Tile is one of the oldest forms of flooring. It’s still going strong today and is an excellent choice if you want to brighten up your bathroom or add a bit of luxury to your living room. While there are several styles of tiles to choose from, tile flooring prices can have a significant impact on your buying decision.
Types of Floor Tile
Want floor tiles made from leather or cork? You can find them, and there are dozens of other materials found on flooring tiles today. With that in mind, we are going to focus on durable materials that can handle daily life with ease, which leaves us with a handful of options.
Cost of Materials
If you know you want to install tile in your home, but are still on the fence when it comes to the style, the table below will help clear things up. While it only features a few popular styles of tile, it will give you an idea of what to expect from budget-friendly tile and premium products.
Tile Price Examples
Price per sq. ft.
12” x 24”
12” x 24”
Luxury Vinyl Tile
12” x 12”
Kings Star Nero
17 5/8” x 17 5/8"
16” x 16”
12” x 24”
7” x 20”
Peel & Stick Vinyl
Light Grey Slate
18” x 18”
7 7/8” x 7 7/8”
Once you’ve decided on a style of tile you like, it’s time for a tough decision. You’ll need to decide whether to hire a professional or install the tile yourself. We found that most homeowners choose to install clay-based, vinyl, and linoleum tiles themselves. Some forms of stone are easier than others, and marble is usually better suited for pros when you’re paying $8.00 or more per square foot. Mistakes can be expensive.
Installing Tile Yourself…
If you want to install tile yourself, you will need some unique tools and patience. It’s not difficult to slap down a layer of mud on your subfloor, but doing it the right way takes time – especially if you’ve never dealt with tile.
At a minimum, you are going to need a bucket, trowel, several sponges, spacers a tile cutter, and a small level. A drill with a big paddle bit is optional, but something we highly recommend if it’s a big room. That’s if your current floor is sound, even and free of any damage. If there is anything wrong with your subfloor, you’re going to pay for it later on, so take care of that beforehand.
With tile cutters, you can choose from an electric or manual cutter. The former is more precise but messier and expensive if you can’t rent one while manual cutters are cheap, but only good for porcelain and ceramic tile. You’ll need a wet saw for stone or a razor knife for vinyl and linoleum.
Once your tile is set and properly spaces, you’ll have to mix another type of “mud” and grout between each tile. Those are known as grout lines, which need to be wiped and sponged – usually more than once. You’ll also have to consider sealing those tiles, something that can actually be more time consuming and messy than installing the tile.
Cost of Professional Installation
Pricing a professional tile flooring installation can be a long and tedious process. Once you pick out the tile, you still need to find someone to install it, and could have to deal with dozens of contractors until you find a price you like.
On average, you can expect to pay between $1.50 - $6.00 for the tile itself if you plan to purchase it beforehand and not have the contractor handle it all. How much they will charge you per square foot to install that tile varies by type as will the materials needed to complete the job.
Ceramic tiles are the cheapest to install at around $5.00 per square foot while porcelain is typically a few dollars more as it’s harder to work with. Natural stone can be more expensive or hover around the same price point as porcelain depending on the contractor and type of stone.
You shouldn’t need anyone to install peel and stick, luxury vinyl or linoleum tiles unless your subfloor is bad. With that in mind, glue down tiles are not for beginners, so you may want to consider a professional when messy adhesives are involved.
As for the contractors themselves… you generally get what you pay for. If someone is charging an amount that seems “too good to be true” it probably is and could result in a shoddy tile job. You will not want to deal with cracked floors within a year, so look for a contractor that fits your budget, but don’t go cheap.
If you’re ready to get an estimate, take measurements for the square footage of the room you want to tile, and use the quote tool below.
Most home improvement projects are never as simple as they seem at first. It could be due to inexperience, poor instructions, or unforeseen costs. While you can get around the first two issues, running out of money halfway through tiling a floor is a serious issue.
The first thing you need to do is pick up extra boxes of tile. It doesn’t matter the type, buy extras as you’ll need them eventually. If you’re using a contractor, make sure they give you some backup tiles as well. A good contractor may provide you with any extras from the job, but you could have to inquire in other cases.
Sealing and subflooring are the two other issues that will derail your project quickly. As mentioned, sealants are messy, and some can put off fumes that will keep you out of the house for days. One way around this is to be pre-sealed tile, although that isn’t an option with some types of flooring.
If you’re buying unfinished flooring, look into what will be applied as a sealant and plan accordingly. Having to rent a room for a couple of nights may not seem like a big deal, but it can be expensive when you have a family of four or pets you’ll need to board.
Subfloor repair can actually cost more than a tile job if your floor is in terrible shape. Unfortunately, you may not know what you’re dealing with until you remove your old floor if you have carpet. The cost to remove your current flooring can’t be quite expensive as well and is generally charged by the square foot or at a flat demo rate.
Regardless of what type of tile you prefer, it’s always important to consider the cost of your project beforehand. That includes those unexpected expenses along with the material and time you may need to complete the job if you plan to do it yourself. If you're still on the fence about the best type of tile, be sure to check out the guides on our site which break down the pros and cons of ceramic, porcelain, stone and vinyl!