Need a Floor Makeover? Here's How Much Ceramic Tile Installation Will Cost You

Nick P. Cellucci
Written by Nick P. Cellucci
Updated October 27, 2021
Man laying a new ceramic tile floor
Photo: andranik123 / Adobe Stock

The average cost to install ceramic tile is $1,850

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

There are many reasons to choose ceramic tile, from its durability to its design versatility. But before you dive in and redo your entire kitchen floor, you’ll want a solid idea of just how much your project will cost. 

You might pay as little as $500 to tile a small bathroom, but a 200-square-foot kitchen with high-end porcelain will cost closer to $5,000. Learn more about the factors that influence tile installation.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Ceramic Tile per Square Foot?

Indoor tile installation costs include materials, supplies, and labor. The cost can also vary greatly depending on the tile’s color, durability, size, and style. At the low end, expect a limited color selection and minimal endurance at about $0.49 per square foot. At the high end, expect to pay about $15 per square foot on quality tile.

On average, you’ll find good-quality tile in the $3 to $7 per square foot range. When estimating costs, factor in the size of your room plus an additional 20% to cover tile cuts that will need to be made as well as potential breakage.

A contractor’s price will account for labor and any needed supplies, including adhesives, grout, sealant, tile spacers, and tools. Labor will run you anywhere from $4 to $32 per square foot, plus an additional 20%. In total, a midrange tile installation will cost $7.50 to $9.75 per square foot.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Ceramic Tile Near You?

The national average cost to install ceramic tile is $1,850, but this can vary greatly depending on where you live. Here are some average costs across U.S. states:

StateCost
Alabama$2,060
Arizona$2,760
California$2,250
Hawaii$3,870
Idaho$1,900
Illinois$1,590
Kansas$1,230
Massachusetts$1,640
Pennsylvania$1,910

How Much Ceramic Tile Can I Get Installed on My Budget?

One of the great things about ceramic tile is that it's accessible to homeowners at every budget level. Use the budget breakdown below to help you imagine what’s possible in your home.

$500

While on the low end of the cost spectrum, $500 can still get the job done. If you’re installing tile in a 40-square-foot bathroom, you can choose the least durable tile and still find a professional to install it. If you decide to do a DIY tile installation in the same bathroom, you can allot half your budget for supplies and half for higher-quality tiles.

$1,000

At $1,000, you’re right below the average cost and have more flexibility. While you still won’t be able to afford high-end tile, you now have access to a wide selection of beautiful, durable tile for most bathrooms, or even a 100-square-foot kitchen.

$2,500

For $2,500, you now have a lot more freedom when it comes to DIY tile installation. Purchase a good-quality tile to surface a large, 200-square-foot kitchen floor or even a 30-square-foot backsplash. In smaller kitchens and bathrooms, you can hire a local flooring pro to do the job for you and still have money to spare.

$5,000

This budget puts you well above the national average for most professional tile installations, including for a 200-square-foot-floor, 30-square-foot backsplash, or 750-square-foot kitchen countertop. You won’t have access to the most expensive tile products unless you’re tiling a relatively small room, but most good-quality tile will be very affordable at this level.

$10,000

With a $10,000 budget, you can complete any project with any tile. You’ll also be able to hire a pro to create elaborate wall tile mosaics. Get creative!

How Much Does It Cost to Install Ceramic Tile Yourself?

Brown ceramic tile in kitchen with black cabinets
Photo: pics721 / Adobe Stock

Ceramic tile installation is very labor-intensive, requiring precision cuts and experience with tools and materials not commonly used in home renovation. Between flooring removal, subfloor preparation, layouts, cutting, and grouting, it can be a messy job. For these reasons, we recommend hiring a pro to assist you.

Despite the work involved, the actual process of tile installation is relatively simple for a homeowner with the right experience. Doing this project yourself can cost anywhere from $9.50 to $51 per square foot, depending on the quality of the tile you’re installing. Compare that to a range of $13.50 to $83 per square foot to hire a professional, and DIY may be worth considering.

If you want to cut costs but don’t have the skills or experience necessary to install tile on your own, you may be able to tackle removing your own tile. This process involves chiseling away the existing flooring and grout to create a fresh surface where new tile can be laid. Doing it yourself can save you at least $2 per square foot.

Ceramic Tile Installation Cost Breakdown

While the tile itself and the cost of labor will be the majority of your expense, there are a variety of other factors that go into the total cost of ceramic tile installation.

