How Much Does It Cost to Install a Tile Shower?

by Team HomeServe
Tiling work in a bathroom wet room

If you're looking to make your current bathroom more stylish, you can't go wrong with tiles. Your walk-in shower renovation project is going to take a lot of work and time. It's a good idea to budget for your materials and other needs before the first swing of the hammer.

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Curious how much it would cost to install a tile shower instead of one of those prefabricated fiberglass models? Here’s what you can expect in terms of price.

Is It Expensive to Install a Tile Shower?

The answer is — it depends. Primarily the cost is based on the type of tile you choose and whether you use a contractor or do it yourself. Tile is an ideal choice for shower spaces because it's easy to clean and it comes in a variety of styles to suit your preferences.

According to estimates from Bob Vila, the average cost to tile a shower is $900 (CAD 1,209) based on this breakdown:

  • Tile cost: $8 to $70 (CAD 11 to CAD 94) per square foot
  • Installation: $7 to $14 (CAD 9 to CAD 19) per square foot

Costs may be higher or lower depending on the size of your shower, the tiles you choose and the contractor you hire to do the job.  We’ll go into more depth about the cost factors below.

Types of Tile

One of the first choices that will dictate the total cost of your walk-in bathroom renovation is the kind of tile you want. Your options include:

Natural Stone

The beauty of using natural stone is that each stone's random pattern and design are unique. Examples of natural stones include marble, granite and limestone. Marble is probably the most expensive tile, which can run as high as $65 (CAD 87) a square foot, according to Bob Vila. However, on average, HomeGuide says natural stones cost about $13 to $20 (CAD 17 to CAD 27) per square foot, including installation labor.


Ceramic tile is glazed clay classified as either monocottura (once-fired) or bicottura (twice-fired). Floor tiles are bicottura, which is the more durable of the two. It can also be used as wall tiles. The average cost of ceramic wall tiles is about $7 (CAD 9) per square foot, while floor tiles are between $7 and $45 (CAD 9 and CAD 60) per square foot, based on data from This Old House. Because ceramic tiles can crack and stain the grout, a special sealant must be applied, which costs extra.


Like ceramic, porcelain is also made from clay — specifically clay dust — that's been fired. It's low-maintenance and allergen-free as well as durable with a low water absorption rate. Porcelain is non-porous, making it ideal for bathrooms. It's also relatively inexpensive, costing about $12 to $19 (CAD 16 to CAD 26) per square foot, based on data from HomeGuide.


Mosaic tiles measure two inches or smaller, and they can mimic natural looks to create a more earthy feel. They come in a variety of shapes and styles to spur your creativity. Cost varies because it depends on the materials used to make them and how elaborate the design is.


Cement outlasts many of the other materials, and if it's properly coated, it won't stain. Cement is a great choice for bathroom flooring because it's not slippery. Cement’s weight means you'll have to consider the bathroom's infrastructure. Using it may require a bit more renovation work. While the average cost runs between $7 to $14 (CAD 9 to CAD 19) per square foot, higher-quality material is more expensive.

In addition to the tiles for the flooring and walls of your bathroom, Architectural Digest says you might consider incorporating a frameless or semi-frameless glass encasement, which costs between $500 and $1,700 (CAD 671 and CAD 2,283).

Do You Need a Backsplash?

While many people associate a backsplash with the kitchen, the same concept also applies to the bathroom. Backsplashes are designed to protect shower walls from potential water damage, so they are an ideal addition. How you incorporate a backsplash depends on the kind of look you want to achieve. While you can use any material, including porcelain and ceramic, other trendy choices include:


From common tile to the rarer, more delicate varieties, marble's beautiful swirling patterns create a high-end look and feel. This is one of the reasons why it's becoming more prominent in many homes. Of course, for those who can't afford the pricier versions — which can cost $65 (CAD 87) per square foot or more — there are options priced at around $15 (CAD 20) per square foot installed that still provide a gorgeous look. There are also marble-like tiles that are even less expensive.


Travertine is a type of limestone created inside hot springs by escaping water vapor. It's porous, though, which makes it susceptible to mold. If it's installed in a bathroom, it has to be sealed. It comes in many colors to complement any decor. This unique type of limestone costs between $13 and $20 (CAD 17 and CAD 27) per square foot.


Glass is an easily accessible material that can be used to create unique designs because of its natural finish and translucence. You can use it to create a mosaic or give it a more metallic luster. In some cases, it's a go-to option for many who want a minimalist, edgy accent that accentuates chrome fixtures. While it's easy to clean, glass tiles tend to be more expensive to install, costing between $20 and $100 (CAD 27 and CAD 134) per square foot.

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Labor Costs and Timeframe

While the overall cost of tiles may set you back several hundred (or thousand) dollars — depending on the size of the shower — the preparation and labor costs are different matters entirely.

To put in new tile, the contractor will have to remove the old ones. This is one of the most time-consuming processes, costing roughly $3.36 (CAD 4.51) per square foot, according to HomeGuide. To prepare for the installation of new tile, the old shower will have to be leveled, which may cost around $3 (CAD 4) per square foot. Installing shower floor tiles is more expensive than installing wall tiles because some tiles require extra mortar on the back, while others may need to be beaten down to avoid their edges kicking up.

Overall labor cost is between $7 and $14 (CAD 9 and CAD 19) per square foot. Depending on any additional treatments needed and material curing, professionals can finish this job in less than a week.

Cost of a Tile Surround

Installing a tile surround involves laying a good cement backer, which is a relatively simple concept and costs less than a regular renovation. On average, professionals charge between $1,000 and $3,500 (CAD 1,340 and CAD 4,700) for this type of job, as tile needs to be cut to fit around fixtures. This is a challenging project, but with the right tools and equipment, you could tackle this on your own for between $3 and $15 (CAD 4 and CAD 20), according to data from HomeGuide. Tile surrounds for your walk-in bathroom can be done in a weekend.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.