ceramic tile flooring cost and installation price

Ceramic Tile Flooring Cost & Installation Price

By Fortino Rosas / September 27, 2021 / 0 Comments

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    If you’ve ever researched ceramic tile, you already know pricing and installation costs vary considerably. Prices change according to the shape, size, and color of your tiles. A beautiful tile floor can last decades, plus they’re easy to keep clean.

    Ceramic tile is available in any pattern, and shade you can think of; the possibilities are endless. There’s ceramic tile that looks like real wood, natural stone or even brick. You can install ceramic tile floors anywhere in your home.

    If you love the look of tile but feel discouraged by the price, don’t give up yet. There are bargains out there, you just need to know what to look for. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to spend on ceramic tiles.

    Ceramic Tile Costs

    The price of ceramic flooring fluctuates according to quality and durability. Stronger and thicker tiles will cost upwards of $4-$8 a square foot. While thinner materials are often under $1.

    The durability of ceramic tile is rated between 1-5 on the PEI scale. If your installing ceramic floor tiles, look for a rating of 3 or higher. Anything less than that won’t stand up to foot traffic and is better suited for walls.

    Sizing also affects the price of tile. Standard size squares are usually the least expensive choice. While larger formats may be stylish, they’ll cost more and produce the most waste.

    Consider using porcelain tiles when installing floors in damp areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. Due to its manufacturing process, porcelain is denser and better at repelling water. Porcelain costs an average of $2 more per square foot but wears better than conventional ceramic.

    When purchasing ceramic tile it’s best to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Large home improvement stores may not be the cheapest option. Many smaller tile shops (online & in-person) run specials on close-outs and discontinued styles.

    Even if you don’t purchase from a specialty shop, stop in and speak with a salesperson. They can offer you valuable insight and guide you towards selecting the best options for your space. Tile shops are also helpful in giving recommendations for installers in your area.

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    Typical Installation Charges

    Pricing for ceramic tile installations varies depending on the size of the job and overall floor plan. Complicated patterns and transitions will impact your estimate. Most installers charge an average rate of $5 per square foot.

    A bathroom will cost more to tile than a comparably sized living room. Your installer will need to make cuts to accommodate obstacles such as showers and vanities, so rates will be higher. Damp areas may require the application of a waterproof membrane to prevent water damage.

    Your installer will advise you if this step is necessary. Don’t cut corners when deciding whether or not to pay for waterproofing. You’ll end up spending thousands of dollars fixing damages that could have been prevented for a lot less.

    Another cost factor is the preparation of your subfloor. Some contractors prefer to use cement boards as a tile base while others float traditional mortar beds. Both methods will give you an even surface to apply the tile, but mortar beds can take up to 28 days to cure.

    Never install ceramic tile directly over plywood. Changes in humidity will cause wood to contract and expand. The stress of the constant shifting may result in breakage and unevenness over time.

    While preparation costs can strain your budget, letting a professional tackle the job is never a bad investment. If you’re looking to cut costs, why not assemble a crew of helpers and demo your old floors? It’s back-breaking work, but it will shave a few hundred dollars off your bill.

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    DIY Considerations

    It’s possible to install ceramic tile as a DIY project. Be forewarned, it takes a ton of patience and requires some skill. You can rent or buy the tools from your local home improvement store.

    You’ll need trowels, a drill, a mixing paddle, and a wet-saw or tile cutter. You should also have buckets and sponges available for clean-up. Don’t forget to purchase adhesive, thin set, sealer, and grout.

    Take extra precautions when using a wet saw as you’ll be working with both water and electricity at the same time. If your job will take several days to complete, consider buying an inexpensive saw. You can buy one for less than the cost of a weekend rental.

    If you plan to install the tile on your own, do your research and take advantage of online videos. While not a substitute for professional advice, videos can guide you on the best techniques and help you avoid common mistakes. Tiling takes precision and is much harder to do than it looks.

    Know what you’re getting yourself into before you start.

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    Is ceramic tile good for floors?

    Yes, ceramic tile is good for floors because it has a hard, solid surface that won’t tarnish over time. Since the tiles are sealed with grout, water can’t get under the tiles. What’s more, ceramic tiles have a surface that doesn’t hold onto dirt so they’re easy to clean. 

    Ceramic tile also comes in a variety of colors and finishes so you can opt for a matte or glossy look. You can also get ceramic tiles that look like natural stone such as marble or granite.

    How long does tile flooring last?

    If you opt for low quality installation your tiles will last 20 years, as tiles that are not properly installed can crack over time. On the other hand, if you opt for high-quality installation your tiles can last between 30 and 50 years. 

    This will also depend on the type of tile you’ve opted for. Porcelain tiles can last up to 50 years whereas ceramic tiles can last 20 years if you maintain them correctly.

    What is the best cleaning solution for ceramic tile floors?

    Ceramic flooring is incredibly durable, so you can basically use any type of cleaning solution on your floors. If you want to try a natural cleaning aid you can mix a cup of white vinegar in a bucket of warm water and use the solution to wash dirt off your ceramic tiles.

    If instead you want a cleaning aid for all types of flooring, then you’ll want to try the Black Diamond Marble and Tile concentrated cleaner. This cleaning aid is safe to use on ceramic tiles as well as natural stone flooring such as granite, slate, and limestone.

    What is the advantage of ceramic tile?

    Ceramic tiles are long lasting and abrasion resistant. They can be installed in any area of your home such as the basement, bedrooms, and even your patio. Additionally, ceramic tiles are stain resistant which makes them easy to maintain. 

    Unlike laminate and hardwood floors, ceramic tiles are 100% water resistant so even if your home floods with water the tiles won’t lift. Lastly, ceramic tiles don’t harbor bacteria, and they are suitable for people who suffer from allergies because they don’t hold onto allergens such as pollen or dust.

    Final Notes

    Ceramic tile is a durable and affordable choice for your home. It’s made for active households and requires little maintenance. To keep your floors from looking outdated, opt for simple coloring and basic patterns.

    Always ensure the tile you buy is certified and inspected for quality. You can find out more information by visiting the Tile Council North America’s website.

    When selecting an installer, get at least 3 estimates before making your decision. While price is important, always research your contractor’s credentials. Do an online search for recent reviews or complaints.

    If you’ve recently installed ceramic tile floors, tell us about it. Did you tackle the project yourself or hire a professional?

    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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