How Much Does it Cost to Tile a Bathroom Floor?
$1000 – $2,200
(Average Cost for Materials and Labor for 100 sq/ft)
The average cost to tile a bathroom floor is about $17 per square foot. Cheap tile installed starts at about $10 per square foot while premium tile costs as much as $22 per square foot installed. Prices include the tile, materials and labor.
How much is the labor cost to tile a bathroom floor? It’s the bulk of the money you’ll spend unless you DIY, between $10.00 to $18.00 per square foot. The average labor cost to install bathroom floor tile is much higher than the labor cost to install laminate flooring or similar. Tiling a bathroom is slower work than installing tile in most areas of a home because there are more tile cuts to be made per square foot and obstacles to be removed or worked around.
This bathroom tile cost overview considers the same cost factors a tile installer considers when pricing your job, potential extra costs and guidance on how to develop a fairly accurate guestimate of what your bathroom tile flooring installation costs will be.
Further Reading: Average Floor Tile Installation Cost
BATHROOM TILE INSTALLATION COST FACTORS
What’s the difference between a job costing $10 per square foot and one closer to $20? Here are factors tile setters consider as they look over your bathroom floor tiling project.
Job size – If you’ve got a small bathroom with little open floor and lots of tile cutting required, the labor rate per square foot will be higher than charged for a larger, spacious bathroom.
Tile size – Larger tile takes less time to lay out and install, so labor rate is lower for 12” square tile than if you choose 6” or 4” tile, for example.
Tile hardness – The harder the tile, the longer it takes to cut it and the worse the wear on the tiler’s saw blade. As a result, ceramic, the softest type of tile, starts at about $10 per square foot to install. Porcelain is harder, so cost starts around $12. Stone is the toughest material, so expect bathroom tile installation cost estimates starting at more than $12 per square foot.
Old floor removal – Unless you’ve got new construction or do the demo work yourself, the installer will first tear out old flooring and provide for its disposal. Costs range from about $1.00 per square foot for vinyl removal or other easy-to-remove flooring and up to $2.00 for tough tile.
Floor design – Expect cost quotes near the upper end of the spectrum if your project involves multiple tile sizes or any type of creative design.
Installer abilities – The best tile installers gather most business through word of mouth – one happy customer to another – and they aren’t begging for business. As a result, they can demand higher prices for their work.
Artificially high estimates – Some installers get paid more because they do superior work. Others give higher estimates because they want to make the same amount of money doing fewer jobs. To be sure you’re getting your money’s worth, request estimates from several local installers. Check their online reviews and talk with actual customers when possible. Choose an experienced installer with proven workmanship and a cost you can live with.
Where you Live – Large metro areas, especially on the Coasts, have a higher cost of living than small towns and rural areas, and that’s reflected in labor rates.
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POTENTIAL EXTRA COSTS
Bathroom flooring projects are notorious for hidden costs that threaten to bust the budget. Let’s prepare you for the worst while hoping for the best.
Bathrooms, for obvious reasons, are the top spot in the house for water damage. Once the old flooring is torn out, it’s not uncommon to find a moldy spot or even softening due to rot setting in. Common locations are around the toilet, just outside one edge of the shower where the curtain never quite managed to cover or under/around the sink vanity. Damaged material should be cut out and replaced. The bad news is that a combination of Covid and inflationary factors have caused material costs to rise by 100% or more. Subfloor (OSB or plywood) repair cost: $5.00-$7.50 per square foot.
Tile requires an appropriate base layer called underlayment. Your installer will have a preference, and options are:
Uncoupling membrane from Schluter-DITRA – This thin material is waterproof, so a great fit for bathroom applications. Both 1/8” and 5/16” materials cost $3.50 to $5.00 per square foot installed. We’ve created a page with full details on this excellent choice for bathroom tiling jobs plus comparisons to CBU.
Cement board underlayment – CBU, aka backerboard, is a good fit for most bathrooms and an excellent foundation for tile and mortar. While Hardiebacker is the name most recognize, there are several brands worthy of use. Sheets cost $1.00-$2.00 per square foot. The installed cost is $3.50 to $5.50.
Self-leveling underlayment – This is an affordable mix made by many brands like Quickrete. As the name implies, a thin mix is poured out to create a perfectly level base for tile. Self leveling floor compound is mostly used in basement bathrooms with concrete subfloors. Cost ranges from about $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot.
TOOLS/MATERIALS DIY COSTS
If you’re budgeting for DIY, here are common costs for materials not covered above.
- Tile Spacers – The optimal size of spacers used on bathroom tile floors are ¼”. You can buy spacers in a variety of size boxes. For example, 200 spacers cost between $5 – $15 depending on brand and quality.
- Grout – A moisture and mold resistant grout is necessary for a bathroom floor. The price for this type of tile grout can be as low as $20 for a quart and more than $100 for a 5.5-pound bucket.
- Thinset Mortar – A 50-pound bag of thinset mortar can be purchased for $15 – $24 per bag.
- Silicone Caulk – Once your tile has been installed and sealed you will need to caulk around the tub, toilet, and vanity. A tube of silicone caulk will cost $5 – $15.
- Grout Sealer – Grout is made from a cement material, so it is porous. This makes it very important that you seal the grout once it has hardened. This will protect your grout and keep it waterproof. The retail price for grout sealer is $15 for a spray bottle (24 ounces) and up to $150 for a gallon container.
- Tile Saw/Cutter – The options to cut tile accurately ranges all over the spectrum. A very popular and relatively easy choice is a snap cutter. This budget friendly option will cost as little as $25 and over $100, depending on the size and brand. Tile nippers are another option. They can be used for irregular cuts and will cost between $10 and $25. Another more cost-effective method to cut tile is by using a tile scribe, which will cost between $15 – $25. Finally, a wet tile saw can also be used and is probably the best choice for a job that requires a lot of cuts. Lower-end wet tile saws are around $60, and the large professional tile saws can cost up to $500 or more.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO TILE A BATHROOM FLOOR?
The actual tiling takes 4-8 hours in most bathrooms. However, with flooring removal, subfloor and underlayment installation plus tiling, expect your bathroom to be out of use for at least a couple days, 3-4 might be more realistic.
DIY OR HIRE A PRO?
Tiling a bathroom is a job that a handy homeowner can accomplish successfully, but due to the number of cuts and the tight spaces in a bathroom it would be best to hire the job out to a professional. Quality tile layers are in high demand, so make sure that you have more than one written estimate. Inform each contractor that you are taking more than one bid and check references before deciding who to hire. Oh, and give installers several months lead-time. If you want new tile for the holidays, start getting bids in September!
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