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Old 05-28-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
summergal
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How to find a tile guy?

I am looking for a tile guy. I would like someone who would allow me to help with the tile installation. I am going to be doing a front porch, steps, back porch, steps (large). I wish to find someone for next spring. Is there a place to find someone for Eastern WA. Thanks
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
madronatile
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User name TGR. His name is Todd, he's out of Spokane(I think), good guy and good tileman.

Try sending him a pm.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:57 PM   #3
Trask
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Necce Welcome,

I was gonna say in response to "how to find a Tile Guy?"..
.."Just Hang 'round here a bit" But I see you already found that out.

On the topic of helping:..It can work and I have had very ambitious homeowners who were very willing to take orders and it did mitigate cost as they simply agreed to be a laborers. It also can cause issues or end up costing more money ( thus causing issues) If it isn't discussed up front and in depth. It has to be talked about completely. Many Homeowners have wanted more to be informed,educated and involved in the process but when it came right down to the work they discover they didn't want to be part of the processing. Others I discovered had strong backs and their respective motivation was simply to save money. One ( very wealthy) gentleman in particular did as fine a job hand mixing dry pack mortar and packing tile for me that I almost felt guilty. He dripped sweat all day long for me. He could have cared less about the process..In fact when I would ask him to make a judgement call on topics such as layout he would simply say "Your the Pro..do what you think"..

The problems can occur from innocent curiosity. I made the mistake of allowing a very nice lady to get involved with every step of her job without first having a discussion about how this might affect progress. She just was interested in every step and wanted to talk at length about it. That can get awkward as it slows the job to a crawl and we did have to have a discussion about working by the hour if she wanted to be that involved.

Just some ideas to prompt you to think seriously about what your motivations are and be sure to clearly share them with your contractor before the job begins.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:37 AM   #4
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Reminds me of a sign I saw in an auto shop a while back

LABOR RATE $50 per hour

If you watch $75 per hour

If you help $100 per hour
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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no offense intended

Necce,

Whenever anyone wants to "help" it only takes about 5 or 10 minutes for them to realize just how much physical labor is involved. These muscles aren't from the gym. Numerous 50 pound bags of thinset, concrete mix, heavy boxes of tiles, a wet saw coming it ant 70 pounds, buckets of water 35 pounds each, ALL day long. And I think them manufacturers put the thinset in bags made out of tissue paper, so ya gots to be careful when handling them. Don't spill the water out of the bucket either. Be careful when you set the tiles down as not to chip the edges. We normally break a sweat unloading the truck.

I always find it best when a customer helps by:

1- moving personal items out of the way, empty the cabinet in the bathroom, move the vase from the entry hall table, roll up the rug in the foyer.
2- keeping pets and children at bay
3- the occasional offer of cold water / iced tea / coffee is nice
4- make room for materials and working
5- parking for the truck carrying the heavy materials
6- standing back and letting the professionals do the work they have trained for and enjoy doing.
7 -unlock gates
8- prepare a place for the garden hose to be attached and used. Move plants, BBQ pits, furniture to accomodate.
9- make adequate electrical outlets available. Those wet saws eat a lot of power.

These are all items that are great to help the contractor zero in on his job and not have to spend the first half of each morning prepping the job site to be able to get to working. And it saves you a ton of money, while protecting your stuff.

Now I don't mind a customer watching while I work. As we chat they find that aside from all the physical labor, its a lot more technical than they thought and there are a TON of tricks to the trade to make the job easier / better / faster. All of which can be quite interesting. Some customers have pulled up chairs to watch. That lasts about 15 minutes until they get bored and all the questions get answered. I am not however, going to teach a customer how to lay tiles in half a day as I fear they will learn enough just to be dangerous and then have the excuse "well, YOU told me..." Ya know what I mean?
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
Lazarus
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Good post, Paul....you got that right! (From another tile guy about an hour away)

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Old 05-29-2010, 11:14 PM   #7
summergal
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Smile

Wow, thanks for all the detailed responses. I guess I know what you mean. I've worked construction before, running jack hammers, tampers, shovel, just real manual labor, so I'm not afraid to get dirty or work hard, but I would probably just get in the way; you're all right.

Well, it isn't until next spring so I guess I have time. Thanks for that link, Matt. I wish my dad would have taught me more carpentry and stuff. Now that we're building a home, it sure would have come in handy. Are you listening, daddy? Girls just cooked and had babies, but I opted for a doggie. I do have a gourmet kitchen, though.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:40 AM   #8
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Now Necce , if you decide to do the project yourself we will be here to help you with it. Hammy
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:32 AM   #9
Jhereg
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Most of my jobs are inside, but here's a couple more ways to help, and keep costs down.
----------------------
Take care of the garbage, or at least already have a place set aside where he can put the bags till the job is complete. Being asked to remove garbage daily slows things down.

If your yard is all pristine and landscaped, have an area where we can dump buckets of dirty water. It's not toxic, it's not going to kill plants, but it is messy. Even a hole somewhere that can be covered over once done. Just tossing it over/under a fence leads to angry neighbors and having to haul it out as we go is a pain.

Tarps/drop cloths and plastic sheeting. If you can live with it in your home during the process, not having to roll things out every morning and pick it all up at the end of every day saves hours over the course of a job. While work is going on some people just can't stand the fact their home is in fact... a construction zone.
------------------

It's great you've worked construction before. Gives you a lot of insight. Good luck on the project!
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:25 PM   #10
terrillr
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These are excellent tips for those of us who know we can't/won't DIY, but don't want to be a problem client either. Maybe it could be a sticky?
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:26 PM   #11
tile mom
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Summergal- we sound similar in interests...only my dad did teach me carpentry skills when I was a little girl. Anyway, on to tiling...

I learned by offering to be the gopher or "Tile Lackey" for a friend who is a tile contractor. He paid me the going rate for his usual gophers (which wasn't much!!) and I stirred the mud, hauled the trash, handed him tile, swept, wiped, WATCHED, and tried to anticipate his needs that would make him faster and happy to have me around...soon I graduated: to cutting tile and stoning the edges smooth- first just straight cuts, then got to the point where I was useful enough on the scroll saw for his tricky cuts, then actually set the tile.
Tile guys (and gals) NEED a gopher...now my kid or my husband is mine!! Reliable ones are the bomb-- it makes the job go more than 2 times faster. Just keep you mouth shut and stay out of the way unless you are needed. You will learn a lot just by watching...and reading this forum... it's better than a text book anyday.
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