The cost of tiling is an often overlooked expense when renovating a bathroom but as they can quickly stack up, it's important to consider these costs when budgeting for a bathroom upgrade. In this guide we take a look at some important considerations when trying to calculate the cost of tiling a bathroom, and give you some tips on reducing these costs.
Tiling cost considerations
When calculating the cost of tiling, there are a number of different factors you'll need to take into consideration:
- Where are you tiling?
- Price of tiles
- Cost of other materials
- Choice of tiles
- Cost of labour
- Size & shape of your bathroom
Where are you tiling?
When calculating costs it's important to consider where you're going to be tiling. Completely tiling the walls and floors will be your most expensive option. If you want to save some money here but still want all walls tiled, you can fit laminate flooring or vinyl flooring. This is often cheaper and will be easier for a DIYer to install.
Another alternative is tiling halfway up the walls. This will give you the splashback protection that tiles provide where you need it whilst keeping costs down. Tiling halfway up a wall can make your room appear larger, so this is a popular choice for smaller bathrooms.
One of your cheapest options will be just tiling around your shower or bath and leaving the rest of the bathroom painted. This will allow you to save money on tiling, but you may need to take into account the cost of plastering a wall if you are not tiling where tiles are currently laid.
Cost of tiles
This is going to be your biggest expense when tiling your bathroom so it's important to calculate it first. The price of tiles can vary wildly depending on material and size but you'll usually find the price per square meter. This means you'll need to measure the dimensions of the room you want to tile before calculating costs. It's also recommended you purchase 10% more than you need due to wastage from cutting tiles.
When thinking about the price of your tiles, durability is an important consideration. Although some tiles will be cheaper in the short term, they're unlikely to be as durable as more expensive tiles. So although you can save money now, you may need to replace them sooner than if you invest in higher quality tiles.
Another consideration when choosing how much you want to spend is changing design trends. If you're going for a bold design that could be out of style in a few years, you might want to consider choosing a lower cost option. Similarly, if you're keeping it simple with white, you might want to invest in some higher quality tiles as these will likely be in style for many years to come.
Cost of other materials
There are a number of other materials you'll need to purchase when tiling your bathroom. If you're using a tradesman they may include these in your quoted price.
- Tile spacers
- Tile adhesive
- Tile backer board (if required)
If you choose to tile your bathroom yourself, you'll also need to consider the costs of extra tools you may not already own. These include:
- Tile cutter
- Tile nippers
- Grout float
- Notched trowel
Cost of labour
Another big expense will come from labour costs should you decide to employ a tiler to complete the work. It's difficult to give an accurate approximation of the labour costs involved due to the large number of factors which can affect the costs of tiling but here are a few:
Are you removing the tiles yourself?
As the cost of tiling can be high, you may choose to save some money and remove the existing tiles yourself. This isn't a particularly difficult job and with a bit of patience can be completed by a DIYer.
Disposal of old tiles
Similarly if you choose to dispose of the old tiles yourself you can also save some money. Depending on where you live in the country you may be able to do this for free at your local recycling centre.
As Drench discovered in a 2020 study, the cost of tradesmen can vary dramatically across the country.
Choice of tiles
Something to consider when choosing your tiles, particularly if you're employing a tradesman, is the costs involved in installing different types. If you choose to install a smaller bathroom tile, such as metro tiles, this will take longer than installing larger tiles and will therefore cost more.
Similarly, if you choose tiles that need to be laid in a pattern, this will increase installation time. Although Herringbone tiles look great, their installation is much more complex than standard tiles and your costs will increase as a result.
Size and shape of your bathroom
Another factor that can have an impact on the cost of tiling is the size and shape of your bathroom. Large bathrooms will attract a premium installation cost over smaller bathrooms simply due to extra time it will take to lay the tiles.
The shape of your bathroom will also affect costs. If you live in, for example, a traditional home with non-standard dimensions and odd angles, there will be a lot more tile cutting involved which will lead to higher prices.
How can I save money on tiling?
Pre-made mosaic tiles
Although you can install mosaic tiles individually, they are also sold pre fixed together. A popular choice for cloakroom splashbacks, these are an easier way to get the mosaic look.
It's important to get a number of different quotes for your tiling job before choosing your tradesman. We wouldn't necessarily recommend choosing the lowest price, but this will help you get an idea of fair prices in your area.
Consider creating a feature wall
If you've fallen in love with a set of tiles but they're going to put you over budget, consider using them to create a feature wall. Whether this is in your shower or behind your basin, this will allow you to pair the tiles with a more affordable style in the rest of the room.
Tile effect laminate
If you want to install tiles on the floor but you don't have the budget or you're not confident completing the job yourself, consider tile effect laminate. This will allow you to get the stylish tile look in a type of flooring which is cheaper to purchase and easier to install.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that effect the costs of bathroom tiles. Luckily, you have a lot of different options available to you so whether you want to go all out or just tile a small area, there will be a solution to fit your budget.