Average Cost to Tile a Shower

When planning a bathroom remodel, one aspect to consider is the average cost of tiling a shower. Various factors contribute to the overall expense, including the type of tile, labor costs, and the size of the shower area itself. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to install tile in a shower ranges between $547 and $1,912.

In addition to cost, selecting the appropriate tile for your shower can impact the final result, as well as ease of installation and maintenance. It’s essential to thoroughly research and compare options to ensure a quality outcome within your budget.

Average Cost to Tile a Shower

Tiling a shower is a popular home improvement project that can increase the resale value and functionality of your bathroom. Costs associated with this project can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of the shower, labor rates in your region, and your choice of tile material. This section will discuss the average costs involved in tiling a shower, including national average, labor costs, and material costs.

National Average

On a national level, the average cost to tile a shower ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, with most homeowners spending around $1,800 for a standard-size shower. These figures are based on data from authoritative sources such as HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack. Keep in mind that local rates may differ. For a more accurate estimate, consult local contractors.

Labor Cost

Labor typically accounts for about 50% of the total cost of tiling a shower. Skilled tile setters charge an hourly rate, which can range from $40 to $100 per hour. It’s essential to consider factors like project complexity or specific requirements such as waterproofing when estimating labor costs. Small or intricate tiles can take more time to install and increase labor costs accordingly.

Materials Cost

The choice of tile material will have a significant impact on the overall cost of your shower tiling project. Here’s a brief overview of some popular tile materials and their average costs per square foot:

  • Ceramic: $1 – $5
  • Porcelain: $3 – $10
  • Stone: $6 – $15
  • Glass: $7 – $30

Keep in mind that these prices are for the tiles only and do not include other materials such as grout, mortar, or sealer. Additional expenses like edge trim, corner shelves, or soap dishes might also add to the final cost of the project.

Materials for Shower Tiling

When it comes to shower tiling, there are several material options to choose from. In this section, we will discuss four popular choices: ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, glass tiles, and stone tiles. Each material offers unique benefits and drawbacks, and it’s essential to consider these factors before making a decision.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are made from raw materials like clay and minerals, and they have been a popular shower tiling option for decades. These tiles are known for their durability, affordability, and ease of installation. It has been reported that the average cost of ceramic tiles ranges from $2 to $7 per square foot (source).

  • Pro: Affordable
  • Pro: Durable
  • Con: Resistance to breakage can vary

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are another popular option for shower tiling, made from refined clay and fired at higher temperatures. They are denser, more water-resistant, and more expensive than ceramic tiles, with costs ranging from $3 to $10 per square foot (source).

  • Pro: Water resistant
  • Pro: Durable
  • Con: More expensive than ceramic

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles are an appealing option for those who want a modern, unique look. These tiles are made from recycled or new glass, giving them a reflective surface that can brighten up a shower space. However, this material tends to be more expensive, with prices averaging between $7 and $15 per square foot (source).

  • Pro: Reflective, unique appearance
  • Pro: Made of recycled materials
  • Con: May not be as durable as other options

Stone Tiles

Stone tiles, made from natural materials like granite, marble, or slate, are an excellent choice for those who want a luxurious and natural aesthetic. However, they require more maintenance and are generally more expensive, with costs ranging from $6 to $20 per square foot and above (source).

  • Pro: Natural, luxurious appearance
  • Pro: Unique, one-of-a-kind patterns
  • Con: Higher cost and maintenance requirements

It is crucial to carefully consider each material’s pros and cons to select the right option for your shower tiling project.

Tile Selection Factors

When choosing tiles for a shower, several factors must be considered, including size and shape, finish and pattern, and durability. These elements not only determine the overall appearance of the shower space but also contribute to the total cost involved.

Size and Shape

The size and shape of tiles greatly impact the overall look and the installation cost. Common shapes include square, rectangular, and hexagonal, while sizes range from small mosaic tiles to large slabs. Larger tiles generally take less time to install and require fewer grout lines which can lead to reduced cost; however, small tile designs can add intricate detail and visual interest.

Size Average Cost per Sq. Ft.
Small Mosaic $10-$20
Medium $5-$10
Large $2-$5

Finish and Pattern

Tile finishes and patterns significantly influence the overall appearance and can sometimes affect the overall cost. Some popular finishes include matte, gloss, and textured. Patterns, such as herringbone and subway, often require more intricate cutting and alignment, increasing labor costs. Choosing a suitable combination of finish and pattern is essential to achieving the desired look and staying within budget.

