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  • Cost of Tiling a Bathroom

    See everything that you may need to know about tiling a bathroom, including the average cost of materials, labour and the time frames you can expect.

    Average Cost of Tiling a Bathroom:

    Depending on the complexity of the job, it usually takes: 1-4 days

    £750

    How Much Does Tiling a Bathroom Cost?

    Getting the right look in your bathroom can add value to your home. When buying a house no one wants, to have to redo the bathroom. Whether it is part of a whole bathroom refit or just a refresh of the room, tiling can be big, but a worthwhile job.

    The cost of tiling a bathroom varies a lot. The main factors are the area you want tiling, the type of tiles you choose, and who you hire to do the job. The average cost to fully tile a bathroom is between £500 and £800. This includes the cost of the materials (tiles, grout, and adhesive) as well as the cost of labour.

    Because there are so many factors that affect the price, you will have a lot of decisions to make. When making your decision remember that the bulk of the cost comes from the labour, as tiling can be a fiddly job to get right.

    Bathroom Tiling Prices

    There are several factors that will affect the total cost of tiling your bathroom. The first is the area that you choose to tile. The most expensive option is to tile the whole room; tiling the floors and the walls top to bottom. The cheapest option is to just tile above the sink. The next consideration is the material that the tiles are made from. There is a big difference between the cost of vinyl tiles and natural stone tiles. The size and shape of the room will have a large impact on the cost of not only materials but also labour. The more the tiles have to be cut, the more difficult and thus, expensive the job. Here are some example costs with some common job types.

    Job Description Tile Type Average Supply and Installation Cost
    Fully Tile a medium-sized bathroom, walls and floor Ceramic £900 - £2,050
    Fully Tile a medium-sized bathroom, walls and floor Granite £2,600 - £3,050
    Fully tile the walls of a medium-sized bathroom Ceramic £750 - £1,600
    Fully tile the walls of a medium-sized bathroom Granite £2,050 - £2,400
    Tile the floor of a medium-sized bathroom Ceramic £150 - £450
    Tile the floor of a medium-sized bathroom Granite £550 - £650
    Tile around the bath only Ceramic £375 - £800
    Tile around the bath only Granite £1,025 - £1,200
    Tile the splashback above the sink Ceramic £90 - £350
    Tile the splashback above the sink Granite £160 – £190

    Supply Only Cost

    When you add up the price of your tiles, don’t forget to buy tile for an area of about 10% more than you actually need. You need this extra because some of the tiles will need to be cut down to fit the shape of the room, so there is some wastage. The extra tiles also give you an allowance for breakages.

    When looking at the price of tiles, you may see the price quoted in different ways. You will likely see both costs per tile and cost per m2. The cost per tile can be deceptive, so it is best to compare the price per m2.

    Tile Materials

    Some tiles are only suitable for use on either walls or floors. You can get some styles that can be used in either place. In fact, most floor tiles can be used on walls. You should keep this in mind when you are picking out your tiles. There is not a consistent price difference between floor and wall tiles. Where they can be used is often determined by the type of material they are made from. Thus, the material choice is the bigger decider in cost.

    To give a comparison of cost based on material alone, the table shows the costs of different types of tile. They are all mid-sized, unpatterned wall tiles. This is the supply cost and not the installation cost.

    Material Cost per m2
    Ceramic £12- £50
    Glass £110 - £160
    Granite £80 - £90
    Limestone £50 - £80
    Marble £40 - £70
    Porcelain £50 - £100
    Quarry £20 - £30
    Quartzite £70 - £100
    Quartz and Resin £80 - £90
    Slate £40 - £50
    Terracotta £50 - £60

    Tile Sizes

    To compare the cost of tiles based on size, prices are given in the table for a range of tiles which are all made of ceramic and with no special patterns.

    Tile Size Cost per m2
    Small (around 20cm x 20cm) £10 - £50
    Medium (around 45cm x 45cm) £12 - £50
    Large (around 64cm x 64cm) £40 - £60
    Extra Large (around 90cm x 90cm) £40 - 80
    Mosaic £25 - £270
    Modular £50 - £70

    Tile Finishes

    The finish on the tile will affect not only the look but the feel of the finished product. To help with price comparison, the table contains prices for mid sized, unpatterned, ceramic tiles.

