How Much Does It Cost to Tile a Shower?
Tile is a common material choice for a shower because of its affordability, durability, and customization options. The cost to tile a shower ranges from $225 to $1,920, with homeowners paying a national average of $900 for this project.
- The typical cost range to tile a shower is $225 to $1,920, with a national average cost of $900.
- Some of the factors that affect the cost a homeowner will pay to tile their shower include the shower size; tile shape, material, finish, and pattern; and the cost of labor to install the tiles.
- Tile has many benefits as a shower material, including affordability, durability, longevity, easy maintenance, eco-friendliness, and moisture resistance.
- While a handy homeowner may be able to complete a basic shower tiling project themselves, many homeowners will want to hire a professional to ensure a proper install.
Tile is a popular choice for a shower material, and for good reason. Not only does it look good, but it is also moisture-resistant, durable, and versatile, with numerous material, shape, size, and pattern options. Ceramic and porcelain tile are among the cheapest materials, which makes them a common material for a shower, while glass tiles are more expensive but can create a clean and modern look. Homeowners who are considering tiling their shower will likely be wondering exactly how much this project will cost them.
According to Angi, the cost to tile a shower ranges between $225 and $1,920, with homeowners paying an average of $900 nationally. The exact cost will vary depending on several factors, including the size of the shower, the type of tile a homeowner chooses, the installation pattern, the size of the tile, the tile finish, and the labor cost to install the tile. This guide will cover these factors, as well as some additional factors that may affect the cost, information on the different types of tile and their costs, the benefits of installing tile, ways to save money on tiling a shower, and questions to ask a contractor.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Tile a Shower
When it comes to tiling a shower, there are several factors that will affect the total shower installation cost. These include the size of the shower, the size and type of the tile, the tile pattern and finish, and the local labor cost.
The size of the shower is one of the most influential factors when it comes to the cost to tile a shower. The average cost to tile a shower, including materials and installation, is $25 per square foot. Thus, a larger shower will cost more to tile than a smaller one, simply because there is more surface area and therefore more material needed. Additionally, the project will take longer to complete. Walk-in showers can come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important for a homeowner to have a realistic expectation of the cost to tile a shower based on its size.
Homeowners have numerous choices when it comes to the type of tile they want to use in their shower—and some types of tile are more affordable than others. Ceramic and porcelain are popular choices as they are affordable, durable, and versatile. Homeowners looking for a higher-end finish might choose a tile material such as glass or pebble, but these materials have a much higher price range than other types of tile. Each type of tile is explained in more detail in a section below.
Bathroom tiles come in a variety of sizes, from small mosaic tiles to large subway tiles. Larger tiles can cost more to install because they require extra care when transporting to make sure they do not break. Many homeowners choose to install large tiles on the walls for a modern look, but it’s important to note that large tiles cannot be used for tile shower floor installation as they can’t slope toward the drain without cracking. Therefore, if a homeowner chooses large tiles for the floor, they’ll want to make sure they also choose smaller tiles measuring 2 inches or less for the floor.
Since tile is such a versatile material, homeowners can choose from numerous types of patterns and finishes for their shower. Some of the most common patterns are herringbone, subway tile, and pinwheel; the labor costs for each tile pattern, as well as other popular ones, are detailed in the table below.
|Pattern||Labor Cost Per Square Foot|
|Herringbone||$14.50 to $16.50|
|Natural stone||$10 and up|
|Staggered brick||$5 to $10|
|Subway tile||$7 to $13|
Another factor that can affect the average price to tile a shower is the tile finish the homeowner chooses. Glossy tiles are typically the cheapest option, but it’s not recommended to install them on a shower floor because they can become slippery when wet and are therefore hazardous. Tiles with a matte finish are more commonly used in showers since they are grippier, but they also have the highest price per square foot. Rustic tiles have a more chiseled appearance and are often handmade; these can be a good option for a shower. Finally, metallic tiles are finished with a glaze that contains metal, which can result in a more industrial look. The average cost ranges per square foot for these tile finishes are listed in the table below.
