Tiling a new bathroom or re-tiling an old one can be a great way to renovate the room, waterproof it, and improve the durability of the room.
Tile is an ideal choice for bathrooms because it doesn’t damage when wet, is easy to clean, and is resistant to mould and similar issues. However, putting in new tiles can be a big job.
In fact, you can typically expect to pay £20-£40 per square metre, but up to £120. That includes £15-£60 per square metre in tiles and the rest is labour. In most cases, you’ll also want to tile the walls – which means that for a 4 square metre room, you’ll probably pay a minimum of £400-£500 to tile the bathroom.
Why Tile Your Bathroom?
Bathroom tiles are a classic choice for a reason. They offer a durable, easy to clean, and water resistant surface. This offers protection and durability to even the poorest of ventilated spaces.
It also means that, even if you don’t have enough insulation between the bathroom and the rest of the home, the drywall won’t sweat or discolour because of temperature differences inside and outside the bathroom.
Tiles are easier to clean, less prone to damage, and easy to spot fix. That makes them the most suitable material for rooms like kitchens and bathrooms because they are most able to hold up to high moisture and water.
How Much Does Tiling A Bathroom Cost?*
Tiling a bathroom normally costs about £30 per square metre. However, that depends on the tile you pick and your location, as well as any prep work.
For example, if you have a standard UK bathroom of 1.8 x 2.4 metres, with the walls tiled, you can expect the following costs:
|Removing Old Tile||£320-£1,440|
|Grout & Adhesive||£125-£300|
*Please note these cost estimates are based on quotes at the time of writing in May 2023. Actual rates are subject to change and may be different based on time of reading and location.
Of course, those costs are very subject to how much you’re tiling and what kind of tile you’re using.
- 4 m2 bathroom – £200-£776
- 12 m2 bathroom – £444-£1,840
- Tiling floor and wall-to-ceiling in 8 m2 bathroom – £950-£4,308
- Floor and wall-to-half-ceiling in 8 m2 bathroom – £472-£2,152
Factors Which Influence Bathroom Tiling Prices
There are a lot of factors that can influence the cost of tiling a bathroom. Here, tile and the cost of labour are the two most important.
Cost of Tile
Tile ranges quite a bit in price. In most cases, “standard” ceramic tiles will cost about £12 per M2. These are normally about 6-10 cm in size and usually come in white or a neutral glazing.
They’re sealed, ready to install, and may also be available in larger plates that your tiler layer can cut themselves. However, that’s far from the only tile option you’ll have. For example, tiles come in natural stone, marble, cement, and other materials.
The most expensive tiles can be over £120 per square metre. However, it’s extremely unlikely you’d buy those. In most cases, you’ll find good tiling at around £30- £40 per square metre.
|Material||Average Cost per m2|
Tile costs also depend on size. For example, larger tile sizes normally cost more, because they are easier to break and harder to ship. However, they may trade off in actual costs, because the tile layer will spend less time putting them in.
On average, you should expect to pay about £30 per square metre to buy tiles. If you’re having them delivered, add on another £40 for that service.
Cost of Labour
Labour costs can be a considerable part of having tile laid. For example, you can normally expect a skilled labourer to take about a day per surface. This means one day for each wall and one day for the floor.
At the standard rate of £150-£200 per day, this means you’ll likely pay about £600-£800 in labour. However, if you’re just having the floor tiled, you could pay as little as £150 in labour costs.
Other factors that could impact the time required to lay tile include:
- Pipes, hoses, and fixtures. You’ll have to cut the tile around these and potentially drill through the tile. That can greatly increase the time to lay tile.
- How much of each wall you intend to tile
- Type of grout. E.g., black grout typically takes more work to clean up, and increases the duration of the full project
- Tile pattern. If you have patterns you want to line up, expect to increase the timeline for the tile. On the other hand, if you want a mosaic, you’ll pay more per hour and the labourer will spend more time on the project.
Essentially, if you choose a simple project with medium-sized tiles, you could pay very little for labour. If you choose a complex project with pattern matching or mosaics and black grout, the project could take several days longer.
Prepping Surface for Tile
Most surfaces aren’t immediately ready for tile. For example, you can’t hang tile over drywall in a bathroom, because you’ll get moisture issues later.
Instead, you’ll have to lay waterproofing measures such as a membrane layer or liquid membrane and then install the tile. Many tile layers also prefer using more sturdy surfaces, such as plywood.
That’s also true if your bathroom already has tile in it. You’ll have to remove that – which can be a significant investment. Removing old tile can take a professional several days of labour – because getting tile out is often a matter of scraping it up. You’ll then have to remove the old grout and level the surface.
This means that prepping a room for tile will almost always cost over £200 and, worst-case scenario, over £800. If you want to have a better idea of what you’ll be spending, ask for a quote from a local builder, as it heavily depends on what you’re starting from.
Other Materials Costs
In most cases, you can expect to spend anywhere from £1-£12 per square metre of tile in adhesive, grout, and spacers. You might also need liquid membrane to waterproof under the tiles, which can cost as much as £20 per square metre.
Of course, in some cases, your tile layer will include the first set of costs in your tile quote. Their quote may include “labour and tiling” sometimes per square metre. For example, they might charge you a flat rate of £60 per square metre, including tile, labour, grout, and adhesive.
On the other hand, you could pay for everything separately.
In most cases, you’ll have to dispose of old tiles at the end of your project. That can cost anywhere from £25 to around £100.
However, in most cases, it will be a minimal part of your project. And, depending on the tiles, you may be able to dispose of them in your standard waste bins.
How Much Does A Tiler Cost Per Day?
Most tile layers cost £30-£60 per hour. In many cases, they will lower that to a day rate of £150-£200. However, those rates are not universal.
