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Shower Tiling Cost

Get free estimates from local Shower tile contractors.

More often than not, shower tile attracts the eye before any other design element in your bathroom. While replacing your shower tile is a demanding project, many homeowners and contractors can complete the project within one or two days. See why new shower tile is all the rave and its associated costs.

If you’re ready to update your shower tile, let us help you connect with shower contractors near you!

Table of Contents

  1. Cost To Tile A Shower
  2. Showing Tiling Cost Factors
  3. Shower Tile Types & Costs
  4. Advantages Of Tile Showers
  5. Disadvantages Of Tile Showers
  6. How Much Shower Tile To Buy
  7. DIY Or Hire A Pro?
  8. How To Tile A Shower
  9. Find A Pro

Cost To Tile A Shower

The average cost to tile a shower varies greatly. In addition to endless options of tile, your shower size greatly affects the total cost. Nevertheless, the average material costs for shower tiles are:

  • Lowest Cost: $0.50 per square foot of ceramic tile
  • Highest Cost: $84 per square foot of Kohler glazed porcelain accent tile

In regards to tile installation costs, you can expect to pay an average of $25 per square foot, depending on the grade of material that is used. For a medium-sized shower, the price can cost about $2,000.

Tile installation materials include:

  • Cement Backer Board: $10 per sheet
  • Redgard Waterproofing & Crack Prevention Membrane: $50
  • Adhesive: $50
  • Trim & Bullnose Cap & Edge Tiles: $150 to $200
  • Thinset & Grout: $50 

Cost To Tile A Shower

Showing Tiling Cost Factors

Given the wide range above, it’s no surprise that many factors can drastically increase or decrease your shower tile installation cost. Bear all these in mind as you retile your existing shower or install a brand new shower.

Type Of Tile 

As you’ll see below, the type of shower tile you choose will play a big role in your total cost. In fact, if you do this on your own, no single cost factor will play a bigger part in your shower tiling cost. That’s because certain shower tiles, such as ceramic or porcelain, cost as little as $0.50/sf, but metal tile can cost as much as $57/sf. Small showers may only need 40sf of tile, but others require up to 200sf of tile. Once your tile cost gets above $5/sf, your shower tiling price starts to magnify.

Labor Cost

Installing shower tile is a time-consuming process. In addition, it takes precision to get the job done right, so whether you have 10 years of experience or two, it’s going to take time to finish. Since it’s such a demanding project, most shower contractors charge at least $10/sf to install new shower tile. If you see anything lower, be weary of the final product. It may not be up to your standard.

Tile Size 

Sadly, there is no quick way install multiple shower tiles. You have to add them one at a time. If you’ve never installed tile before, a DIY project could take up to five hours of hard work. As such, to lower your tile cost, install larger shower tiles. While they’re certainly heavier, you don’t have to install as many tiles as you would with small subway tiles. More often than not, larger tiles cut the installation time in half, which naturally reduces the cost to tile a shower.

Tile Removal 

Chances are, you already have a shower in place (if not, you need to consider shower installation costs). Therefore, if you’re changing up your tile, you’ll have to remove your existing tile. Tile removal is not as demanding as installation, but it’s still a labor-intensive job. Furthermore, you have to be careful not to damage the drywall or any studs behind the shower. If you do, your costs just went up.

Most shower contractors can remove the old shower tile, but that service does not come without a cost. Expect to pay about $300 extra to remove existing shower tile.

Materials 

Certain showers are in better shape than others. Some need new waterproofing membranes and others need new drywall. Nevertheless, besides the actual tile, certain material costs should be considered for any tiling project. Luckily, as you saw above, most do not exceed $200.

Shower Design

Finally, your tile design will factor into your shower tiling price. In essence, the more complicated the design, the more expensive your tiling project will be. That’s because it’s much easier to install tile going straight up and across as opposed to a diagonal or herringbone pattern. Complicated designs add time to the project and like any industry, time is money.

For intricate patterns, expect to pay an additional 20% on your tile shower cost.

