How Much Does It Cost to Install Porcelain Tile Floor?

Average range: $2,000 - $4,400
Low
$500
Average Cost
$3,000
High
$7,000
(200 sq.ft. of stone-look oversized porcelain tiles in a straight layout)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install Porcelain Tile Floor?

Average range: $2,000 - $4,400
Low
$500
Average Cost
$3,000
High
$7,000
(200 sq.ft. of stone-look oversized porcelain tiles in a straight layout)

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Reviewed by Isabel Maria Perez. Written by Fixr.com.

Porcelain tile is a unique material made from compressed clay dust that has been fired to extremely high temperatures. Much denser, harder, and more durable than ceramic tile, porcelain makes a low-maintenance and attractive covering for any floor.

Porcelain may be glazed, polished, matte, or textured on the surface. The color often extends straight through the tile so that any potential chips or cracks are not noticeable because they do not lead to a color change. But porcelain is very unlikely to chip or crack when installed correctly, making it a suitable floor covering for any room in the home. Many homeowners install porcelain in areas that see a lot of traffic or use, such as mudrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and entryways. It comes in many styles, sizes, colors, and finishes and complements a wide range of different home decors.

With so many sizes and patterns available, there is a wide range of installation costs. The national average cost range to install porcelain tile is $2,000 to $4,400, with most people paying around $3,000 for 200 sq.ft. of stone-look oversized porcelain tiles in a straight layout. The low cost for this project is $500 for 45 sq.ft. of 12” unglazed porcelain tiles installed in a bathroom. This project’s high cost is $7,000 for 200 sq.ft. of metallic-glazed 24” porcelain tiles laid in an offset pattern.

Cost of Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain Floor Tiles Price
National average cost$3,000
Average range$2,000-$4,400
Minimum cost$500
Maximum cost$7,000


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Porcelain Tile Floor Cost by Project Range

Low
$500
45 sq.ft. of 12” unglazed porcelain tiles installed in a bathroom
Average Cost
$3,000
200 sq.ft. of stone-look oversized porcelain tiles in a straight layout
High
$7,000
200 sq.ft. of metallic-glazed 24” porcelain tiles laid in an offset pattern

Porcelain Floor Tile Cost per Square Foot

The average cost range for porcelain tiles is $2 to $30 a square foot for the material, with most people spending between $3 and $10 a square foot. Including installation, this makes the total average range $9 to $40 a square foot, with most people paying $10 to $20 a square foot.


Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install 40, 50, 100, 200, 500, or 1,000 Sq.Ft. of Porcelain Floor Tiles

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install 40, 50, 100, 200, 500, or 1,000 Sq.Ft. of Porcelain Floor Tiles


Area Being TiledAverage Costs (Installed)
40 sq.ft.$360 - $1,600
50 sq.ft.$450 - $2,000
100 sq.ft.$900 - $4,000
200 sq.ft.$1,800 - $8,000
500 sq.ft.$4,500 - $20,000
1,000 sq.ft.$9,000 - $40,000


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How to Measure for Porcelain Floor Tile Installations

Porcelain floor tiles are generally sold and installed by the square foot. To determine how much material you need, measure your room. First, break the space up into squares. If the room is a square or rectangle without bump-outs or closets, you can measure the walls. If you have bump-outs, closets, or any jogs in the space, measure those sections separately from the rest of the room, and add in their totals at the end.

Measure the length of two adjacent walls in inches. Multiply these together to get the total square inches of the space. If necessary, add in the square inches for any closets and bump-out areas. Divide the total number of square inches by 144 and round up to the nearest whole number. This is the total square feet of the space.

For a standard installation, add between 5% and 10% to this total to account for waste and breakage. For patterns, add roughly 15% to 20% to this total because patterns require additional cuts, resulting in more material needed for the job.

Porcelain Floor Tiles Price by Type

Porcelain floor tile comes in many different colors, finishes, and patterns. There is overlap in the costs, depending on the style, where the tile was made, and how it is finished. However, it is generally possible to group the different tile types together to get an idea of your final costs. Keep in mind that there can be overlap between categories. For example, an unglazed tile can be either polished or matte in finish, and it can be found in many sizes, including mosaic. Below are the general cost ranges for the various types.


