So, you’ve decided to go with tile flooring in your home. Now you want to know how much it is going to cost you, including installation?
Trying to price out tile can be a little overwhelming. There are so many different options.
There’s ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone tiles, ones that resemble wood, square tiles, octagon tiles, and so on.
Even if you narrow down the type of tile you like, you still have a ton of choices. However, if you have a general idea of your preferences, and a budget in mind, you can find the right tiles.
So how do you figure out a realistic budget for tile? Start by measuring your floors.
Then use these guidelines to determine how much you need in your budget to get the tile floors you want.
- Cost Factors: Materials
- Cost Factors: Installation
- Maintenance Tips
Tile Flooring Cost Factors
- Type of tile selected
- Grading and brand
- Sales Tax, shipping, and delivery fees
- Additional materials and supplies
- Installation charges
When it comes to tile flooring, how much it is going to cost you can vary widely depending on what you choose. Some tile is very inexpensive, while other types of tile can cost a small fortune.
For example, you can find ceramic floor tiles for as little as $0.45 per square foot. Although, the average price range for ceramic tiles is around $2.50 to $3 per square foot.
Porcelain tiles can also be found cheaply. However, there are also more costly choices, especially if it has an intricate design or is imported.
The average price range for porcelain tiles is from $3 to $10 a square foot.
You also have the option of going with natural stone tiles such as marble, travertine, slate, granite, or quartz. These are generally more expensive.
Most natural stone tile costs around $5 to $10 per square foot, with an average price of $7. However, if you want designer floor tiles, you are looking at $25 plus per square foot.
And not only does the type of floor tile impact the cost, the quality of the tile can also impact it. Many retailers set a grading level of 1-3 for their tiles.
The lower the grade, the better the product. Grade one means high-quality, uniform tiles whereas grade three means you’ll find flaws, chipping, or other major issues.
The brand you select can also impact the price. Artisan brands such as Bisazza out of Italy is going to be much more expensive than MS International flooring, which can be bought from major home improvement stores such as Home Depot.
Once you’ve narrowed down the kind of tile flooring you want you will have a much better idea as to what it is going to cost you. However, there are still some other cost factors to keep in mind.
In the majority of the states, there is a sales tax, so make sure to factor that into your total cost. Sales tax rates vary widely from state to state.
Now, if you purchase your tiles online, it is possible that you will not pay sales tax. But that will depend on where you live and where the company is located.
Unless it is a small project or you have a truck and buy local, there is a good chance you will have to pay for shipping or delivery to your home.
If you order online, plan to pay for shipping unless there is an option to ship the tiles to a local store (such as Lowe’s, for example). Then you can pick them up yourself.
Another cost factor to include in your budget is that for additional materials.
Did you factor in an extra 5% of materials for trimming and waste? Will you need new baseboards or molding?
Are you planning to put in a radiant heat tile flooring system in? Anything extra should be factored into your costs.
And finally, if you are going with tile floors, you’ll probably want to hire a professional to do the installation. We’ll talk further about installation costs in this next section.
- Level of difficulty to install
- Issues with the subflooring
- Removal of existing materials
- Distance to installation location
- Who you are working with
Tile can be difficult to install. And, in most cases, it is not a DIY project.
So, if you want tile in your home, you should plan on factoring in the cost of installation to your overall budget. You can calculate much of the installation cost by square footage.
Ceramic tile installation averages around $5 a square foot to install. Porcelain tile generally comes in at a comparable $5-$6 per square foot. Natural stone tiles cost $7 per square foot on average for installation.
However, in addition to square footage costs, there are other things that can impact the price of installation.
One such factor is the level of difficulty.
For large, open areas, tile installation will go smoothly and fast. However, if the installer has to work in tighter spaces or around things such as electrical and plumbing, then there will be an extra charge for these more difficult places.
If you plan to create a pattern with the tiles, this is also more difficult and will cost more.
You may also incur additional installation charges if your subfloor is not very level. If the subfloor is uneven or slanted, your contractor will have to level it before even beginning.
Unlike some of the other flooring options, tile cannot go on top of existing floors. So, you will have to remove the old floor.
If you do this yourself, you can save some money. If you have your installer do it, then it will cost you extra.
On average, you can expect to pay around $2 per square foot to have your old floors removed.
You may also be charged more if contractors have to drive a long distance to get to your home. However, if you live in a major metropolitan area, or close to one, then this will probably not be a factor.
