Bathroom Tile Installation: How Much Does It Cost?

It is well known that remodeling a bathroom is one of the best ways to add value to your home.  The average return on investment for a bathroom remodel, including the cost of bathroom tile installation, is around 70%.

Bathrooms are one of the biggest talking points for home buyers today.  A drab, outdated bathroom, could potentially drive away prospective buyers.  On the other hand a functional, modern and stylish bathroom can be a huge selling point.  

Whether you are planning to put your home on the market or just making improvements for you and your family to enjoy, a bathroom remodel is a wise investment.  

In many bathrooms the tile is the star of the show.  Everybody loves a beautiful updated shower, and really no floor covering makes more sense in a bathroom than tile.  But let’s  address the elephant in the room – how much does it cost?

How Much Does it Cost to Tile a Shower

Well the answer is it depends.  There are many factors that go into how much it will cost to have a tile shower installed professionally. Is it a tub/shower combination, a standard walk in shower with a dam or a barrier free shower?  What is the shower pan size? How many walls are in the shower? Are there windows in the shower?  Will there be recessed niches for your personal care products? Will there be  a shower bench? What type of tile will be used, what is the design or pattern? What type of  drain will be used (linear drain, or point drain)? 

Let’s start with the basics

Tub/Shower Combo

For a standard tub/shower combo up to 8’ ceiling plan to spend at least $6500 for labor and installing materials.  This includes waterproofing and preparing the walls for tile, installing the tile, grouting and caulking.  For the tile itself you can potentially spend as little as $300 up to $8,000 and more.  If you are on a tight budget stopping the tile at 6’ instead of going all the way up to an 8’ ceiling will save you a couple hundred dollars.  If you would like to include a recessed niche plan to add at least another $500.

Standard Showers 

For a shower pan up to 15 square ft (typically 3’x5’) and 3 walls with tile going up to an 8 ft ceiling plan to spend at least $8000 for labor and setting materials.  This includes preparing the walls and shower pan for tile, performing a flood test to ensure the shower pan is watertight, installing the tile, grouting and caulking.  When it comes to the tile itself you could spend as little as $400 up to $10,000 and more.  If you are on a tight budget stopping the tile at 6’ instead of going up to the ceiling will save you a few hundred dollars.  

If you would like to include a recessed niche plan to add $500 or more. The same goes for windows and benches, plan to add at least another $500 each.  

Bathroom Floors

Cost of Bathroom Tile Installation

When it comes to installing bathroom floor some of the factors that play into the overall cost are: size of the room, how broken up the room is (is the room one big square or are there doorways and odd shapes to the room that will take more time to cut in), is the floor on a concrete slab or raised foundation, how flat is the floor, are you only installing a bathroom floor or will you be having the shower done as well, what type of tile will be used and what is the pattern or design?

Plan to spend a minimum of $1500 for labor and setting materials on a small bathroom floor up to 50 square ft. Oftentimes our clients end up paying between $2000-3000 for their bathroom floors.  For the tile itself you could pay anywhere from $3 a ft for something inexpensive but decent on up to $100 per ft and more.   

Other Options and Upgrades

Incorporate a few extras into the cost of your bathroom tile installation.

There are other tile options and upgrades to consider as well.  One of the most popular upgrades are radiant heated floors.  Even here on the Central Coast of California people love heated floors.  Oftentimes for as little as $2000 we are able to install radiant floor heat in our clients bathroom floor which can help warm up a cold bathroom and feels incredible on your bare feet.  

Consider putting solid surface material like a piece of slab granite or quartz on top of shower dams, ½ walls, benches, recessed niche shelves. This looks great and is easy to keep clean.   Of course it depends on how many solid surface pieces are needed and how much fabrication is needed.  But a simple piece put on top of the dam can be fabricated and installed for as little as $500-800. 

Consider a barrier free shower.  This type of shower has many names, barrier free shower, zero entry shower, zero threshold shower, curbless shower and probably other names as well.  You get the point.  These types of showers have become very popular lately for multiple reasons.  For some people the reason to build a barrier free shower is for safety.  It’s never too early to consider aging in place.  Having a dam at the entrance of a shower can be quite the tripping hazard for many people as they age as well a tripping hazard for young children.  Also if the shower can be built large enough a wheelchair may be able to be rolled into a barrier free shower. 

For others the reason to build a barrier free shower is purely aesthetic.  Barrier free showers look amazing and offer all kinds of design options.  For instance with a barrier free shower you are able have the bathroom floor flow into the shower without changing materials.  These types of showers lend themselves very well to incorporating a linear drain or trench drain. There are so many variables in building a barrier free shower that it’s really hard to discuss what to expect to pay for this upgrade in this blog.  Sometimes it can be pretty simple and other times it can be quite intensive depending on the size of the shower, whether the floor is a concrete slab or wood subfloor, what the framing looks like underneath a wood subfloor ect.   It’s best to discuss this one over the phone or in person.  If you are interested in more information check out 7 Reasons to Choose a Curbless Shower

Consider a linear drain.  Linear drains have become popular for a few reasons.  Some people just like the look of linear drains.  There are many beautiful linear drain options out there.  Where linear drains really shine is when a large format tile is desired in shower.  Linear drains allow you to have a single slope from the high spot in the floor to the drain like a ramp so to speak, instead of having the floor slope from four different points down to the drain, creating more of a bowl shaped slope.  With a single slope shower pan you are able to use large format tile and keep the tiles lippage free without having to put extra grout joints in the shower pan to accommodate multiple slopes that are required when using a standard point drain in conjunction with large format tile.  Linear drains do add additional labor to a tile install but they can be often  added to a project for as little as $500-800 plus the drain itself which can range from a few hundred dollars to well over a $1000.    

Consider incorporating LED lights in your tile installation.  There are options to include lighting at the top of recessed niches or underneath a floating bench in a shower.  This is a really cool feature that I doubt your neighbors or friends have in their bathroom.  If you want to raise the bar consider this type of upgrade.

To learn more, visit our Pricing Page. Feel free to reach out to us with specific questions.

We would love to help you build your dream bathroom here in San Luis Obispo County!

Contact us online or call 805-286-7460. We are San Luis Obispo County’s preferred tile installation company, serving Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Grover Beach.
Contact us today!