|Finish||Materials Cost Per Square Foot||Installation Cost Per Square Foot|
|Glossy||$1.25 to $50||$4.25 to $65|
|Matte||$3 to $50||$6 to $65|
|Metallic||$20 to $50||$23 to $65|
|Rustic||$3 to $100||$13 to $110|
Homeowners can expect the labor cost to install shower tile to run between $7 and $14 per square foot. Since some types of tile are more difficult to install than others, this can increase the cost of labor. Additionally, some tile materials require sealing, which will increase the project time frame—and therefore the cost.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Although the aforementioned cost factors will come into play in most shower tiling projects, there are additional factors that homeowners may need to consider when setting a budget. These extra factors include old tile removal, waterproofing, heated floor installation, threshold installation, and choosing custom tiles.
Old Tile Removal
If the shower has existing tile, the homeowner will need to have it removed before they can begin installing new tile. It can cost an additional $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot for a contractor to remove old tile from a shower. Homeowners may want to try tackling this project themselves to save money, but removing tile incorrectly can damage the shower or flooring, and repairs would add to the overall cost. Therefore, many homeowners choose to leave the removal of old tile to a professional.
Because a shower is a wet environment, it’s important to make sure the new tiles are completely sealed and waterproofed. It typically costs an additional $1 per square foot to add a waterproof membrane to the tile backing board before the tile is installed. Skipping this step can cause future issues, so it’s generally advised for a homeowner to include waterproofing in their budget unless the area already has a waterproof membrane installed.
Heated Floor Installation
When tiling a shower, a homeowner may want to tackle other projects in the bathroom, such as installing a heated floor. This typically costs between $1,700 and $6,000 depending on the size of the area to be heated. If the shower has been thoroughly waterproofed, a homeowner may opt to extend the heated bathroom flooring to include the shower floor, though this will likely push the price up due to the additional area. Heated floors will generally need to be installed by one of the best tile floor installation services to ensure the job is done correctly and to code. A pro can also help the homeowner choose the best bathroom tile floor option for their space.
Installing a marble threshold is a relatively affordable add-on to a shower tiling project at a cost of $30 to $75 for installation. A homeowner may be able to find a slab that matches their countertop—especially if they are tiling the shower as part of a larger bathroom renovation cost—or they may choose to purchase a premade threshold.
For a truly one-of-a-kind look, a homeowner may opt to have custom tiles made for their shower. However, choosing custom tiles over machine-made ones can increase the project cost dramatically. Custom tile shower cost can be high since custom tiles are often made by hand, and this can increase the overall cost exponentially. However, if a homeowner has a large enough budget, choosing custom tiles over machine-made ones can result in a truly one-of-a-kind shower.
Types of Shower Tile
One of the main factors affecting the cost to tile a shower is the type of tile a homeowner chooses. The most popular tile materials for showers and their costs (including installation) are explained in the following table.
|Type of Tile||Average Cost Per Square Foot|
|Ceramic||$8 to $25|
|Glass||$32 to $57|
|Granite||$10 to $65|
|Limestone||$23 to $60|
|Marble||$18 to $65|
|Pebble||$40 to $70|
|Porcelain||$15 to $47|
|Quarry pavers||$15 to $40|
|Slate||$13 to $16|
|Terra cotta||$10 to $30|
Ceramic is one of the most affordable tiles to install in a shower at $8 to $25 per square foot. This relatively low cost, as well as the material’s durability, makes a ceramic tile shower a popular choice for many homeowners. Additionally, ceramic tiles are available in many different color and style choices, which makes it an easy material for homeowners to match to their existing bathroom decor.
Glass tile is very tricky to install, as well as being the most expensive tile option at $32 to $57 per square foot. Because glass tiles are translucent, they must be installed carefully and precisely, typically by a professional with experience installing this type of tile. Installed incorrectly, glass tile can look shoddy, since any flaws will show through to the surface. Despite its high cost, glass tile is a good choice for a shower because it is nonporous.
Granite tile costs between $10 and $65 per square foot to install. It has a similar look to a polished stone tile but is much easier to take care of, making it a good choice for homeowners who prefer low-maintenance materials.
