Picking a Tile Setter: Take 2

I thought I had already made the decision as to who was going to tile our bathrooms but now we have to start over again.

Imagine this entire area beautifully tiled, marble on the floor and white ceramic on the walls.
Imagine this entire area beautifully tiled, marble on the floor and white ceramic on the walls.

Instead of re-evaluating our first set of choices we opted to look at a totally new set of people.

  1. A tile contractor who had done work (not tile work) on my first house 30 years ago. He lives about 10 minutes away. (I know, what a memory.)
  2. The son of a friend who is a tile contractor but lives more than an hour’s drive from our house. (If you know Maryland, across the Bay Bridge.)
  3. Our original contractor who does excellent work but is generally very expensive.
Our original contractor (Number 3) put in our kitchen backsplash which cost over $2000 not including material.
Our original contractor (Number 3) put in our kitchen backsplash which cost over $2000 not including material.

Number 1 came out the day after we called to give us an estimate. Number 2 planned to come on the same day as Number 1 but never made it and is now scheduled for today if he doesn’t cancel again. Finally Number 3 is set to come on Monday.

Here's the recent quote from Number 1 above.
The recent quote from Number 1 above.

Including the now-rejected first set and the hopeful second set of estimates the numbers look like this:

Tiler                                                 Orig #1           Orig #2              New #1

Conservatory bathroom floor:     $890.                  $700                   $576

Conservatory shower walls:        $2900.               $1800                  $2135

Master bathroom floor:               $1150.                  $920                   $836

Master bathroom shower walls:  $3300                $2640                  $1620

Total                                           $8000                 $6060                  $5167

When the tile is in I'll feel the major part of our new bathrooms will be finished: only toilets, faucets, and sinks remaining.
When the tile is in I’ll feel the major part of our new bathrooms will be finished: only toilets, faucets, and sinks remaining.

Our inclination is to choose Tiler Number 1. When the first tile setter canceled  I was really afraid that the estimates would go up from $8,000.  I was prepared for it but didn’t like it.  With a number under $5,200 I am ecstatic.

This is the vanity I'm considering for the master bathroom since I can't find a practical substitute like the one that got away.
This is the vanity I’m considering for the master bathroom since I can’t find a practical substitute like the one that got away.

The new price opens up our finances so that I can purchase a double vanity for the master bathroom sooner than I thought.

What think ye?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

17 thoughts on “Picking a Tile Setter: Take 2”

  1. Hi Jo – it’s nice to have options. One thing on the list is what kind of grout? Standard, acrylic, epoxy – mosaics use lots of grout. As a price comparison my tile job just completed was just under 15k with materials. He was 4k higher than the next guy – but this guy is really good with mosaic floors. I would make sure whomever you select is skilled with laying your beautiful floor tile.

    1. After doing a comparison and getting advice from various sources I am opting against epoxy which we used in the kitchen. I’ll talk to him about grout but in the original quote I was supplying the grout so I’m not against that. I will use warm grey for the marble and white for everything else. Looking at both the wall and floor grout in my original bathroom which has been there for over 50 years I see that the grout still looks very good. Jo

    1. Barbara, I think God is even in these everyday-type of decisions and is stopping me from making a big mistake by creating circumstances. I’m just going with the flow and grateful to have the ability of critical thinking. Jo

    1. But, as you know, it’s impossibly tedious and hard work. On your knees for hours on end, looking at the lines to be sure they’re straight, and removing the haze — not for me. Jo

      1. oh it’s godawful! i would never want a career as a tiler! it was so exhausting just doing 38 square feet in the front hall! but wow they sure can charge a bundle – and every penny is worth it!

    1. We’re hiring him but there’s always a hitch. Our friend is really pushing her son who is very nice but doesn’t have a free schedule. We’ll have to let everyone down easily. Jo

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