Average Cost of Installation Labor: a CFI Survey

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Jim McClain, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. epoxyman

    epoxyman Pro Member

    I hear you I think cause the GCs here in the state would fight to the end to keep it out. I all for anybody that want's to work do so but dang don't work so low that it kills the trade.

    I think back from the guy's I learned from you had to earn their respect.
    and they would teach you. I worked as a tile helper mixing mud in the summer time just to learn. Then made it up to grouting then making cuts.

    Any more its let me watch a video and Ill be your boss... :(
  2. Majwoody

    Majwoody Pro Member

    This statement rubs me wrong every time. There may be 10 guys in our area that fit that bill. None of them I consider competition. The problem is the companies that enable that behavior. There will always be a low and high end side of install labor. Those that pay substandard rate always know so and deserve the work they usually get. I was just on a job where a journeyman tile setter botched 2 shower rooms. He got his money because BOLI said he earned it but I got to demo it, the shop got to pay for it, and my PM got to install it again so that model doesn't always work either. I don't believe there is a way to bring up the wages as an industry. We could all strike like the burger flippers and demand it but in the end every individual is worth an amount unique to their abilities. Rather than push for an increase in general labor rates with those I work with I have decided to focus on myself and what I can bring. I have taken a cut in pay on areas I am not the best at but have also been paid well in areas I excel in. I've seen guys make bank on $3/sf for tile but I couldn't.
  3. epoxyman

    epoxyman Pro Member

    Yes its the companies that enable that behavior very true.
    But its the companies that I am bidding against too. So it makes it very hard at times.

    Any more we do a lot of Gov work and you need to have full background checks need a Drivers lic. So its been weeding them out. :yesss:
  4. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member


    yeah, that's happening but it's mostly YOU moving up in the world as opposed to the industry getting stricter about illegal alien labor. In other words, congratulations but don't confuse you pricing yourself out of the low end market as an improvement in the overall market.

    I'm fairly sure things generally are going the opposite direction and the illegals are probably not even the #1 factor driving down wages/prices.
  5. Majwoody

    Majwoody Pro Member

    So why should our efforts be focused on bringing up a market that tries to keep us down? Epoxyman has move up a notch for himself and that where his efforts should be. Yes, we will always compete with those who choose do cut corners and pull shady shit but as long as you maintain your integrity while you may not get rich you will be able to hold your head up and look at yourself in the mirror. Sometimes I forget that my focus should be on my work and the satisfaction a job well done brings and not on the damn money. I compete more with those who work their employees under the table, evade taxes, don't maintain the proper licensing or insurance, and those that just don't care.
  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    It is a survey with a limited number of categories. It's not meant to be all-inclusive. The regions section isn't about your state, they are about the area of the country. If you think yours isn't represented, then fill in that information. There's room on the form. The data will be averaged. It doesn't matter how many respond, but the more that do, the better averages can be compiled.

    It was a legitimate question. You provided an answer. What's to be flabbergasted about? This survey is not about the politics of wages, it is merely about the averages. By providing the answers in YOUR segment, it will help bring the averages up, I would think. Don't make it political.

  7. Oh I assumed it was a little more focused, I'll zoom out then, I'm SE.
    I got it instantly what Incog said about flab. Unions have brought wages up, and some people destroy them, answer is no "we can't all get along."
    I'll take the survey but the results will be useless.
    I've heard of these low prices in the "region" Miami etc. The sales reps talk this BS. The retailer, manufacturers have no incentive to raise install prices, their all notified of a price increase rather frequently, labor increase oh opposite!
  8. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    They really expect people to fax this in to them? Why not a simple internet form to fill out?
  9. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    The form provides information. What is done with the information is a job for somebody else.
    The flooring trade is full of fools who guard the information needed to ply the craft. The business model is flawed from the get-go. most guys don't train the "helper" be cause "he will become my competition". But that guy will get fed up and quit anyway. Then he starts the cycle again. His helper goes untrained until he quits. This has been happening for decades. So here we are with Joe-in-a-truck and Bob-with-a-bucket-o-tools representing the average installer. Two yutzes who don't have the hand-skills god gave gravel but will undercut your price in a heartbeat.
    Add to that the box stores who commoditize installation to achieve "volume" and we have a sorry state of a once proud industry. The problems are as plain as the nose on your face. The solutions...not so much. If this survey is a baby step in the right direction then why wouldn't you take it?
  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    OK Jim. I understand your...........situation.

    I'm out.
  11. Floored by Newman

    Floored by Newman Floored by Newman

    Im very curious as to where whomever is going with this? The list is not complete. Carpet: We talkin poly, nylons, or natural fibers. Rate varies dependent on Cement v.s wood. Layout...is it cut up? How many seams? Pattern? Prep? Customers attitude. What about stairs? Lvt tile v.s plank not a dime in difference of pay. Glued or floating price changes. Subfloor never mentioned nor a hrly rate for prep. Some installers get supplies billed to customer some don't. Too many variables. What we doing with this incomplete list? Also only installers that actually have integrity will respond what about the other 80%?
  12. I'm assuming they get less than one percent of total installers.
    Home Depot and Lowes they can get all that info off the contract.
    Our retailer told us HD got all the contracts for bank foreclosures.
  13. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Your points are valid, there is such a wide discrepancy in this trade, that it is a joke.
    Just think of it as a targeted survey...only going to those it affects.

    They are just trying to find out some ranges of costs within the industry.
  14. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    Plenty of work for motivated mechanics up here, good pay too...then the cost of living would make you turn around
  15. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Ahh, but now you're talking like someone that actually knows what it costs to run his business instead of someone that hopes for the best when they get their 1099's at the end of the year.
  16. RKB Install

    RKB Install Pro Member

    A question I would like to know is, how often do all you installers give yourself a raise. I think its been about three years since I raised my prices.
  17. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Last month as I was so busy. :D
  18. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Every 2 years whether I need it or not.


  19. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    ...and my answer to that question is "CONSTANTLY".

    All I do is tile and tile related installations. I watch what is going on around me but I never worry about competing with fellow competition.

    I do watch what Home Depot is charging just so I know what I could be competing with in bulk fashion. I have however created a nice niche for myself. I don't work for any stores anymore and they have all fallen into line and now they ask me what I would charge for a particular installation. I quote them on a take-it or leave-it basis and they all know that. I won't be talked down in price.

    The thing is they all know I have never had a job failure and they have never had to eat any of my work.

    I supply setting-materials and underlayments and installation labor, I never (ever) supply tile or grout and I don't get involved in the selection of same what-so-ever. I don't quote anything until I know what the product is they have selected. It sometimes gets complicated and I don't hesitate to charge for changes after commencement of the job. I also never mark-up underlayments or setting materials but procurement is in my labor cost.

    In my area supplies have been steadily increasing and are in fact up about thirty-five percent above what they were just a few years ago. Some of my jobs are quoted (from plans) about a year in advance and my quotes clearly state my prices are good for thirty days only. This opens the door for a revision in prices when jobs come to fruition thirty days or 365 days down the road.
  20. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    I'm curious how you price that. Do tell:yesss:

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