Costs per Sq.Ft. of Unglazed, Matte, Glazed, Polished, or Mosaic Porcelain Floor Tiles

Costs per Sq.Ft. of Unglazed, Matte, Glazed, Polished, or Mosaic Porcelain Floor Tiles


TypeAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Material Only)
Unglazed$2 - $15
Matte$2 - $30
Glazed$3 - $30
Polished$5 - $30
Mosaic$5 - $30


Unglazed Porcelain Floor Tile Cost

The cost of unglazed porcelain floor tile is $2 to $15 a square foot on average. Unglazed porcelain can have several appearances. Porcelain is made from compressed clay dust that is then fired to extremely high temperatures. It is non-porous and does not need a glaze to seal the surface. Therefore, unglazed porcelain can have many unique colors and color blends. It can be polished, matte, or highly textured.

Matte Porcelain Floor Tile Cost

The average cost of matte porcelain floor tiles ranges from $2 to $30 a square foot. Matte porcelain floor tiles may be glazed or unglazed. They can be a single color or a mixture or blend of different colors. They can also have several styles, from wood-look and stone-look to some that appear to have a pattern resembling fabric. Matte simply means that the surface is flat, smooth or near smooth, and does not reflect light, leading to a wide range of looks, depending on the manufacturer.

Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile Cost

The cost of glazed porcelain floor tiles averages $3 to $30 a square foot. Glazed porcelain floor tiles come in many styles and colors. Some tiles are given a single glaze, which may be a solid or variegated color. Others are glazed with a pattern, meaning that the pattern is printed onto the glaze on the tile. And others have glazed-in layers, resulting in various textures because the different layers of glaze build and fluctuate over the surface of the tile.

Polished Porcelain Floor Tiles Cost

The average cost of a polished porcelain floor tile is $5 to $30 a square foot. Polished porcelain floor tiles are normally unglazed. Some tiles may have a glossy glaze on their surface, but this is not the same as a polished tile. A polished tile has its surface ground down using finer and finer grits. The result is a tile that is extremely reflective and smooth. Because porcelain is non-porous, it is possible to get a polished surface on these tiles that far surpasses the polish put on natural stone. A polished porcelain floor tile can be extremely smooth and bright with no visible imperfections to break the polish.

Porcelain Mosaic Floor Tiles Cost

The cost of mosaic porcelain floor tiles ranges from $5 to $30 a square foot, although most average $20 a square foot. Mosaic means that the tile measures 2” or smaller. They can be glazed or unglazed, polished, matte, or textured in finish. They also come in any style. The majority of porcelain mosaics come mounted on a sheet of fiberglass 1 mesh. This sheet measures roughly 12” in size, meaning the mosaics install 12” at a time rather than tile by tile.

Cost of Porcelain Tile Flooring by Design

Porcelain tile can be finished to look like many different surfaces. That is part of its appeal and charm. It can look like marble or wood, but it is much easier to maintain and care for. The cost of your porcelain tile varies, depending on the style and design. However, there can be some overlap, depending on the finish, tile size, and manufacturer.


Costs per Sq.Ft. of Stone-Look, Textured Slate, Wood Grain, Polished Marble, or Metal Porcelain Floor Tiles

Costs per Sq.Ft. of Stone-Look, Textured Slate, Wood Grain, Polished Marble, or Metal Porcelain Floor Tiles


DesignAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Material Only)
Stone-Look$3 - $20
Textured Slate$3 - $20
Wood Grain$5 - $15
Polished Marble$5 - $20
Metal$20 - $30


Stone-Look Porcelain Floor Tile

The cost of stone-look porcelain is $3 to $20 a square foot. There are many ways to get the look of stone with a porcelain floor. You can find highly textured porcelain that looks like flamed granite or slate. You can find more subtly textured porcelain that looks like tumbled stone. It is also possible to find porcelain that looks like different marble types. Each of these has different colors, veining or textures, and finishes that give them their final appearance.

