How Much Does Tile Installation Cost? Everything You Need to Know

Figure out your budget for your next flooring, backsplash, or shower project.

As a homeowner, you have the opportunity to design a home that perfectly suits your aesthetic and lifestyle preferences. When deciding on your design game-plan, installing tile can be a great way to customize your space. There are endless possibilities of floor and wall tile options to choose from, whether you want to add eclectic charm or create ultra modern appeal. However, as much variation as there is in style, there is also a wide range of variables that can affect tile installation costs. Below, find a thorough breakdown of tile installation costs and the factors at play, so that you can create a budget for your next project.

How Much Does Tile Installation Cost?

According to Malllory Micetich, Angi home expert in Austin, Texas, the range for tile installation can vary widely depending on where you’re installing the tiles, the type that you use, the amount of space you need to tile, preparation needed in the space—and a number of other factors. With that in mind, she reports that the Angi cost guide data shows that, on average, the cost for tile installation can be around $2,000, but can range on the low end from $400 to a higher end of $6,500.

“The labor costs for tile installation can be between $3-$15 per square foot—or, if the contractor charges hourly, it could range between $30-$120 per hour,” Micetich says. “Again, this can vary depending on the prep needed, the type and size of the tiles that you’re using, and the space you’re tiling.” For example, small, custom made mosaic tiles in an intricate pattern will cost much more than large tiles in a simple pattern, she pointed out. 

What Does Tile Installation Entail?

Tile installation is often a big project that requires a lot of work. “When starting a tile installation process in your home, it’s a great idea to connect with a few pros to get quotes and a better understanding of the size and scope of your project,” Micetich recommends. 

The scope of a project will determine what to expect. For example, you might want to upgrade the tile on your kitchen floors, but that will require removing the existing tile, potentially replacing subflooring, and then laying the new tile, grouting and waterproofing it, Micetich says. 

Or, if you plan to take on a tile upgrade in your bathroom, there may be mold remediation, drywall repairs and more that need to happen before tile installation can begin, she said. “Understanding this scope with the pro will help you plan your project accordingly and help you avoid any unexpected expenses,” Micetich adds.

What Variables Affect the Project Costs?

Tile installation is a routine job that trained professionals can handle with ease; however, certain factors may influence the overall cost of your project, says Kelly Eacho, associate merchant at The Home Depot in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are some common factors that could affect the cost of installing a tile floor:

Removal of Old Flooring

To begin work, your installers will need to remove any existing flooring, which Eacho says typically costs around $1-$4 per square foot. This task can be quite time-consuming. “Keep in mind that removing old flooring or replacing shower tile may lead to additional costs,” she cautions.

Leveling the Flooring

In some spaces, extra work might be required to establish a level floor, which guarantees a top-notch tile installation can be accomplished, Eacho emphasizes. This typically costs around $0.25-$1, she says.

Overall Room Size

The removal of old flooring, leveling the floor, and installing new tile is generally more expensive in larger spaces. “It is essential to consider your space’s square footage when estimating the cost of tile installation,” she adds.

How Does the Tile Material Affect the Price?

The type of material you choose for your tile project impacts your overall project cost. Vinyl tiles are a great budget-friendly option with low installation costs, says Micetech. 

She also noted that ceramic tiles are very popular and also tend to be a bit more budget-friendly than porcelain tiles, however, they aren’t as long lasting. Porcelain tiles may be a bit more expensive upfront, but they are considered to be longer-lasting, versatile, and moisture-resistant, making them a very popular tile choice, Micetich said. “If you want to up your budget, you could also consider stone or glass tiles,” she adds. 

Breakdown of Tile Project Costs

The total cost of your tile installation can fluctuate depending on the room size, chosen materials, design complexity and potential challenges, Eacho says.  Here are some average costs to help you create your budget:

Floor Tile

  • Tile material: $2.00/sq ft.
  • Setting materials: $1.37/sq. ft.
  • Installation: $8.00/sq. ft. 
  • Total: $1,000-$1,500

Wall Tile

  • Tile material: $2.00/sq. ft.
  • Setting naterials: $1.37/sq. ft.
  • Installation: $8.00/sq. ft. 
  • Total: $1,000-$1,500

Shower Tile

  • Tile material: $2.00/sq. ft
  • Setting materials: $1.37/sq. ft.
  • Installation: $8.00/sq. ft.
  • Total: $1,500

Backsplash Tile

  • Tile material: $2.00/sq. ft.
  • Setting materials: $1.37/sq. ft.
  • Installation: $600-$800
  • Total: $800

Which Materials Are Best for Different Projects?

According to Eacho, some materials do indeed fare better for specific projects.

  • Porcelain: Denser and more durable than ceramic tile with a higher PEI rating (a PEI Rating is given to a tile product based the hardness of its glaze) and lower water absorption, porcelain is a great choice for bathrooms, high-traffic rooms and exteriors.
  • Natural stone: For outdoor tile projects, stone tends to be the ideal choice due to its natural properties and durability.
  • Ceramic tile: As it’s softer than porcelain, Eacho shares that ceramic is easier to cut for installation, and is a great choice for those on a tight budget. “However, it’s important to keep in mind that ceramic is not suited for exterior use due to its water absorption properties,” she says.

How to Save Money on Tile Installation

There are a lot of useful ways that you can keep your installation budget on track. First, it’s a great idea to shop around for tiles, buy in bulk, and look for sales, suggests Micetich. “The tiles themselves will be a big cost, so saving there will help you a lot,” she says. 

If you go with more basic and bigger tiles, it will save your budget. “Smaller and more intricate tiles will be more time-consuming and costly to install,” Micetich adds. “If you want to save, consider just tiling one wall, part of a wall, or a specific feature space. Lastly, if you’re able, do some of the prep work yourself, like removing old tiles.”

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