Showing Tiling Cost Factors

Shower Tile Types & Costs

There are so many kinds of shower tile to consider that making a final choice can be difficult. Where to start and how to choose a particular style depends on your particular taste as well as budget. Prices not only vary by the type of tile, but also the manufacturer. For instance, tile produced by Kohler and Platinum Ceramics are priced much higher than similar products by other manufacturers. 

Just about any type of tile can be applied to a shower as long as it’s waterproof, durable and correctly installed. Homeowners can go online and browse the many styles of shower tile or visit local remodeling stores for inspiration. This is especially helpful for those who are building a new home or simply desire a new flare for the bathroom. 

Material

Low Cost

High Cost

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

$0.50/sf

$15/sf

Slate Tile

$2.50/sf

$10/sf

Limestone Tile

$2/sf

$11/sf

Granite Tile

$3.50/sf

$7/sf

Travertine Tile

$3/sf

$30/sf

Marble Tile

$5/sf

$50/sf

Glass Mosaic Tile

$6/sf

$30/sf

Polished Stone Tile

$10/sf

$12/sf

Metal Tile

$12/sf

$57/sf

Ceramic tile, also known as terracotta or Saltillo tile, is one of the lowest-priced options on the market. Besides being extremely economical, it’s also very popular and comes in many varieties, sizes and shades. The least-expensive ceramic tile comes in smaller sizes while the larger sizes offer a distinctive and individual look. Prices range from $0.50/sf of ceramic tile to $15/sf. There are bulk loads of ceramic tile available at prices of $2.84/sf, which is equivalent to about $3,000 to cover 1,056 square feet. 

Porcelain tile is basically the same as ceramic tile in composition; however, it’s harder and more moisture resistant than ceramic tile because it is less porous. For this reason, it is slightly higher in price than ceramic. This type of tile is also very popular for showers because of its high-quality features and wide range of designs. Porcelain is available in styles that look very much like natural stone, such as limestone and granite, and can be purchased glazed and unglazed. Yet, it comes with a much more affordable price tag.

Stone or quarry tile is generally the most expensive grade of shower tile available because of its high quality. Stone tile comes in limestone, slate, marble, travertine, granite and many polished stone varieties. Eye-catching colors and styles of stone tile can give a bathroom a timeless look. Although it’s noted that quarry tile tends to absorb moisture, which leads to mold and mildew buildup, it’s also surprisingly naturally resistant to water and very durable, making it a good choice as a shower wall tile. Prices for different stone wall tile are listed below: 

  • Limestone averages $5/sf.
  • Slate wall tile costs $3.78/sf.
  • Marble floor tile are readily available at an average of $7/sf, and polished marble wall tile can be found at $10.90/sf. It can also be purchased in half square-foot pieces (6 inches by 6 inches) at $713 for eight pieces.
  • Travertine tile can be purchased for as little as $3/sf
  • Granite shower tile is available at an average of $3.49/sf to $6.99/sf.
  • Polished stone wall tile comes in many choices, including pebble stone that costs about $10/sf and $12/sf for a smooth surface polished stone tile.

To create a contemporary-looking bathroom, glass tile is a good selection. For those who want to get creative, there are endless shapes, colors and sizes to choose from. Glass mosaic wall tile averages about $6 to $30/sf. 

Metal wall tile comes in a huge array of styles, colors and textures to create a very unique-looking bathroom. Brushed steel, pewter, bronze and copper are just some of the types of metal wall tile, which can also be mixed with glass tiles for an elegant look. Prices average at about $15/sf for metal mosaic tile mixed with glass and about $12/sf for stainless steel tile. Pricier grades of metal wall tile can be as high as $57/sf.

Shower Tile Types & Costs

Advantages Of Tile Showers

Much like any area of the home, your shower design should focus on two elements: function and design.

In terms of function, no other shower material is better than tile. Shower tile is very durable, can last for more than 10 years (if styles don’t change) and is very easy to maintain and clean. Unlike other materials, high-quality tile and glazed tile will resist water, staining, scratches and fading, making it ideal for high traffic and wet areas such as bathroom showers. In terms installation, while it’s time consuming, ceramic tile is easy to cut and install.

