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How Much Does It Cost to Tile a Shower?

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Renovating a bathroom is a proven way to increase the value of your house. Tiling the shower is one of the most popular ways to redo a bathroom. However, tiling a shower can get expensive, depending on the options you choose. You may be wondering how much it will cost to tile your shower. We've done the research and talked to a master tile setter to bring you the most up-to-date information about your costs and options. 

The cost of tiling a shower ranges from $1,800 to $4,000, with the average cost to tile a shower being $2,620. Your actual cost will depend on several variables, including:

  • The type of tile you choose
  • Whether you install it yourself or hire a contractor
  • The size of your shower 

As you can see, there are a lot of decisions that go into tiling a shower, and each one can have a big impact on the price of the finished job. Read on to find out all you need to know to make the best decision for your bathroom. 

Luxurious white marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, How Much Does It Cost to Tile a Shower

Types of Tile

There are a wide variety of tiles that can be used in a shower. Other than deciding whether to install the tile yourself or hire a contractor, this will be the factor that affects cost the most. You can buy the cheapest ceramic tile for around 50 cents per square foot, while expensive metal tile can cost 100 times as much.  We'll discuss the pros and cons of some of the most popular shower tiles below. 

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is the most popular type of tile installed in showers. It is waterproof and long-lasting. It comes in a huge array of colors and styles, giving you lots of options for creating your dream bathroom. Porcelain tile can be used to create beautiful borders and mosaics. It isn't the cheapest option, but it's a high-quality, durable choice. Porcelain tile costs between $3 per square foot and $10 per square foot. 

Click here to see this porcelain wall tile at Amazon.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is similar to porcelain tile, but it's more porous and softer. This is the most budget-friendly option. You can buy the cheapest type of ceramic tile for less than $1 per square foot. Ceramic tiles also come in a wide range of finishes. It is durable and easy to maintain, making it a great option for many renovations. 

Click here to check out this ceramic tile on Amazon.

Stone Tile

Stone tile in a shower will give a luxurious, high-end feel to your bathroom. These tiles come at a premium, both in price and maintenance. Stone tiles can range in price from $2 per square foot to over $50 per square foot.  In addition to being more expensive, stone tile requires more maintenance. Stone tile is prone to developing mold and mildew if it is not well maintained. 

The more polished the stone is, the more resistant it will be to mildew. Depending on the type of natural stone you have, you may have to have it sealed up to once a year. Additionally, your bathroom will need good ventilation and drainage to make sure mold and mildew don't develop. 

There are many different types of natural stone tiles. The most popular are: 

  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Travertine
  • Limestone
  • Marble 

Click here to shop for stone tile at Amazon.

Doing It Yourself Versus Hiring a Contractor 

Labor can be one of the most expensive parts of tiling a shower. On average, you can expect to pay about $25 per square foot for labor to have a shower tiled. However, tiling a shower can be complicated and may not be the best option for a beginner. The exception is if you have the time and patience to learn the skills to tile a shower. 

The complexity of your shower and your tile design will be a factor in labor costs as well. An intricate pattern with smaller tiles will cost more than installing larger, plain tiles. Additionally, if your shower includes a bench and soap niches, it will be more expensive to tile than three flat walls and a floor. 

If you do it yourself, you'll need to factor in the cost of supplies and renting or buying the tools you will need as well. Some of the supplies you'll need to complete the job include: 

Tile Cutter

A wet tile saw is the best option for cutting tile. It uses a water-cooled diamond blade to cut, so it's perfect for making delicate cuts. A wet tile saw can make intricate cuts, including curves for any pattern you need. Tiles saws are expensive, though, costing between $200 and $800. However, if you don't want to make that big investment, you can rent one for around $50 per day from a home improvement store. 

If you don't want to invest in a wet tile saw, you may use a tile cutter. A tile cutter is much less expensive, but it only makes straight cuts. A tile cutter is a good option for small, simple jobs. It may not be a good fit if your shower tile design requires many intricate cuts or curves. 

Click here to check out wet tile saws on Amazon.

Tile Adhesive

You'll need either mastic or thin-set to adhere the tiles. Thin-set is the best option if you're setting larger tiles or you have to build up the surface. You can use thin-set or mastic on walls. Mastic can't be used on floors, so you'll need thin-set for the floor. 

Thin-set can be used to build up surfaces and will be set up the next day. Mastic can't be used to build up surfaces as it will remain spongy for several days. Mastic costs about $15 to $20 per gallon. Thin-set is much cheaper but must be mixed up. 

Click here to see tile adhesive on Amazon.

Shower Pan and Cement Board

You'll need a shower pan or a Schluter system to make sure your shower doesn't leak. A Schluter system is much more expensive, starting around $400. A shower pan costs about $100. 

Cement board has to be installed on the wall over the shower pan to provide a surface for the tiles. Cement boards cost around $12 per board, and the amount you'll need depends on the size of your shower. 

Click here to check out shower pans on Amazon.

Grout

After you set the tile, you'll need to grout it. Grout costs about $12 for a 10-pound bag if you mix it yourself. If you buy premixed, it will start at around $28 per gallon. 

Click here to shop for grout on Amazon.

Waterproofing

After you grout your shower, you'll need to seal the tile, joints, and seams.  The sealant will cost about $8 per quart. You'll need to apply two coats for good coverage. 

Click here to check out grout on Amazon.

Miscellaneous Items

You'll also need to buy some of the following items if you don't have them on hand:

  • Tile spacers 
  • Trowel 
  • Buckets
  • Screws
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill

Click here to see grout floats on Amazon.

The Size of Your Shower

The price of tiling a shower is determined by the square footage. The bigger your shower is, the more it will cost to tile it. Bigger showers also require more tiles and other materials. In addition, if your shower has special features, such as benches or niches, it will be more expensive to tile. 

Bathroom with marble sink, shower and mirror.

Do You Need a Shower Pan For a Tile Shower?

You will either need a shower pan or a Schluter system for your shower. A shower pan is much cheaper than a Schluter system. Another option that is more expensive than a regular shower pan but easier to install is a prefabricated fiberglass shower pan. With one of these, you only tile the walls of the shower. You'll save money on the floor but you'll still have a tile shower. 

The interior of a simple, modern bathroom in a , cool, blue-green tone. There is a sink, mirror,shower, a hand towel holder

What is the Cheapest Tile for Shower?

Ceramic tile is the cheapest option for tile. You can buy the cheapest ceramic tile for around 50 cents per square foot. Even though ceramic is a more budget-friendly option, it will still upgrade to your bathroom and add value to your house. 

Is it Cheaper to Tile a Shower or Buy a Prefabricated Surround?

It is far cheaper to buy a prefabricated shower surround. Shower surrounds start at about $300. Even if you do it yourself with the cheapest tile, you will spend more to tile a shower. If you want to save money but still want a tiled shower, a prefabricated fiberglass pan is a good compromise. 

a white enamel bath with shower unit and glass shower screen in a guest's bathroom set in off-white tiles

Conclusion

Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, tiling your shower can add value and beauty to your home. If money is no option, you can hire a contractor to install a marble tile shower. If you're looking to save money, you can do it yourself with ceramic tile. No matter what your budget, you can pick a type of tile that suits it and will upgrade your bathroom. 

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