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Unread 07-09-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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Hiring for Tile ---

I have a front room and dining room I want tile in.. I've got so many quotes, everything from $2200 to $5000.

The person at $2200 is vietnamese, has a store nearby, is very nice, and seems perfesional enough. He speaks little english though.

I've also called around for quotes and some people sound too cocky. I know the exact measurements, I explain to them I have oak wood floors, so I would need a hardback, and they refuse to give me any type of quote over the phone. The couple times I did get a quote, they were close to $5000.

Most people I call don't have a contractor's license (for flooring).

The man who offered to do it for $2200, I showed him the tile I wanted (to match my entry way) but I didn't know what type of tile it was. He said he knew, and within a few hours he went and found an exact match.

Still, I am a bit worried. Should I be?
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Unread 07-09-2009, 11:23 PM   #2
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A good contractor won't quote over the phone ... too many variables.

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Unread 07-09-2009, 11:29 PM   #3
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Just out of curiosity, why are you still a bit worried?

What is making you go

Is this guy for $2200 going to be the one installing or does he have crews?

What is the size of the area if you don't mind me asking and what state are you in? Curious if the price falls in line with a proffessional job........

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Unread 07-09-2009, 11:34 PM   #4
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where are you located at ?

you might get what you pay for.

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Unread 07-10-2009, 01:30 AM   #5
Jim Farrell Tiler
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you always get what you pay for, i also never quote over the phone because people always keep ringing tilers until they get the lowest quote, doesnt matter what the job is i want to have a look at it before i commit to a price, another thing i dislike is people telling me it wont take me long how do they know how long it will take me
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Unread 07-10-2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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It's 500 sq ft.

I understand not giving quotes over the phone. I've already gotten three quotes (at the house) and some other tile people I called never called back.

After having several people come out and give me a quote and tell me what I needed done, that is when I would try and get quotes over the phone. Since I would know what to ask (quarter inch hardback, I have the tile, need paper, grout, 500sq ft, 1960's oak wood floors in good condition, etc...)

One guy called back last night at 9:45pm, telling me he'd love to come over and give me a quote but he would have to check his schedule at the office the next day. He never called again. Ugh! And he spent 20 minutes on the phone with me when he called. It's SO annoying.

I know you get what you pay for, I really was looking for someone to do it without a middleman company. Home Depot, while they advertise labor is $3.95 sq ft, it adds up with everything for around $14-16 sq ft.

I hate to go with the lowest price, but the person I found was less than $3k, was very nice. Other people I called were really cocky, one guy after quoting me about $4600 said "let's just round it up to about $5k".. Ugh!

I live in California, and I know I said $2200, but it'a actually $2400. I think it's about 490-500 sq ft. Front room/dining room.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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I hate to go with the lowest price, but the person I found was less than $3k, was very nice.
So is this guy licensed? How about references? Truck? Insurance? May want to investigate a bit further. How about those other guys?

...and although being nice is certainly, well, nice, without those other things it's worth nothing to you.

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Unread 07-10-2009, 10:29 PM   #8
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Lets back up for a minute.

(quarter inch hardback, I have the tile, need paper, grout, 500sq ft, 1960's oak wood floors in good condition, etc...)
There are few things here that concern me. First, it sounds like they are planning on attaching the backer straight to your existing hardwood floors and tiling over it. Second, whats the "need paper" part refer to?

Is your hardwood floor on a concrete slab or a wood framed floor?
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Unread 07-10-2009, 10:38 PM   #9
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I don't give quotes over the phone either. There are way too many variable and every job is different .

