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Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work

 
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Hello.

A customer who I have worked for in the past has requested an estimate for some tile work. I have done some tub surrounds and floors in the past but not enough to develop a feel for working up a fair estimate because I really don't know how may hours it took me in the past due to mixing it with other work on the projects I was working on. I try to search up this info but the forums I locate and especially the responses don't do a good job of specifying just what is included in the times for the different scenarios that they are talking about, not to mention that some of the times discussed seem unrealistically low. For any bid, I have to allow a little extra for time lost to murphy's law.

This is all new construction but they installed drywall to the tub and shower surrounds so I'm tearing out to the studs and replacing with cement board as specified by the customer. Time I might spend picking up materials and such I can estimate separately.

Scenario 1
An ordinary three sided tub surround about 6 feet high above the top of the tub. This is a backerboard and mortar job, not a mastic adhesive job. The tub is properly located up against the studs this time. I need to:
a] install a tub protector of cardboard & packing tape .
b] tear out the existing drywall.
c] install additional bracing lumber where needed between the studs.
d] install a moisture barrier to the studs.
e] install cement board.
f] tape the seams with thinset.
g] tape & finish the joint between the cement board and drywall with setting type joint compound.
h] install 8" square tile using thinset and leveling plugs, cutting tile as needed.
i] grout.
j] caulk the tile edge to the drywall with the caulk that matches the grout (customer's preferance).
k] remove the tub protector & clean up.
How many realistic hours might that take, not for someone who does only tile tub surrounds every day, but for someone who has done several on an occasional basis over the past years?

Scenario 2
How much additional time would be added if I have to install a recessed prefab tile-ready square insert for soap and shampoo into the backer board and tile into it?

Scenario 3
How much additional time if I have to lay out and install a horizontal contrasting trim stripe into the tile of different tile width and height?

Scenario 4
Same as Scenario 1 but it's a three sided stall shower with a plastic pan that does not get tile.

Scenario 5
There are three bathrooms and two foyers that get flooring tile. Again, the floors are a mortar and backerboard job. I'll be screwing down 1/4" cement board over plywood with mortar underneath and installing the tile with thinset.
Is there a square foot cost for installing backerboard and tile to floors with thinset that I can apply to work up an estimate, considering that these are smaller irregular shaped rooms with closets?

Scenario 6
How much might I add to the flooring in these bathrooms rooms if they want a boarder pattern stripe spaced in a few inches from the wall? These are not just simple rectangular rooms. Some have at least one rectangular inset or outset on the floor.

Again, I have done this before, I am not a rapid tiler who just does tile everyday and I work at a careful steady pace. And they want the job priced, I think more so they know what they are getting into, not so much because they are shopping everybody for the lowest bid.

Thank you if you can share any experience with this.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Hey man, welcome to CT. Make sure you post a thread in the intro section and tell us a bit about yourself and put your location in your profile because it makes a big difference in how things are done for some projects.

You obviously spent a lot of time writing the post so I'll try to give the answer some extra input but it basically boils down to "I don't know how long it will take YOU". I can have a difficult time estimating how long it's going to take ME to do some projects so you can imagine the difficulty in estimating for a stranger.

I think you should do this as a time and materials project or cost+ or leave it alone. There's just too much opportunity to lose money on this much work. If you can tackle a piece at a time then you might be willing to take the risk.

A few thoughts. Vapor barrier behind cbu really isn't a very good method of install vs. the new waterproofing options available. Look into some of the liquid waterproofing membranes like Hydroban. I'd recommend getting very comfortable with one manufacturer's system before you start mixing and matching, Laticrete has a good system for you to follow.

CBU on the floor isn't always necessary. I prefer to install a NobleSeal TS membrane as a substrate over plywood for most flooring applications. CBU can work well but I think that the membrane is easier for new tilers.

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Old 05-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanB View Post
Hey man, welcome to CT. Make sure you post a thread in the intro section and tell us a bit about yourself and put your location in your profile because it makes a big difference in how things are done for some projects.

You obviously spent a lot of time writing the post so I'll try to give the answer some extra input but it basically boils down to "I don't know how long it will take YOU". I can have a difficult time estimating how long it's going to take ME to do some projects so you can imagine the difficulty in estimating for a stranger.

I think you should do this as a time and materials project or cost+ or leave it alone. There's just too much opportunity to lose money on this much work. If you can tackle a piece at a time then you might be willing to take the risk.

A few thoughts. Vapor barrier behind cbu really isn't a very good method of install vs. the new waterproofing options available. Look into some of the liquid waterproofing membranes like Hydroban. I'd recommend getting very comfortable with one manufacturer's system before you start mixing and matching, Laticrete has a good system for you to follow.

CBU on the floor isn't always necessary. I prefer to install a NobleSeal TS membrane as a substrate over plywood for most flooring applications. CBU can work well but I think that the membrane is easier for new tilers.
Right. I usually prefer to work hourly also. I almost always work by the hour. I don't like to spend the time to work up bids and document everything discussed then have to revise every time a customer inevitably asks for something additional. But that's why I never developed much feel for working times. I am basically trying to do this customer a favor accomodating a request for a bid. They like me and they're just trying to see if they can afford to tile everything or if they need to budget things back a little.

It would really be helpful if someone could share some insight about working times for those specific tasks with me.

