By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Install ceramic tile over an old vinyl floor and prepare for a dramatic facelift that makes a Cinderella story in your bathroom. The array of sizes, shapes and colors are dazzling. And you can't beat tile for a long lasting surface that's easy to clean and maintain.
For the best results a new floor should be laid with the toilet and vanity removed, so laying a tile floor involves plumbing and carpentry work as well. A stiff base is needed to support tile and its subfloor to prevent the tile and grout from cracking, so check for the floor's thickness by removing a floor register or the door threshold to get a peek at what's below the existing flooring.
A tile installer will charge $985 to lay good quality floor tile over an existing vinyl floor in a 8-by-10-foot bath room, and includes labor and material. The job involves first removing the toilet, vanity, door threshold and molding. Then the installer applies an underlayment of cement board with thin-set tile adhesive, followed by more adhesive and the ceramic tile, and then he grouts the tile. The final step is to trim out a new baseboard for the room.
DIY Hassle Alert
The cost will be higher if the installer has to remove several layers of old flooring or to reinforce the existing floor. And since the level of the floor will be raised by the new tile, you may have to trim the door and replace the threshold.
Tile America had advice here about Selecting the Right Tile.
If you're handy, you can do the job for $385, which includes the cost of the subfloor, adhesive, tile, grout, baseboard and threshold. You will save 60 percent. You'll have to rent or borrow a tile cutter from the tile retailer.
Figure it'll cost more if you hire a plumber to remove and then reinstall the fixtures.
When you’re choosing tile for a floor keep the size of the room and the size of the tile in mind. For example, large tiles look best in a large room and conversely small tiles are most appealing in a small space. If you choose a grout color that contrasts with any tile you’ll call attention to it, something that can be attractive in a large room, but can be distracting in a smaller space.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install ceramic floor tile with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.