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How Much Does It Cost To Install Floor Tiles?

Last Updated Mar 26, 2014 · Written by

Tiles|Renovation Costs

Buying floor tiles is a fairly straightforward procedure. You choose the tiles you like, get a couple of quotes and have them delivered. Getting quotes for installing floor tiles is not quite as straightforward and can often cause misunderstandings with tilers. Why is one tiling quote so much higher than another? Why was my neighbour's living room tiling job cheaper than my bathroom quote? Here's what you need to know before you get quotes from tilers.

©Belmondo Tiles

What Does a Tiler Do?

On the surface, a tiler's job looks relatively easy. If they are able to lay tiles neatly, we're happy with the results. Most tilers can do this, so why pay more for one tiler's work when another one's quote is so much lower? You'll find out if you insist on getting detailed quotes from every tiler. A few typical examples show why:
  • If tiles are laid on timber floorboards, an underlay will be required and a waterproof membrane might be advisable as well. These are labour intensive jobs and the materials needed aren't cheap, either.
  • Bathroom tiles always require a waterproof membrane and the floor should be sloped to allow water to drain away. This is why a bathroom can cost twice as much per square metre as a living room.
  • Smaller areas require more tile cutting in relation to the entire job than larger areas, so may cost more per square metre because of the extra labour.
  • Some tiles need sealing after they are laid.
From these examples, you can see why one tiler might give a far lower quote than another. Your job is to find out if you're getting "apples for apples" quotes. When you do, you'll probably discover that quotes from responsible tilers won't differ so drastically.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Floor Tiles?*

Tilers usually quote on a per metre basis and their quotes can vary dramatically. For example:
  • The per metre rate for laying ceramic tiles can vary between $90 and $150 or even more.
  • Quarry tiles also start at around $90 per square metre, but top out at about $125.
  • Vinyl tiles are the easiest and quickest to lay. Expect quotes between $40 and $100 per square metre.
It's better to ask the tiler to quote for the entire job than settle for a per metre quote. That way, you will know exactly what you're getting for your money and may even be able to negotiate a better rate from your preferred tiler.

Before you make your final decision, compare the quality of previous work the tilers you get quotes from have done. If possible, visually inspect some of their work. If this is not possible, ask for references and contact them directly. In most cases, if a tiler has been working steadily in the same area for a number of years, it's likely they have established a good reputation and can be relied on to do quality work that will withstand the test of time.

*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.

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