Materials

The tile itself runs $0.50 to $15 per square foot indoors or $1 to $35 per square foot outdoors, depending on how it’s made. Other materials such as underlayment, grout, and backer board cost $6 to $9 per square foot total.

Labor Costs

The work of your professional tile installer costs $4 to $32 per square foot. Flooring removal costs $2 per square foot. Surface prep, including cleaning and leveling your subfloor, costs between $1 to $5 per square foot. If your subfloor needs repairs, it will run you $40 to $65 per square foot, while a completely new subfloor is $10 to $20 per square foot.

How Much Does Ceramic Tile Cost by Type?

Ceramic tile is available in a wide array of options, all with different looks and durabilities based on how they’re made. Those differing manufacturing processes also lead to a difference in price. The outdoor versions of all of these tile types can cost up to $35 on the high end.

Standard Ceramic Tile

Your basic form of ceramic tile is made from clay, heated at high temperatures under pressure, and sometimes glazed with color. It costs $0.50 to $7 per square foot indoors or at least $1 per square foot outdoors.

Porcelain Tile

A harder, denser, and more durable form of ceramic tile, porcelain costs $3 to $10 per square foot indoors or at least $3 per square foot outdoors.

Wood-look Tile

Often cut into rectangular planks, these tiles are perfect for homeowners who want the look of solid hardwood and the durability of porcelain. They cost $3 to $12 per square foot indoors or at least $3 per square foot outdoors.

Rectified Tile

Rectification refers to a process of cutting tiles after firing to ensure a precise size and edge shape. These tiles can be made from a variety of materials, and tend to cost $0.50 to $15 per square foot indoors or at least $5 per square foot outdoors.

Glass Tile

As you might imagine, the glass does not lend itself to floors or outdoor use because of its fragility. This material is more common for backsplashes, countertops, or shower surrounds and costs $5 to $15 per square foot.

How Much Does Ceramic Tile Installation Cost by Project?

Tile is one of the most versatile construction materials you can use in your home, able to surface floors, walls, and countertops both indoors and out. You can also use tile as a decorative and functional backsplash in your kitchen. 

These various installation types involve different labor requirements, so they also vary in cost.

Tile Floor Installation Cost

The rate your contractor will charge to install a tile floor varies greatly depending on the size and type of the tile as well as the configuration of the room. But in general, 12-inch tiles on a prepared subfloor will cost about $4 to $10 per square foot to install. Installing on a subfloor that needs more preparation or repairs will take more time and cost more.

Tile Wall Installation Cost

Many homeowners choose to install tile as the wall to their shower, called a shower surround. For a space measuring about 90 square feet, expect to pay an average of about $2,000. That cost includes any preparation done to the wall surface, as well as backer board installation and placement of all tiles and grout.

Tile Countertop or Backsplash Installation Cost

A backsplash behind a countertop can be the perfect place to incorporate color and pattern in your kitchen while also protecting your walls from food and spills. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $32 per square foot due to the small tile size and intricate design work required for this type of job. A tile fireplace poses similar costs.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install Ceramic Tile?

Several other aspects of a ceramic tile installation will influence your total cost, too.

  • Your existing floors can affect cost if old floors need to be removed and a new subfloor needs to be installed.

  • Even if you’re tiling a bare concrete surface, the condition of your subfloors will affect your labor cost. Your subfloor must be clean, smooth, and level before installation.

  • Your installation location will also be a factor in cost. Outdoor tile installations cost more due to the manufacturing requirements and extra maintenance needs for non-slip tiles.

Ceramic Tile Installation FAQs

How do I install ceramic tile?

Laying ceramic tile is an involved process that takes multiple days and lots of specialized tools and materials. However, the steps are simple, and can be broken down into the following steps:

1. Remove your existing floors

2. Clean and level your subfloor

3. Install a concrete backer board or membrane

4. Measure your space and lay your tiles out dry

5. Apply mortar and adhere tiles, cutting as needed

6. Wait 24 hours, then fill joints with grout

7. Clean and seal

Why should I pick ceramic tile for my installation?

Ceramic tile is the ideal choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor applications. You’ll find tile in just about any color or shape, so its versatility in design is practically unmatched.

Ceramic tile is very durable and can last for decades with proper care, extending the life of your investment. Its moisture-resistant surface is easy to clean. Tile also stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making it comfortable underfoot if you choose it as flooring.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.