    Finish Cost per m2
    Glazed £50 - £70
    Gloss £10 - £60
    Matt £30 - £50
    Rustic £45 - £55
    Satin £20 - £80
    Textured £30 - £60

    Labour Costs and Time Frames

    The rate that a contractor will charge you will depend on a combination of the experience of the workman and your location. Obviously, a highly experienced tiler in London is going to cost you more than a novice in Yorkshire. Assuming that the walls and floors are prepared then it will cost you between £20 and £40 per square meter. For larger jobs that will take longer, you can expect to be charged between £150 and £200 per day. Some tiles are harder to fit, as they are difficult to cut. If you have chosen travertine tiles, you can expect to pay a little more for labour. The same is true for large areas of small tiles or tiles that are laid an unusual pattern.

    The time needed to tile a bathroom will vary based on a few different factors. The type of job will have a big effect. Jobs that require more tiles to be cut will take longer. Smaller tiles take a lot longer to lay than larger ones. The table below will give you a rough idea of how long you should expect different jobs to take.

    Job Duration Cost
    Fully tile a medium-sized bathroom, walls, and floor 4 days £600 - £800
    Fully tile the walls of a medium-sized bathroom 3 days £450 - £600
    Tile the floor of a medium-sized bathroom 1 day £150 - £200
    Tile around the bath only 1.5 days £225 - £300
    Tile the splashback above the sink 0.5 days £75 - £100

    Additional Costs

    Grouting and Adhesive

    For your grouting and adhesive, you will need to make sure that you select the correct type for the tiles that you are using. Your adhesive needs to be the correct strength to hold the weight of the tiles. You should pick grouting in a colour that works with your tiles. If you use a professional tiler, they will be able to select the correct types of adhesive and grouting for you.

    Adhesive costs around £20 for a bag that will cover 5m2. You can spend a little more on the pre-mixed adhesive, which will cost around £25 in the same area. Grout typically comes in bags that will cover 15m2, at the cost of £17 per bag.

    If you are buying your own grout and adhesive, be aware that you will probably not get the full area that it says on the bag. For instance, if a bag says it will cover 5m2, then you are more likely looking at between 3m2 and 4m2.

    Sealant

    Not all types of tile need to be sealed – for instance, most ceramic and porcelain tiles. Tiles made of natural stone will need to be sealed, as natural stone is porous.

    You may also need to seal the grout. If you have your tiles professionally fitted you will likely have to seal them yourself. This is because it can’t be done until the grout is cured. It is worth doing it though, as it will prevent the grout from becoming stained, and it will make it easier to clean.

    A sealant can be sprayed on easily and costs around £20.

    Removing Old Tiles

    If you have old tiles that need removing you can either do it yourself or ask your tiler to do it. If you ask your tiler to do the work, then you will need to pay them for their time, and to dispose of the old tiles. They will usually charge for the time it takes, rather than the amount of tile. You can expect to pay around £30 per hour of work.

    Preparing Walls and Subfloor

    If your walls and floors are very uneven, it may be necessary to do some remedial work on them before the tiles can be laid. This could mean installing new plasterboard or laying plywood on the floor. Moisture resistant plasterboard costs around £15 a sheet. Plywood is around £15 a sheet.

    The subsurface doesn’t have to be perfect; some imperfections can be disguised with clever use of adhesive, although this may mean you spend more money on adhesive. Avoid larger tiles as these will highlight any imperfections.

    Installing Underfloor Heating

    If you are retiling your bathroom floor, then this is a good opportunity to install underfloor heating. There is nothing more pleasant than a warm bathroom floor on a winter morning. There are different types of underfloor heating available, so the cost will depend on which you choose. It is typically in the region of £110 per m2.

    Installing a Wetroom

    While you are retiling, you may also wish to consider turning your bathroom into a wet room. Wetrooms can add value to your home. The costs will depend on the system you choose and the size of the room.

    Reducing Your Bathroom Tiling Costs

    Retiling a whole bathroom can be expensive. Most of the costs come from labour. So, there are a few ways that you can reduce the costs, and save a bit of money.

    Rip out the Old Tiles Yourself

    If you have old tile that needs removing then taking it out yourself is a good way to save money. It is not a difficult job. All you need is a hammer and a chisel. If there is a loose tile start there, otherwise just break a tile and remove the pieces. Then place the chisel behind each tile and hit it with the hammer to pull the tile away. Make sure to wear safety glasses, and cover up the floor, bath and sink to prevent any damage from the falling tiles. When the tiles are off, just remove the excess adhesive from the wall using your hammer and chisel.

    Taking out the tiles yourself will save you on the cost of labour for your contractor to remove them. Most contractors will charge around £30 an hour for this. For a fully tiled bathroom, this could take 6 hours. So, you could save £180.

