How Much it Costs to Tile a Bathroom

A bathroom sink with white tiles around it

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August 4, 2023

If there is one room in the home that is just made for tiles, it’s the bathroom.

That’s because tiles are easy wipe-clean, robust when it comes to water splashes, and they’re also hygienic. Not only that, but they look great and are perfect for providing a spa-bathroom feel.

Not all tiles are equal though. Some tiles can prove extremely expensive while others can look equally spectacular at just half the cost. Of course, there are other factors involved too when it comes down to the cost of tiling your bathroom.

The type of grout, adhesive and other materials you choose, the size of the surface area to be tiled, and whether you plan on doing the tiling job yourself or hiring a professional tiler, will all affect the price too.

In this article, we will give you the ground rules to equip you with the knowledge of how much to tile a bathroom – whether that’s cost-wise or the number of tiles you will need to complete the job.

Factors That Affect Tiling Costs

It can cost up to £800 to completely tile the wall and floors in an average bathroom. But that’s just a ballpoint figure because really there are a number of factors to take into account. These include your choice of tiles and, of course, just how much of an area you want covering.

A modern bathroom with blue tiles

Style of Tiles

The bathroom tiles you choose can be plain or patterned and large or tiny mosaics. Plain (self-coloured) tiles cost around £50 per m2, while patterned tiles take a little longer to put together so may cost £60 to £70 per square metre (m2).

Your tiler will also have more of a job if the tiles are to be fitted around pipes and other wall items. Mosaic tiles are more expensive, at around £30 per 200-300mm square sheet.

Type of Tiles

The type of bathroom tiles you can use range from ceramic and porcelain to glass tiles and even wood-effect versions. It’s not a bad idea to buy an additional 10 per cent of tiles than you need in case of mistakes or breakages etc (especially if you plan on tiling the bathroom yourself).

The Size of the Area to Be Tiled

It is usual to be quoted per m2 of wall or floor that needs tiling. But not all walls, or even floors for that matter, are equal. Some walls are sloping, others are uneven and there may be very tight spaces in your bathroom. Awkward surfaces will result in the job taking longer which will, of course, add to the cost if you plan on using a professional tiler.

Location

Where you live will have a bearing on the cost of tiling a bathroom. You can expect to pay more for a tiler in London, for instance, than a city in the north of the country.

Paying Per M2 V Per Day

If your tiler prefers to charge per day rather than surface covered (ie per m2) then if may work out less expensive. That’s because the more expert he or she is, the quicker they will tile. Your tiler may provide a quote in days, rather than metres squared.

DIY Vs Hiring a Professional

You may be tempted to tile the bathroom yourself. That’s fine if you have the time (around one week), patience and the ability to overlook a bit of a botched job here and there.

Tiling is a skill and an experienced professional tiler will make a beautiful job of your bathroom. You, on the other hand, might find yourself getting frustrated – especially if there are tight corners and uneven surfaces, or you are trying to piece together a pattern.

If you don’t mind the bathroom looking like it’s been tiled by an amateur then go right ahead. You will save on the labour costs of a professional tiler, but be warned – there has been many an individual who started out as a DIY bathroom tiler, only to quit and hire a professional tiler in the end anyway.

Costs Breakdown for Tiling a Bathroom

You can expect to pay on average, between £800 to £1,200 to have your bathroom walls and flooring fully tiled. Tiling around a bath will cost up to £300, for example.

Tile Costs

In terms of tiles, if you are wondering how much to tile a bathroom and what the resultant cost will be there’s an easy measurement technique. Simply work out how many m2 there are in the area you want to tile.

If you have more than one area in the bathroom that you want to tile ie if you’re zoning a shower, in addition to tiling above a sink and the bath, then get the measurements individually and total them.

  • Plain tiles (which are self-coloured and not patterned) can usually be purchased for around £50 per m2.
  • Mosaic bathroom tiles will come in more expensive, at around £100 per m2,
  • Decoratively patterned tiles can cost as much as £200 per m2.

Material of tiles

Most bathroom tiles are either ceramic or porcelain. These are produced by mixing various clays and pressing them into a tile shape. This is then fired at high temperatures in a kiln. They’re not always square, of course. Rectangular ‘subway’ tiles (3 x 6 inch) have been fashionable for years.