Slate-Look Porcelain Floor Tile

The cost of slate-look porcelain averages $3 to $20 a square foot. There are many slate 2 types, leading to different porcelain types that can look like slate. There are single-color porcelain tiles that have a lot of texture like an ungauged slate. There are also multi-colored and lightly textured porcelains that resemble Indian, Chinese, and Brazillian slates. All of them are available in a range of sizes. Keep in mind that the highly textured tiles can be harder to clean than the more lightly textured tiles.

Wood Grain Porcelain Floor Tile

The cost of wood grain porcelain floor tile ranges from $5 to $15 a square foot. This porcelain tile is cut into planks like wood flooring. The planks vary in length and thickness depending on the color, style, and manufacturer. The tile has a very subtle grain and texture and is made up of layers of glaze to appear like real wood. These tiles come in many hues and shades, including several “natural” wood tones and grain patterns, and some appear like painted wood.

Polished Marble Porcelain Tile

The cost of polished marble-look porcelain tile is $5 to $20 a square foot on average. This is porcelain tile with a color and veining pattern similar to marble. It comes in several colors. The veins can be very prominent or fairly subtle, depending on the color. The tiles are given a very high polish after firing, producing an incredibly brilliant shine. These tiles are completely non-porous, meaning they are so sleek and smooth that they can be much slicker and more slippery than actual marble.

Metallic Porcelain Floor Tile

The cost of metallic porcelain floor tiles averages $20 to $30 a square foot. These porcelain tiles are given a glaze that contains metal. They can take on the appearance of steel, aluminum, or copper. Each metallic glaze type comes in different colors or patinas 3. Some of these tiles have a smooth finish, while others have a light texture. These tiles come in several sizes, including some large format tiles that are over 2’ square.

Labor Cost to Install Porcelain Tile Flooring

The cost to install porcelain tiles varies slightly, depending on the tile type. For most installations of 12” to 16” porcelain tiles, expect to pay $7 a square foot. Costs for larger porcelain tiles and mosaics can be as high as $10 a square foot for installation. This is because much larger tiles and mosaics require a more labor-intensive installation process to ensure they sit evenly and level on the floor.

All porcelain tile must be cut on a wet saw with a diamond blade because of how incredibly dense the tile is. If the porcelain is not glazed, you can also have a finished edge put on the tiles using a bullnose blade on the wet saw. This allows you to create tile baseboards and finish tiles for wall installations. If this is done, expect to pay slightly higher labor costs per square foot.


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Cost to Install Porcelain Floor Tiles by Pattern

Porcelain floor tiles can be found in squares and rectangles of varying sizes. This means it is possible to create different patterns on the floor. Understand that any floor tile pattern other than straight set, regardless of the tile size, increases the project cost by 15% to 20%. This is true for both material and labor costs because patterns require more material and time due to the layout and cuts involved. Below are the average costs for installing different tile patterns in porcelain.


Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Porcelain Floor Tiles with a Straight Set, Stacked Brick, Herringbone, Diagonal, Running Bond, Versailles, or Basketweave Pattern

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Porcelain Floor Tiles with a Straight Set, Stacked Brick, Herringbone, Diagonal, Running Bond, Versailles, or Basketweave Pattern


Porcelain Tile PatternAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Straight Set$9 - $40
Stacked Brick$9 - $40
Herringbone$10.35 - $48
Diagonal$10.35 - $48
Running Bond$10.35 - $48
Versailles$10.35 - $48
Basketweave$10.35 - $48


Straight Set Porcelain Tile

The cost to install porcelain tile in a straight set pattern averages $9 to $40 a square foot. A straight set pattern starts in the center of the wall farthest from the door you enter from. The tiles move in even rows out from this point. This is one of the most common tile layouts. It can be done in all tile sizes, and while most commonly done in squares, it can be done in rectangles as well. Because there are no additional cuts or layouts needed, the cost is lower.

Stacked Brick Porcelain Tile

The cost to install a stacked brick pattern of porcelain tile is $9 to $40 a square foot. This is the rectangular version of a straight set pattern. The tiles are laid in straight, even rows. Rather than straight rows of squares, you have straight rows of rectangles. It is called stacked brick because it appears to be neat stacks of bricks when complete. This is a contemporary-looking floor layout.