    If you also dispose of the tiles yourself, you will need to take them to the tip. In some places, you may have to pay a small fee to dispose of old tiles, as they are considered rubble. The price will depend on where you live, but around £5 is usual. If your contractor takes them away, it will cost them more. Again, it depends on your location, but it can be around £30 for a business owner to dispose of old tiles.

    Source Your Own Tiles, Grout, and Adhesive

    Check what prices your tiler is going to charge you for sourcing tiles, grout, and adhesive. Then see what you can find. You might be able to find a better deal yourself. Just check with your tiler that they are happy with the grout and adhesive before you buy it.

    Have a Go Yourself

    Tiling isn’t too hard, especially if you don't need to cut the tiles. So, if you are only tiling small sections of yourself. For instance, the splashback over a sink is quite simple and straightforward to do. Just leave the harder bits for your tiler. This could save you around £75.

    Mosaic vs Border Tiles

    Patterned border tiles can be very expensive. Surprisingly mosaic tiles can be a cheaper alternative. Explore your options before you buy border tiles. 1 meter of inexpensive border tile can cost around £18. 1 meter of mosaic tile can cost £9.

    What's Involved with Tiling a Bathroom?

    The first step in tiling is to work out the layout. This involves figuring out the best place to start tiling so that as many whole tiles are used as possible, and cutting of tiles is minimised.

    The next step depends on where the tiles are starting from. If the tiles are not starting from a skirting board, then a tiling baton will be screwed onto the wall. This will hold the tiles level until the adhesive cures.

    The adhesive then goes onto the wall. The adhesive is spread on a small area and then formed into ribs so that the tiles can grip. The work is done in small sections so that the adhesive doesn’t dry before the tiles are applied.

    The tile is placed on the adhesive. The next tile is placed directly next to the first, before being slide just far enough to place a spacer. This will make sure the tiles are all evenly spaced.

    Trim will be added to any edges or recess once the rest of the tiles are in place.

    Once all the tiles are placed, and the adhesive has cured, grout is used to fill the gaps between tiles. The grout will need to be mixed to the right consistency before application. The grout will be spread across the surface of the tiles until the gaps are filled. The tiles are cleaned off once the grout has been given 5 - 15 minutes to dry a little.

    The same basic procedure is used to lay tiles on the floor. Care must be taken not to stand on the tiles until the adhesive has cured.

    The final step is to seal the tiles and grout.

    Choosing Your Tiles

    One of the biggest factors in choosing your tiles will be the look. If you have no strong feelings about the look of your tiles, then here are some pros and cons of each type of tile to help you choose.

    Ceramic

    Ceramic tiles typically cost between £12- £50 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Ceramic tiles are priced reasonably and come in different styles and finishes

    ✔ Most do not require sealing

    ✔ Highly durable

    ✔ Low maintenance

    Cons

    ✖ They can feel cold and hard underfoot

    ✖ Unglazed varieties need to be sealed

    ✖ Some may be too heavy for the upper floors.

    Glass

    Glass tiles typically cost between £110- £160 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Give a beautiful finish

    ✔ Easy to clean

    ✔ Do not need sealing as they do not absorb water

    Cons

    ✖ Hard to install so should be done by a professional

    ✖ They are expensive

    Granite

    Granite tiles typically cost between £80- £90 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Give a classic and timeless look

    ✔ Very durable with a long lifetime

    ✔ Can increase your home value

    ✔ Resistant to stains and scratches

    Cons

    ✖ Hard to install so should be done by a professional

    ✖ The tiles are heavy so may not be suitable for all floors

    ✖ Must be cleaned with care

    ✖ Need to be sealed

    Limestone

    Limestone tiles typically cost between £50- £80 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ A more affordable natural stone option

    ✔ Warm tones make them aesthetically appealing

    ✔ Environmentally friendly material

    Cons

    ✖ Must be cleaned with care

    ✖ Need to be sealed

    ✖ Softer than other natural stone so more prone to scratches

    Marble

    Marble tiles typically cost between £40- £70 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Gives an elegant finish

    ✔ Easy to polish

    ✔ Can increase your home value

    ✔ Works well with underfloor heating

    Cons

    ✖ Must be sealed

    ✖ Scratches and stains easily

    ✖ Slippery and cold underfoot

    Porcelain

    Porcelain tiles typically cost between £50- £100 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Very durable and hard-wearing

