Estimate Costs to Retiling Your Kitchen Floor
If your kitchen flooring has seen better days, retiling can give your space a fresh new look. But before taking on a tile project, it’s important to estimate costs so you can budget accurately.
The price to retile a kitchen floor ranges from $7-15 per square foot including tile materials and professional installation labor. Total costs ultimately depend on your kitchen size, tile choices, layout complexity and the condition of your existing floor.
Picking the Perfect Tile Material for Your Kitchen
Tile comes in a variety of types with different price points, looks and features. Consider how each option fits your kitchen aesthetic and lifestyle.
Ceramic tile offers classic style at just $2-5 per square foot. Glazed ceramic comes in endless colors and patterns like subway tiles, mosaics and terra cotta. Unglazed types bring natural stone-like textures. The downside is ceramic absorbs more water than other materials.
Porcelain tile has moderate pricing from $5-15 per square foot. It’s highly water resistant, easy to clean and durable for heavy usage. Porcelain mimics looks of stone, wood and marble while withstanding chips and scratches.
Natural stone tiles bring elegance at a premium $15-30+ per square foot. Granite, marble, travertine and slate have unique veining. But stone requires yearly sealing and can stain. Cost also depends on stone rarity.
Glass, metal and mosaic tiles offer shiny, modern options. Prices range widely based on material and intricacy of mosaic patterns.
Picking a Tile Layout Pattern
Simple tile patterns like straight brick or staggered brick layouts are the most affordable because they’re easy for installers to arrange. Opting for different size tiles or angled patterns adds visual interest but requires more cuts.
Hiring a kitchen designer to create a custom tile pattern offers creative flair but also boosts project costs. The more intricate the design, the more labor it will require to properly install.
Demolition and Subfloor Preparation
Before new tile can go down, you’ll need to remove existing flooring. Pro contractors charge $2-3 per square foot for demolition. Peeling up vinyl sheets is easiest while scraping thick glued down tiles or grout is toughest.
With flooring stripped, inspect the subfloor for needed repairs. Leveling uneven areas prevents cracked grout lines later. Fixing damaged or rotted subfloor runs $3-8 per square foot including materials.
Pro Subfloor Prep for Durability
It’s crucial to address subfloor problems prior to installing tile. Low spots will cause weak points and loose tiles. Damaged underlayment also risks cracks. Taking time to flatten and fortify the subsurface prevents issues down the road.
A smooth, structurally sound subfloor allows thinset mortar and tiles to adhere properly. This prevents shifting, loose tiles or grout cracks from subsurface imperfections poking through over time.
Tile Installation Process and Cost Considerations
Tiling materials like thinset mortar, tiles, and grout will cost $5-10 per square foot on average. The biggest expense is labor. Pro installers charge $4-8 per square foot for installation.
Smaller tile sizes require more grout lines and individual pieces, increasing layout time. Intricate patterns also take longer than basic bricks. Expect to pay more for specialty tiles requiring special cutting.
Hiring a Qualified Tile Setter
Tiling requires skill to prep, cut and place tiles perfectly flush. Professionals have the tools and experience for an even finished look. Attempting DIY tile installation as a beginner may result in uneven or cracked tiles.
When comparing contractor bids, ask how many years of experience the tilesetter has. Review past kitchen tiling projects to evaluate quality. A true pro will handle your layout pattern smoothly and efficiently.
Grout and Sealants for the Finishing Touch
Grout fills joints between tiles, typically running an extra $0.75-1.50 per square foot. White is common but colored grout adds flair. Glossy or matte grout finishes change the look as well.
Sealing grout and tiles after installation is crucial to prevent stains. Expect to pay $0.60-1.25 per square foot for sealant materials and application labor.
Why Proper Sealing Matters
Without sealant, grout becomes porous, absorbing spills like wine or grease into the joints. This causes ugly discoloration that’s extremely difficult to remove. Sealing grout creates a protective barrier repelling stains.
Applying sealant regularly every 1-2 years maintains this shield. Letting sealer wear off risks permanent, stubborn staining of unprotected grout lines.
Total Project Cost Estimate
Putting together all these factors above, here is an overview of total costs:
- Tile material: $2 – $15 per sq.ft
- Design and layout complexity: $0 – $3 per sq.ft
- Demolition of old floor: $2 – $3 per sq.ft
- Subfloor preparation: $0 – $6 per sq.ft
- Thinset mortar and installation labor: $5 – $12 per sq.ft
- Grout: $0.75 – $1.50 per sq.ft
- Sealants: $0.60 – $1.25 per sq.ft
For a small 50 sq.ft kitchen, total costs could range from $1500 on the low end to $2500 on the high end.
For larger 150+ sq.ft kitchens, expect to pay $4000-$8000+ depending on tile choices and complexity factors.
Hiring a Tile Contractor for Your Project
Tile installation is difficult to DIY without experience. Hiring a qualified pro ensures proper subfloor prep, thoughtful layout and high-quality application of tiles.
Search sites like HomeAdvisor to find top-rated local tile contractors. Read reviews of the installer’s work from past clients. Get at least 3 bids to compare pricing.
Ask each contractor questions like:
- How many years of tile installation experience do you have?
- Can you provide references from recent kitchen tiling jobs?
- Do you handle all aspects from demolition to sealing?
- What warranty do you provide on your tile workmanship?
A more experienced tilesetter is worth higher rates for quality results. Make sure your quote covers all expected project stages too.
Caring for Your New Tile Flooring
Avoid walking on freshly installed tiles for 1-2 days during the curing process. This prevents cracks or damage before the thinset fully dries and hardens.
For ongoing care, sweep and mop tiles regularly with pH-neutral cleaner. Re-seal grout every 1-2 years to maintain stain protection as sealants naturally wear off over time.
From picking tiles to proper installation, there are many factors impacting the cost to retile a kitchen floor. Carefully estimate expenses based on your kitchen size, materials and complexity.
With some upfront planning and budgeting, you can execute a successful flooring facelift. Just be sure to hire a pro like Trusted Floors to handle the intricate installation details.