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How much does it cost to retile a shower area?

December 13, 2023
How much does it cost to retile a shower area

Homeowners typically pay $800 to $3,000 to retile their showers, depending on the tile finish, material, and size, installation pattern, shower size, and labor cost. Some tile setters may also charge a minimum fee of $700 to $1,000.

To get a better estimate of the total cost of your retiling project, we’ll provide a more detailed explanation of the costs involved in retiling your shower. We’ll share everything from the cost of each tile material to the average installation cost.

Cost to Retile Shower by Tile Material

Cost to Retile Shower by Tile Material
Tile MaterialCost Per Square Foot (Installed)
Ceramic$5 to $30
Marble$11 to $54
Porcelain$7 to $32
Slate$9 to $38
Terracotta$5 to $30
Granite$10 to $65
Limestone$11 to $45
Glass$10 to $65
Quarry Pavers$13 to $40
Pebble Tile$30 to $70
Travertine$12 to $53

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are made from clay and other natural materials. These clays and materials are placed in an extremely hot kiln to create a hard and durable tile.

Even though these tiles are usually glazed, unglazed ceramic tiles are often preferred for showers due to their superior slip-resistance and natural matte appearance.

Ceramic tiles can cost about $5 to $30 per square foot. Unglazed ceramic tiles are typically less expensive since they aren’t coated with a glass-like glaze.

Marble

Typically, homes that want a luxurious and classic atmosphere use marble tiles. Their natural veining patterns have become a symbol of luxury that many flooring options are now trying to imitate.

These tiles are naturally porous and can absorb water, leading to staining and water damage. Sealants should be applied during installation and reapplied whenever needed to prevent water penetration.

Expect to pay around $11 to $54 per square foot to get your shower retiled with marble tiles.

Porcelain 

Porcelain tiles are made of a special clay called kaolin or China clay. Like ceramic tiles, they’re cooked in a kiln, but porcelain tends to be denser and less porous because they’re made using higher temperatures.

They are inherently water-resistant and less prone to chipping or cracking, so you can use them in your shower without much problem.

They cost slightly more than ceramic tiles, costing $7 to $32 per square foot.

Slate

Slate tiles are made from natural fine-grained rocks. They are ideal for showers and baths because they’re water-resistant, allowing you to install them without having to use sealants.

The irregular patterns, subtle color variations, and unique, earthy look give them more character. You can choose grey, black, green, red, and purple colors.

Slate tiles are usually more expensive than ceramic and porcelain tiles, so prepare around $9 to $38 per square foot if you want them in your shower.

Terracotta

Terracotta is another type of tile that’s made of clay. However, unlike ceramic tiles, terracotta tiles are fired at relatively low temperatures, so they’re softer and more porous.

This means they’re susceptible to scratching, wear, chipping, and staining and are usually not ideal for wet areas. That said, if you really like their earthy, reddish-brown look, you can have them sealed for more protection.

Terracottas are among the cheapest tiles out there, costing about $5 to $30 per square foot. If you’re using them in your shower, just prepare a few more bucks for the sealing.

Granite

Granite is one of the hardest and most durable natural stones available, so it’s a well-loved material for tiles. It’s not susceptible to scratches, chips, and wear and can maintain its appearance for years.

It’s not commonly used for showers, but you can use it for a polished shower that doesn’t require much maintenance. Because it’s a natural stone, granite tiles can offer your shower a natural beauty that features a variety of colors and patterns.

These tiles typically cost $10 to $65 per square foot, including materials and installation.

Limestone

Limestone tiles are made from sedimentary rocks. They have a unique appearance, often including fossilized remnants of sea organisms.

They are susceptible to scratching and can absorb water, so they should always be sealed if you want to use them in your shower area. They’re also relatively high maintenance and can only be cleaned with pH-neutral stone cleaners.

Retiling your shower with limestone tiles can cost you anywhere between $11 and $45 per square foot, depending on the quality and size of the tiles.

Glass

Glass tiles are a popular choice for tiling both walls and floors. However, if you use them in your shower, use textured glass tiles or apply a non-slip treatment for flooring. Glass can be pretty slippery when wet, so it can cause accidents.

Aside from the translucent and reflective qualities that give glass tiles a more modern look, they are available in various colors. 

Glass tiles can be slightly expensive, costing $10 to $65 per square foot, depending on the brand, quality, size, design, and color.

Quarry Pavers

Quarry pavers are another type of tile made of clay that’s fired at extremely high temperatures. Unlike ceramics that can be glazed or unglazed, quarry pavers are all unglazed, giving them a distinctive matte finish and rustic appearance.

They’re slip-resistant even when wet and are highly durable. They’re often used as an alternative to terracotta for those who want terracotta’s aesthetic but don’t like the maintenance requirements that come with it.

