By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Quarry tile is a popular flooring material, especially in high traffic areas like a kitchen, bathroom or entryway because it provides a long-lasting, durable surface that is easy to clean and withstands years of abuse. Years ago these tiles were natural stone that was quarried; however, today the tiles are mostly extruded and fired clay. They are available in natural earth tones and come in many sizes, but the most popular are 1/2 or 3/4-inch thick and rectangular in shape, mostly in squares of 3 to 8 inches.
A tiling contractor will install a 10-foot by 15-foot quarry tile floor for $1840, which includes the labor and material. An experienced do-it-yourselfer can do the job for $400, the cost of the materials, and save 78 percent. The savings are well-earned because this is a job that takes considerable time, not to mention a large outlay for the materials. Figure you'll spend a good two days-plus laying the tile floor while a contractor will take less time.
A breakdown of the job includes several phases: preparing the floor, installing a cement backboard as a sound and level base, laying out the placement of tiles, then cutting and installing them over a bed of thin-set mortar with spacers for proper alignment, and finally grouting and sealing.
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You'll find a selection of quarry tiles at home and flooring centers as well as at tile retailers, where you can usually rent or buy the tools you need: nippers, a grout float, notched trowel and chalk line. You'll need a large sponge, bucket and measuring tape. Invest in a pair of kneepads to protect your shins since most of the job involves working on your hands and knees. Because the backs of some quarry tile have rough and often uneven backs, it’s a good idea to back-butter them which means apply adhesive on the back of the tile as well as on the setting surface of the floor. Applying two wet surfaces together gives you the best adhesive power.
Here’s information from SFGate How to Install Quarry Tile.
Now you know the average cost to install quarry tiles which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020