Limestone tile offers a rustic finish in a shower and costs between $23 and $60 per square foot to install. Because limestone is a porous material, it will need to be sealed when it’s first installed, and then sealed regularly to maintain its beautiful appearance.
Marble shower tiles have an installation cost ranging from $18 to $65. Like limestone, marble will require sealing at the time of installation and regular resealing to avoid unsightly stains appearing over time.
Pebble tile can be used for an entire shower or for an accent wall and costs between $40 and $70 per square foot to install. This material is made by gluing numerous small pebbles together to create a textured and natural-looking surface that gives a shower an earthy ambiance.
Porcelain is another popular and affordable tile option at $15 to $47 per square foot. Porcelain is durable and resistant to staining, cracking, scratching, and moisture damage. This makes it a common choice for homeowners who are adding tile to their shower.
Installing quarry pavers in a shower costs between $15 and $40 per square foot. Quarry pavers are made from clay and can either be glazed or unglazed. Unglazed pavers look similar to natural terra cotta, which can give a shower a unique finish. Quarry pavers are also available in many different color and pattern choices and must be sealed when installing in a wet location such as a shower.
Slate shower tiles cost between $13 and $16 per square foot to install. Slate is an ideal material for a wet area such as a shower and can lend a rustic and natural look to a bathroom. Homeowners can opt for polished slate as well, though that will come at an additional cost.
Terra-cotta tiles have a cost range of $10 to $30 per square foot, including installation. Like quarry pavers, clay is porous and must be sealed when it’s being installed in a shower. Terra cotta is also available either glazed or unglazed.
Benefits of Tiling a Shower
Tile has numerous advantages as a material for shower walls and floors, including moisture resistance, easy maintenance, durability, affordability, eco-friendliness, and endless customization options. While the cost to replace a bathtub with a tiled shower can run in the thousands, many homeowners find this cost worth it due to the benefits of a tiled shower, which are explained in more detail below.
Tile can help increase the moisture resistance of a shower—especially if a homeowner chooses a nonporous material such as ceramic or glass. Tiling a shower can protect the walls and floor from moisture damage, as well as mold and mildew growth, which will help the shower last longer. If using a porous material, homeowners will want to make sure they have the tile sealed thoroughly to prevent damage from water.
Tile is an easy material to maintain. Regular cleaning can help reduce the amount of soap scum and dirt on the surface so the tile can retain its aesthetic appearance. Homeowners will also want to clean the grout around the tiles and regrout every year or so to keep the tiled shower looking fresh. When properly maintained, shower tile can last for decades.
Tile materials such as ceramic and porcelain are extremely durable, which makes them ideal for use in a shower. Durable tiles are less prone to staining, and they are less likely to experience damage such as cracks and scratches. Ceramic and porcelain tile can last 60 to 80 years if properly cared for, and some stone tiles can last 100 years or more.
Tile is generally an affordable shower material. Although homeowners can opt for more expensive materials, such as glass tiles, there are plenty of lower-cost options, which makes tile accessible to homeowners no matter their budget. Ceramic tiles are typically the most cost-effective choice.
Tile is a natural material that doesn’t contain any chemicals, plastics, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This means there will be no off-gassing during the tile installation process, leading to a healthier environment in the home. In addition, since tiles can last for decades when properly maintained, a homeowner will use fewer materials over their lifetime.
Tiles come in a wide variety of materials, colors, shapes, and sizes, which makes them easy to match with the bathroom’s existing decor. There are numerous customization options, from mosaic to curves and circles, which allows homeowners to design a customized and unique tiled shower that they can enjoy for years to come—even in an awkwardly shaped space.
Tiling a Shower: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
As with any home project, a homeowner may wonder whether they should do a DIY bathroom remodel or hire a pro to install their shower tile. For some homeowners with DIY experience, tiling a shower may be something they can tackle on their own. DIY shower tiling entails measuring, cutting, and leveling, as well as actually installing the tiles on the wall. The project will also require a number of tools that the average homeowner likely doesn’t have lying around the house. For this reason, many homeowners will hire a professional to complete their shower tiling project.