These are slightly more costly than terracotta tiles because of their durability and low-maintenance nature. Make sure you have around $13 to $40 prepared for every square foot of your shower if you want quarry pavers.

Pebble Tile

Pebble tiles or river rock tiles are composed of small, naturally rounded pebbles that are adhered to a mesh backing or flexible sheet. They have a textured mosaic appearance that’s similar to riverbeds.

The natural texture of the pebbles provides a comfortable and slip-resistant surface for floors, making them one of the most popular tile choices for shower floors. They’re also easy to clean, and their irregular shapes help hide dirt and grime.

Pebble tiles are quite expensive since they’re challenging to install. Prepare about $30 to $70 per square foot if you want pebble tiles in your shower.

Travertine

Travertine tiles are also natural stone tiles made of sedimentary rock. They’re closely related to limestones and marbles but softer and more susceptible to scratches.

They often feature natural and unique patterns, with veins and flecks that create an elegant and classic look. They usually come in beige, tan, ivory, walnut, and gold, but some suppliers also have other colors.

Travertine tiles generally cost $12 to $53 per square foot to install, but you may need to prepare more if you’re using them for your shower since they’ll require sealing.

Other Factors That May Affect the Cost of Retiling Shower

Tile Size

Tile Size

Since larger tiles require more raw materials, they are typically more expensive than smaller ones. They also usually weigh more, so you might have to pay a little more for transportation.

That said, smaller tiles are usually more time-consuming to install since they cover smaller areas and use more grout. If your tile setter charges by hour, you may end up paying more on labor costs.

It’s worth noting, though, that installing 24” x 24” tiles on shower floors may be more challenging if you have a center drain. Tile setters will have to create envelope cuts on the floor to give it a proper slope.

Tile Patterns

Tile Patterns
Tile PatternsCost Per Square Foot (Installed)
Straight set$3 to $30
Running bond$3 to $35
Mosaic$3 to $36
Diagonal$4 to $35
Herringbone$4 to $36

Straight Set

Straight set pattern is one of the most basic and straightforward patterns used for laying tiles. Each tile’s edges in this pattern align horizontally and vertically, creating a grid-like arrangement.

This pattern creates a clean, uncluttered look due to the straight, uniform grout lines. They also create an illusion of a bigger space, so they’re recommended for smaller showers.

A straight set pattern is usually the cheapest pattern to do since the installation process isn’t too complicated. Depending on the tile size and material, this pattern will cost you around $3 to $30 per square foot.

Running Bond

For a running bond pattern, think of how bricks are installed. Tiles are laid in a staggered, offset arrangement, with each row of tiles shifted by half of the tile’s width from the row above.

This pattern helps distribute weight and stress evenly across the tiles, which makes it suitable for both floors and walls. It also gives a timeless and classic look to spaces.

A running bond pattern can cost a bit more than a straight set, depending on the size and material of the tiles. Prepare about $3 to $35 per square foot for this pattern.

Mosaic

A mosaic pattern is popular for shower walls and floors because it helps create a visually striking and waterproof surface. It costs about $3 to $36, but this can go much higher depending on the intricacy of the design.

For this pattern, tile setters will use small, individual tiles to create intricate designs and patterns. Ceramics, glass, and porcelain are usually the most common choices for mosaic patterns, but you can really use any type you want.

Diagonal

Tiles are put at a 45-degree angle in a diagonal or diamond pattern to resemble diamonds. A diagonal line is created whenever the corners of the tiles touch each other, hence the name.

Like a straight set, a diagonal pattern also creates an illusion of additional space. The eyes are drawn to the pattern’s long diagonal lines, making the room look larger than it is.

A diagonal pattern is usually a bit more expensive than other patterns, costing $4 to $35 per square foot. This is because this pattern requires more angled cuts for corners and is generally more time-consuming.

Herringbone

A herringbone pattern is typically the most expensive of the patterns we’ve listed here. They can cost about $4 to $36 per square foot, but this range can be higher depending on the tile size and material.

This pattern sports a distinctive zigzag arrangement of tiles. This is usually the recommended pattern for those whose house has a very classic interior.

Neutral-colored tiles are frequently used to create a classic appearance. But this pattern will also look good with brighter-colored tiles if you prefer a more current and contemporary appearance.

Tile Finish

Tile Finish
Tile FinishCost Per Square Foot (Installed)
Glossy$4.25 to $65
Matte$6 to $65
Metallic$23 to $65
Rustic$13 to $110

Glossy

Glossy tiles have a smooth, glass-like surface, so they’re not the most ideal for a shower floor. However, if you really want a glossy finish, you can use materials with good slip resistance, like pebble tiles or quarry pavers, and then get them polished.

A glossy finish usually costs you $4.25 to $65 per square foot, the cheapest among all finishes. 

