Cost of tile installation?

Laurie NeumannAugust 3, 2009

I was quoted $18.75 a square foot for tile and labor. That seems extremely high to me, for pretty basic tile.

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Laurie Neumann

I might add this is a bid from a general contractor. I know it will be a little higher than if we hired a tiler directly but ???? this seems wayyy higher.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 8:51PM
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lukkiirish

Actually, for tile AND labor, not so high but it depends on the tile, the area you live in, the job and probably several other things I haven't mentioned. I'd get 3 quotes and go price your tile separately. For me, the tilers and contractor priced almost identically. You may be able to save some money by purchasing the tile separately, especially if the contractor or tiler aren't willing to pass on any discounts they may be getting from the supplier.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 10:10PM
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Laurie Neumann

I am actually waiting for another bid and will probably go to the tile shop tomorrow and get some ideas too. At least I will know if this bid is in the ballpark. The tile bid shocked me more than the cabinets, granite, plumbers, painters, and electricians.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:58AM
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Laurie Neumann

I am actually waiting for another bid and will probably go to the tile shop tomorrow and get some ideas too. At least I will know if this bid is in the ballpark. The tile bid shocked me more than the cabinets, granite, plumbers, painters, and electricians.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 1:10AM
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weedyacres

How expensive is the tile? How big is the room? What sort of pattern will you be using? If it's a small space, complex layout, and requires lots of cuts, then it's conceivable that it would end up being pricey per square foot. But if your tile is only a few $/sq ft, that does seem high.

As a means of comparison, around here HD charges $5/sq ft for install (plus adders for complicated stuff).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:05AM
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Laurie Neumann

I'm having quite a bit of tile actually. The tile shower is pricey, around $4500 for 150 s.f.($30 s.f.) The floors, for 6x10 area $1200, tile shower over tub $2800, you get the idea....seems high.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:31PM
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clg7067

I've gotten quotes around $10 sf just for installation.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 1:33PM
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monicae

I am in Los Angeles and I hear that major markets are costlier as far as installation goes so hopefully this will help someone estimate. My bathroom (including a closet) is 9 x 11. I am having the entire floor tiles (closet as well), a corner shower which is 4 x 4 (a large format porcelain wall tile and a stainless mosaic border, a niche, tiled baseboards around the room and a porcelain backsplash across a 5 foot vanity. I was quoted $2500, $3400 and $3800 for the jobs which all included demo and re-building the shower with dam (Kerdi is extra). Thankfully in my case the $2500 quote was from the person I really wanted to go with and who just wrapped up a friend's bathroom. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:38PM
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monicae

Oh and that did not cover the price of the tile, I made that purchase today (oof!)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 8:18PM
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Laurie Neumann

Eek, monicae that sounds pricey too but you're in LA. I'm in the central valley of CA, where unemployment is high. There was quite a difference in your quotes I would say. Congratulations on getting the installer you want at the lower bid! This does give me some hope because I had a feeling this contractor was going to be high and this may not be the norm for this area. The tile I picked was $5.50 s.f., Italian porcelain. I will have a basic pattern, probably not a lot of cuts or unusual patterns. My bath is small, shower is 4x5 to the ceiling, with ceiling covered too. The floor space is small, 60 s.f., & backsplash at sinks. Thanks everyone, we're all in this together.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 10:33AM
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zeebee

I am in NYC, another major market. My bathroom is 5.5'x11' with an additional 3'x6' alcove for the tub, with ceilings a little over 9'. The tiling job was for 12x12" marble tiles from floor to ceiling, 12x12" slate on the floors and 2" mosaic slate on the shower floor, one shower niche, one slate shower curb, a slate door curb and a marble casement around the door. There are no fancy patterns or accent tiles anywhere. Quotes came in at $3800, $5000 and $7200 for the job which included the mud pour on the bathroom floor. We went with the quote in the middle, and they did a great job.

