How to Write a Contract for Tile

••• Tile image by Kerry Adamo from

Remodeling often involves choosing specific types of material and hiring specialists to install that material. Bathrooms, kitchens and patios often use tile as the floor covering. There are thousands of tile options to choose from; the owner of the building and his interior decorator want to choose the right type of tile to suit the room. It is also critical that the tile be installed properly, with even grout lines and no loose ends. A tile contract between the owner and the specialist installing the tile can help ensure that the job is done to the proper specifications.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

The easiest way to write this type of contract is to start with a template contract for handyman services, which are freely available on the internet. The main things to list, however, are the names of the property owner and the contractor; the agreed upon price; and the agreed upon completion date, as well as any details about how the project should be performed and the different types of work the contractor should do.

Why Bother with a Contract?

A written contract can be as complicated or as simple as you wish, but it is the only way of documenting the scope of the tiler's services, how long the job will last, the standard of finish you require and how much you've agreed to pay. You could agree all of these things with a "gentleman's handshake," but if there's nothing written down, then you have no way of proving who agreed to what if things go wrong. If the tiler does not do what he said he would do, then the contract will stand as evidence if you need to file a lawsuit against him.

Finish all Negotiations

Before you start writing the contract, you need to finish up your negotiations. Some of the thing you should agree include:

  • The scope of the project, or what the tiler will do for you. Will he supply and fit the tiles? Or will he simply fit the tiles that you have bought? 
  • A price.
  • How that price is paid; for example, will it be paid as a lump sum when the job is finished, or in installments?
  • A time frame for installation.
  • Other details such as the quality of the finish you require.  As a homeowner, it is wise to give yourself an opportunity to review all the completed work and withhold the final payment until any problems or defects have been addressed.  

Identify the Parties to the Contract

Use identifiers such as “owner” or "homeowner" to indicate the owner of the property and “contractor” to indicate who is doing the work. Include the full names and addresses of each party.

Break the Contract Into Sections

Include headings such as “Contractor’s Duties” and “Tiling.” Include enough headings to encompass the entire scope of the tiling agreement. Besides describing the work and the payment mechanism, some of the conditions you should include are:

  • An obligation for the tiler to hold adequate liability insurance.
  • Arrangements for access to the property.
  • Inspection provisions.
  • Warranty provisions. Will the tiler be guaranteeing his work? What will the guarantee cover

tile quality or quality and workmanship? How long will the guarantee last? * Information about what will happen if the contractor needs more time, causes damage or is unable to complete the work.

Describe the Contractor’s Tiling Duties

In the "Tiling" section, include basic information such as “Contractor agrees to provide all setting, grouting, cleaning, and sealing materials.” Be specific as to what the contractor must do, such as remove and dispose of existing tile and install tile that is up to code.

Finish Up Strong

Fill in the other sections of the contract with information that relates to each section heading. Under a heading called “Payment Terms,” for example, describe the amount of the contract, how payment is to be made and when payment is due. Sign and date the contract. Provide copies to the contractor and the owner.

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