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Question DetailsAsked on 6/25/2013

How much should it cost per square foot to tear out old linoleum and install new tile in the Denver area?

I am remodeling my kitchen and will have it all empty for the tile guys, but want to know what it should cost on average for tear out, prep and installation. Prep would be to put down hardibacker, have everything level and clean. Installation would include all materials,including grout and the labor to install. I have one quote that comes out to be $14.50/sqft, which seems aweful high to me.

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Here is the link to the threads on the tile question - you can peruse for those addressing the cost issue, should give you a good idea

Generally, tile jobs on floors and countertops run about $5-10/SF for normal ceramic tile, higher for decorator tiles and stone. Since you specify flat and level surface, it implies that is not the case now. Placing cement board on a non-level floor will smooth it, but not level it, so you have two choices -

1) level the subfloor by shimming floor joists

2) place a levelling compound (basically a flowable self-levelling synthetic grout) or a "scratch coat" (essentially wire-reinforced 1/2" thick concrete) to level the floor

I suspect this is where your cost went up - you might clarify with the contractor how the breakdown went - how much in his estimate for removal of existing flooring, how much for levelling (which he may have subcontracted to a carpenter), how much for placement, how much for the tile itself. You should be able to find out where the significant cost item is, and how important that is to you.

Other possible price bumpers were the tile you selected, specifically specifying hardiboard rather than contractor's choice of cement backer board or scratch coat, current linoleum being full-contact asphaltic adhesive mounted (requiring serious removal effort), or asbestos-containing linoleum, fancy flooring or cabinets in proximity needing special protection, stairs or second-story or above apartment amplifying materials hauling issues, lack of work area for mixing cement materials and cleanup, high-cost area like a big city where all tile work is union labor (typically adds 25-50% to labor cost), etc - any one of which could easily explain the added cost over normal.

Talk to your contractor - you are supposed to be partners in getting this project done, not antagonists. He should be happy to explain it to you.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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