Tiling a bathroom is an excellent way to make your smallest room look good, protect the surfaces from water damage and provide a virtually maintenance-free environment. The most popular tiles are ceramic, which only need an occasional wipe to remain sparkling like new.
The average cost of tiling a bathroom in the UK is about £600-£800 for covering walls and floor. In comparison, the cost of tiling a small bathroom or shower room ranges from £250-£300 for walls only. However, these estimated prices depend on the tiles’ cost, type, and whether you use a professional or do it yourself. Yes, DIY tiling a bathroom on a budget is relatively easy if you have a bit of patience and some time. Moreover, plenty of budget wall tiles are available in discount DIY stores to make your bathroom look good without increasing costs.
How Much Does Bathroom Tiling Cost?*
The comparison table below shows bathroom tiling prices for standard-sized rooms, from the smallest to bespoke spaces such as wet rooms. Compare the dimensions with your existing bathroom to estimate your project’s budget. Assume average tiling prices per m2 to be £100 including labour and materials, and grouting to be £10/m2.
|Bathroom Size||Dimensions||Tile Type||Estimated Cost|
|Small bathroom||2m x 2m||Walls||£300|
|Medium bathroom||3m x 3m||Walls||£700|
|Large bathroom||4m x 4m||Walls||£1,000|
|Bespoke or luxury bathroom||4m x 4m||Walls and floor||£1,000-£3,000|
* Disclaimer – We compiled these estimates from various sources. Therefore, only use them as a starting point for your research. Furthermore, the variable components included in these estimates depend on factors we’ll discuss later. For accurate quotations, contact a qualified local floor and wall tiler. Alternatively, use the form on this page.
Tiling shower cost
Although tiling inside a shower cubicle can be cramped, it isn’t much different from tiling a bathroom, floor to ceiling. Rates vary with the size of the shower cubicle and obstructions, such as the shower unit. But, tiling above a 1m2 shower tray usually costs £500-£700.
Tiling around bath cost
Tiling around a bath is often the most straightforward, major tiling job and costs £200-£300. Sometimes, customers prefer only three or four tile courses to prevent water damage on the wall, which only takes a few hours and costs around £20-£50/hr. However, usually, they want unbroken tiling from the bath rim to ceiling to accommodate a shower over the bathtub.
Tiling bathroom floor cost
Whereas older bathrooms use vinyl or waterproof carpet flooring as standard, many modern house owners insist on floor tiles. Generally, this is the case when choosing wetrooms as an alternative to shower enclosures. But, floor tiles can be cold underfoot, especially in winter. Therefore, installing underfloor heating is also common in these situations and costs an additional £100/m2. Typically, the overall cost for tiling a floor is £100/m2. However, tiles with complex designs continuing around obstructions cost significantly more.
How Much Do Tilers Charge Per Square Metre?
On average, expect a tiler’s day-rate to be about £150-£300 per day or £20-£50/hr. Alternatively, they sometimes charge depending on the area covered. Typically, these charges will be around £20-£50/m2.
Remember that pricing includes many different factors, and we’ll discuss these next.
Bathroom Tiling Cost Factors
The amounts you pay for tiling a bathroom might seem clear cut at first glance. However, many factors affect the pricing schedule. Let’s consider these now.
The price of tiles vary significantly depending on:
- Area – Standard ceramic tiles measure 150mm x 150mm priced from £10-£50/m2. However, large tiles measuring 900mm x 900mm can cost £40-£80/m2. But, you can also purchase rectangular and hexagonal tiles, and varying sized mosaic mats (£25-£250/m2).
- Manufacturing material – The commonest is ceramic (£10-£50/m2). But, you can use just about any rock, quartz or glass. Popular materials include granite £80-£90/m2, marble £40-£70m2, slate £40-£50/m2 and terracotta £50-£60/m2.
- Plain or patterned – Plain tiles are the simplest to install as there isn’t a pattern to match. Designs can be complicated if you have awkward corners and obstacles in the bathroom. Also, you’ll find that patterned tiles cost more than plain, with the additional cost reflected in the design’s complexity.
- Surface finish – Tiles have many types of finish depending. Gloss finish ranges from £10-£50/m2, satin £20-£80/m2, matt £30-£50/m2, and glazed £50-£80/m2.
