How to Hire a Tile Installer

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Ceramic or marble tile is an excellent flooring material and can be used throughout the house. Decorative tiles are also frequently used for countertops, fireplace surrounds and backsplashes. While you'll probably want to shop around for your tiles, you need to make sure you hire the best installer for the job.

Things You'll Need

  • Yellow Pages
  • Tiles
  • Contractor Referral Services
  • Shop around and price the tile you want from an independent tile supplier. Your contractor may recommend a supplier or provide for a material allowance in the bid, so it's wise to be an educated consumer.

  • Think about what kind of patterns you want on the floor or surface you're tiling. Sketch it out on paper.

  • Ask friends and relatives for recommendations of tile installers, or look in the yellow pages under "tile contractors."

  • Have several installers come to your home to measure the square footage of the project and give estimates.

  • Make sure that the exact material you want is specified in the bids, whether you use a supplier the contractor recommends or you'll be supplying the tiles yourself.

  • Ask about the costs of having your old floor or countertop removed before the installation begins. (You may decide to do this yourself, pay the installer extra to complete this work, or hire someone completely different for the removal.)

  • Ask the installer for pictures of past jobs. This step is particularly important for projects involving elaborate designs or expensive materials.

  • Ask the contractors for references from past customers. Contact the references and ask if they're happy with the work.

  • Select the contractor with the best combination of price and satisfied customers.

  • Execute a contract that clearly specifies the material to be used, start date, completion date, cost and payment schedule. Try to minimize up-front deposits, and keep the payment schedule as closely aligned as possible to the progress of the work and the delivery of materials to the site. If the material is to be laid in a pattern, make sure that a sketch is attached to the contract.

Tips & Warnings

  • Removal costs for old tile or linoleum are not included in these prices and can vary considerably.
  • Special designs or odd room layouts that require excessive cutting of tiles will result in significantly higher costs for labor.
  • To save money on a basic job, try to buy tiles on sale at a tile supplier or building supply house and contract out the labor portion of the job.
  • Never just go to one supplier recommended by an installer without checking others.

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