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Cost to Retile A Shower

Over time, existing shower tile can become damaged and dirty. Mold, mildew, soap scum and other unwanted growths can accumulate on existing shower tiles and be difficult to remove. Homeowners who have had a hard time removing years of this material off their existing tiles may want to consider the option of retiling their showers. This is often the best or only way to get the shower looking like new again. Retiling a shower consists of completely knocking out the existing tile and installing new tile. The process can be a bit pricey and time consuming, but many homeowners agree that it is well worth it.

The Costs

Reported cost of shower retiling per 100 square feet:

  • Average - $1,250
  • Minimum - $1,100
  • Maximum - $1,500

About Shower Retiling

Homeowners who plan on listing their homes for sale in the near future should think about retiling. Studies have shown that the bathroom and kitchen are the two most important rooms of the house among potential buyers. If the kitchen or bathrooms are outdated or dirty, buyers are more likely to be turned off from considering the home as an option. On the other hand, a home with an updated kitchen or bathroom is more likely to become a top contender for a potential buyer, even if other areas of the home may be lacking. Therefore, homeowners with damaged or dirty existing shower tile can certainly benefit from a retiling job. Of course, the cosmetic appeal of new shower tiling alone may be enough to lead a homeowner towards retiling a shower, even if he or she does not plan on selling in the near future. 

Materials for Shower Retiling: Advantages and Disadvantages

Before the job can be completed, homeowners will need to decide what type of tile to use for the project. The two most popular options are ceramic and porcelain. The good news is that it does not matter what type of tile was previously used. Since it will all be ripped out, homeowners can choose whichever option is best for them in terms of their budgets and desires.

Ceramic is the less expensive option of the two, typically ranging between $.10 and $.20 per tile. However, the cost can vary depending on the size and color of the tile. Ceramic comes in a variety of shapes, designs and colors, making it a great option for those who want to get creative with their retiling designs. While ceramic is the more affordable option, however, the fact remains that it is not quite as durable as porcelain. Therefore, while it may initially be cheaper to use ceramic over porcelain, homeowners may find themselves spending more in repair and maintenance costs for the tile down the road.

Porcelain, on the other hand, does tend to be more expensive but is also significantly more durable than ceramic. It also requires very little maintenance, so homeowners do not have to worry about repairs and replacement down the road in most cases. Like ceramic, porcelain also comes in a variety of colors, shapes and styles, though the natural color of porcelain is a crisp white. Unlike ceramic, porcelain comes as a smooth surface tile, so there are not quite as many options when it comes to texture.

The Retiling Process 

Homeowners considering a shower retile should hire a professional to make sure the job gets done right and in a timely manner. Even the most experienced DIY homeowners can otherwise expect to spend an entire weekend removing the existing tile and installing the new tile. Along the way, even the smallest mistake can be very costly. For this reason, hiring a professional is almost always the way to go.

Still, homeowners should do their best to prepare for a contractor to come complete the work by at least having some idea of what to expect. The process of retiling a bathroom is actually quite straightforward. The contractor will most likely start by using a chisel to get rid of existing tile. It will have to be chipped away a little bit at a time, which can be time consuming because it needs to be done carefully so as not to damage the drywall underneath.

Once the existing tile is chipped away, the surface will need to be smoothed out to make way for the new tile and grout. This step is especially important because if the surface is not level and smooth, the new tile job will be uneven and will likely not last as long. A sander will probably be used by the contractor to smooth out the surface as needed. Once that is done, he or she will apply grout to the surface and begin laying each tile one at a time, being careful to ensure that the tiles are properly spaced out. This step can also be time consuming, though it depends on the size of the tiles and the level of experience the contractor has.

Cost Considerations

Homeowners should keep in mind that not all contractors will include labor costs with their written estimates. If this is the case, then homeowners can usually expect to spend about $600 to $800 in labor alone. After all, the retiling process is very time consuming. It is actually not uncommon for homeowners to spend more on the labor and installation costs than on the materials themselves. Furthermore, contractors may offer to dispense of the existing tile at an additional cost, usually around $20 to $40. Homeowners looking to save money, however, can do this part themselves if so desired.

The best way to save on shower retiling is to not only shop around for the best labor costs but to buy the materials oneself. This way, homeowners can make sure they get the best possible price for the particular type of tile they want.

Retiling a shower can be a great project for those looking to revamp an existing bathroom, boosting its resale value in the process. Homeowners should be careful to choose the tile type that is right for them in addition to shopping around for the best deals.

Last updated on May 12, 2016

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