How to Set the Price for Tile Flooring


Figuring the labor cost to complete a tile installation job is based on multiple factors. You cannot base your labor quote on installation only. A job quote is based on room size, the condition of the subfloor, removal and reinstallation of baseboards, cutting off door casing and possible removal of fixtures or appliances. You also need to know approximately how long it will take to complete each step, and calculate a rate that is competitive with the market.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Inspect the subfloor before you determine the cost of tile installation. Vinyl flooring and the adhesive will have to be removed before tile can be installed. A wood subfloor will have to be covered with concrete board. The cost of subfloor preparation should be at least half the cost of tile installation.

  • Measure the square footage of the room where you will be installing the tile. Square footage is calculated by multiplying length and width. A 10-foot by 12-foot room equals 120 square feet. Measure the square footage of all closets and add the total to the square footage of the room. The total square footage will tell you how much tile is needed. Add 10 percent to your total to account for breakage and intricate cuts.

  • Calculate the number of bags of thinset and grout that you will need to install the tile and finish it. A single bag of thinset will cover approximately 60 square feet. Grout is based on the square footage of the room, and the width of the grout lines. One 25-pound bag of sanded grout will cover 100 square feet of tile with three-eighth-inch grout lines.

  • Determine how long it will take you to remove and replace appliances, cut door casing, remove and replace baseboards or remove and replace a toilet. Determine an hourly amount to incorporate with the tile installation fees. The amount you charge should not exceed $25 an hour. You can choose to just consider it as part of the tile job and not charge at all.

  • Add the price of tile, thinset, grout, concrete board (if needed) and screws to secure the concrete board to the subfloor. The total amount is your material costs.

  • Decide the price of your labor based on the state in which you live. The amount that you charge must be a competitive rate. Labor for tile installation can be as low as $3 a square foot, and as high as $15 a square foot.

  • Add the cost of your materials and labor together. The solution is the total amount you will charge to complete a tile job.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can contact your local home improvement center to find out what the going rate for tile installation is in your state.
  • Set your price for installation $1 lower than the average rate to be competitive with other contractors.

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  • Photo Credit tile layer image by Greg Pickens from
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