Although tile prices are pretty constant throughout the country, labour rates vary considerably. London and Southeast England have the highest rates, about 20% higher than elsewhere in the UK.
Removing old tiles
Most existing bathrooms already have tiles in place. Therefore, you must remove them first. For the tiler to do this, it costs around £30/hr.
After removing old tiles, you get to see the condition of the wall beneath. Often, chunks of plaster come away too. Therefore, you must fill large holes and remove lumps before fixing the new tiles. Generally, the new surface doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s being covered up again. However, it must be sound, without large holes, loose plaster and lumps of old tile adhesive.
Furthermore, if the walls are very uneven, it’s worthwhile to cover the surface with plasterboard. Or, if you’re laying floor tiles, use plywood to smooth out any irregularities. Moisture resistant plywood and plasterboard are around £15/sheet depending on thickness.
Quantity of tiles
The wall or floor area directly affects the number of tiles you intend to fix. For example:
- A couple of courses above the washbasin.
- Tiling inside the shower cubicle only.
- Or tiling an entire bathroom, floor to ceiling.
When you measure the area, allow an extra 10% for wastage. You will always cut tiles to make them fit in the required space, and usually, the offcuts are too small to be used anywhere. Also, you will find that some tiles break while fixing them. So, the obvious answer is to buy more than you need.
One more thing to remember is that the cost of tiling per square metre increases when you have small amounts of tiles, usually less than 10m2.
If a wall or floor were perfectly rectangular or square, cutting and fixing tiles would be simple. However, that isn’t the case. Alcoves, washbasins, shower units, and radiators are just a few of the irregularities to accommodate. Cutting tiles to fit is a skilled job, and you need special tools to do it, especially if the tiles are stone.
Type of Tiles: Pros & Cons
Each type of tile you use has benefits and disadvantages.
- Low maintenance.
- Doesn’t need sealing.
- Affordable and available in many styles and finishes.
- Unglazed ceramics need sealing.
- Feels cold and unyielding underfoot.
- Can be heavy.
- Stain and scratch-resistant.
- Very durable.
- Increases home value and saleability.
- Classic and sophisticated appearance.
- Heavy tiles, so they might not be suitable for particular floors.
- Difficult to cut and install unless you’re a professional tiler.
- Needs waterproofing sealant.
- Easily polished.
- Increases house value and saleability.
- Appears elegant.
- Slippery and cold.
- Stains and scratches easily.
- Needs sealing.
- Increases your home’s value and saleability.
- Beautiful and sophisticated stone.
- Durable surface.
- Stains and scratches easily.
- Needs sealing.
- Surface texture can be unpleasant to walk on.
- Very durable.
- Comes in warm earthy colours.
- Warm underfoot.
- Not a uniform finish and can contain blemishes.
- Stains easily.
- Highly porous, so it needs initial sealing and regular resealing.
There are various standard tile sizes.
Available as 25mx25mm, 50mmx50mm, and 25mmx50mm, these are connected by a mesh mat about 300mmx300mm. Moreover, it’s easy to cut the mesh to your desired shape. Usually, the mosaic tiles are commonly made from glass, porcelain, ceramic, stone and metal. Furthermore, this type of tile is frequently used as a splashback for sinks and basins.
This tile is probably the most popular size in use today. Also, it’s the smallest tile, able to be used on a wall or floor. You can use it in many applications, from tiled worktops, splashbacks, showers, around bathtubs, washbasins and sinks. It’s commonly made from porcelain, ceramic, stone, glass or metal.
Subway has a 1:2 aspect ratio. It’s commonly used on bathroom walls but rarely on floors. And it’s usually made from porcelain or ceramic.
This tile is the smallest size used on floors, however, sometimes used on walls. Moreover, DIY enthusiasts often use this size, as it’s easy to handle and cut. Usually made from ceramic, stone and porcelain.
This size is a very popular floor tile but is also useful for tiling walls of large spaces. Common materials include ceramic, stone and porcelain.
This is the largest tile you’ll find in DIY stores. Usually, these cover floors large enough to show them off properly. Furthermore, a significant advantage of these is that there are fewer tiles to lay, so taking less time. Commonly found in porcelain, ceramic and stone.
What’s Involved In A Tiling Job?