Homeowners will also want to consider the type of tile they’re installing in the shower. Materials like glass and slate can be difficult to work with, and if they are installed incorrectly the results can be quite unattractive. Homeowners may consider painting bathroom tiles in the shower rather than installing new tiles, but it’s generally not recommended to do so in high-moisture areas such as a shower. In addition, a shower with poorly installed tiles can sustain water damage, potentially leading to mold growth. If that happens, the cost to remove the tiles, get rid of the mold, and install new tiles will likely cancel out any shower remodel cost savings a homeowner saw from installing the tiles themselves. For this reason and many others, it’s generally recommended for most homeowners to hire a professional tile installer for this project.
How to Save Money on the Cost to Tile a Shower
Bathroom tile installation can be expensive. Even though tiling a shower is only a small project compared to a full bathroom remodel, it can still be a lot of money for a homeowner to pay. The following are some ways a homeowner can save money when installing new tile in their shower.
- Choose a cheaper tile. Ceramic and porcelain tile are generally cheaper than materials such as glass or pebble.
- Skip the tile floor. Using a shower pan made of a material such as acrylic or fiberglass can help save on the cost of tile.
- Keep fixtures in the same location. Moving fixtures around will add to the cost.
- Get multiple estimates. It’s generally recommended for homeowners to get estimates from at least three different companies when planning a home improvement project. This can help a homeowner find a trustworthy contractor at a reasonable price.
Questions to Ask About Tiling a Shower
When hiring a professional to tile their shower, homeowners will want to make sure the person or company they hire is qualified and trustworthy. The following are some questions homeowners can ask a tile installer before signing a contract and beginning the project.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Have you worked with this type of tile before?
- Will you pull any necessary permits, or will I be required to pull them?
- Do you have any memberships or certifications from the tile industry?
- Do you offer a warranty on your work, and if so, what are the terms?
- What is your preferred waterproofing system?
- What is your daily work schedule?
- Can you provide me with customer reviews or references?
- What are your jobsite safety protocols?
- How do you handle disputes?
- What payment methods do you accept?
- Do you offer a payment plan, and if so, what are the terms?
It’s natural for homeowners to have questions about a home project before deciding to move forward. The following frequently asked questions and answers can help aid homeowners’ understanding of a shower tiling project so they can feel confident getting started.
Q. How much does it cost to tile an entire shower?
It costs between $225 and $1,920 to tile a shower, with a national average cost of $900. Tiling an entire shower will likely fall closer to the top of the cost range, depending on the size of the shower and the type of tile chosen. Tile installation cost can increase if a homeowner chooses to tile the entire bathroom rather than just the shower.
Q. How long do shower tiles last on average?
Shower tiles made from porcelain or ceramic can last around 60 to 80 years if properly maintained, which involves regular cleaning, annual sealing, and regrouting the tile about every 10 years.
Q. Can I tile directly on drywall in the shower?
Tiling directly over drywall is not recommended because drywall alone will not resist moisture. Homeowners will need to apply a waterproof backing material over the drywall and then tile on top of that. If they tile on top of the drywall directly they’re likely to experience water damage and even mold and mildew growth.
Q. How long does it take to tile a shower?
The exact time can vary depending on the size of the shower and the scope of the project, but in general a professional can tile a shower within a day. Handy homeowners who go the DIY route will likely take 3 or 4 days, or around 16 hours, to complete the project.
Q. Why do tiles fall in showers?
If properly installed, tiles should not fall off the walls in showers. This can happen if the installer didn’t add a waterproof backing material to the drywall before installing the tile. Another cause could be chalk residue left on the tiles before installation—an easy way to avoid this is to wipe the tiles down before they are installed in the shower. Finally, improper grouting or poorly applied adhesive can sometimes cause tiles to fall.
Q. How often should I seal shower grout?
This will depend on the type of grout used. Presealed grouts may not require sealing, while others, such as epoxy grout, may need to be resealed once or twice a year. Homeowners can ask their shower tile installer how they can best maintain their shower to keep it looking good for years to come.