Tile Flooring Installation Cost

How much does it cost to install tile flooring?

Tile flooring can be found in glazed ceramic, porcelain, terracotta, and unglazed varieties. It is incredibly durable, but can be somewhat difficult to install properly. Many home and property owners find that they will need to also consider the substantial weight of the flooring and make improvements to subflooring in advance of laying their selected tiles. Generally, this is not a simple DIY project.

For this discussion, we will consider the materials and costs for the installation of a glazed tile floor in a 32 square foot bathroom. The costs for such a project must take into consideration:

  • Removal and re-installation of freestanding fixtures such as sinks and toilets; and
  • Removal of old flooring, improvement of subflooring (when necessary), and the re-installation of moldings and baseboards.

The average costs and materials associated with this project include:

  • Preparing the floor - This includes an assessment of the existing floor and subfloor, and might be possible with only a thorough cleaning of the existing vinyl, wood, or subflooring. If replacement of plywood or joists is necessary the costs would include $22 per 4'x8' sheet of plywood. Assuming that the bathroom contains cabinetry and a shower/bath stall it would require two to three sheets of wood for the floor space, at a cost of approximately $70;
  • Installation of the tile flooring - Because it is always recommended that extra tile is purchased (around 10 to 20% more than anticipated) to allow for breakage; materials fees for this project would range from $10 to $21 per square foot, or roughly $305 to $612. Additionally, the homeowner must include another $5 to $10 per square foot for installation fees as well. This means that a mid-range cost for a floor-only installation would run the homeowner around $715.
  • Additional materials costs for this project might include decorative borders (which can often be used in place of moldings), and the use of sealants to prevent tiles from absorbing too much humidity in the bathroom space.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Many modern homeowners also use the installation of a new tile floor as an opportunity to run a floor warming system. This involves a simple roll-out matt set within the thinset concrete used as the base for the tile installation. These average around $410 for the 30 square foot sizes, and will also require a thermostat or timer installation. This is a DIY project, but many homeowners incorporate it into the tile project. It may require the use of a licensed electrician, with a project time of two hours at roughly $75 per hour.
  • If replacement of subflooring is necessary the tile installer may not be able to provide this sort of work. This could mean that any new floor joists or subflooring will require a professional carpenter. The average carpenter will charge between $20 and $35 per hour, and should need no more than a few hours to complete a project of this size. It is best to remove the old flooring before they begin their work as this is also a cost-free DIY project.