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Cost to Install Tile (Floor Prices per Square Foot in 2024)

tile installation

tile installation

Tile can be one of the most inexpensive flooring options out there, or it can be one of the most expensive. It depends on the type of tile you’re installing. While all tile is often durable and maintenance-free, it can vary considerably after that, especially when it comes to installation.

In most cases, the average cost for installing a tile floor will cost anywhere from $7 to $14 per square foot. Professional installation alone costs about $5 to $10 per square foot. You’ll also need to consider how much work needs to be done, as well as the cost of the tile itself. There are a lot of factors that can affect this cost.

In this article, we’ll look at all the different factors that can affect the cost of tile installation.

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Factors that Affect the Cost of Installing Tile

1. Inside or Out?

Usually, installing tile indoors is cheaper than installing tile outdoors. Typically, this is because indoor tile costs less than tile that can be used outside. Outdoor tile must be built to withstand the weather and climate outside. Indoor tiles are already protected, so you do not need to worry about them nearly as much.

Usually, you won’t be paying more for labor when it comes to the location. Both indoor and outdoor tiles require about the same amount of work to lay them down, so the cost shouldn’t be substantially different. Do expect to pay more for the actual tile, though.

Outside tile costs at least $30.

tile leveling

2. Amount of Preparation Required

There are varying amounts of preparation required when dealing with tile floors. Sometimes you will need to remove the previous flooring and thoroughly clean the area before the actual installation can begin. If this describes your floor, you can expect to pay more because the installation process will take longer. The cleaning and prep work can take hours, especially in a smaller space where only one person can work comfortably.

However, if you are installing flooring for the first time in that room, you can expect to pay less. This is because there is less prep involved, so the project will likely move along faster.

If your room needs the current flooring removed, you can expect to pay about an extra $1 per square foot. If the area needs prepared and thoroughly cleaned beforehand, expect to pay an extra $1 to $5, depending on precisely what preparations are required.

3. Cost of the Tile

One significant expense of installation is the materials. If you do not already have the tile you wish to use, you will likely purchase it through your contractor.

There is a vast range of prices when it comes to tile. Ceramic tiles are the cheapest and can cost as low as less than a dollar per square foot for indoor use. Slate and glass tiles are the most expensive, usually costing anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot for indoor use.

All outdoor tiles are going to be considerably expensive. For instance, ceramic tiles can cost up to $35 per square foot when used outside, though the average is much lower, around $10. You can expect all types of tile to be more expensive when designated for outdoor use since they have to be more durable and designed to withstand the weather.

The overall quality of the tile will also directly affect the price. High-quality designer tile will cost more than tile that is mass-produced and made with a budget in mind. For this reason, there is a vast range in the possible material cost. You can pay anywhere from $0.50 – $35 per square foot for tile. Choose your tile carefully, as the type of tile you install is the easiest way to adjust the project’s overall cost.

4. Cost of Installation Per Tile Type

tile cutting

Generally speaking, all tiles cost about the same to install. Flooring installation is typically cheaper than installing tiles on countertops or backsplashes. In most cases, you’ll be paying around $10 for your average flooring installation. The type of tile usually does not matter, though the size might.

This is simply because it takes longer to lay a bunch of smaller tiles than laying a few bigger tiles. However, the cuts required to get bigger tiles to line up may be more complicated, making the cost even out a bit more, depending on the overall shape of the room the flooring is being installed in.

The only tile that costs significantly more than other tiles is porcelain, which is usually a bit more expensive to install. Generally, laying porcelain tiles will cost more than laying other tiles. Indoor installation can cost anywhere from $4 to $25 per square foot, with the average being closer to $12 or $15.

5. Size of the Room

Usually, as the room gets larger, the price per square foot will stop going up as steeply. There are some things that will take the same length of time no matter how big the room is, such as the contractors’ commute or tool set up. Once you’re already there laying tiles, it doesn’t take quite as long to lay them all down. Set up time is a significant drain on the clock.

Therefore, as the room gets larger, the price per square foot may go down. The overall project will still cost a considerable amount, but the cost per square foot may lower. The exact room size that causes the square foot price to start lowering varies from contractor to contractor. This is something to consider, though.

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There are usually a lot of factors that can affect the cost of installing flooring, which also means that a lot of questions can pop up. We’ll take a look at some of the most common questions below.

tile fitting

How much does it cost to install tile per square foot?

As we’ve discussed in this article, the cost to install a tile floor depends on various factors. Floors are usually less expensive than installing tile on a wall, though. Typically, for indoor tile, the cost is usually $5 to $10 for installation only. This does not include the actual tile itself, which will raise the price substantially.

How much does Home Depot charge for tile installation?

If you purchase the tile from them, some Home Depots will install the tile at your home using their local contractors. Home Depot’s installation cost will vary from location to location and is typically aligned with the other contractors in the area.

If you’re in an area where it costs quite a bit to install tiles, you probably aren’t going to find a deal at Home Depot, as they don’t price nationally. All prices are local, so it will likely be similar to what other contractors in your area are charging.

How much do tilers charge per hour?

Typically, contractors will charge per square foot. This allows them to account easily for the materials involved and the average time it takes for them to finish a project of that size. If they get hung up on something or work a bit slowly one day (which happens to all of us), you don’t have to worry about paying them extra.

However, some tilers do charge by the hour. Usually, this is between $45 and $60 per hour. This accounts for some materials, though usually not for the tile itself. The tiler will often include some necessary materials, like spacers, in their price, though.

Why is tile installation so expensive?

Installing tiles is not as easy as installing other types of flooring. There is a lot involved in placing each tile correctly and ensuring that it will stay there. The process is absolutely a lot more involved than installing other things. For this reason, it tends to be more expensive than installing other types of flooring.

builder installing tile

Furthermore, small projects will usually be billed at higher per square foot rates. This is because all the prep time and clean up time will be the same from project to project – no matter how big the room is. When the room gets smaller, the contractor needs to make up the money for set up and prep time by increasing the cost per square foot.

When the room is larger, the contractor can charge less since the prep time and clean up time now consists of less of the project.

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Featured Image Credit: DUO Studio, Shutterstock


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