For design, tile is by far the most popular material used for showers across the country. Not only will it add beauty to a bathroom, but tile also adds value to the home. Adding beautiful subway tile to any shower will certainly give your bathroom the design pop you desire. Furthermore, adding different colors or patterns increase your home’s value that much more.

Disadvantages Of Tile Showers

Of course, there are some drawbacks to tile as well. First and foremost, the initial tile shower cost is not cheap. As you saw above, some tile costs as much as $57/sf. In terms of durability, various finishes of some shiny tiles may easily scratch, and glazing can eventually wear off. Unglazed and soft-stone tile such as limestone can absorb moisture, causing algae problems and increasing maintenance. Small tile, such as mosaics will require more cleaning, and granite tile tends to stain easily.

Advantages Of Tile Showers

How Much Shower Tile To Buy

With the costs out the way, we can jump into shower tile installation. Before you get your hands dirty, you have to go out and actually buy the shower tile. To do so, you need to know exactly how much shower tile to buy. You could use our tile calculator or just do some basic math. 

Once you measure the area's total square footage, multiply that number by 115% (1.15). This accounts for mistakes, the edges of the room or even slight miscalculations in your measurements. Once you know exactly how much tile you need, determine the price per square foot and compare to other materials mentioned above.

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

Considering all said above and the fact that the labor cost to install a tile shower is not cheap, you know this is not an hour-long project. Removing and installing new shower tile is demanding and takes steady hands to get it down right. Furthermore, more often that, you may have to use to a wet tile saw to cut tiles to specific lengths you need (corners and edges). As you might expect, those machines can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Nevertheless, some homeowners forgo that $15 labor cost per hour and install their shower tile themselves.

How To Tile A Shower

If you’ve decided to install your new shower tile without a professional contractor, you’ve come to the right place. Once you have the correct amount of shower tile at home, it’s time to get to work. But first, you need the right tools: 

  • New Tile
  • Utility Knife, Chisel Or Putty Knife
  • Hammer
  • Sander
  • Scrub Brush
  • Grout
  • Grout Trowel
  • Mortar Mix
  • Mortar Trowel
  • Paint Remover
  • Tile Spacers
  • Caulk
  • Goggles
  • Gloves

Remove Old Shower Tile

First, remove the shower head and shower handle. You may need a drill or screwdriver. Then, cover the shower floors to prevent damage from falling tile. You can use multiple towels or cardboard.

Take your hammer and chisel and start from the bottom corner. Gently place chisel on side of tile and use the hammer to push the tile out. Start gently. As you move on, you may have to use some real elbow grease to get these tiles out.

Be very careful with tile along the walls and ceiling. Use your utility knife and make a cut along the top, bottom and side tile along the ceiling, floors and walls. Be very careful with these tiles. You don’t want to ruin the walls, ceilings or floors.

Retile the Shower

Once you thoroughly clean the shower (all surfaces need to be smooth), it’s time to install the new shower tile. Starting off, cover the bottom half of the wall with thinset mortar and spread it with your mortar trowel. Press down hard with your trowel. Make sure it’s clean and even throughout the wall.

Set the bottom row of tile in place, starting at the center of the vertical line you drew earlier. Press the tiles into the mortar with spacers between them. Work your way to the sides, cutting the end tiles if you need. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting tile yourself, take it your nearest Home Depot and they can do it for you.

Add Grout

Remove the spacers from the mortar. Spread grout over the walls from the top to the bottom, pressing it into the spaces with the grout trowel. Use a damp sponge to clean off any excess grout as soon as possible. Be persistent with cleaning. The grout could harden and stick to your brand new tile.

Grout all lines except the vertical lines along the walls and horizontal lines along the floor. Let the grout set for 24 hours. Finally, caulk the vertical lines along the wall and the horizontal lines along the floor. Let grout and caulk set for 48 hours before using the shower. 

For a more detailed description of each step, please see How To Retile A Shower.

Find A Pro

Adding new tile to your shower can get expensive, but if done right, the final product will not only enhance your shower experience, but also increase the value of your home. If you’re ready for this very popular upgrade, let us help you find up to four bathroom contractors near you!

Get free estimates from local shower tile contractors

Last updated on Mar 1, 2017

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