First off, I can't be happier. Now read my story.
Before you hire anyone, educate yourself. Understand how work SHOULD be done, and you'll thank yourself later. I consider myself "handy", but I know my limits. Tiling is that limit!
Years ago, tile setters used to use screen and scratch coat for your floor. I knew that wouldn't work in my application, and I wanted Schluter Ditra on the floor and Kerdi membrane on the shower walls. Every tile setter I contacted suggested "ah, you don't need that stuff.. it's expensive." Sure, and after they're long gone, and I have a failure - it's too late (that's exactly the reason why I was tiling in the first place - failure of grout, lead to wall decay, and ripping down the walls to find mould).
From the moment I talked to Peter, I felt comfortable with his knowledge of using Schluter product. He takes the courses and understands how it's supposed to be installed for a trouble free installation.
After I saw the quality of his tools, I was even more comfortable. I am PICKY, and I have a very high attention for detail. Peter's attention is quite higher than mine, so I had no issues with leaving him to do his work. I had him tile one 9 foot wall, floor to ceiling which came out perfectly flat. He ensures that the tiles are flat along the plane with a clicker, a nice touch. Many other tile setters I visited skipped this important step - which does show up later, especially with recessed lighting (casting shadows). Everything is perfectly level and straight, without any shifting of the tiles across the span of the walls.
The floor was unique as well. Peter installed a NuHeat mat, prepped the subfloor for the cables, and installed the Ditra on top. The floor tiles went on ultra flat, and in a very unique configuration. I had him install Epoxy resin "riverstone" tiles as an insert, and other floor tiles around them as a border. Looks fabulous.
The grouting is top notch, and two colours (one wall meets another wall with different colour grout). No grouting job is 100%, especially with 1/2" thick tiles, but this exceeds my expectations. I've seen some very bad grouting.
Also - the materials he chooses to work with are excellent. Yes, the big box stores sell good stuff, but Peter suggested premium grout and thinset (Centura and TEC Grout XT for a shower). Don't cheap out, the end result will be worth the small amount extra that the materials cost.
As I mentioned, I'm handy. So when I saw how he worked, I was amazed (many contractors I've met just do it quick, without worrying about details). Peter just makes it as perfect as it can be.
Don't hire someone based on price. Don't hire a contractor based on years of service. But DO hire someone based on good value for good work, and someone who has proper training and takes pride in their work. Hire PHB and you'll see that the job is done right.
I have pics to post soon, the vanity is being made at the moment and waiting for some finishing details.