Herringbone Porcelain Tile Floor

The cost to install porcelain floor tiles in a herringbone pattern ranges from $10.35 to $48 a square foot. Herringbone patterns are made using rectangular tiles. The tiles are set at 45º angles to one another and then arranged in rows. This pattern requires both a dry layout and a lot of cuts. Therefore, it requires more tiles than a straight or stacked pattern. It also takes the installer more time to ensure it is done correctly. This pattern looks best with smaller tiles, but it can be done with 12” x 24” tiles as well.

Diagonal Porcelain Tile

The cost of a diagonal porcelain tile installation is between $10.35 and $48 a square foot. This is one of the more common tile patterns used with square tiles. Instead of being laid straight, the tiles are turned on their points. This creates a diamond pattern on the floor. It requires considerably more time and material to create because every tile used on the perimeter or edges of the room must be cut to fit the space.

Running Bond Porcelain Tile

The cost to install porcelain tile in a running bond pattern averages $10.35 to $48 a square foot. The running bond pattern is sometimes called an offset or subway tile 4 pattern. In this pattern, each row of tiles is offset by a half tile. While it is most commonly done with rectangular tiles, it can be done with square tiles. This adds an extra dimension and interest to the floor. Because of the care needed to offset properly and the additional cuts needed, this pattern costs more.

Versailles Pattern Porcelain Floor Tile

The cost of a Versailles pattern in porcelain ranges from $10.35 to $48 a square foot installed. The Versailles pattern is made up of 4 different tiles. This includes two sizes of squares and two sizes of rectangles. The two smaller tiles are usually half the size of the larger tiles. For example, it may include 6” squares, 6” x 12” rectangles, 12” squares, and 12” x 24” rectangles. The tiles are arranged in a repeating pattern combining the four sizes. It requires a lot of attention to detail and additional material, making it more costly to install.

Porcelain Basketweave Floor Tile

The cost to create a porcelain basketweave tile pattern is $10.35 to $48 a square foot installed. This pattern is made up of two tiles, a small square and a larger rectangle. You can use any ratio between the two. The rectangle can be two to four times larger than the square and still work in this pattern. Normally, the square tile is a different color than the rectangle to make it stand out, but this is not necessary. The pattern is laid out so that it appears to be weaving in and out of itself. It is a time-consuming pattern to lay and install.

Cost to Lay Porcelain Floor Tiles by Location

Porcelain tiles can be installed anywhere in or around the home. They can be installed indoors and outside and used in wet areas like showers. Because the tiles are non-porous, they are not affected by moisture or freeze/thaw cycles like other materials. Below are the average costs to install porcelain in different locations, based on the average size of the location.


Costs to Install Porcelain Floor Tiles in a Shower, Hallway, Bathroom, Mudroom, Kitchen, Patio, Garage, or Basement

Costs to Install Porcelain Floor Tiles in a Shower, Hallway, Bathroom, Mudroom, Kitchen, Patio, Garage, or Basement


LocationAverage Costs (Installed)
Shower$108 - $480
Hallway$324 - $2,160
Bathroom$405 - $4,000
Mudroom$900 - $4,000
Kitchen$900 - $8,000
Patio$1,944 - $8,640
Garage$2,592 - $23,040
Basement$9,000 - $40,000


Porcelain Shower Floor Tile

The cost of a porcelain shower floor is $108 to $480 on average. These costs are for shower floors of roughly 12 sq.ft. If you have a larger or smaller shower, your costs can be different. Porcelain is a great material for shower floors because it is completely non-porous and water-resistant. It will not stain over time, even with hard water 5 or bright hair dyes. Shower floor tiles must be 2” or smaller for the floor to slope to the drain. Using larger tiles could lead to cracking over time.

Porcelain Hallway Tiles

The average cost of installing porcelain tiles in a hallway is between $324 and $2,160. This assumes a hallway of approximately 12’ long. Longer or shorter hallways will have different costs. Porcelain is a good option for high-traffic areas like hallways. It resists scratching, staining, and chipping, so it can be used in homes with pets, small children, and people who wear heavy boots or shoes. Porcelain in a hallway can look particularly good when laid on the diagonal, but larger format porcelain laid straight can also look good in this area.