Other materials tiles are comprised of include:

  • Glass
  • Granite
  • Limestone
  • Marble
  • Natural stone
  • Terracotta
  • Slate
  • Travertine and even
  • Metal

Marble tiles are amongst the most expensive, as are glass tiles and metal tiles.

Tile Sizes

The following is a rough guide to tile sizes and prices, based on tiling your bathroom using plain ceramic tile:

  • Small tiles (20cm x 20cm): £10 – £50
  • Medium tiles (45cm x 45cm): £12 – £50
  • Large tiles (64cm x 64cm): £40 – £60
  • Extra Large tiles (90cm x 90cm): £40 – 80
  • Modular tiles: £50 – £70
  • Mosaic tiles: £25 – £270

Tile Finish

Bathroom tiles are available in different finishes to suit the overall look of your bathroom. 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, non-patterned, ceramic tiles.

  • Matt tiles: £30 – £50
  • Rustic tiles: £45 – £55
  • Textured tiles: £30 – £60
  • Gloss tiles: £10 – £60
  • Glazed tiles: £50 – £70
  • Satin tiles: £20 – £80

Materials

Adhesive is required to stick the tiles to the wall, while grout is used in between tiles and to give the overall walls and flooring a neater appearance. You can expect to pay around £10 per m2 in total to buy tile adhesive and grout for your bathroom.

A bathtub with green tiles

Labour

Expect to pay anything from £20 up to £40 per m2 for tiling. That’s if the walls are already prepared. If you’re looking to have your entire bathroom tiled, or the job is a lot bigger, then often you will be quoted a day rate. An average of £150 to £200 isn’t unusual. Then again, it depends where you live. On average tilers in the UK charge £19 an hour but in London that rate goes up to £35.

The time taken for the job will depend on how ‘intricate’ the installation is ie if there are awkward shapes to tile or you want mosaics, rather than standard sized tiles.

Tools Needed (If DIY)

Those brave souls who plan on tiling a bathroom themselves will need to buy all the tools necessary for the job. These include: (more on this)

  • A tile cutter (average cost £40)
  • tile nippers (around £15)
  • a bucket
  • grout
  • adhesive
  • silicone

Wall Preparation

It’s important that your bathroom walls are smooth and even – otherwise your tiler may refuse to do the job. Either that or they will have to do this themselves, adding on extra cost.

Removing Old Tiles

Old tiles will have to be removed before the new ones go up (never tile on top of tiles for convenience!). You’ll need to scrape of all the adhesive and grout too. If getting in a professional tiler to remove them then you’ll have to factor this in to the overall cost.

Costs Per Square Meter

Per m2 is often the best, and simplest, way to work out how much to tile a bathroom cost-wise.

Total Costs for Tiling a Bathroom

The average UK bathroom costs from £800 up to £1,200 to tile. If your bathroom is small (ie measures anything from six up to 14 m2, then you can end up paying from £500 to £1150. The price range takes in to account the type of tiles used, their size, and the experience and expertise of the tradesman.

If you’re not removing old tiles from your walls and floors yourself then you will be charged the extra for this (around £200) by your tiler. If, once you remove the old tiles, you discover any water damage, this will have to be sorted before any new tiles can be laid. That could easily add on another £900 to the bill. The quicker it’s fixed, the better though as leaving it means the problem will get worse and the new tiles won’t stick anyway.

Add in extra costs if your bathroom is an awkward shape to tile too. If you are tiling the bathroom floor as well as the walls then you may have underfloor heating to contend with too. And that’s where your professional tiler comes in.

How to Keep Costs Down

A black and white tiled bathroom

Cut back on tile costs

If you’ve got to this point in the article then you will already know that tiling your entire bathroom can prove expensive. Once you have finally chosen and purchased the tiles themselves, the biggest cost you will then face is that of the professional tiler. There are ways you cut back on costs though, and we’ve listed some of the main ones right here:

Remove old tiles yourself

It’s not difficult to remove the old tiles in your bathroom yourself. There is no strenuous work involved and you don’t need any special tools for the job – just a hammer and chisel.