Bathroom tiles, adhesive and grout, have British Standards designed to produce the best possible result. The Tile Association publishes a downloadable summary of these standards in a useful, easily read format. The association also has a database of TTA members to check who is a reputable tiler or showroom.
You can expect your professional wall tiler to follow the procedure below.
- Measure the area to be tiled and calculate the number of tiles you need. Then, increase the number by 10% for wastage. Furthermore, buy enough adhesive, grout and tile spacers to cover the area.
- Then, if necessary, remove the existing tiles using a hammer and bolster chisel. Take care to protect the floor and other breakables from falling rubble.
- Repair the wall surface by filling in large holes with plaster or mortar. Also, remove any lumps and bumps in the wall until the surface is reasonably flat.
- Wash the surface to remove dust and seal it using a PVA and water solution. Let it dry.
Lay the tiles
- Draw a horizontal pencil line, one tile height from the bottom of the wall, bath rim or shower tray. Then, temporarily nail a batten along the line to act as a tile support.
- Measure midway along the horizontal line and draw a vertical line from batten to ceiling.
- Trowel adhesive onto the wall starting at the vertical line. Lay enough adhesive to fix four tiles.
- Start by laying the first tile with its edge against the vertical pencil line. Then, continue laying tiles along the batten to the corner, adding adhesive as needed. Place tile spacers in each gap between the tiles.
- When you reach the corner, less than one tile width will remain. Cut a tile to fit into the space.
- Continue spreading adhesive and laying tiles from the other side of the vertical line to the corner.
- Continue with the next course, moving upwards until you reach the ceiling. Cut the final course of tiles to fit into the gap.
- The adhesive on the first course will be almost dry by this time. Therefore, remove the batten, and cut tiles to infill between this space.
- Ensure no adhesive remains on the tiles’ surface.
- Allow the adhesive to set.
- Remove the tile spacers from between the tiles before grouting.
- Mix the grout as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer the grout into each joint using a damp sponge, pressing the slurry firmly into the gap.
- Continue to fill all the joints working your way from bottom to top. Use a grouting tool (alternatively, use a lolly stick or spoon handle) to indent the grout surface below the tile surface. Grout dries very quickly, so don’t leave any slurry on the tile’s surface.
- Wipe each tile with a clean, damp sponge to remove all grout on the surface.
- When the grout is dry, polish the tiles with a clean, dry cloth.
Additional Cost Considerations
Grouting, adhesive and waste removal usually cost extra but may be included in the tiler’s quotation. Remember that the specified coverage of adhesive and grout is a guide only, as the actual coverage depends on the bed’s thickness. Typically, if the packaging states the contents cover 5m2, expect it to cover approximately 3.5m2.
You can buy these items yourself. Alternatively, ask the tiler to get them. They may have special trade rates and carry over the discounts to you.
You can buy a powdered adhesive that mixes with water (£20-£25/bag covering 5m2). Alternatively, ready-mixed is available in tubs for a few pounds more. Powder adhesive is messier to handle than ready-mixed, and once opened, it absorbs moisture from the air. Therefore, you can’t keep it in its powder form for long. In contrast, ready-mixed adhesive stays in the tub until ready to use. Then, if there’s any left over at the end of the job, it usually remains usable indefinitely if you close the lid afterwards.
You can use some types of ready-mix adhesive as grout, saving additional expense. Alternatively, buy powdered grout in bags costing £15/bag to cover 5m2.
Finally, buy some tile spacers to maintain an equal gap between tiles. These handy items don’t cost much. Usually, the cheapest sell for £4-£10/1000 spacers.
Usually, there won’t be much waste when removing old bathroom tiles. Therefore, it’s not worth hiring a skip unless you have other waste to remove. If you ask the tiler to take away the rubbish, he’ll charge you a fee for handling the old tiles and fuel costs. Furthermore, because he is a commercial business, the local waste recycling centre will also charge for disposal of the tiles (around £30). Therefore, it’s probably cheaper if you can dispose of the rubble yourself. The disposal cost for domestic tile waste at these centres varies depending on where you live. But, it probably won’t be more than around £5.
Getting rid of old chipped and stained tiles and replacing them with one of the new modern tile ranges will give your bathroom an extra lease of life. For best results, make sure to use a qualified tiler, which you can usually find locally. Alternatively, use the form on this page, and you’ll receive up to four bathroom tiling quotes for your latest home project.