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Unread 10-19-2009, 10:37 PM   #1
Jeraza
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Rough Materials avg cost

I'm looking to get a grip on costs as much as possible, to that end is anyone willing to share a bit of information from years of experience "out in the trenches" and let me know what you have determined to be a good rule of thumb to use for the following items:

Avg cost per s/f.....
1) Setting materials (thinset, spacers, sponges & other misc consumables)
2) Upcharge (labor) to install Comm Grade "Epoxy Grout"
3) Upcharge (labor) for installation of Anti-Fracture/Waterproofing membrane

Any other info your willing to share would be greatly appreciated as were just trying like heck to keep the business alive, reduce costs where we can and still ink out a profit at the end of the day... were going after a lot more commercial work and epoxy & membranes pop up everywhere, etc...

Thank's in advance

Jerry
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Unread 10-19-2009, 11:11 PM   #2
TileArt1
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Hey Jerry,

If you ask fifty different pros those questions you're likely to get fifty different answers. What I get for materials around here is going to differ greatly from what is the norm in CA. I charge from 1.50 to 2.00 / foot for epoxy depending on the size of the job. But that's probably the average in most places for that (I think).

What I can tell you that may help especially with commercial work is that anything you can get in bulk that's the way to go. I buy most everything in bulk, thinset, membranes, etc. and have found that since I started doing this I have cut my material cost by upwards of 15%.

Probably not what you were looking for but it may help.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 06:02 AM   #3
evan1968
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Jerry,
90% of my business is commercial work. Mainly chain resturants and commercial kitchens. Three words BULK,BULK,BULK ! Thats the biggest way i keep my costs down and stay competitive.

The GC that i bid with aggressivly goes after these type of projects and usually gets more than one location under contract so buying in bulk for say 3 locations is a great savings. Ex- Laticrete 253 Gold, 1 bag= $14.50, 3 pallets=$10.05 per bag

As for pricing the items u mentioned im sure Tileart is right, pricing is a regional thing. Im in Upstate NY and the average per ft price i get for my commercial work is $3.50-$3.75 per ft. for setting. Epoxy is $2.00 per ft . Waterproof is $ 2.50 per ft.

Are these prices in line with other setters? I dont know but im getting the work.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
tileguytodd
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Quote:
I'm looking to get a grip on costs as much as possible,


It is difficult to buy in quantity for a residential installer beyond some very basic items.
Thinset - Modified grey
Thinset - modified White.
CAULK - White
Sponges

Residential contractors who are BUSY and Prefer ONE SYSTEM ( SAY DITRA for EXAMPLE )
Might be able to purchase quantities of This product.

Or, a guy who does SLC almost exclusively can perhaps insure he will use up 50+ bags of product in a timely manner.......

QUESTION....Can you Buy it AND store it AND handle Losses due to broken bags/Shelf like etc and Still make it worth your while over letting say LOWES/MENARDS/Your LOCAL TILE SHOP etc Store it and YOU pick it up as needed.
ANSWER - Probably NOT ( some Locals MAY charge over MSRP though so yea, be careful about this.......If they arent sending you profitable work fairly often, it makes little sense to overpay them for materials on your own projects)

Can you get Special Pallet pricing from your local Big box store that rivals a distrubutors price, OR is it close enough that not paying that drop charge makes it worthwhile........CAN you GET a DROP CHARGE or will you pay FULL FREIGHT???

Make a LIST of Materials You have used in the last 6 months........( if you cant use it up in 6 months on average you WILL likely lose some to shelf life )

Now determine wether buying a Pallet of your favorite thinset from the distributor is worth it to you vs buying from a big box store.......

If you are in a Metro area and can pick it up it probably is.........If you are not, likely it is not except as needed when the job itself calls for over a pallet of product.........even then freight adds up if you arent careful.

Other things to look for:
Distributors have SLC on 55 bag pallets.....

Home DEPOT has Custum RS on 40 bag pallets.

If a Distributor charges 19.90 per bag pallet price
H Depot charges 21.25 per bag pallet price and You need 44 bags

Which is the better deal??
Which is the better deal if you have 11 bags go bad before you can use them?

Do you buy sponges at 3.99 each or a BAIL of 500 sponges?? ( around 95 cents each)

Where do you get your buckets? Lowes for 3.99 each or from a sheetrocking or Painter buddy for free?