    ✔ Low maintenance

    ✔ Most don’t need to be sealed

    ✔ Comes in many different styles

    Cons

    ✖ Can be difficult to install as they are quite heavy

    Quarry

    Quarry tiles typically cost between £20- £30 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Good value tiles

    ✔ Very durable

    ✔ Resistant to scratches and chips

    Cons

    ✖ Stains easily

    ✖ Must be sealed before use

    Quartzite

    Quartzite tiles typically cost between £70- £100 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Gives an elegant finish similar to marble at a lower cost

    ✔ UV resistant so doesn’t fade in sunlight

    ✔ Very durable and easy to maintain<

    Cons

    ✖ Not good to use with underfloor heating

    ✖ Can be scratched somewhat easily

    ✖ Needs to be sealed

    ✖ Not many varieties

    Quartz and Resin

    Quartz and resin tiles typically cost between £80 - £90 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Non-porous, so are a natural stone that does not need sealing

    ✔ Has a naturally shiny finish

    ✔ Strong

    ✔ Very Hygienic, as water and bacteria can’t penetrate

    Cons

    ✖ Scratches easily

    ✖ The shine will fade over time

    ✖ Can be slippery

    Slate

    Slate tiles typically cost between £40- £50 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ One of the most durable natural stone options

    ✔ Naturally beautiful stone, with a unique finish

    ✔ Can increase your home value

    ✔ Works well with underfloor heating

    Cons

    ✖ Must be sealed

    ✖ Scratches and stains easily

    ✖ Texture can be unpleasant underfoot

    Terracotta

    Terracotta tiles typically cost between £50- £60 per m2.

    Pros

    ✔ Very durable finish

    ✔ Warmer underfoot than other natural options

    ✔ Comes in warm tones

    Cons

    ✖ Must be sealed, and may need to be resealed over time, as terracotta is highly porous

    ✖ The finish is not uniform

    ✖ Stains easily

    Natural Vs Man-made Tiles

    Natural stone tiles are timeless. They have been favourites for a long time and are unlikely to go out of style. Most types of natural stone need to be sealed to prevent water damage and staining. They are also often more expensive. Choosing natural stone tiles is usually a choice based on how they look.

    Your choices of natural stone tiles are:

    • Granite
    • Limestone
    • Marble
    • Quarry
    • Quartzite
    • Quartz
    • Slate
    • Terracotta

    Manmade tiles come in a wider range of finishes and patterns. They are cheaper, with the exception of glass, and easier to maintain.

    Your choices of manmade tiles are:

    • Ceramic
    • Glass
    • Porcelain

    Planning Your Tile Layout

    Before you begin installing your tiles, you should take the time to consider the layout of the tiles. If you just start in the corner and work out, you will often not have the optimal finish. It is good to start at the focal point of the room. This is often a window, the bath or the sink. You should make sure to have as many whole tiles at this point as possible.

    Try to avoid cutting tiles down to less than half their original size. The eye is drawn to these skinny tiles, and if they are numerous, it can make the whole effect look cheap.

    Think about the pattern you want to use for the tiles. There are a lot of options. Laying the tiles in even rows and columns is the simplest option. A slightly more interesting look is a brick pattern, where each row is slightly offset. Both of these options are quite easy to fit. More complicated patterns like chevrons or chess boards will take longer and increase the costs. However, they will give a more impressive finish.

    If part of the walls is uneven, you might want to consider using smaller tiles in these areas. The small tiles can hide the uneven walls and save you from having to replace the plasterboard.

    Things to Consider When Tiling a Bathroom

    Budget

    The first thing you should do is set a budget. Remember that the largest part of the cost is labour. If you can’t lay the tile yourself, then you will need to factor in the costs of a professional. Make sure to take this out of the budget before you fall in love with an expensive tile.

    Water Resistance

    The most important feature of any bathroom is water-resistance. You need to make sure that any area that might have water spilt is properly water resistant. This means you need to be aware of if your tiles need to be sealed, and if they need resealing over time.

    Amount of Tiles

    You also need to consider whether or not to tile the walls completely or just perhaps the bottom half of the walls; then, of course, there is the question of whether or not to tile the bathroom floor? Whatever you decide, remember that bathrooms are one of the most functional rooms in the home and are in use every day and therefore have to deal with a lot of wear and tear. So, it’s extremely important that you find a reputable and professional tradesman to perform the work to a good standard.