The only item you may need to purchase is a pair of safety glasses. This is to prevent small shards from the tiles falling into your eyes and causing damage. And, certainly, a trip to your local A&E unit is going to mean your bathroom tiling project taking much longer than you originally predicted.

Here is the process for removing bathroom tiles:

  1. Before you start taking off the old tiles cover the rest of the bathroom – the floor with a sheet and put thicker covering on the bath and sink in case a fallen tile causes damage.
  2. Break one of the wall tiles and remove it.
  3. With every subsequent tile put the chisel behind a piece of it and hit the chisel with the hammer. That should push the tile off.
  4. You can also use your hammer and chisel to get rid of any adhesive still stuck to the wall.

Removing old tiles DIY-style can save you up to six hours of labour (depending, of course, on how large your bathroom is in the first place). Considering tilers will cost around £30 an hour to do this, that means you’ve saved yourself a tidy £180.

After you’ve removed the old tiles from your walls and floors you will need to dispose of them. This doesn’t mean shoving them in the bin, but rather taking them to your local tip. You may be charged for this, but it won’t be much (less than £10). Getting your tradesman to remove the tiles may result in around £30 being added to your total bathroom tiling costs.

Buy your own materials

In addition to buying the tiles, you could also purchase the grout and adhesive yourself – especially if you see it on offer somewhere. Just check with your tiler beforehand that he or she is happy using these products before you buy them.

Do It Yourself

If, when working out how much to tile a bathroom costs you find it is out of your price range, then you could always consider taking up tiling yourself.

If your walls are even and the tiling is in straight lines then this may be something certainly worth considering. Certainly, you would save on the labour costs of hiring a professional tiler. We can’t promise the result with be the same though… You could compromise though by just doing the easier parts and getting your tiler to do the difficult stuff, such as tile around the sink, any alcoves and in tight or awkward corners.

Choosing a cheaper border

If you want to add a design flourish to your otherwise plain tiled bathroom, then you could consider using a line or two of mosaic tiles, or even a patterned border. These vary in price, with the latter being almost twice the cost of the mosaics (£18 per metre compared to £9).

Patterned border tiles can be very expensive. Surprisingly mosaic tiles can be a cheaper alternative. Explore your options before you buy border tiles. The average cost for one meter of inexpensive border tile is around £18. One meter of mosaic tile can cost £9. If your bathroom is large then this can really affect the answer to questions such as how much to tile a bathroom costs.

How to Find a Tiler

Now that you know what’s involved and cost-wise, how much to tile a bathroom is, it’s time to get a professional tiler onboard. If you don’t already have one then there are several routes you can go down when you plan on hiring a professional. These include contacting trade associations, checking review sites and asking for recommendations. Here’s a little more detail on these:

  1. The Page. Our own directory will have a list of recommended tilers get in touch and we will send you a curated list.
  2. Online Directories. There are several of these directories online, with TrustMark one of the bigger versions. Unlike many directories, this government-run directory goes to the bother of vetting all members in terms of qualifications, identity and business practices. It then follows up the checks within a reasonable timescale. Customers are guaranteed that members will follow a code of conduct. Otherwise, a complaints system is freely available. Buy with Confidence is another government-backed directory. It is run by Trading Standards and only lists professionals who have been in business for at least six months. Members are checked and audited.
  3. Facebook groups. Community groups for towns and cities can be good since you’ll find tilers local to the area. You will also find people willing to recommend tradespeople. There are also FB groups with advice forums, such as Find a Tradesman UK and The Builders. You will get honest answers from friends, family and neighbours about their recent experience with a tradesperson.
  4. Other Tradespeople. Local tradespeople inhabit quite a small circle of professionals you’ll find. In other words, they have the insight into who is skilled at their professional, who completes a good job and whether or not their customer service is up to scratch. In other words, ask a joiner, plumber or builder if they can recommend a good local tiler.

Regardless of which route you decide to go down to find your tiler, always make sure you get at least three different quotes. That way you’ll get an average cost for tiling a bathroom in your area. Don’t just go with the cheapest quote though, look at their previous work and read any reviews they may have online from previous clients.

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