Matte

Matte finish often provides a more muted or subdued color compared to glossy tiles. This can give your shower a more relaxing and calm ambiance.

It’s also less prone to showing water spots, fingerprints, and other marks compared to glossy tiles, making them ideal for showers and kitchens. 

Matte finish is typically a bit more expensive than glossy finish, costing around $6 to $65 per square foot.

Metallic

Metallic finish focuses more on mimicking the appearance of various metals, such as copper, brass, bronze, or steel, rather than how shiny and reflective they’ll be. Hence, a metallic finish can both be shiny or matte.

This finish is mainly done on walls rather than floors since its aesthetic value is its biggest selling point. This can give your shower a more industrial vibe, which can be fitting if this is the overall aesthetic you’re going for in your house.

Metallic finish is quite expensive, though, because of how challenging it is to achieve. If you like this finish, expect to pay around $23 to $65 per square foot.

Rustic

A rustic finish is well-loved by those who love weathered and aged materials but want the benefits of modern, durable tiles. The tiles often have grooves, dents, and edges to make the vintage finish more realistic.

For this finish, you can expect to pay around $13 to $110 per square foot. The actual price highly depends on the type of tile you’re using and the weathered material you want to mimic.

Shower Size

Shower Size
Shower SizeCost
3’ x 3’$800 to $1,650
3’ x 4’$900 to $2,200
3’ x 5’$1,000 to $3,000

The shower size will determine how many tiles will be used for the entire shower. Hence, it will significantly impact the total cost of retiling.

Larger showers also generally require more labor for installation, tile removal, surface preparation, and grout work, resulting in higher labor costs. Even when using large tiles, labor costs would still be higher for larger showers than smaller ones.

Generally, it can cost you around $800 to $1,650 to retile a 3’ x 3’ square feet walk-in shower, while a bigger 3’ x 5’ walk-in shower will cost you around $1,000 to $3,000. 

Removal of Existing Tile

Removal of Existing Tile

Demolition of tiles is time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially if the old tiles are hard to remove, like ceramic tiles. Tile setters will also need specialized tools, which can further drive up the total cost.

Removal of old tiles will cost you around $2 to $7 per square foot, depending on the materials of the tiles.

Disposal of the old tiles will also come with additional costs. This can include fees for waste disposal or hauling services, depending on the local regulations and disposal options available in your area.

Repairs

Repairs

Removal of old tile is generally not enough to prepare the shower for retiling. After removal, you’ll find all the damages that need fixing before installing new tiles.

Some common issues that need to be repaired during the process typically include water damage, rot, mold, or deteriorated materials. You’ll have to pay additional costs to fix these issues, which can be pretty hefty if there’s a lot to repair.

Repairs for cracks and water damage can run anywhere between $40 and $65 per square foot

Installation Cost

Installation Cost

Installation cost is among the most significant factors affecting the total cost of retiling a shower. This will cost you around $4 to $8 per square foot for ceramic and porcelain tiles and $6 to $15 for natural stone tiles.

Highly skilled and experienced tile setters may charge more for their services. That said, their expertise can lead to a better, longer-lasting result. 

Moreover, tile setters from areas with high cost of living will generally charge more. Some tile setters may also have a minimum charge for every project.

Sealing

Sealing

Natural stone and terracotta tiles are naturally porous and can be easily damaged when used in the shower area. That’s why they must be sealed with a silicone-based impregnating sealer.

These sealers are absorbed by the tiles and grout, forming a protective barrier within the material. This will help them resist moisture and stain, prolonging their life.

Sealing tiles can cost around $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the brand and quality of the sealant.

How to Save Money When Retiling Shower

How to Save Money When Retiling Shower

Choose a more affordable tile material

There’s really no need for premium tile materials for your shower unless you’re going for a specific aesthetic or want the best quality possible. Ceramic and terracotta tiles should do the job if you’re on a budget.

Opt for a glossy or matte finish

Glossy and matte finish tiles are generally more cost-effective than rustic and metallic. Going for these finishes won’t significantly diminish the aesthetic and quality of your shower.

Remove the existing tiles on your own

This can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but you’ll be able to save a lot if you remove the tiles on your own. Just be careful when doing so to avoid damaging the walls and floor.

Repair cracks on your own

Look for cracks that you can repair and seal on your own to save up on repair costs. There are a lot of videos online that can teach you how to fix cracks and chips, so fixing minor damages shouldn’t be that hard.

However, it’s advisable to leave plumbing issues to professionals to avoid causing more damage.

Compare quotes from multiple suppliers and tile setters

Talk to multiple suppliers and tile setters to get the most competitive deal. Some suppliers and setters will also be willing to negotiate their prices if you tell them you found a better deal somewhere else.

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