Finally, who you are working with can also impact the price. High-quality contractors may cost more.
The best way to keep installation costs under control is to get estimates from multiple contractors. You can contact each one yourself or use a service to compare costs.
Carefully examine your quotes to make sure your estimate includes the different factors that affect your installation (such as removal of old materials, or leveling the subfloor).
Word of mouth and referrals from neighbors, friends, or family is another way to find high-quality, well-priced installers.
Advantages of Installing Tile Flooring
- Very durable
- Can be used in virtually any room
- Something for every budget
- Doesn’t go out of style
- Easy to clean
- Easy to maintain
- It won’t trap allergens
Tile flooring is extremely durable. Its hard surface is impenetrable by things that leave another flooring vulnerable.
And it can work in just about any room in the house.
It is often used for wet rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms because it won’t warp or get damaged by moisture. It is used in high traffic areas because it won’t wear down like carpet or get scratched up like hardwoods.
Plus, you can find tile flooring for pretty much any budget. Whether you want to spend a lot, or need something cost-effective, you still have plenty of choices.
Ceramic and porcelain tile both offer very inexpensive options. And if cost is not as important as style, there are plenty of selections to choose from.
You can even find tiles that mimic wood for use in wet rooms.
And tile is not a flooring that goes out of style (unless you choose a really outrageous look).
Although some natural stone tiles do require periodic refinishing.
It is also low maintenance. It handles pet traffic, spills, heavy furniture, and much more without getting damaged.
And even if your well-meaning child draws on the floor with a permanent marker, you can easily remove it from tile flooring.
Another benefit to tile flooring is that it does not trap allergens the way that carpet does. Dust, mold and other allergens are swept away during routine cleaning.
Disadvantages of Installing Tile Flooring
- Feels cold and hard to walk on
- Does not absorb sound
- Can be slippery, especially when wet
- Difficult to install
While there are many advantages to tile flooring, it also has some disadvantages.
For example, tile is not the warmest flooring option. And you probably won’t find yourself sitting on the floor much as you would with carpet.
But you can always put some rugs down. And if you live somewhere that gets cold in the winter, you can install radiant floor heating underneath it.
Tile does not absorb sound very well. So, if you have a teenager who needs to practice the tuba or a dog that barks every time a car passes on the street outside, then you will need to find other ways to absorb some of the noise.
Hard surfaces reflect sound while soft ones absorb it. So, here’s another reason to strategically place some rugs down in the rooms that have tile.
Draperies can also help to absorb some of the sounds.
Another disadvantage to tile is that it is easier to fall on than some of the other flooring options. If small children or elderly people live in the home, this could be an issue.
Tile flooring could also be difficult for pets who suffer from joint disease or osteoarthritis. So, for safety reasons, tile flooring may not be the best choice.
It is also very difficult to install compared to other types of flooring. DIY’ers may want to consider a different type of material to work with.
Tile is heavy and requires special tools to cut and place in tight spaces. And grout is just plain messy.
So, if you are wanting to install flooring on your own, you may not want to choose tile.
Let’s say you’ve weighed out the pros and cons and decided that tile flooring is the best choice for your home. How do you keep it clean?
As mentioned earlier, it is pretty easy to maintain tile floors. You just need a few supplies: dust mop and pan (or a vacuum that has a “hard floor” mode), a wet mop, and a floor detergent.
The best way to sweep up the dirt and debris from your floors is to use a dry dust mop. How often you sweep them will depend on who lives in your home and how much traffic they get.
Homes with large families or pets should be cleaned several times a week or even daily depending on how dirty the floors get.
It’s a good idea to place mats at exterior doors to catch some of the dirt and dust. And you can also ask family and guests to remove their shoes before coming inside.
Use a wet mop and floor detergent weekly for a deeper cleaning. If you have natural stone floors, avoid using acidic cleaners such as those that contain lemon or vinegar.
Tile flooring is a durable, low maintenance flooring. It doesn’t really go out of style and it can help improve the value of your home.
You can find tile flooring to suit any taste, style, and budget. However, installation is more expensive than other types of flooring.
And you probably won’t want to do it yourself. So, even if you find an inexpensive tile that you like, when you factor in the installation fees, it may cost more than other options that you can install on your own.
Still, it is extremely versatile and can work in just about any room in the house. And it is the top choice for bathrooms.
So, whether you want to cover the floor of an entire house with the same flooring, or need something new for your wet rooms, tile floors are worth the extra cost of professional installation.