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; 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 $1,212, which includes the labor and material. An experienced do-it-yourselfer can do the job for $515, the cost of the materials, and save 58 percent. The savings are well earned because this is a job that takes considerable time, not to mention a large outlay for the materials. 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, cutting and installing them over a bed of thin-set mortar with spacers for proper alignment, and finally grouting and sealing.
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.
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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved
$1,212 -- $515 -- 23.9 -- 29.0 -- $697 -- 58 Percent