I am also curious about this hardwood situation.
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Unread 07-10-2009, 11:51 PM   #10
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btw, i'm curious..why did you tag the first guy as vietnamese? Why not guy #1? Race an issue here?
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Unread 07-12-2009, 01:14 AM   #11
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It wasn't a race issue at all, I pointed it out because he speaks VERY little English (hardly any). I don't know if that should be a concern or not. I called the city where this shop is located and was told they (the city) doesn't even require a business license. But, the company does have a permit (?) :|

Let me quickly say that last month I had my carpet pulled up. All the floor was oak hardwood (from the 1960's), but there was linoleum in the entry way. The company I hired had pulled up the carpet, but said that (legally) they couldn't take up the linoleum because the person from this company "guarenteed" that there was asbestos under it. He gave me this speech that I shouldn't vaccume over it and to either cover it with tile (cheaper) or have the asbestos removed. But, he was positive there was asbestos.

I decided to go with this company and chose the tile. They were licensed, seemed professional and had someone from American Tile come out. All licenses covered and we were good to go.

The guy from American Tile shows up, I show him the area of which to lay the tile. I then went into the kitchen to make a snack. A couple minutes later, I hear scrapping. This (LICENSED PROFESSIONAL) took a big scrapper and started taking up the linoleum flooring. I was SO angry and luckily he only got a couple of sections up before we stopped him. I let him continue to do the job (it was friday and I didn't want to halt it and leave asbestos open).

So, that is why I am not going to the original company I hired. I was just so angry. I was charged $13 per square foot. Insane.

This company was probably the worst I've worked with, late twice, stopped helping after their guy messed up. We called this company asking if we could order some of the tile they had (because we wanted the same tile, but have someone else do it). They REFUSED to order it, but gave me a couple of pieces.. When I picked up the pieces, I noticed the name of the tile on the box, Mulia - Capri - Beige. When I called Mulia tile and asked for this, they told me it was still in stock an available for (companies) to order. Ugh!

Trust me I do look for licensed people first, but I got screwed over by this company.
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Unread 07-12-2009, 01:37 AM   #12
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Ok, here's a question --- the house was built in the 1960's and we have the original hardwood floor.. It's very strong - on concrete. No squeaks or anything like that.

My mom and I are VERY chemically sensitive, which is why we aren't just refinishing the floors.

The floor in the dining room has a finish on it (older finish, it's shiny). But the front room doesn't. Is this going to be a problem with the cement/grout being as it is wet?

We had the tile put on the linoleum with no problem. (also using a hardback)

We will be using a hardback again, but the insaller also mentioned paper (maybe that's not the right term) that would be between the hardback and the tile. (I think to make it a flat surface for the tile) ?

I found this website that asks, "Do you have hardwood floors that are old and are not worthy of refinishing? "


This sounds like it's OK to do tile (with a backboard) without refinishing.


Last edited by irishgem2010; 07-12-2009 at 01:45 AM.
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Unread 07-12-2009, 03:53 AM   #13
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Welcome to the forum, irishgem

First, that link leads to poor information that is filled with erroneous information. I counted at least 4 errors with a quick scan. Please avoid referring to it, as it will only muddy the waters for you as you're learning new info.

Next, it sounds like you're actually referring to HardiBacker.

Next, it's against the manufacturer's directions to install backer board directly over your solid oak floors. If any one of the contractors quoting you wants to install the backer board like this, you can save yourself a pile of time by removing them from the candidates. They may swear up and down that they've been doing it like this for 30 years and NEVER had a problem...but please don't fall for that.

Let's clarify how the backer board is being installed before moving forward. You said you have a solid oak floor over a cement slab. So can we assume there are sleepers fastened to the slab for the purpose of nailing down the oak floors?
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Unread 07-12-2009, 09:57 AM   #14
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HardiBacker is right.

I don't know anymore. I have tile I paid $600 for in the entry way and that went over the wood/vinyl. If I take up the hardwood, the entry way won't be even with the floor in the dining room/front room.

I think I'll talk to a couple more experts and have a couple over.
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Unread 07-12-2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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I just called Home Depot, who I know are NOT experts, but they too said there is some type of "paper" that you either put between the wood and hardiback or the hardiback and tile that stops the moisture from going though. Maybe that is the "paper" the installer mentioned to me.

I really am going to have a couple experts check it out though.
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