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Old 03-11-2018, 11:07 PM   #1
JodiChris
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Tub/Shower Hours Dilemma

Hi, I'm new here looking for help sorting out the cost of a tile project that seems to be way over budget. I managed this job for a friend and total hours (at $50/) now stands at around 150 for a standard 30x60 tub/shower. This includes reframing, new framing, cement board and everything else.

Here are the complicating factors:

1) The back wall is out of plumb about 1.5" in 8', the wall tilts toward the open side of the tub. This was a replacement-in-kind project so removing the tub, reframing the walls and redoing the plumbing wasn't an option.

In fact, the entire building is racked this way, I'm thinking maybe it went through the 1989 earthquake here in California.

2) Alot of the framing around the plumbing and at the back wall was standing proud in spots and many studs needed to be ground down to accommodate the ltf's.

3) The large format tiles (12x24) were difficult to taper from 0 to 3/16", maybe due to saw problems or ... I dunno. There was a lot of swearing and a lot of chipping.

4) There was an inline niche (see attached photo) that needed precise measuringand framing to come out right.

5) The mosaic tiles used at the sides of the niche all had to be set individually because they were uneven on the mat and the spacing was off with respect to fitting them into the niche sides in a pleasing way.

6) And those same tiny mosaic tiles have some impressed designs which are grout catchers. It's either dig the grout out of the crevices or cover with something like tape before grouting - which means more time. Oh, and there are lots of them, in one of the photos, what look like bright blue tiles are the ones that were taped to keep the grout out.

7) As you can see, there was a horizontal border of the mosaic tiles and, since they were thinner than the field tile, they were thinset to an additional substrate before they were applied to the walls.

Other than that, everything was perfect

My questions:

-> How long do you think it should take to complete a project with these kinds of problems?

-> What's the secret for getting clean cuts on tiny tapers across the 12" end of a tile? (thank God they were laid horizontally!)

-> How would pros deal with the mosaic crevices? I considered rubber cement to cover those tiles...

-> What's the best way to even out a surface when there are tiles of different thicknesses being used together?

Thank you for bearing with me, I've queried many folks about this and have all kinds of answers, none of which are the same. I want the installer and the owner both to be treated fairly, that's why I'm asking. And I don't mind learning a thing or two in the process, either.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:21 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Jodi.

Just to clarify, are you saying this project took the equivalent of one person working almost four 40-hour weeks to complete?

I mean, I'm slow at setting tile, but.....
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:37 AM   #3
evan1968
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150 hours?? Seriously?

1-7 you posted are not complicating factors that warrant 150 hours. We run into any one of these on almost every job.

Unless there is a vapor barrier behind that cement board, I'm not seeing any waterproofing. Whatever you do don't reply with "we are going to seal the tile and grout"
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
JodiChris
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Arrow

Yes, it's a little more complicated than that, but, essentially that's what happened. It was pretty hard to watch it happen.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:57 PM   #5
JodiChris
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Evan, thanks for your reply. Yes, there is a vapor barrier behind the cement board. Given all these factors in a single job, how long do you think it should take to complete it?
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #6
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A week or so should be plenty.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:27 PM   #7
JodiChris
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Thanks, Kevin. I heard maybe a week and a half from someone I trust so that's a good confirmation.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:18 PM   #8
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Yep. One week.
Someone made a career out of that shower.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:19 PM   #9
JodiChris
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Question

Any others want to chime in on the time question?

And, any suggestions about the rest of the questions (repeated below) would be much appreciated!

-> What's the secret for getting clean cuts on tiny tapers across the 12" end of a tile? (thank God they were laid horizontally!)

-> How would pros deal with the mosaic crevices? I considered rubber cement to cover those tiles...

-> What's the best way to even out a surface when there are tiles of different thicknesses being used together?

Thank you!
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:23 PM   #10
JodiChris
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Thanks Craig/Evan I think it was a matter of skill and experience rather than anything purposely done to create a money pit!
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:53 PM   #11
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It's fine that he took 150 hours, but it doesn't sound like he had the skill or experience to charge $50/hour. $50/hour is for the guy that could knock that out in a week.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:05 PM   #12
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It would take me few days more than week, but I wouldn't need a manager.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:41 AM   #13
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I had two different guys that did tub areas. Jack was one of the "quick brothers" he would be done in three days. Steve and Terry were artist's, they would be there 5-6 days. That is from a 25 year history running 5 crews.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:19 AM   #14
JodiChris
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Smile

Thank you all for your comments, they are very helpful. I can finish my reports now and make recommendations regarding fair market value of the job.

This forum is a great resource inhabited by a friendly bunch of folks, bravo!
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