Average Cost of Bathroom Tile Floor Installation
The average cost to have a tile setter (a professional who installs tile) tile a bathroom floor is $14 per square foot. This cost includes the tile itself, spacers and grout plus professional labor expenses, which account for most of total price. When considering the DIY cost, add up all the material expenses to get a realistic picture of what it will cost and what you can save.
Overview of Bathroom Tile Flooring
For the cost of bathroom tile, you get a waterproof, durable floor that will last for many decades. Bathroom tile, just like kitchen floor tile, comes in a near-infinite range of sizes, styles/shapes and colors to create whatever look you want, from classic to very modern. For example, hexagon tiles are popular right now and create an attractive and modern look, even in a small or irregularly shaped bathroom.
This flooring cost estimate looks at the common cost factors involved in tiling a bathroom floor, offers DIY estimates and advice, and lists a few related projects you might want to tackle at the same time, like adding under-floor heat or a heated towel rack. More details on those projects can be found below.
Tiling your bathroom floor can be a fun and challenging indoor project for the ambitious homeowner, especially if it’s part of a complete bathroom makeover! Below we offer DIY tips and information about additional materials you’ll need to get the job done properly.
Bathroom Floor Tile Cost Factors
There are quite a few factors that will determine the total cost of your bathroom floor project. We’ve compiled a list below of the most important factors to consider before tiling your bathroom floor. This list is designed to help you make an accurate cost estimate for your project.
- Size of Bathroom – You probably guessed this already, but the larger your bathroom is, the more it will cost to tile! A larger bathroom will require more tile, more installation material, and more time. But here’s something that might be unexpected – larger bathrooms with more open floor space cost less per square foot to tile than small, crowded spaces where it seems just about every tile has to be cut to work around a fixture or shower enclosure. Make sure to get a written cost estimate for your bathroom tile project, so that you know what to expect.
- Complexity of Bathroom – In addition to bathroom size, bathroom design is also a big factor in determining the cost of your project. Just about every bathroom will involve tiling around a toilet and a sink, but if your bathroom has other fixtures to work around, it could add to the cost. For example, tiling a full bathroom will require working around the bathtub or shower. Take note of anything in your bathroom that will need to be tiled around (i.e., can’t be moved).
- Tile Material – The tile material will have some impact on the total cost of your project. Tile materials range from super budget-friendly to quite costly, so it’s good to find out which tile material is best for your lifestyle and home. Porcelain tile costs more than ceramic, and if you choose a natural stone tile, cost rises further.
- Tile Shape – Tile is having a huge moment in interior design. Homeowners are getting more and more creative with different styles and shapes of tile in bathrooms, kitchens, and elsewhere. You should know going into your project that choosing a non-traditional style or shape of tile may affect the total cost. For example, if you want to try the popular herringbone tile pattern, or have your heart set on hexagonal tiles, be prepared to pay a little extra for the project – mainly for higher labor costs for installing non-rectangular shapes or for challenging designs.
- DIY or Professional – There can be a pretty large cost difference between hiring a professional to install bathroom floor tile or doing it yourself. This is because a professional tile setter has specialized training in the field and knows how to lay all different kinds of tile and solve problems along the way. Unless you have experience with laying tile, your work might not look quite as polished. But you’ll save more than 50% of the cost doing a DIY installment! Just be sure to factor in the cost for installation materials like a tile cutter, grout float, rubber mallet, and grout.
- Old Floor Removal – Before you begin laying new tile in your bathroom, you will have to remove any old flooring. Sometimes this is something easy that you can do yourself, like removing old sheet vinyl, but often removing old bathroom flooring will require professional help. Hiring a professional to remove and dispose of your old bathroom tile flooring will cost around $1.50 per square foot for sheet vinyl and up to $6.00 per square foot for hard-to-remove tile.
- Floor Leveling – Floor leveling is the process of making an entire floor level and even. Though not all bathrooms require this before laying tile, you will need to figure out if your bathroom needs to be leveled. If so, you may need to spend a little extra money hiring a professional to level your floor.
Here’s a short list of the retail costs you’ll have when DIY or hiring a tile installer.
- $1-3 per square foot | Ceramic Tile (buy an extra box of any tile you purchase to have some for future repairs, if necessary)
- $2 – $5 per square foot | Porcelain Tile
- $3 – $10+ per square foot | Stone Tile – Total costs might exceed the estimates above if you choose stone like travertine or marble.
- $18 – $30 per bag | Mortar to secure the tile to the underlayment – enough for most bathrooms.
- $12 – $70 | Grout – A bag of grout that you have to mix is much cheaper than a tub of pre-mixed grout, but getting every batch you mix “exactly” like the others, so the color is uniform throughout the bathroom, is a challenge. Using pre-mixed grout for DIY jobs costs a little more but can save the appearance of your tile!
- $110 – $200 | Tile cutter – the easiest and most accurate option for cutting bathroom tile.
- $30 – $50 | Tile snips – a hand-held tool that takes muscle to use, but saves on cost.
- $3 – $5 | Pack of 100-300 tile spacers.
Permits, Inspection, Labor Costs & Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | No permit is required for this work.
Note: If you need to remove the toilet or other plumbing or electrical fixtures, it may be required in your area to have them replaced by a licensed professional. Always check local code and how it affects your project.
Labor Costs and Installation Time
The list above shows material costs. This section details tile installation costs, which outweigh material costs because installing tile is detailed and time-consuming.
- $4.50 – $8.00 per square foot | Labor cost to install tile on floors.
Any necessary repairs to the underlying floor must be made. Then, the tile backer board must be installed. The tile field is then carefully laid out to ensure that each row is perfectly straight.
Tile spacers are used for the placement of each tile and to determine the width of the spaces between tiles. Then mortar is mixed and spread, and the tiles are individually set. Grout is then mixed and spread between each tile in the floor. Finally, the entire floor is cleaned up.
Tile Floor Install Time Schedule
- 6 – 10 hours | Installing tile in a bathroom takes a professional tile setter about 6 to 10 hours to complete. A homeowner without tiling experience may need anywhere from 8 to 20 hours to get the job done.
Costs of Related Projects
Tiling a bathroom floor is a common part of major home improvement projects. An updated bathroom improves the appearance of your home and can add comfort and functionality too. Homeowners that replace or add new bathroom tile often complete related projects like these.
- Old Ceramic Tile Removal
- Shower Tile Installation
- Install Radiant Floor Heating
- Install a Bathroom Heater
- Install a Towel Warmer
- Replace or Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
- Install a Tankless Water Heater
And you might be interested in exploring potential unexpected expenses during a bathroom remodel.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Deciding whether to tile your bathroom floor by yourself or to hire a professional depends on a few factors.
First, do you have the time to dedicate to this project? Tiling a bathroom floor may consumer your entire weekend to complete, so if you are doing this project yourself, make sure you can set aside that much time to work on it.
Second, how important is it to you that the finished project looks like professional work? Laying tile is a doable DIY project, but the finished product might not look as polished as it would if a professional had done it. If that is something that would bother you, you may want to hire a professional.
If you have the time to dedicate to this project, and you’re not too picky about the finished product, this may be a great DIY project for you. Laying tile can be a lot of fun, and many homeowners create beautiful rooms by themselves with tile. Have at it!