Porcelain Bathroom Floor Tiles

The average cost to tile a bathroom floor with porcelain ranges from $405 to $4,000. This assumes the bathroom floor is between 45 and 100 sq.ft. Larger or smaller bathrooms can have different costs. Porcelain does very well in bathrooms and other wet areas. It resists staining and scratching and is also water-resistant. If you are concerned about slipping, many textured porcelain tiles help grip the feet in the bathroom. You can also choose a mosaic porcelain tile because the grout lines help create a non-slip surface.

Porcelain Mudroom Floor Tiles

The cost of installing porcelain tiles in a mudroom averages $900 to $4,000. This assumes an average mudroom size of 10’ x 10’. Smaller or larger mudrooms may have different costs. Porcelain works well in mudrooms because it resists scratching, staining, and chipping. Choosing a textured variegated porcelain tile also helps disguise dirt, allowing you to go longer between sweeping or vacuuming. Porcelain tiles can be laid in all patterns in this space to create a range of looks.

Porcelain Kitchen Floor Tiles

The average cost of a porcelain tile floor in a kitchen is $900 to $8,000. This assumes a kitchen floor of 100 to 200 sq.ft. Smaller galley kitchens and larger open kitchens may have different costs. Most porcelain tiles hold up well in kitchens. Avoid porcelains with metallic glazes because things like acid can etch or harm the finish. Otherwise, porcelain resists staining, scratches, and chips, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas like the kitchen.

Outdoor Porcelain Tiles for a Patio

The average cost to tile a patio in porcelain ranges from $1,944 to $8,640. This assumes an average patio size of 12’ x 18’. Larger or smaller patios can have different costs. Because porcelain is non-porous, it is not impacted by weather in the same way other tiles are, so nearly all porcelain tiles can be used outdoors in warm-to-moderate climates. While porcelain can survive the freeze/thaw cycle, it is common to use thicker tiles in this region. This helps ensure that the tiles are more durable and do not risk becoming brittle in the extreme cold.

Porcelain Tile Garage Floor Cost

The cost to tile a garage floor with porcelain averages $2,592 to $23,040. These costs assume that the garage is either a standard one-car or two-car size and you are tiling the entire floor area. If you have a larger garage or are only tiling a portion of it, your costs could be different. Porcelain can be used directly over concrete, provided the floor is level. If your garage floor is not level, larger porcelain tiles could crack over time. For this reason, you may need a self-leveling compound put down first. Otherwise, the tile can be installed over the concrete using the same methods it would be installed elsewhere.

Porcelain Tile for a Basement Floor

The average cost to tile a basement floor with porcelain ranges from $9,000 to $40,000. This assumes a basement of roughly 1,000 sq.ft. and tiling the entire floor area. If your basement is larger or smaller or only tiling part of it, your costs could be different. Like garages, porcelain can be used directly on concrete, provided it is level. Because porcelain is not affected by things like moisture, it is generally a good choice for basements. It holds up well in high-traffic areas, making it a good choice for basement rec rooms and playrooms.

Cost to Replace Porcelain Floor Tiles

The cost to remove old porcelain floor tiles and replace them with new ones is between $12 and $43 a square foot on average, depending on the tile type. This includes roughly $3 a square foot for tile removal and cleanup. Porcelain tiles are fairly easy to remove. One tile is broken up and chiseled out to make space. The remaining tiles are pulled up with a pry bar, and any remaining setting material can be chiseled or pulled up. If there are remaining high areas, they can be ground down, but this is usually unnecessary.


Modern Bathroom with Double Vanity, Recessed Double Shower, Porcelain Tile Flooring, and Wall Tiling


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Advantages and Disadvantages of Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain tile makes a great low-maintenance option for many floors, but it is not always right for every application. The material is non-porous and resists scratching, staining, chipping, and cracking. It can be cleaned with anything and does not require sealers or special care. It is also available in a wide range of styles and sizes. It can mimic the look of higher-maintenance materials like stone and wood and give your home many different appearances.

