Beautiful, versatile and sturdy, ceramic and porcelain tiles make excellent additions to a variety of rooms including the bathrooms, kitchens and entryways of homes. In fact, ceramic and porcelain tile has a function in almost any room of the home. It’s often used for everything from backsplashes and artwork to floors and surrounds of bathtubs and showers. While some advanced DIYers can install tile using great care and plenty of time, most homeowners opt to have professionals do the job. This guide reviews all the factors that come into play when pricing the professional installation of ceramic and porcelain tiles in a home and details what, if any, feasible DIY projects homeowners can accomplish.
Then again, if DIY is not in your repertoire, ImproveNet can connect you with a flooring contractor in your city!
Table of Contents
- Tile Installation Costs for Ceramic & Porcelain
- Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Cost Factors
- How Do Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Prices Compare to Other Flooring Types?
- Advantages of Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles
- Disadvantages of Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles
- New Tile Vs. Replacement Tile
- DIY or Find A Pro
- Find A Pro
Tile Installation Costs for Ceramic & Porcelain
The cost of ceramic and porcelain tile installation is based on three major factors: the ceramic or porcelain tile itself, any prep work needed and the cost of labor. While the details of each of these categories vary from job to job, the following average prices should help you determine a range for their own project costs:
- Average Cost of Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: $ 0.49 – $ 15 per square foot
- Average Cost of Labor for Tile Installation: Minimum $ 4 per square foot
- Average Cost of Prep Work: Additional $ 1 – $ 5 per square foot
Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Cost Factors
When it comes to the final costs of installing ceramic or porcelain tile, there are some factors that homeowners can control and others that simply come with the circumstances of their homes and the specifics of the job.
For example, by choosing a less expensive tile, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars on materials costs. However, they sacrifice durability and style by doing so. Also, by completing their own prep work, such as removing existing flooring and installing subflooring, homeowners can reduce the labor costs of their tile installation.
On the other hand, intricate tile patterns and difficult rooms with hard cutouts can increase labor costs for any flooring installation. In addition, damage to the subflooring, uneven surfaces and other site-specific issues may also increase labor time, thus driving up the final cost to install ceramic or porcelain tile.
How Do Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Prices Compare to Other Flooring Types?
Ceramic and porcelain are two names for virtually the same product, just at different qualities. This type of tile is made of clay, sand and other natural products that have been permanently hardened through heating and then glazed with a protective finish. The difference is in the relative hardness and durability of the tiles themselves. Porcelain is made of a denser material that’s less porous than ceramic. As a result, these tiles are harder and more appropriate for high-traffic and commercial applications. As a result, porcelain tile tends to be higher priced than ceramic, but these tile types are usually lumped together when it comes to average price, with both options available in the middle range of prices.
Compared to other flooring types, the range of options as far as price and quality places ceramic and porcelain tile in competition with both high-end and bargain-priced flooring options. Here’s a look at how those other flooring costs stack up:
Advantages of Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles
Among the top advantages of choosing a ceramic or porcelain tile floor, backsplash or art piece in your home is the material’s incredible diversity. The range of prices, styles, colors and patterns is unmatched by almost any other flooring type. Once it’s laid in its pattern, the tiles’ design possibilities are taken even further.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are also incredibly durable. With proper installation and maintenance, a tile floor can last 20 years or more. Breakages and other repairs are also relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, especially when compared to other types of flooring such as wood and stone.
Disadvantages of Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles
There also some disadvantages of tile floors, most of which can be remedied upon installation. For example, uneven or difficult floor plans make installing ceramic or porcelain tile difficult and more expensive than some other flooring options, especially if homeowners want the tile laid in a particular pattern. In addition, less-expensive and lower-quality ceramic tile is prone to breakage and wear over time. Unless placed in a low-traffic area or on a backsplash, this type of tile may need replacing sooner than a higher-quality option.
New Tile Vs. Replacement Tile
One important issue that can affect the cost of a tile installation job is the current flooring in place. In new homes, this isn’t a problem at all because the contractor can plan out the structure’s design and subfloor specifically with tile in mind. Likewise, in homes where a tile floor currently exists, replacing it with new tile is generally easier because the structure of the subflooring is likely already in place.
However, when placing a tile floor where a different flooring material previously existed, there is a good chance that the subflooring will need to be replaced or altered in order to support the weight of the tile and prevent breakage over time as the house settles. This added cost to tile installation varies based on a home’s condition, but generally includes reinforcement and the addition of a plywood subfloor on top of any concrete. This can add several dollars per square foot onto the total cost of the job.
DIY or Find A Pro
Tiling is a type of skilled labor that requires patience and experience to perform correctly. While advanced DIYers, especially those who are artistically inclined and exact, can lay tile, it’s generally not recommended for anyone without those skills. Everything from the design to the order in which the pieces are placed makes an impact on the final look of the floor while affecting its longevity and durability.
What homeowners can accomplish as a DIY project is the removal and hauling away of the old flooring materials. Intermediate to advanced DIYers can also lay new subflooring and reinforce that subfloor to prepare for the addition of tile. Reinforcement, however, is also an exact science and may require the consultation of an engineer or flooring professional, particularly if the tile is on anything other than ground level.
Find A Pro
When you’re ready to take the next step in adding tile flooring or other features to your home, be sure to use our lead generator. This free tool asks you some simple questions about your project and puts you in contact with pros in your area who can provide more information and project quotes.
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Last updated on Jan 20, 2017