And I'm with Monicae on the (not included) cost of the tile -- oof! is right.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Laurie Neumann

Went to the tile shop today and got a lot of info. My quote is sky high; he looked at my bids for 2 baths, kitchen and laundry. He called their top tile contractor and got a couple of rough prices for labor. Tile materials in one bath were around $2000 for my nice Italian porcelain, & labor for tile-laying only was $4500, about $2000 higher than the highest labor price. This is one small bathroom! Well, at least I can search for something better and I feel more hopeful that I can get this job done for the right price.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 4:01PM
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marymt

OMG -- I searched for this thread because I just got an eye-popping estimate. Our kids' little bathroom (5 x 6 plus 4sf in the linen closet) -- we had them take out the toilet and vanity while we were going to DIY the floor with vinyl tiles. But we're running out of time and are too busy to get to it. So I asked them to estimate doing the vinyl tile, put new toilet and new vanity in. Price: $1200. (labor and collateral materials only; we supply toilet, tile, vanity and sink).

Then I asked, what if it were ceramic tile? The price nearly tripled! To $3200! That would mean the labor cost to install tile (okay, and underlayment, base wall tiles, grout, seal etc.) would be $65 SF! And, remember, WE supply the tile. I thought he confused the kids' bath with the master bath, but he says he "prices all jobs on the merits of the work to be done". He might have to cut door trim to fit tile, etc.

Is there any way this is reasonable? Obviously, I need more estimates.

(Washington DC metro area)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 9:53PM
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bill_vincent

Sometimes the labor price isn't that cut and dry. A perfect example would be if part of your price includes doing a shower pan. Just for the purchase of materials, installation, and mudding of the shower pan, I charge 30.00 a foot. That's not including the price of installation of the tile OVER it. You can see how that would bring the average per foot price of all the rest of the tile work up substantially, even though the tile work might be reasonably priced.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 7:44AM
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marymt

Bill, that's true. But the estimate was for 12 x 12 ceramic tiles on the floor only plus cove tile around perimeter. No shower, no walls. No pattern. No accents. Just straight 30sf of square tiles in a rectangular room with a 4sf linen closet to cut in to. Vinyl floor on there currently, so I do understand the underlayment is extra work. But we had the same work done in our kitchen 3 years ago, and the labor cost (on a diagonal) was $12 SF. I'm getting an estimate from the tile guy who did that work, then probably have this plumber just do the plumbing. It would be easier to have him do it all, so I don't get into a situation of a plumber blaming a tile installer, or tile installer blaming a plumber if things don't work right in the end.

Speaking of shower pans....for our master bath, the plumber said that a tile floor in the shower (4 x 3) would cost $1500 above the cost of installing a shower pan (we supply tile or shower pan). By your guideline, that seems way over as well. (Maybe I shouldn't hire a plumber to do tile work....)

Will be interesting to see how the other estimates come in.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 11:59AM
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stan732

Do not have the plumber do the tile. Let the plumber do what he is good at, which is plumbing. You wouldn't trust a tiler installer to replumb your house, would you? A LOT of plumbers think they know how to tile, but many times they fail. Please have a professional tile installer do the installation.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 2:00PM
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bill_vincent

Sounds to me like your plumber's trying to retire with your project. You're doing the right thing getting other prices. he's way out of line. And even if his prices were good, I agree with Stan. Put the right guy on the job he's trained for.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 10:56PM
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marymt

Just a follow-up. The guy who did my kitchen floor came back with a price of $500, which works out to about $13sf, which is much more in line with my expectations. I'm just prepared for the plumber to come back to put the toilet in and complain that the floor isn't level.....

I really like the kitchen floor, but I did neglect to confirm some items with him (i.e., they grouted around edges instead of caulk, so grout has popped out; they didn't seal the floor, which was a misunderstanding). I think if I check it while they're working, they'll do a good job.

Thanks for the knowledge on this forum; really helps!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 8:36AM
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bill_vincent

They need to pull that grout from around the edges and replace it with caulk (and that DOESN'T mean to caulk OVER the grout). More than one person has awoken in the middle of the night to what sounds like a shotgun blast, and come running into the kitchen to find the tile floor had lifted about 8-10" in the center-- a phenomenon called "tenting". All it takes is 1/16" of movement causing pressure on the perimeter of the tile to raise it that high.

As for sealing the floor, if this is ceramic tile, only the grout joints can be sealed. Not the tile. If it's stone, that's a different story.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 10:20PM
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