How much will my local tilers charge me? What are they charging me for? Why are my quotes so different? Should I just go ahead with the cheapest price? – All valid questions and ones we see often in the forums.
We will answer the first question last, you need to know the answers to the others first really so you can understand and appreciate the price of a tiling job.
What is a tiler charging for when he is providing an estimate, or quotation?
A professional tiler will provide you with a price, whether broken down into various material and labour costs, or written on the back of a napkin, the bottom line should mean if you pay that amount to the tiler, the bathroom will be tiled.
You would have had to work out with your proposed tiler whether you’ll be providing your tiles and materials (adhesives and grout) or whether the tiler will be paying for and supplying those. Many tilers will have a preference when it comes to the adhesive brand, and can often get it cheaper themselves from their usual suppliers, so in most cases they’ll be providing those. And obviously because you have a preference on the tile, you’ll be supplying those and making sure they’re at the location to be tiled in advance of the tiler.
There are various common circumstances where a tiler will pick up the tiles for you, and perhaps even pay for them and then charge you for them (sometimes with a delivery charge, sometimes not), and there are circumstances where the tiler may ask you to pay for and pick up the adhesives.
Note that a tilers trade account is for him/her. They are not obliged to share their trade price with you. They get that from the supplier for being in business with them. That said, some tilers will share their trade discount with you, some tilers give you all their discount, and some tilers give you none of it.
A tilers skill is clearly the application of the tiles. So he’s mostly charging for that. And that’s what you need to work out when getting various quotes, who is charging the most for the labour? And which one is the most skilled? Which one is going to cost you less in the long run? It’s alright getting the guy who says he tiles for £30 a day (don’t ever get that guy by the way!) rather than the one that charges £300 (there are some that are worth that!) thinking you have saved hundreds. But if the first guy picks up his cash and gets in his estate car (not a van) and drives off and your tiles fall off, you’d be kicking yourself while speaking to his answerphone.
Why are the prices I’m getting so different?
Firstly let’s consider the cost factors in a tilers business. An actual professional tiler who fixes tiles for a living will have a business to run, and costs come with that. But there’s also a lot of benefit in using a genuine tiling business over and above ‘Fred’ from down the road who may charge you less.
- Professional tilers have skill – That’s worth the most to you here
- They have a van, and running costs of that van – They can pick up your tiles and adhesives perhaps
- They have advertising costs (even the best ones need cards at least)
- They have public liability insurance to pay for – You want a guy with that
- They are paying their taxes and are legitimate – You want that, you want them to be sound next year, like your tiling, should something go wrong they’ll be back for sure
All that is just really being paid for with their labour charges. So that’s the very basic costs that can be comparable to ‘Fred’ down the road who has a tiling trowel left over from a job he did a couple of years ago. Who is also just providing his labour costs (or time and skill).
…. continuing to update this page.