Tile makes a bathroom beautiful, as well as protecting its surfaces from splashes. But if you’re remodeling yours, you’ll likely be wondering how much it costs to tile a bathroom.
What you might expect to pay will vary depending on the size of the area to be tiled, but what’s also crucial is the type of tile selected for the floor, walls or shower. Ceramic, porcelain and natural stones bring very different costs that will influence the budget markedly.
To help you realize your bathroom tile ideas, we’ve put together a guide to tile install costs including details of what you might pay regionally.
Cost to tile a bathroom
There’s an array of tile materials, colors, and patterns you can consider as part of your bathroom remodel ideas, but it’s important to be in the know about the costs involved when different types are used to tile a bathroom.
The cost to tile a bathroom is made up of a number of different elements: the tile, labor (if you aren’t DIYing), and additional materials (think mortar and grout).
As for overall costs? ‘The average cost of installing new bathroom tiles is about $2,000, or $12.50 per square foot, including labor, but costs can range from $450 to $10,000 depending on labor, bathroom size and tile choice,’ says Bailey Carson, home care expert at Angi.
What do bathroom tiles cost?
The first factor in the cost to tile a bathroom is that of the tile itself, and this varies widely depending on the material. ‘The type of tiles you choose can make or break your remodeling budget,’ says Bailey. ‘They can range from $0.50 to $15 per square foot, depending on the material.’ Take a look at these costs examples from Bailey:
When drawing up the budget, bear in mind that you will need to purchase more tiles than are sufficient for the bathroom’s square footage.
‘Increase square footage estimate by 10 to 15 per cent as a rule of thumb,’ says real estate investor Mark Severino of Best Texas House Buyers. ‘This overage is to ensure you get the correct amount of tile since you need to account for breakage, custom cutting, mis-sizing, variance in tile appearance, variance in tile dimension, imperfections etc.’
What does labor to tile a bathroom cost?
You may opt to tile some or all of a bathroom yourself if you have DIY skills. But if you’re calling someone in to do the work, this element will need to be included when drawing up the budget.
‘Depending on your location and the specific pro you choose, you can expect between $600 and $800 of the total cost to be for labor,’ says Bailey.
Does it cost the same to tile the walls, floor, and shower?
It’s important to choose tile suitable for the specific area of the bathroom in which it will be used, and this can influence your costs.
‘When tiling the shower or floor, you may want to prioritize non-slip, durable options, like travertine or slate, over more unique looks like granite, for enhanced safety,’ says Bailey. While the latter is the more expensive tile in this selection, both travertine and slate can prove more costly than ceramic, increasing the total for the project.
The tile selected for the shower is also crucial to the success of your project. ‘When it comes to tiling your shower, you also need to be more thoughtful about waterproofing,’ says Bailey. ‘Shower tiles that aren’t fully waterproof can lead to funky smells, mold and even major water damage.’ The shower tile selected could, therefore, add to costs.
As for labor, if you’re calling in a pro, labor costs for floors, as a rule, start a little lower than those for walls and showers.
Factor in, too, the look you’re after. ‘The pattern of the tile can play a huge part in the cost, herringbone pattern being one of them,’ says Lena Plumlee of SKD Studios, an interior design studio specializing in kitchen and bath design. ‘Installers usually charge more for that intricate design. Subway pattern and soldier stacked are simple patterns that wouldn’t run up the bill.’
Cost to tile a bathroom in different regions
We asked the experts to give us some examples of costs to install tile in a bathroom in their states. ‘Most tile contractors charge for the labor and rough material (mortar, grout) and have the homeowner purchase the tiles on their own,’ explains Judah Strausberg, senior PM at Peak Builders & Roofers of San Diego. This is because the tile type varies so widely in cost.
‘In California, the cost to install tiles not including the tiles themselves: wall $10 to $15 per square foot; floor $8 to $12 per square foot; shower (depending on the detailing) $10 to $15 per square foot,’ says Judah. But he adds, ‘It is common to change even more than this for small jobs (around 100 square foot or less) simply because a job needs to be worthwhile for a contractor.’
Meanwhile, for the Dallas, Texas area, Mark Severino estimates labor costs of $7 to $10 per square foot.
Reed Johnson of Jackson Tile Installation, MS, estimates a cost of $10 to $50 per square foot, depending on the tile material used, design or layout of the bathroom, size of the bathroom, etc.
How does bathroom size influence tile install costs?
The size of the space and scale of your bathroom remodel, as you’d expect, has a big influence on the cost to tile it. ‘Tiles are usually purchased by the square foot, so you only have to pay for the materials that you need,’ says Bailey Carson. Be mindful that this should include an allowance for breakages and so on, as detailed above.
‘Smaller bathrooms can also usually be completed faster, meaning lower labor costs than for larger bathrooms,’ says Bailey. ‘The exception to this rule is around accessibility – if the size or layout of the bathroom creates obstacles for the pros, it may take them longer to complete the job.’
However, it could be the case that while you’ll need to pay more for the tiles for a large job, it might bring lower labor charges from the pros. Judah Strausberg compares the costs you might expect to pay for tile installation in California of $10 to $15 per square foot for walls; $8 to $12 per square foot for floors; and $10 to $15 per square foot for showers with potential costs for larger jobs. ‘A homeowner that is doing a large tile installation project can expect to pay as low as $8 per square foot for wall tile and $6 square foot for floor tile,’ he says.
How can you save on bathroom tile?
There are ways to save on tiling a bathroom. The first, as we’ve seen, is to choose lower-cost materials. ‘Choosing an inexpensive tile can make a huge difference in the overall cost of your project,’ says Bailey. ‘If you want to save money, start by selecting the right tile. For example, granite is a beautiful stone, and it can come at many different price points. Go with a more affordable tile to get the bathroom of your dreams without breaking the bank.’
The second way to save is to DIY some of the work. ‘If you have the time, tools and talent to complete the project yourself, it can be a great way to save money,’ says Bailey.
Choosing simple laying patterns can also save compared to going for more intricate versions. It's all about being a little more hands-on with your budget bathroom ideas.