Tile Install Labor Cost: 1st Rehab Project!!

57 Replies

Greetings Bigger Pockets! I am working on my first ever rehab project ... all thanks to Bigger Pockets, it's amazing content, books, and all the feedback and input I received from all the members.  Never thought I would be working on my business, but here I am!! 

I'm installing tile on my rehab in Dallas, TX.  I have all the tile (includes all floor and bathroom tiles), so only need the labor.  I asked a few contractors for bids but what I'm getting in return varies wildly -- from $4,200 to $15,000 -- again, this is for labor only (I'll also purchase the materials for the install).  Tried to look up some info that could give me an idea of a good "per sq. ft. price" or something similar, but nothing.  

Does anyone here have an idea on a reasonable price for tile install?  Please help.

Scope: Floor tile (6X48) that looks like wood, subway tile in bathrooms, and other hex (mesh) tile on the shower floor. 

Somewhere between $4200 and  $ 15000 .  It doesnt matter what anyone here says what they think it should be . Thats not going to change the contractors prices . 

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@Nino Alfano but if you want a per sf price you need to fin the biggest tile company is Texas of that price.

Any normal company values their time and is going to charge for it.

Originally posted by @Nino Alfano :

@Matthew Paul prices vary so much it will scare you. Almost make you want to start a timing business.

But a good rule of thumb is 3-8$ a sf for floor and 10-25$ a sf for walls

 Prices dont scare me , I am a contractor i see price differences like that all the time . 

Thanks @Matthew Paul . My expectation was not to challenge the contractor on the quoted prices and expect them to change, but simply to educate myself and try to understand some guardrails so I know how to approach the bids.  For example, for concrete or fence, the sq ft price was pretty consistent between contractors ... so I could go with the highest bid (since it wasn't that much of a difference) if I felt they would do a better job and I felt good about the company.  

@Nino Alfano Thank you so much for the information! Great info and suggestion.  Exactly what I was hoping to see ... a "rule of thumb" or something similar.  Going at the higher end of the suggestion, and adding a +30% on the price, it's still well below the highest contractor bid I received.  Thanks again!! I really appreciate it.

@Frank Geiger The flooring is about 1,300sq ft ... so not a large house.  Funny, a colleague at work recently had work done at his house (installed about 1,000 sq ft) and when I mentioned $15,000, he also responded with "that's outrageous!".  I'm getting the sense that $15,000 is too high -- and frankly, its way out of my budget. 

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I did a rental 1940 sq ft all wood looking tile @ $3 a sq ft with me providing the tile.  This is very common price in my area of Texas.  You should be able to find someone in the $3 to $4 per sq ft range in your area as well. 

One thing to note about tile. Sometimes there are huge surprises. 

For instance, we are remodeling our condo, and putting in Ceramic Tile that are 10"x36" tiles over the 1600 Sq Ft.

So far they haven't finished and it has taken over 4 weeks so far to lay the flooring down. I thought it was going to be an easy job for the contractors and be finished well under 1 week. However, we find that our floor is not level, from the front door in the hallway to the outside sliding doors there is almost a 2 inch difference. So to make the floor level and to have some mortar underneath the tiles by the outside wall/sliding doors they have to put almost 2 inches of mortar near the door way areas, and that takes quite a bit of time to put down. And therefore the labor costs are a whole of a lot more expensive than we had hoped. Maybe the contractor, while still crazy at 15K knows something the other contractor at 3K doesn't know about your install.


Updated over 2 years ago

Based on a few comments, We are on the 19th floor of a 25 floor condo, so we cannot do foundation work. And they are doing an amazing job. The tile looks amazing so far.

@Clifford Paul I appreciate it.  Even at the $4 per sq ft range, that seems more reasonable and within my budget.  At a minimum, I plan to at least use that as a starting point and then go into more detail on the work itself ... had not thought about it, but just what @Mark Spritz mentioned (thanks Mark!!), they may know something the other guys do not.  I plan to re-walk the property with two of them and ask more specific questions.  

@Mark Spritz

Sorry mark but this does not sound right at all. Any proficient company should be able to do a project like yours in under a week. One of the most important and COMMON parts of being a tile contractor is dealing with uneven floors.

There is no reason it should take 4 weeks even for small crew.

@Alex Mendoza

What are they tilng over? Plywood or concrete?

What are they using to level the sun surface?

Is this the entire first floor? How many rooms?

How many bathrooms? How much of the bathrooms are being tiled?

@Alex Mendoza

In my area I pay $4/sq ft for tile labor on the floor, and if it’s going over subfloor I pay another $1/ft for durock install for larger areas. If there is only a small floor to do we go to a rate of $400 per bathroom for the floors only. Itll still take a part of 2 days for my guy to do a small job. A lot of waiting for things to dry in tile work. A basic tile shower 3x3 cost me around $1100 to tile it, my tile guy won’t quote a shower by the sq ft. I pay $450 for a basic backsplash.

@Erik B. Tiling over concrete - remove old carpet, and floor looks good.  This is a single story, so doing all common areas, a master (about 10X10), and two small bedrooms (8X8).  Two bathrooms, and only tiling above the tub to about 6 ft ... standard size tubs, so fairly small.  

Forgive me but not familiar with "sun surface".  I'll Google it if it's something I should know. 

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