General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What kind of a contractor do I need for a bathroom job?

Asked by Jeruba (53243points) January 24th, 2021

I have to get the grouting or sealant or whatever it is around the bathtub cleared out and replaced. I’d like to hire a pro and not a neighborhood handyman. There’s some black stuff that I want dealt with right.

What kind of contractor should I look for, what should I ask, and any (ballpark) idea of what I should pay?

This is clueless me trying to pick up my late husband’s former duties, which he hadn’t been able to attend to for a while. It was no use pushing him, and I didn’t take over because I didn’t want to make him feel irrelevant. Now I need help, and I’m grateful for any advice.

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12 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I know you don’t really use Facebook, but if you’re still a member, join your town page and ask on there. You’ll get some honest reviews and good recommendations. Last summer I did that for an electrician and hit gold.

Jeruba's avatar

@canidmajor, thanks, I would never have thought of that. I’d like to try some other approach before I do anything at all with Facebook, but I’ll hold that in reserve.

janbb's avatar

There is a site called Angie’s List which is a review site of contractors and other service people by area. Also, a site called where you can sign up for neighborhood news and recommendations for businesses and services.

I would say you want a general contractor that takes small jobs unless you are thinking about a bathroom remodeler. It’s possible if there is mold remediation required it may become a bigger job than you anticipate. I’ve found some good people on Nextdoor.

Hard to give an estimate until you know what you are really facing. The ideal method is to talk to three contractors and if they all sound good, pick the one with the estimate in the middle.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it might matter if the mold is in the grout between the tiles or just the caulking around the tub. Mold on grout that is impossible to get rid of with Tilex or some other bathroom cleaner containing bleach can sometimes mean the board behind the tile is constantly holding moisture.

If it’s just the caulking, that’s quite easy to remove and do properly. Probably, a plumber could do it, I know when I’ve purchased houses and caulking was missed, the plumbing company came in to fix it. If you have any other plumbing needs you could get them all done in the one visit. A slow drain, replacing a shower head, or updating a faucet.

There are companies that specialize in cleaning tile, and I would think it a sure bet they can take care of caulking too.

If you change your mind and entertain the idea of a handyman; if you have a friend who is a realtor they can likely recommend someone good.

jca2's avatar

I just had a new bathroom put in a little over a year ago. I got a great guy who was recommended by someone (a friend who does HVAC got the person from someone else’s suggestion). The price was right and I got everything from soup to nuts for a terrific price. I paid for the tiles, vanity, etc. and the guy installed it all. I know that’s more than what you want.

My thoughts for what you want is, in FB local groups, you’ll find people asking for a local handyman and you can, without asking, find a name from previous posts.

When I had my bathroom done, I went to Angie’s List and I had a guy come give me a price which was probably not excessive, but it was excessive compared to the guy I went with. The contractor from Angie’s List charged extra for every thing – hanging a door, etc. It was way more than I wanted to spend.

It sounds like for what you want done, a handyman type or a tile installer type should suffice.

Cupcake's avatar

Caulk easily turns black and stains. I wouldn’t worry too much about the job. All of the above advice is great.

Jeruba's avatar

@Cupcake, what does “I wouldn’t worry too much about the job” mean?

Cupcake's avatar

Sorry for my lack of specificity. I mean, I think a general contractor would be fine. A plumber would be fine, maybe overkill. A tile person would be fine. A well-trained and experienced painter would probably be fine. I don’t know if there is a “professional” level of handyman, but a variety of servicepeople/trades/backgrounds should be able to do the job well. It is common for caulk to turn black and stain. Even if it is grout and the color is from outward buildup of moisture, the fix is an easy one.

In the event that the “black stuff” is from behind the wall, you would need more “serious” professionals involved.

“I wouldn’t worry too much” was also meant to say that you will certainly pick the right person and the job will likely be done quite quickly and easily.

JLeslie's avatar

One extra comment: it’s good for the person doing the caulking to fill the tub part way with some water that way the caulk dries in the stretched position. You might want to check if your tub holds water well if you’re not sure. If not, the person doing the caulking should be able to stop the drain, or if it’s a slow leak you might as some water every so often until it dries.

jca2's avatar

Here’s another thought: If you are willing and able to afford a more extensive remodel, putting in a walk in shower might be something to think about. When I had my bathroom redone, I decided to put in a walk in shower in lieu of a tub. The tile guy just puts tiles from the floor to the ceiling and there are small tiles that go on the bottom (textured tiles that, because they’re small, can be put toward the drain). You can put a glass door or a curtain and inside, you can have him put a seat (made out of tiles) or you can leave it like a big box and put your own seat, or have no seat.. It just makes it very easy to get in and out of, whereas a tub is more of an effort, especially as we age, and especially if you break a bone or something like that.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a walk-in shower, but I miss having a tub. The ideal is having the space for both in separate spaces. I do have a bathtub in a secondary bathroom.

I love my walk-in shower, and I have a handicap bar in it, which I hold onto when I wash my feet because of the slip and fall risk. Tile on the shower floor makes it much less likely to slip than a smooth bathtub.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: I have two handicap bars in mine. One is horizontal, inside the shower. The other is vertical, right for when you get in and out of the shower. A friend asked me why I put a handicap bar in it and I told her when I’m 54, I don’t need it but maybe in the future I’ll need it. It seemed kind of short-sighted for her not to realize that. Plus, if I ever have a broken bone or something, it will be helpful.

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