If you calculate the full hourly rate into your budget, you’ll have a lot more room to choose a tiler that works well for you.
In addition, it normally takes about 8 hours to lay a tiled floor without any mosaic work. That’s also true for a standard wall. So, you can normally calculate the number of walls x the day rate for total labour costs per project.
How To Save Money
There are plenty of ways you can save money on a tiling project. However, what you choose should depend on your capabilities and time.
For example, if you earn more per hour than you’re paying a tiling company, it’s certainly not in your best interest to do manual labour that takes you longer.
- Clear the bathroom.
- Shop around for tiles. Choosing tiles on a discount can save you as much as half the costs.
- Cut your own tile or have the labourer do it for you. Sheets of tile can be 30-60% lower in cost per M2 than cut tiles.
- Consider repurposed or used tile.
- Prep the bathroom yourself. This may mean removing utilities that are in the way, such as the toilet and the sink – but it may not.
- Remove the old tile yourself. Keep in mind that this will take you longer than a professional with the right tools will take – so calculate if those cost savings are worth it to you. You’ll probably spend at least 2 days of work removing old tile and another day removing the grout.
- Shop around and compare quotes to get the best rates.
- Make sure quotes are clear and include everything you’ll need for the project.
Essentially, you can save money by doing prep work yourself, by choosing cheaper tiles, and by comparing contractor options to get a good deal.
DIY vs Hiring A Pro
Tiling the bathroom yourself could save you a lot of money. But, without the right preparation and know-how, it could end up costing you a lot more when you go to pay a professional to fix your botched job.
Therefore, if you opt for a DIY job, always make sure you practise before you start on your actual bathroom.
Pros of DIY
- You’ll save a third of the costs of paying a professional to do the work
- Tile can be laid at your own pace, so you can spend an hour a day on the project until it’s done
- DIY work means you can buy tiles as you can afford them – which makes the project more accessible
- You won’t have to clear out your schedule for labourers to come into your home
- If you’re cutting tile yourself, being precise enough can mean risking injury
Cons of DIY
- It’s unlikely that you have the expertise to do the job as well
- Cutting tile well can be difficult
- Tile laying requires a significant amount of patience
- You don’t have the equipment to do the job as quickly or as well
- Finding time to finish the job can be difficult
- You can expect to spend 12+ hours per surface
- You’ll need supplies like spacers to lay tile properly
- Cleaning up old grout and removing old tile can be extremely difficult without machinery
- If you mess up the job, having it fixed will be expensive
Both options can be good options, depending on your aptitude for DIY jobs, your patience, and the amount of time you have on your hands.
If you’re hiring a professional tile layer, you’ll want to ensure they will do a good job. That means comparing quotes, checking qualifications, and looking at reviews.
- Are they part of the Competent Person’s Register?
- Do they have a TITA membership or certification?
- Do their quotes compare favourably to alternatives?
- Are they offering workmanship guarantees?
- What about liability insurance?
- How about worker’s compensation?
- What’s the timeline/date range for the job?
- Do they handle prep and clean-up?
- Who owns waste and spare materials?
Once you answer those questions, you can more easily make a choice and make the right hire for your tile project.
Types Of Tiles
There are many types of tiles. However, most considerations come down to whether tiles are glazed, what material they are, and what pattern they have.
Tiles come in a wide variety of materials including:
- Ceramic – Fired and dyed clay designed to be near waterproof
- Porcelain – Finer fired and dyed clay, with a 0.5% water absorption rate, or about half that of ceramic
- Terracotta – Fired clay tiles with high water absorption (Not a good fit for most bathroom floors if unglazed)
- Cement – Cast cement tiles, usually with a coating on top
- Natural Stone (Slate, Granite, Travertine) – Cut slabs of natural soft stone
- Quartz – Cut slabs of hard stone, beautiful but can dissolve if left in water for too long
- Marble – Durable and beautiful stone with high water resistance but also high cost
Most people choose materials for the look they want. However, you’ll also want to consider the cost. And, if you want minimal maintenance, look for tiles with a high waterproof rating.
Tiles are either glazed and sealed or not. For ceramic and porcelain, you almost always want glazing for a bathroom. That’s also true with most types of clay.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from using glazed tiles for the floor and unglazed tiles for the walls. In addition, you can always use a sealant other than glaze.
Patterns can be created by using a top layer of glazing, paint, or even different types of clay. For example, marbles and other natural stones have their own patterns. Cement tiles usually have a painted or glazed pattern. And, encaustic tiles create tile patterns using different colours of clay.
These options are entirely about aesthetics, so pick something that appeals to you and suits your space.
Bathroom Tiling Process
Bathroom tiling projects typically take 2-4 days for a professional team. However, if you have a very small or very large bathroom, that will change.
- Compare quotes and choose a professional
- Choose tiles and have them delivered
- Prep the bathroom by removing old tiles and grout (2-3 days)
- Add waterproofing membrane and allow it to cure (1-2 days)
- Tile the floor (1 day)
- Tile the walls (2-4 days)
- Grout – 1-2 days
- Clean-up and waste disposal – 4-8 hours
The smaller your bathroom, the faster tiling will go. Therefore, you can likely half the timeline listed here if your bathroom is under 4 square metres.
Tiling a bathroom is a big job and you can expect it to take 8 or more hours per wall or floor you’re tilling. This normally means that you’ll spend about £60 per square metre of tile. That includes £12-£120 per square metre of tile and £150-£200 per day for labour. If you have to strip old tiles or prep the surface, you can expect a lot more in terms of labour costs.
If you’re ready to find a professional to put tile into your bathroom, the best place to start is by comparing quotes. Use the form at the top of the page to request quotes from local contractors.