Last edited by meselffff; 05-07-2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


I think the last time we did this, people figured 2-3 days for a tub or shower surround.

One site I came across which may be helpful is homewyse. It is designed to give estimates on materials and installation costs on a lot of services.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Ok, hard line here....

If you can't competently bid it...how can you build it?

Labor + Material + Overhead + Profit + PITA = Cost

Who knows how fast you work or accurately estimate materials.

Or has any insight into working conditions....
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


New construction, drywalled shower? Something smells funny.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanB View Post
Hey man, welcome to CT. Make sure you post a thread in the intro section and tell us a bit about yourself and put your location in your profile because it makes a big difference in how things are done for some projects.

You obviously spent a lot of time writing the post so I'll try to give the answer some extra input but it basically boils down to "I don't know how long it will take YOU". I can have a difficult time estimating how long it's going to take ME to do some projects so you can imagine the difficulty in estimating for a stranger.

I think you should do this as a time and materials project or cost+ or leave it alone. There's just too much opportunity to lose money on this much work. If you can tackle a piece at a time then you might be willing to take the risk.

A few thoughts. Vapor barrier behind cbu really isn't a very good method of install vs. the new waterproofing options available. Look into some of the liquid waterproofing membranes like Hydroban. I'd recommend getting very comfortable with one manufacturer's system before you start mixing and matching, Laticrete has a good system for you to follow.

CBU on the floor isn't always necessary. I prefer to install a NobleSeal TS membrane as a substrate over plywood for most flooring applications. CBU can work well but I think that the membrane is easier for new tilers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
Ok, hard line here....

If you can't competently bid it...how can you build it?

Labor + Material + Overhead + Profit + PITA = Cost

Who knows how fast you work or accurately estimate materials.

Or has any insight into working conditions....
Both of these are very excellent responses for you messelff. Really take some time and think about what these gents have offered you and the answers will fall into place.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtisanRemod View Post
New construction, drywalled shower? Something smells funny.
Happens daily around here. New construction tract houses get the bare bones minimum. Showers aren't pre-sloped or flood tested yet they get a sign off
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


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Originally Posted by ArtisanRemod View Post
New construction, drywalled shower? Something smells funny.

Actually that happens here alot in new construction. The Rockers count up all the SF they can and every wall gets rocked and finished whether it should or not. what really ticks me off is when the finishers mud and tape installed durock.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


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Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Happens daily around here. New construction tract houses get the bare bones minimum. Showers aren't pre-sloped or flood tested yet they get a sign off

Too funny i didn't see your post before i shot mine.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:32 PM   #11
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Both of these are very excellent responses for you messelff. Really take some time and think about what these gents have offered you and the answers will fall into place.
Well of course I was quite aware of these points when I initially posted my request for help. But would still prefer experienced insights shared if anyone qualified is willing to do so as opposed to pondering internally in the blind or even trying to sort the poorly described work at homewize. The work descriptions there are lacking so I can't compare against my task list.

Last edited by meselffff; 05-07-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:39 PM   #12
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


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New construction, drywalled shower? Something smells funny.
It gets alot better than that. They did one of the surrounds in all permabase but finished the seams with premixed water soluble joint compound and paper tape. The master bath, they ran out of cement board so they installed one 3'x5' board of permabase and the rest in green drywall. I decided that I am not going to settle for scrubbing off the joint compound as I saw recommended in another forum. It's all coming out.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:53 PM   #13
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


If you are a bath and kitchen remodeler as your trade experience suggests, then you should have a firm handle on what kinds of times it would take you or your subs to do the specified tasks in your first post. I can't fathom a bath remodeler who does this work for a living, not knowing how long it takes (in general) to accomplish these tasks.

If you're an hourly employee of a kitchen and bath remodeler and trying to branch out on your own or do a side job, then I can understand your hesitation in knowing just how to bid them. In which case, I defer to griz's wise response of:
Quote:
If you can't competently bid it...how can you build it?

Labor + Material + Overhead + Profit + PITA = Cost

Who knows how fast you work or how accurately you estimate materials.
But, if you're actually a homeowner in disguise (which would be my guess since a real kitchen and bath remodeler wouldn't NEED to ask these questions) and checking the pricing you've gotten from a competant contractor, well.... all I can say is good luck with that around here.

But, I'll DEFINITELY give you and A+ for effort. That's one of the best "how much should it cost?" first posts I've ever seen.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:03 AM   #14
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


1. I never bother estimating a time frame till I've seen the job.

2. depends on the niche, and tile, and where it lays out, and how the outside corners will be addressed.

3. depends on the accent. some mosaics are easy, some practically have to be peeled off the mesh and set one piece at a time. some are perfectly made... but are a different thickness than your wall tile.

4. see 1,2, and 3.

5. come on man you haven't even told us how many sq ft they total.

6. see 5 and 3
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:34 AM   #15
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


Worth quoting:

Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
If you can't competently bid it...how can you build it?
Be interesting if there's any bonding.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:59 PM   #16
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Re: Need Help Estimating Some Tile Work


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Be interesting if there's any bonding.
Isn't that what the mastic is for?

For my "good" level of fit and finish - Bread and Butter work, I flat rate most bathroom stuff. My GC's Have their price schedule, they know what constitutes a "fine" job and either send me the prints or have me come look at it.

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