How much material do you throw away due to freezing?

How many partials of Membrane have gone bad on you and was it figured in or just a MINUS of year end profit?

See why everyones numbers are different.......
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Unread 10-20-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
tilelayer
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Gee,

how about I drive to where you are look the job price it out for you then you can bid it and get it. You know what I'll call out of work tommorow to do it too.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 03:55 AM   #6
tileguytodd
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Rick..............now was that helpful??

Have you never asked a question that some here might have thought was a bit strange?

Growing Horns are ya??
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Unread 10-21-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
MakenaTile
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Pricing is very regional. Hawaii we get $6 commercial-$9residential a foot ceramic $12-$15 a foot stone floors-setting only- add 2 bucks per foot for diagonal set.Charge customers for all other materials- thinset etc. Lowes has the cheapest trowels ever at about $3 for blue padded handle type. You might want to keep an eye open for how often you see ripped bags- my x hooked up with Home Depo where they sell entire pallets stacked 4' high of ripped bags for $15 for the whole pallet. Sure- few bags of grout colors he'll never use- but most of it he did. Picked them up every week! Off the floor- they sell them for $1 per ripped bag. Normal versabond runs about $12 and the cheap stuff about $5 here. Buckets are our biggest expense at about $6 each. Grout is about $14 a bag. Hardi backer is $11 per 3x5 sheet. The screws run about $8 per plastic container- much cheaper in bulk.

Doubt this is very helpful- but now you all know what we pay for stuff.
We base our prices on what Home Depo posts their setting price at in the tile isle- tho they upcharge the hell out of it. They are at $9.25 right now for ceramic floors. That's for whole pieces only. Cuts cost additional $5 each cut.
Comes out to about $23 a foot! It makes it easy to tell customers- take a look at home depo- its the going rate- $9.25. Works every time.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
MNTileGuy
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Man, stop talking about what prices you're getting. Making me feel bad you are!

I don't mess with commercial, but from what I've heard it's going as low as $1.25 a foot around here...
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Unread 10-23-2009, 11:21 PM   #9
custombuilt
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yeah brad at 23 bucks a foot maybe we should buy surf boards and move to hawaii--

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Unread 10-23-2009, 11:54 PM   #10
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Some guy told us 2.50 S.F. he has excellent references.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 07:46 AM   #11
custombuilt
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maybe excelent references but i question the quality and experience at 2.50 a foot in NY.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 08:35 AM   #12
MNTileGuy
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What Jason said... Here in TX $2.50 a foot for a basic install may well get you a reputable installer. North of the Mason-Dixon line, for that price, beware.
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Unread 10-24-2009, 09:13 AM   #13
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Remember- Hawaii prioces, cost of living and everything being either brought in by boat or plane. Expensive place to live, afford rent, buy food.

2.50 in NY state? Must not have any insurance or be paying taxes, or live in Sullivan county.

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Unread 10-24-2009, 10:51 AM   #14
Kilauea
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I just did a 1500 sq ft job last Sunday(see works in progress) and finished on tuesday.I charged 2.25 for setting the tile and grouting(no materials).I would like to think that Im reputable than a ???.Minus labor and gas which was roughly 600.Im satisfied.Wouldnt you be?3 days?2600+?

I can certainly understand guys chargin up the yin yang.I would too if I was moanin and groanin with every uncomfortable position,with every unanticpated next step bitin me in the rear(hehehe).Mixtures of grout and thinsets all over my pants(hehehe),arms,buckets,caked all up on the tools.Hourly helpers makin a career in the corner.Saws riddled with last job's ceramic residue/s.Shoot,Id be chargin a 1000 per sq inch!!

Sponges?Trowels?Spacers?Thats not part of the bid,atleast not mine.Oh,you might as well throw in pencils,chalk,razor blades,diamond blades,undercut blades,etc etc etc
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Unread 10-24-2009, 09:10 PM   #15
custombuilt
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I don't think anyone is saying that 2 plus a foot on large footage jobs in texas is hack work. But NY state is a little more expensive than texas IMO.

Like gueuze said, about the same reason that they are making a lot more in hawaii.

IN Illinois I got about 2-2.75 a foot, and in virginia I average 3.75-5.00 But I don't really make much more money-- cost of living is higher
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