    DIY Bathroom Tiling

    Since the highest cost of tiling a bathroom is labour, doing it yourself is a good way to save money. The reason the labour is so expensive is that getting a good finish with tiles can be hard. You need to be patient and meticulous in your planning.

    If you are new to tiling, you should make sure the surface is as level as possible before you start. This will make it easy to get a good finish. The most important thing is to take your time. Do not try to do it at the same time as the professionals.

    You should also budget for a larger excess of tiles. This is because cutting tiles can be easy to mess up, so you will want to have more spares.

    If you want to save money, you could do the preparation work and the grouting yourself. This would leave the hardest part for the professionals. This way you will get a great finish, but it won’t cost you quite as much.

    Doing the grouting yourself could save you for paying for a whole day of work; this could save you between £150 and £200. Removing the old tile could save you a half-day of labour, so £75 - £100.

    Bathroom Tile Removal

    If you already have tile in your bathroom, it is a good idea to remove it before you put in new tile. It is possible to put new tiles over old. However, the adhesive for the old tiles will then be holding the weight of two sets of tiles. This increases the chances of the adhesive failing. If the adhesive is old, you have no way of knowing how strong it is. It is a much safer option to remove the old tiles.

    Your contractor will be able to remove your old tiles for you. Most charge based on the amount of time it takes, plus the cost to dispose of the tiles. A reasonable rate is around £30 per hour of work plus £30 for disposal. An average-sized bathroom will take around 6 hours to de-tile. In total it will cost £210 to remove the old tile from a bathroom.

    Hiring a Tiler Checklist

    If you are not confident about laying tiles yourself, then it is worth getting a professional in to do the work. Knowing you have the right tiler for the job can be tricky, so here are some things to look out for in a good tiler.

    • Look for a tiler who has lots of recommendations and is willing to let you talk to former clients. This is a great way to judge how happy you will be with their work.
    • Good tilers are not short of work. If there is no wait for them to get to your job, this could be a red flag. Good tilers will often have between 4 and 6 weeks’ worth of jobs lined up.
    • There are no required qualifications for tilers, but there are courses they could have taken. An NVQ or CITB qualification is a good sign.
    • Look for a tiler with who you have a good rapport. You need to share your vision with them, and they should be able to communicate costs and timeframes to you clearly.

    FAQs

    How Does The Substrate Affect The Cost Of Tiling?
    Most forms of masonry are suitable for tiling over. However, depending on the condition they are in, it may be necessary to prepare the substrate first. Concrete floors, in particular, require some care. If there is any sign of damp, then the adhesive will not hold. This means it may be necessary to apply a sealant layer before the adhesive is applied. This will increase the time for the job as well as the cost.
    Cement board is an ideal substrate and is easy to tile straight onto. Plywood is also good for tiling onto. The most important thing is that the surface is water-resistant. If it is not, then you will need to spend money to get it sealed before the job begins.
    How Long Will The New Tiles Last?
    Tiles are an excellent investment as they can last a lifetime if taken care of manmade tile can last for around 75 years. Natural stone tiles, when cared for properly, can last for more than 100 years.
    What Maintenance Is Needed?
    Tiles should be given a gentle clean as needed. You should avoid very alkaline products as these can remove the sealant layer from the tiles. If your tiles are made from a very porous material such as terracotta, then you should consider resealing them every few years. Sealing the grout as well as the tiles, will increase the lifetime of your tiling.
    Can You Just Replace The Grout On Old Tiles?
    It is possible to remove the grout from between old tiles and replace that. It can be a fiddly job to remove the grout, and you may damage the tiles in the process. If you like the tiles you have, but the grout is stained, then this is a good option. You might need to try and source some spare tiles, just in case of breakages when you are removing the old grout.
    Which Tiles Are Best For Underfloor Heating?
    When you are choosing tiles for underfloor heating, you should look for natural stone tiles. These are generally better at radiating heat than the manmade alternatives. It is also best to use larger tiles. This is because the grout will not conduct the heat as well as the tile, so it can be cooler underfoot. It is also a good idea to choose textured tile as you will likely be walking around barefooted.

    Sources

    https://www.toppstiles.co.uk/
    https://www.tiles-direct.com/
    https://ukbathroomguru.com/
    https://www.nu-heat.co.uk/underfloor-heating/costs/
    https://www.wallsandfloors.co.uk/blog/how-to-remove-old-tiles/
    http://buildipedia.com/at-home/floors/tile-flooring-101-care-and-maintenance?print=1&tmpl=component

    Last updated by MyJobQuote on 18th February 2020.

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