Tile flooring is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to clean. It can add stunning visual appeal to your entryway, gourmet kitchen, or luxury bathroom.
The cost to install tile flooring depends on the type of tile you select, your room size, and the installation’s complexity. Where you’re installing the tile and the required prep work also affect cost.
In this article, we at the This Old House Reviews Team break down tile floor costs and when you’ll need a professional to tackle the job.
Average Cost of Tile Floor Installation
The cost of tile installation depends largely on the type of tile you select, its Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating, and the installation location.
- Tile material: Tile material options include linoleum, limestone, terrazzo, glass, metal, granite, ceramic, travertine, porcelain, mosaic, vinyl, terracotta, cork, and pebble. Each material falls into a different price range. For instance, porcelain or ceramic tile usually costs $4–$10 per square foot at a store such as Home Depot.
- PEI rating: PEI ratings range from zero to five, with zero being for wall tiles and five for busy areas such as a commercial kitchen or outdoor space. Tiles with higher PEI ratings are usually more expensive than those with lower ratings.
- Installation location: The location of the tile flooring impacts its cost, especially if odd cuts or shapes need to be made around a toilet, drain, or narrow location. Basement flooring is usually less expensive than tile flooring in a bathroom due to the difference in space and layout. Generally, a bathroom costs about $2,000 to retile while a large kitchen may run up to $2,800.
Cost by Tile Material
Tile flooring comes in various materials—some more budget-friendly than others. Consider the overall installation cost, durability, and maintenance of different tile materials before making a selection. Below are the most common materials and their average cost range.
|Tile Material||Average Price per Square Foot (Materials and Labor)|
Vinyl tiles have a smooth surface that’s comfortable to walk on. They’re typically installed in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms because they’re waterproof and easy to clean. They may be more prone to scuffing than other types of tile. Vinyl tiles come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and textures and are relatively affordable compared to other flooring types. Prices range from $2–$14 per square foot.
Linoleum is made of all-natural, renewable ingredients including linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, limestone, and natural pigments. It’s generally waterproof and very easy to clean, making it an ideal choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-moisture areas.
This tile is often softer than ceramic or stone tile, providing a more comfortable surface to walk on. Linoleum typically costs $3–$8.50 per square foot and can last up to 40 years if properly maintained.
Crafted from a renewable resource, cork tiles have a smooth, spongy texture that gives the floor a comfortable feel. They’re also good sound insulators and work well in rooms that need soundproofing.
This type of tile is relatively easy to install and maintain but can be damaged by sharp objects and moisture. Cork flooring is also susceptible to fading from direct sunlight. Cork floor tiles range from $5–$12 per square foot.
Featuring attractive natural colors, terracotta is made from natural clay that has been fired at high temperatures, creating a strong and long-lasting product. It’s also waterproof, easy to clean, and resists stains and scratches. Terracotta tiles generally range from $7–$14 per square foot.
Ceramic tiles are durable, easy to maintain, and provide excellent resistance to water, making them ideal for wet areas. They usually have a smooth surface and glossy finish, though matte finishes are available as well. While ceramic tiles are relatively fragile and can crack or chip if not properly installed, they’re an affordable and aesthetically pleasing option. Ceramic tiles typically range from $7–$45 per square foot.
Travertine is a type of limestone. Its porous nature makes it great for water-resistant flooring, as well as a softer feel underfoot. It’s often used in living rooms, hallways, and even bathrooms due to its ability to hold up against high foot traffic.
Travertine’s earthy tones pair well with other neutral colors. It’s also great for creating a contemporary, modern look. It costs $8–$33 per square foot.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from calcium carbonate. It comes in various colors and textures and is typically a medium-to-soft stone, making it relatively easy to cut and shape for installation.
Because it’s a porous material, limestone may require sealant to prevent staining and damage. Limestone has a matte, natural finish that provides an elegant look for floors and walls. These tiles typically range from $9–$27 per square foot.
Porcelain tile is made from fired clay and can have a smooth or textured surface. It comes in various styles, colors, and sizes and can be used to create stunning designs. Porcelain tile is typically mid-range in price, costing an average of $12–$40 per square foot.
Granite is classic and durable, withstanding high levels of use without showing signs of wear or fading. Granite tile is also waterproof and relatively easy to clean and maintain. Its biggest drawback is cost: Granite tiles are on the expensive side and run $15–$30 per square foot.
Pebble tile is a unique and stylish option for creating an eye-catching floor. It’s a natural stone tile that features small, rounded pebbles adhered to a mesh backing. Pebble tiles have a smooth texture and are often used in bathrooms and showers due to their waterproof characteristics. Pebbles can be slightly fragile due to their unique shape and texture, so take extra care during installation. They cost about $16–$30 per square foot.
Mosaic tiles are made of small stone pieces, ceramic, glass, or metal, which are cut into shapes and set into grout to form a pattern. Besides their obvious aesthetic appeal, mosaic tiles are durable and easy to maintain, making them ideal for busy households. You can expect to spend $17–$40 per square foot for materials and installation.
Glass tile is one of the most versatile and aesthetically pleasing types of tile flooring. These tiles are known for their glossy finish and smooth texture, but are also incredibly durable, withstanding scratches and water damage well compared to other tile types.
Glass is obviously fragile when handled, so extra care must be taken during installation. Glass tiles range from $20–$100 per square foot.
Terrazzo is a visually striking tile option that’s been around for centuries. It’s typically found in entryways, living rooms, and bathrooms. It’s made of marble or granite chips set into concrete and comes in various colors and patterns.
This high-end flooring is waterproof, scratch-resistant, low-maintenance, and durable. However, Terrazzo can be slippery, so it may not be the right choice for people with limited mobility or balance disorders. The price range for terrazzo tile varies from $25–$80 per square foot.
