cost to tile a shower

$21.65 Per Square Foot Installed

The average cost to tile a shower is around $14.85 for DIY, as all you’ll need are tools and the tile you purchase. Expect around $21.65 per square foot when using shower-grade ceramic or porcelain tile, and having it installed by a pro.

Typical Range

$18.75 – $23.60/sf

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Estimated Shower Tile Cost Comparison Table


$14.85 – $16.50/s.f.

Average Cost Estimate

$18.75 – $23.60/s.f.


$25.15 – $28.50/s.f.

Material Ceramic Ceramic or Porcelain Ceramic or Porcelain
Tile Size Medium to Large Medium to Large Small to Large
Wall and Floor Prep None or Little Little to Moderate Moderate to Heavy
Job Complexity Easy Easy to Moderate Moderate to Difficult
Job Size More than 100 sq. ft. Any Size Less than 100 sq. ft.
Old Tile Removal No No or Yes No or Yes
Installer Handyman Licensed Installer Licensed Installer
Cost of Living Low to Average Average to High Average to High

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro

Overview of a Tile Showers

A tile shower combines contemporary good looks with long-lasting moisture protection. Much like a kitchen back-splash, as you shop your options you’ll find a pleasing array of styles, colors and tile sizes to suit your desired look. Many homeowners use a combination of tiles to create a custom look for their shower.

This Costimate covers the cost of installing tile in a shower of any size or shape. This includes a stall shower, shower and tub or a large luxury shower with premium amenities. Complete cost information for the materials and the labor are included, so you’ll know where your money will be spent.

Additional information includes cost estimates from other sites for comparison and actual shower tile installation costs from homeowners that have had the work done. We invite you to return once you’ve had your project completed to share your costs with other readers.

Shower Tile Project Cost Details

Tile Cost Factors

Prices from $14.85 to almost $30 per square foot represent a wide range. This section will help you determine where on that spectrum your costs are likely to fall.

  • Tile Quality – Porcelain tile, a type of ceramic tile that is harder with better moisture resistance, costs $1.50 to $2.50 more than ceramic tile per square foot. Other upgrades that raise cost can include thicker tile, textured tile, tile with premium glazing and specialty colors.
  • Tile Size – Large tiles cost more for the tile, but they cost less to install per square foot because each tile covers more area. In general, the larger the tile, the lower the total installed shower tile cost.
  • Wall and Floor Preparation – Installing new cement backer board is standard for tile applications. If additional preparation is required such as the installation of a new moisture barrier, cost will be higher.
  • Job Complexity – A boxy three-sided shower with a standard shower head is the easiest to tile. When the installers have to work around lighting, multiple shower heads, built-in benches and similar, cost rises.
  • Job Size – In general, the larger the job, the less it costs per square foot. This is a minor consideration, but when you have a complete job that includes bathroom floors as well, the cost may come down slightly at the per square foot range.
  • Removing Old Tile – The cost to remove tile varies from about $1 to $2 per square foot.
  • Who Installs the Tile – An unlicensed handyman will charge less than a licensed and insured tile contractor. Be sure any installer you hire has good experience with your type of shower installation. Ask to see pictures of recently completed work and check their online ratings, if available.
  • Cost of Living – Shower tile installation costs reflect the area’s cost of living. It is highest in large metropolitan areas of the East, Northeast and Northwest. The lowest costs of living are in rural areas, especially in the Midwest and South.

Based on the prices and price factors, here are common ranges for typical shower tile installation costs:

  • Simple: Stall shower or standard tub/shower combination with basic style and tile – About 90 square feet of tiled surface: $1,156 to $1,535
  • Moderate: Stall shower or tub/shower combo with a mixture of tile styles including large and small tiles – About 90 square feet: $1,687 to $2,195
  • Complex: Luxury shower, 3.5’ x 6’, with built-in tiled bench, toiletries cubby, mix of tile styles and specialty tiles like those with a bullnose cap and other design upgrades, 125 to 150 feet of tiling: $3,125 to $4,230.

Cost of Installation Supplies

Most tile jobs are estimated based on time and materials. Here is a breakdown of the material costs plus tools and accessories required for the work.

  • $1.25 – $10+ per square foot | These are prices for the most commonly used ceramic and porcelain shower tiles. As noted, super-premium ceramic/porcelain tile can cost more.
  • $11 – $15 per sheet | Cement backerboard made specifically as base for tile. It is sold in 3’x5’ sheets, so about $1 per square foot.
  • $.50 – $3.00 per square foot | Waterproof barrier. Plastic sheeting and liquid barrier (less than $1/sq. Ft.), plastic membrane (Up to $2/sq. Ft.) and foam board (up to $3/sq. Ft.) are all common.
  • $15 – $22 per bag | Thinset tile mortar, sold in 50lb bags. Coverage is 50 square feet per bag when installing wall tile. Coverage can be as much as 90 square feet for floor tile.
  • $1 – $2 per square foot | Miscellaneous accessories including backerboard screws, tile spacers, caulk, etc. Material and tool lists are available are available from home improvement stores and websites.
  • $55+ | Drill and mixing paddle for mixing tile thinset and grout (can be rented)
  • $185+ | Powered tile saw with tile blade (saw can be rented, but you typically have to purchase the blade)
  • $50 – $150 | Miscellaneous supplies including safety gear, knee pads and basic hand tools you might not have. Here’s a tile installation tools and materials list from Lowes along with how-to help and videos.

Permits, Inspection, , Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 | No permit is required for this work.

Related Costs and Installation Time

In the materials + cost equation, we’ve looked at the materials needed. Labor is the second and most significant cost in putting tile in a shower. Because of the potential for complexity, high volume of cut tiles and working in tight areas, labor costs are higher than for tile floor installation.

Old tile and backer board are removed. The wall studs and framing beneath the shower are inspected for moisture damage. Repairs are made. If a new shower line is required, that is an additional $1,000 to $1,500 for the liner and installation. The new backerboard and waterproofing materials are installed before the new tile is installed. Then, grout is installed between the tiles.

  • $7.50 – $14.00 per square foot | Labor Cost to Install a Tile Shower
  • $150 – $400 | New shower control valve and fixtures.
  • $850 – $5,500 | New bathtub cost if not tiling to the floor.
  • $75 – $1,500 | Shower curtain or glass shower doors.
  • $50 – $450 | Bathroom exhaust fan

Shower Tile Install Time Schedule

Depending on the size of the shower, the crew might include one or two people.

Here is a sample schedule for a single installer.

  • 2-3 hours | Remove old tile and backer board
  • 2 hours – 1 day | Frame any specialty designs like cubbies or benches, if applicable
  • 3-6 hours | Install new backerboard and waterproofing materials
  • 1-4 hours | Plan tile installation, place spacers and
  • 1-3 days | Install new tile and complete final details such as cleaning tile

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Installing tile in a shower is the most challenging work for pros. Getting professional-looking results is difficult. The obstacles to success include laying out perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines, getting even-width grout lines in wall and ceiling corners, aligning and coordinating ceiling and wall tile lines and making precise cuts around plumbing.

Improper grouting or installation of the waterproofing materials can result in water damage with far more impact than a slightly crooked line of tiles.

We recommend leaving shower tile installation to experienced professionals that are licensed and insured.

What do you think? Is shower tile installation a DIY project? Cast your vote below.

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