Average Cost to Install a Tile Floor in 2024

Flooring tiles can be relatively inexpensive, but pro installation boosts costs considerably.

Updated on May 20, 2024
By: John Riha

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Tile makes beautiful flooring that's durable, stain-resistant and virtually maintenance-free. Before you buy, it’s helpful to know the average cost to install tile so you can manage your remodeling budget accurately.

Geometric Floor Tiles And Walnut Kitchen Island In Midcentury Space

Modern Kitchen with Geometric Floor Tiles

A rich walnut kitchen island provides an antique Midcentury vibe, paired with white countertops and light, bleached wood cabinets. Colorful antique stools sit atop gray and white geometric floor tiles that extend throughout the kitchen and nearby dining space.

Photo by: RES4

RES4

Flooring tile comes in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures. Cost varies from anywhere from $2 to $30 per square foot. Floor tile is more expensive to install than wall tile. Professional installation adds $8 to $20 per square foot, depending on the amount of prep work required, putting the total average cost to install a tile floor at $10 to $50 per square foot, according to HomeGuide data.

Expect to pay $1,500 to $7,500 to install a tile floor in a 10x15-foot room (150 square feet). Decorative trim pieces and complex patterns can increase the cost considerably, both for the materials and for the labor to install them.

Many homeowners opt for durable glazed ceramic tile, with an installed price of $12 to $40 per square foot. It’s readily available, and the hard surface glazing comes in nearly unlimited hues. Other popular types of flooring tiles include:

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile: What's the Difference?

Ceramic and porcelain tiles share many similarities, but they also have noteworthy differences. Learn the pros and cons of each material to help you decide which is the better choice for your home

  • Quarry tile is unglazed ceramic tile. Pigments added to the clay body of the tile before firing give it rich, earthy colors. Retailer pricing indicates an average material-only price of about $4 per square foot.
  • Porcelain tile is extremely hard and durable. It comes either glazed or unglazed and is a good choice for outside installations. The installed price of porcelain averages $15 to $50 per square foot, according to HomeGuide.
  • Terra-cotta is an unglazed tile and is one of the least durable flooring tiles but needs periodic sealing to prevent stains. Tile retailers sell terra cotta for an average price of $2 per square foot. Be sure to buy terra-cotta tile rated for use on floors.
  • Stone tiles include granite, slate and marble, and are prized for their natural beauty. Most stone tiles require periodic maintenance to prevent staining. Prices start at $10 per square foot, according to HomeGuide.

DIY the Subfloor to Save Money

If you’d like to save on installation costs, DIYing it might be a tempting option. Setting your floor tile isn’t complicated, but it does require good preparation and some specialty products and tools. A good tile job starts with properly preparing the subfloor. To create a smooth, level surface for the tile, first install cement backer board. Backer board comes as 3x5-foot sheets and in various thicknesses. The boards are made of sand and cement that are reinforced with fiberglass mesh. They’re strong, rot-resistant and very stable — they won’t shrink or expand with changes in humidity. Backer board starts at about $11 per sheet.

With the exception of carpeting, you can install backer board directly over old flooring surfaces that are clean and free of defects. On concrete floors and existing ceramic tile floors, there’s no need for backer board — you can install the tile directly onto concrete and undamaged ceramic tile.

Cement backer board is glued and screwed to the subfloor. Cut backer board by scoring it with several passes of a utility knife, then apply pressure from the back of the cut to snap the board. Use a 1/4" notched trowel to spread thinset mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place a board onto the mortar bed and apply even hand pressure, then secure the board with special backer board screws driven with an electric drill-driver. Keep adjacent sheets about 1/4" apart, and tape the seams using special cement board self-adhesive mesh tape. Finish the joints by smoothing thinset over the tape.

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Harder than ceramic, porcelain tile is a smart choice for floors, countertops and walls because of its durability, beauty and countless design choices.

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How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Home

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