-11-2010, 10:53 PM
You certainly gave me more than I asked for, and I truly appreciate it.

Again, my thanks to all of you.


05-11-2010, 11:18 PM
I have over 30 years in healthcare facilities renovation, have built a room addition on two previous homes, and am quite able to do this myself, albeit I'm not good enough to mud it....
I'm right, " people like you ",don't see the great benefit of getting a true professional to do your job.you see MONEY GOING OUT YOUR POCKET.everything in this world has a price,we make a living doing what we do,my advice really,is I'm not good enough to mud it,try to do it.don't pay save the money,and if it goes bad,well you can always hire a professional to go back and do it over.

thanks Jon, i appreciate that.but as you can see this guys is still thinking twice about it................oh wait! one more solution,hire a handyman they can do everything...

05-12-2010, 04:52 AM
Man, what's with all the hate superhero? Its "people like you" that give contractors a bad name. Just my opinion of course.

05-12-2010, 08:24 AM
Here we go again with the "people like you" Lets not stereotype please. We are all trying to work together here on the forum to get people eduKated. If a contractor or tile installer has a bad name, he or she probably earned it by the work they do and how they treat people, only they know that, we are not here to judge. There are bad eggs in any basket.

Brian posted a legitimate question and there is no indication he was trying to get out of paying or paying a fair price. He was honest in saying he couldn't do mud work. By posting this, he has now learned of using Kerdi, so by asking questions he got more education. He may not be able to do mud work but with his experience he can surely handle drywall and Kerdi if he so chooses and if he saves some money thats to his benefit. This forum is here for people like him to get our opinions on work, not be judged.

This forum is here for DIYers to ask questions to determine if they can do they're own home project, and we make them very aware we will be with them every step of the way. From start to finish. Why does anyone want to do a project in they're home themselves when they don't have the knowledge...... Save some payola? BINGO.... Nothing wrong with doing it yourself or inquiring about pricing. If I hadn't a taken on my own bathroom renovation myself Orlando I wouldn't have realized how much I enjoy tile, so lets go back to supporting people, not pointing finga's:nod:

05-12-2010, 09:26 AM
GOT IT.....like many here i dint work for " shop " so my deals are always person to person.in the years of experience,i have learned to read a customer,as soon as i walk in a house i look at the surrounding,from there i can begin to figure them out,what they like,married, divorced,single parent,and if they make enough money to Ive them a high bid,low or just walk away.that may sound REALLY BAD,but at some point it became a natural instinct for me.I'm a very likable person.i treat my customers like a friend.and i always say " IF YOU DECIDE TO GO WITH SOME ELSE,CALL ME IF YOU FEEL THAT THERES SOMETHING WRONG "...so i guess thats were all this bad thinking comes from,because based on the questions,and the comments ,it just seems that way to me..but my best wishes on your project..

05-12-2010, 03:13 PM
please close this thread.

05-12-2010, 05:52 PM
There's no sense trying to reason with a PINHEAD.
It's people like Orlando that give contractor's a bad rap.
Go back and read the posts, if your able to Orly.