  • Herringbone: This pattern consists of rectangular tiles arranged in a zigzag design, typically increasing labor cost due to precise installation requirements.
  • Subway: A classic pattern using rectangular tiles stacked in a staggered brickwork layout, offering a timeless look and moderate installation cost.


Durability is a crucial factor to consider for shower tiles, as the area is prone to water exposure and heavy usage. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are common choices due to their water resistance and long-lasting performance. Natural stone tiles, such as marble and granite, offer a luxurious appearance but may need more maintenance to prevent water damage or staining. It is essential to factor in the costs of tile materials and maintenance when assessing the overall tiling expenditure.

Shower Installation Process

The shower installation process involves several steps to achieve a professional and long-lasting result. This section will cover the main steps involved in tiling a shower, focusing on four key sub-sections: Measuring and Preparing the Surface, Installing Backer Board, Laying Tiles, and Grouting.

Measuring and Preparing the Surface

Before starting the tile installation process, it’s essential to measure and prepare the surface. To do this, calculate the surface area of the shower walls and floor, taking into account any unique features or obstacles, such as windows or built-in shelves. When measuring, be precise to ensure minimal waste and an efficient installation.

After measuring, prepare the surface by cleaning and leveling it to create an even foundation for the tiles. If necessary, apply waterproofing materials to protect against water damage and mold growth.

Installing Backer Board

Once the surface is prepared and waterproofed, it’s time to install the backer board. The backer board serves as a stable, water-resistant layer between the tiles and the wall or subfloor, ensuring a solid foundation for the tile installation. There are various types of backer boards available, including cement-based and gypsum-based boards. Consult a professional if you are unsure which type to use for your specific project.

To install the backer board, cut it to fit the measured surface area, and secure it with the appropriate fasteners. Be sure to seal all seams and joints with waterproof tape and sealant to prevent water intrusion.

Laying Tiles

With the backer board in place, the next step is to lay the tiles. Start by determining the tile layout and pattern, ensuring that it’s aesthetically appealing and functional. Once the layout is finalized, apply tile adhesive to the back of each tile or the backer board itself, and carefully set each tile in place, using space or tile spacers to ensure proper positioning and even gaps.

It’s crucial to work methodically and patiently during tile installation to avoid costly mistakes or uneven tile layouts.


After the tiles are set and the adhesive has cured, it’s time to apply grout. Select the appropriate grouting product based on the tile type, spacing, and color preference. Using a grout float, spread the grout across the tiled surface, filling each gap and joint evenly. Remove any excess grout from the surface of the tiles with a damp sponge, and allow the grout to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Lastly, apply a grout sealer to prolong the life and appearance of the grout, ensuring a clean, professional finish.

Cost-saving Tips

While tiling a shower can be an expensive project, there are several cost-saving tips to consider that can help reduce the overall expenses. One of the most effective ways to save on costs is to turn it into a DIY project. By doing the work yourself, you can save a significant amount on labor costs, which can range from $35 to $85 per square foot.

Another cost-saving method is regrouting the existing tiles instead of installing new ones. Regrouting can refresh the look of your shower and extend the life of your tiles, while also saving you money. According to HomeAdvisor, regrouting costs an average of $10 to $25 per square foot, which is considerably lower than the cost of installing new tiles.

When purchasing tiles for your shower, consider these cost-saving tips:

  • Choose cheaper tiles: Opt for ceramic tiles, as they are generally less expensive than other tile materials like porcelain or natural stone.
  • Shop during sales: Like any other product, tile prices can fluctuate throughout the year. Keep an eye on seasonal sales to find the best deals.
  • Compare prices: Shop around at multiple tile vendors to ensure you’re getting the best price on your chosen tiles.

Additionally, you can save money by keeping your shower’s design simple. Intricate patterns and unique cuts require more skill and time, increasing the cost of labor. Instead, choose a basic design that still complements your bathroom’s aesthetic.

Obtaining Professional Quotes

When considering the cost of tiling a shower, it is essential for homeowners to obtain professional quotes from reputable installation services. These quotes can vary based on numerous factors, such as your geographic location, the size of the shower, the complexity of the project, and the materials used. By comparing quotes, homeowners can get a better understanding of the average cost in their area.

Some tips for requesting quotes from professionals include:

  • Clearly describe the project, including any specific requirements, such as the type of tiles, preferred design, and desired completion date.
  • Research and contact multiple installation experts in the area to ensure a diverse range of price estimates.
  • Check for customer reviews and testimonials to verify the quality of work and professionalism of the contractors.

As a general guideline, according to HomeAdvisor, tiling a shower can cost between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the factors mentioned above. It is important to keep in mind that this range is only an estimate and may not encompass all types of shower tiling projects. By obtaining multiple quotes, you can make a more informed decision and choose the professional who best suits your budget and expectations.

Keep in mind that cheaper quotes might not always result in quality work. Ensure that the chosen professional has a solid reputation and a history of successful projects. Additionally, consider discussing payment options, as some experts might offer payment plans or even discounts for paying in full upfront.

Additional Considerations

When determining the average cost to tile a shower, it is essential to consider various factors that may impact the overall cost. In this section, we will discuss regional price differences and the difference between bathroom and kitchen tiling.

Regional Price Differences

One crucial factor to consider when calculating the cost of tiling a shower is the regional price differences. Prices can vary significantly depending on the area or zip code in which the work is being done. For example, labor costs and material prices may be higher in urban areas with higher living expenses than in rural areas.

The cost of a tiling project can also be influenced by local market conditions, availability of skilled workers, and regional preferences for specific materials and styles. To obtain an accurate estimate of the costs in your area, it is advisable to consult with local contractors or conduct research on material and labor costs specific to your region.

Bathroom Versus Kitchen Tiling

Although bathroom and kitchen tiling projects may seem similar in terms of square footage and labor requirements, several important differences can impact the cost of each project. These differences include:

  • Shower size: Shower areas often have a smaller square footage compared to kitchen floor spaces, which means that there may be less surface area to tile. This can result in lower material costs, but may also require additional labor due to the smaller, more confined space.
  • Materials: Both kitchens and bathrooms require durable and water-resistant materials, but bathroom tiles may need to withstand higher levels of moisture and humidity compared to kitchen tiles. This factor can influence the type of tiles selected, as well as their associated costs.
  • Complexity: Shower tiling projects may involve more complex patterns and designs than kitchen floor tiling, requiring greater attention to detail and potentially higher labor costs. Additionally, shower areas often require specialized features like waterproofing, which can elevate the total cost of the project.

Understanding these additional considerations can help you better estimate the average cost to tile a shower in your specific situation. Keep in mind that regional price differences and the unique requirements of bathroom tiling may influence the overall project cost, so it is essential to thoroughly research and gather information from authoritative sources before commencing a tiling project.

Resources and Assistance

For those interested in tiling a shower, a wealth of resources and assistance is available to ensure a successful and cost-effective project. One helpful guide comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Hud PATH Rehab Guide offers comprehensive information on various aspects of remodeling, including tile recommendations, installation guidelines, and budgeting tips. It is an authoritative source, especially for homeowners looking to upgrade their bathrooms with mosaic tiles, pinwheel patterns, or a staggered brick style.

Another reliable resource is Angi, formerly known as Angie’s List. This platform is beneficial for connecting with professional tile installers and reading reviews from their past customers. By leveraging these resources, it is possible to ensure that the project goes smoothly and on budget.

In addition to these, it’s useful to research local building materials suppliers for a better understanding of tile prices and quality. Knowing the price ranges of different tile styles and materials can help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect option for your shower. The below list provides some average costs for popular tile options:

  • Ceramic: $2 to $3 per square foot
  • Porcelain: $3 to $6 per square foot
  • Glass: $7 to $12 per square foot
  • Natural Stone: $6 to $15 per square foot

Keep in mind these costs are not inclusive of labor, so it’s crucial to budget accordingly by factoring in the cost to hire a professional tile installer. Tile installation labor costs can range from $4 to $14 per square foot depending on the contractor’s experience and your project’s complexity.

By utilizing the resources provided by the HUD, Angi, and local building material suppliers, you can effectively plan and budget for your shower tiling project. These sources offer valuable insights to make the right choices and ensure a successful outcome that meets your design preferences and financial requirements.

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