Metal tiles come in various styles and finishes, such as copper, brass, stainless steel, or bronze. They’re highly durable and resistant to water, heat, fire, and chemicals. Metal tiles are commonly used to create decorative textures or patterns atop other types of tile. Metal tile flooring cost varies based on metal type, but typically starts around $30 per square foot.
Cost by PEI Rating
PEI ratings measure a tile’s durability and abrasion resistance. The PEI rating scale ranges from zero to five, with zero being the lowest durability and five being the highest. Tiles rated one to three are considered suitable for indoor wall tiles, while tiles rated four and five are more suitable for floors.
When choosing a tile, check the label or ask the supplier for its PEI rating. Higher PEI-rated tiles usually cost more than lower PEI-rated tiles because they’re more durable and long-lasting.
|0||Works for decoration or light use on walls, never for floors|
|1||Appropriate for shower surrounds, backsplashes, or decoration, not for floors|
|2||Good for walls and lightly used floors such as guest bathrooms|
|3||Appropriate for countertops, walls, and some underfoot spaces; can be used in residential settings but not commercial ones|
|4||Works for residential and light commercial applications|
|5||Durable enough to work in all applications including highly trafficked commercial settings; may not be attractive enough for residential settings|
Cost by Location of Installation
Installing tile in intricate locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms may take extra time and advanced skill. The new tiles must be cut to fit around drains, sinks, and other fixtures. This can significantly increase labor costs, depending on the design’s complexity.
Additional Cost Considerations
Many additional costs determine the overall price of laying tile. Beyond materials and location, labor-related considerations such as individual tile size, subfloor repair or installation, and do-it-yourself (DIY) versus professional installation will also affect cost.
Removal of Existing Flooring
Removing old flooring material will increase your labor costs. Tile contractors usually include this cost in price estimates, but you should get confirmation before the job starts.
Size of Individual Tiles
Large tiles take less time and effort to install, while smaller tiles take longer to lay and more effort to lay correctly. If you’re installing a 12-inch by 12-inch tile, you’ll need to piece together four 6-inch by 6-inch tiles to complete the job. Creating a cohesive and consistent look requires precision and skill. The same can be said for mosaic tiles or other complex tile patterns that require multiple small pieces.
Subfloor Repair or Installation
Damaged or inadequate subflooring can increase your tile floor installation cost by about $2 per square foot. If you’re installing new subfloor, you may also pay for labor costs on top of materials.
You should also factor any moisture-proofing or underlayment you may need into your cost estimates. Depending on the damage’s extent, repairing or replacing a subfloor can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
DIY vs. Professional Tile Installation
The decision of whether to hire a professional or install tiles yourself will largely depend on your project’s size and complexity.
Professional Tile Installation
Hiring a professional contractor to install your tile flooring is a great way to ensure a quality job completed in a timely manner. Professional tile installers have access to higher-quality materials and can help you choose the right tiles for your space.
They can also advise you on installation techniques and options that may not be available if you do the work yourself. Professional tile installers typically charge $3–$15 per square foot, depending on the job complexity.
DIY Tile Installation
DIY tile installation involves measuring and cutting the tile, preparing the subfloor, applying the adhesive, and grouting and sealing. While the process may seem daunting, it’s actually fairly straightforward and can be completed within a few days.
The primary benefit of DIY tile installation is saving money on labor costs. The biggest disadvantage is that it requires some level of skill and knowledge to execute properly. Without proper preparation and planning, you could end up with uneven floors, loose tiles, or other imperfections. Remember that if you make a mistake, there’s no professional to fix it for you. You’ll need to start over or hire someone else to do it.
How To Save On Tile Floor Installation
Whether you hire a pro or do it yourself, here are a few tips to save money on tile installation.
- Choose an inexpensive tile: Opt for an affordable option such as ceramic or vinyl rather than marble or granite.
- Shop around: Check out different tile suppliers and get multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting the best price possible.
- Opt for larger tiles: Larger tiles require fewer grout lines and less installation work, thus reducing labor costs.
- Reuse old tiles: If your old tiles are still in good condition, you may be able to reuse them instead of purchasing new ones.
- Purchase from discount outlets: Look for tile suppliers who offer discount outlets or closeout sales. You’ll get the same quality tile for a fraction of the cost.
- Bargain for bulk orders: If you need to buy a large amount of tiles, negotiate with the supplier for a bulk discount.
- Avoid specialty tiles: It’s easy to be drawn to specialty tiles, but they can be costly. Opt for standard tiles if you want to save money.
- Install during off-season: As with most home improvement projects, it’s often cheaper to install tile during off-seasons. Tile contractors are typically less busy and more likely to give discounts.
How To Hire a Professional
If you decide to hire a pro, here are some tips for finding a qualified, experienced installer:
- Research different contractors and read reviews before hiring someone.
- Check references and make sure they have the proper licenses, certifications, and insurance.
- Get quotes from multiple contractors for comparison.
- Ask for a written estimate of cost and timeline.
- Make sure the contractor is knowledgeable about the type of tile you’re using.
- Ask for detailed instructions on your tile floor’s maintenance.
- Always request a written warranty.
Tile flooring is an attractive and durable option for any room in your home. It comes in various materials and styles that can fit nearly any budget and preference. With proper maintenance, tile floors can last for many years.
The cost of tile floor installation varies greatly depending on the type of tile, individual size and shape, and installation complexity. Consider all involved costs, including removal of existing flooring, the cost of professional installation, and additional factors such as subfloor repairs or installations. Ultimately, the best choice for your home will depend on the room’s design and your budget and preferences.
FAQ About Tile Floor Installation
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.