Calculating the cost for installing tile floor in your home or building is dependent on a variety of factors. Whether you have a company or handyman installing your tile or you’re the handyman, it’s important to fully understand the costs associated with the project before you begin. Also, be aware that even if you “think” you’ve considered everything in the pricing, home repairs and updates often come with unexpected costs.
Here’s a checklist for making a detailed pricing plan for installing tile:
1. Choose your tile:
Many people considering installing tile do this last because it can be a fun but also lengthy process. However, it’s imperative that you choose this first because you’ll need information about your tile for other steps. For example, a tile made in Europe is made in different size segments (usually measured in centimeters or meters) than tile from the US (measured in feet or inches). Additionally, certain tiles aren’t approved for water uses (in a shower) or for floor use. Choosing tile can be a long and arduous (but fun!) process for installation.
2. Measure the space:
While this might be simple, measuring the space completely and carefully will save you money and trips to the hardware store. If you’re retiling a bathroom, consider the small spaces around your vanity or toilet and include that in your measurements. * Make sure to measure in the same units that your preferred tile comes in.
3. Additional materials:
Once you’ve chosen your tile and measured, you can calculate the cost of the tile. Now it’s time to consider the additional materials necessary. Items to consider purchasing: Calk (some tiles need special types of calk), calking tools, grout or mortar and grouting tools, leveling tool, smoothing tool, workman’s gloves, tile saw (if your plan to cut your own), removal tools (if you are replacing tile), finishing and care items depending on the tile you’ve chosen.
4. Time and Energy:
The cost of time in installing tile is highly variable depending on your experience and the quality of the area where you install the tile. A professional, for example, can smoothly apply mortar in a small bathroom space in about an hour but a first-timer will probably take four to five times as long. Additionally, if you remove the previous tile to find an uneven or unprepared subfloor (which is likely in an old home) it can take longer and require additional material depending on the status of the subfloor.
5. Additional considerations:
Repairs and installations by an amateur look easy on Home and Garden TV but the reality is, there are lots of opportunities for surprises. Additionally, if the mortar or grout isn’t evenly or cleanly applied, a professional might need to come in to re-lay this material. New home improvers often also measure incorrectly or break tiles and need more of their tile. It’s important to remember this, particularly if you have special ordered tile that takes time for delivery.
6. Labor costs:
The cost of paying a professional to install tile is highly variable and dependent on many factors. An experienced professional with many recommendations is likely to come at a higher cost (obviously) but in the world of home improvement, they can also be priceless.
A local installation professional with a small, private business is likely to have the lowest labor costs but bigger brand-name installers often receive discounted prices on tiles and materials. In almost all cases, if you are paying for a professional, it is best to have them purchase all the materials and tiles and include it in your price.
When you meet with your contractor ask them to explain the details of the expected pricing and ask questions about possible additions. Also, always ask for up-to-date information on projects so you aren’t surprised by additional costs at the end.
If you are thinking about making a tile floor installation, you should make sure you know the proper way of doing this before you start. Here's a few things that will help you know how to install floor tile.
- Measure the floor
- Understand tiles
- Prepare the surface
It is important to prepare for tile floor installation by accurately measuring your floor and calculating the number of square feet or meters you will need. Rectangular or square rooms are the easiest to calculate for, since you can simply multiply the room's width by its length. You should always round up this number to the nearest foot to make it even. Other room shapes will be a little bit trickier to calculate for; you will need to divide the whole space into rectangular sections first, and then calculate the square footage for each one of them. You can then add those all up to get the final number.
Tiles come in different colors, styles and sizes; you should think about these points when you decide which ones to buy. If this is the first time you take on a tile project, you might want to keep the tile pattern and layout simple. Consider your needs and tastes when deciding; for example, big tiles work well if the area you are working on is large, but can be too much for smaller rooms. Also, be aware that textured or rough finish tiles are usually safer, since glossy tiles can become slippery when they are wet. You should always buy 10 to 15% more tiles than you need, to avoid running out of tiles and account for possible mistakes and future replacement.
Before making a tile floor installation, you should remove the existing floor. After you have removed any residual mortar or other adhesives, thoroughly cleaned the floor, and checked the subfloor to see if it is leveled, you can start designing the layout.
Depending on the general outline of the room, and how visible tiles will be, you can either use full tiles among the room's most visible walls, or center the tiles on the floor so as to make the room as aesthetically appealing as possible. These two methods will also help minimize the amount of tiles that require cutting.
For centering the tiles, you should measure the length and width of the room, as well as measuring the diagonals from corner to corner. You will then have all the measurements you need to establish guide lines for laying tile.
How to install floor tile
- Prepare the thinset mortar
- Spread the mortar and set the tiles
- Cutting partial tiles
- Applying and sealing grout
First, you should mix up the thinset mortar. Using a 5 gallon bucket and a low speed drill chucked with a mizing paddle, follow the instructions for the thinset mortar you will use. Make sure you respect the instructed mortar to water ratio, or you will end up with a thinset mix that you will not be able to use. Be sure to make only the amount of mortar mix that you will be able to use in a 15 to 20 minute window, as after this period mortar will start to dry up. Also, keep a clean water bucket and a sponge handy, so you can clean tools and wipe off excess mortar before it sets.
Using a notched trowel, spread the mortar on a small area where you will start laying tile evenly. Be careful to follow your guide lines to press the tiles into place. When you are done with the first tile, use plastic spacers to position the next tile in line, always respecting the guidelines. Before you continue, check to see that the tires you have laid so far are properly aligned, straight and leveled.
You should work your way backwards from the center of the room towards the door, in order to not work yourself into a corner. Also, you should allow 24 hours for the thinset mortar to set before walking on your set tiles.
Once all the full tiles have been correctly placed and it is safe to walk on them, you can begin cutting and fitting partial tiles along the walls where needed. Cut the tiles to the right size, always allowing room for expansion, and set them to the floor in the same manner as you did the full tiles.
Finally, you should apply grout, after removing all spacers between tiles. When the grout is dry, and all excess has been removed from the tiles, you can seal it by using silicone for a clean finish.
If you follow these instructions carefully, you should have no problem with your tile floor installation, and be done in a few days.