However, it can be more expensive than ceramic floor tiles. Some polished and glazed porcelain can also be very slick or slippery underfoot, making them a hazard in certain situations. Because of its density, it can be difficult to cut and install, so some thick or large format porcelain tiles can be expensive to purchase and install.

Porcelain Tile Care and Maintenance

Porcelain is one of the easiest flooring materials to care for. It does not stain or scratch or require special cleaners. Sweep up debris as necessary, and mop with your favorite floor cleaner. Porcelain can be vacuumed if desired, and you can use the beater bar without worrying about harming the floor. Some highly textured porcelains can be harder to clean because the texture tends to trap dirt. In this case, a scrub brush may be necessary from time to time. You can seal the grout on the porcelain to help impede staining.

When choosing a glazed or polished porcelain that is slick underfoot, use an impregnating sealer on its surface. This does not penetrate the porcelain as it would stone, but it increases the surface texture and helps make the tile non-slip.

Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile Floor

Both porcelain and ceramic tile are made from clay and come in many styles and finishes. The comparison ends there, however. While porcelain is made from compressed clay dust that has been fired to high temperatures, ceramic tile is made from extruded wet clay fired to lower temperatures. Ceramic tile may be fired once, monocottura, or twice, duocottura. Duocottura and high-density ceramic tiles have lower water absorption and better strength but are still more porous and weaker than porcelain tiles.

Not all ceramic tiles can be used on the floors. Many ceramic tiles are rated for wall or counter use only, while all porcelain tiles can be used on walls and floors.

In general, porcelain has a hardness rating of 3 to 5, meaning it is rated for floor use in all capacities. Ceramic is rated 1 to 4, which means that only the strongest tiles can be used on the floor.

Porcelain can be glazed like ceramic, but it is often left unglazed. It can have much more texture than ceramic or be polished to a high gloss. Ceramic tile is always glazed. It may be a textured or smooth glaze, but it cannot be polished or highly textured.

In general, porcelain has a very low water absorption rate, making it suitable for wet areas and outdoor use. Ceramic tile can have a wide range of water absorption, with some tiles taking on considerable amounts of water, while others take on very little. For this reason, porcelain is a much more versatile material than ceramic.


Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Flooring

Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Flooring


Flooring MaterialAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Ceramic Tile Flooring$6 - $35
Porcelain Tile Flooring$9 - $40


Porcelain vs Marble Floor Tile

Porcelain tiles may be created to mimic the appearance of marble and other natural stones. Porcelain may also be polished to a high-gloss finish that is reminiscent of marble. However, the two materials are very different in makeup and maintenance.

Marble is a natural metamorphic stone made primarily of calcite. It can stain, scratch, and etch and requires sealers and the use of pH-neutral cleaners to maintain its appearance. Because marble is porous, it is less slippery than porcelain, even when polished. And because of those pores, the appearance of a polished marble tile will not be quite as reflective as the appearance of a polished porcelain tile, which has a glassy appearance once polished.

Both marble and porcelain tiles can be found in many sizes, finishes, and colors. Both can be bullnosed onsite to give a tile a finished edge for baseboards or wall use. Marble should not be used in steam showers or very wet areas because it may stain. Porcelain can be used in these areas without any issues.


Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Porcelain or Marble Tile Flooring

Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Porcelain or Marble Tile Flooring


Flooring MaterialAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Porcelain Tile Flooring$9 - $40
Marble Tile Flooring$12 - $60


Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Porcelain Tile

Another low-maintenance material that works well in many areas of the home is vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl 6 plank flooring and porcelain tile are very different products in makeup, appearance, installation, and long-term use.

Vinyl planks are made of polyvinyl chloride - a type of plastic. They are printed and given a surface texture that can resemble wood. They are very low maintenance and easy to clean and care for. However, they can scratch, and if your floor is not level, they can separate and come apart easily.

Porcelain tiles can also look like wood with a similar texture. They are harder, denser, and more durable than vinyl. While vinyl planks are installed in a floating system that does not connect to the floor, porcelain is set in a mixture of Portland cement. Of the two, porcelain lasts longer, but it is more expensive to purchase and install.


Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Vinyl Plank or Porcelain Tile Flooring

Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install Vinyl Plank or Porcelain Tile Flooring


Flooring MaterialAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Vinyl Plank Flooring$4 - $9
Porcelain Tile Flooring$9 - $40


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Removing Old Floors

While porcelain can be installed directly on top of some older floors, it is usually recommended to remove it first. The cost to remove an old floor varies, depending on the existing flooring. On average, expect to pay between $2 and $4 a square foot for most old floor removal.

Subfloor Repair

Porcelain needs to be laid on a flat even surface that does not move to avoid cracking or lippage. For this reason, if your subfloor is old, you may need to have it repaired or replaced before the porcelain can be laid. This costs $500 to $700 per room.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Subfloor. Porcelain can be laid over any subfloor 7, provided it is even, level, and in good repair. This includes plywood, cement backerboard, and concrete.
  • Tile size. Porcelain tile comes in sizes from ⅝” up to 48” square. Smaller tiles work better in areas that slope, such as a shower floor, while large format tiles require a very even subfloor. For a contemporary look, choose the largest tile you can find for the space to minimize grout lines.
  • High-traffic areas. Porcelain works well in all high-traffic areas. If you are concerned about slipping, choose a tile with a textured finish, which offers more grip.
  • Thickness. Most porcelain comes in thicknesses ranging from ⅜” to ⅝”. Avoid anything thinner than this because it may cause the tile to crack over time.
  • Grout joints. Porcelain needs a grout joint of at least 1/16” if the tiles have been rectified to have straight edges. Otherwise, they need a grout joint of ⅛”.
  • Sealing. Porcelain tile is non-porous with very low water absorption that does not require sealing. You can use a sealer on a glazed or polished tile to increase its slip resistance.
  • Leftover tile. It is always good to have an extra unused box of tile after a project. This allows you to make repairs in the future.

FAQs

  • What is a porcelain floor tile?

Porcelain floor tile is a man-made material created from clay dust that has been compressed into a mold and fired to very high temperatures. It comes in many sizes and finishes and can mimic the look of other materials.

  • What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tile?

Porcelain tile is made from compressed clay dust that has been fired to very high temperatures. Ceramic tile is made from extruded wet clay that has been fired to a lower temperature. Ceramic tile always has a glaze, while porcelain may have a color-through clay body, a glaze, or both. In general, porcelain is stronger and denser than ceramic.

  • Which porcelain tile is best?

The best porcelain tiles are a minimum of ⅜” in thickness and have been rectified to have straight, clean edges, which can minimize the size of the grout joint. Otherwise, look for the tile that best fits your style and needs.

  • What are the pros and cons of porcelain tile?

Porcelain tile resists scratching, chipping, and staining. It is also very dense and highly durable, coming in many sizes and colors. However, it can be hard to cut and more difficult to install than other tiles.

  • Do porcelain floor tiles chip easily?

No, porcelain generally resists chipping. If you are concerned, choose a porcelain tile that does not have a glaze. This means any chips will not change the color of the tile, making them less noticeable.

  • Is porcelain tile slippery when wet?

This depends on the porcelain. Some glazed and polished porcelains can be slick when wet, while textured porcelains tend not to be. Get a sample of the porcelain you want, wet it, and test it with shoes and bare feet to see how it does.

  • How long do porcelain tiles last?

When properly installed, porcelain tile can last for 50 years or more. It is generally a dense and long-lasting material.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Fiberglass 1 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
glossary term picture Slate 2 Slate: A fine-grained rock, typically bluish-gray in color, that can easily be split into thin layers and is commonly used as a roofing material
glossary term picture Patina 3 Patinas: A thin film, usually green or blue in color, that forms over time on certain metals (such as copper, brass, bronze, and aluminum) or wood and stone surfaces due to natural oxidation
glossary term picture Subway Tile 4 Subway tile: A flat rectangular piece of glazed ceramic, traditionally 3-by-6 inches, used to decorate indoor walls and serve as a backsplash
5 Hard water: Water that is high in mineral content. It often leads to a buildup of scale
glossary term picture Vinyl 6 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Subfloor 7 Subfloor: The bottom-most layer of a floor, supported by joists, over which finished flooring material is laid

Cost to install porcelain tile floor varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
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Cost to install porcelain tile floor varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources