Cost to Tile a Bathtub Surround – 2021

| Last Updated: August 23, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 2234

$ 850

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 53% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

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The average price to Tile a Bathtub Surround noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to tear out old tub walls and replace them with ceramic tile? A tile contractor charges $2,234 or do it yourself for $850 and save 62 percent.

Can’t stand the ugly old walls surrounding your bathtub and want to replace them? Ceramic tile is a good choice because it will withstand continued wet and damp conditions. It’s a tough and hardworking material that’s proven itself over the years.

Today, there’s a staggering selection of designs, shapes, and sizes in ceramic wall tile that can handle the rainfall of water a busy tub receives and yet remain a tough, easy-to-clean surface. You can choose between wrapping the tiles up to the ceiling, extending tile up the walls at least 72 inches for protection, or installing tile on all the bathroom walls.

A tile installer will charge $2,234 to remove the old tiles and replace them with new ceramic tiles and underlayment, which includes the labor and material. The material includes ceramic wall tiles, rot-resistant tile backer underlayment, mastic, and grout.

The job involves removing the old tiles, underlayment and fixture, and installing new underlayment, tiles and grout, and reinstalling the fixtures. If new fixtures are used, it will add to the cost. While the work is underway, it’s important to protect the bottom of the tub with heavy cardboard or dropcloth.

A good cement backer board underlayment is the best type of material for applying ceramic tile in a bathtub surround. It’s a thin layer of concrete with fiberglass mesh on both sides so it is a tough durable surface. Wear work gloves and safety goggles when working with this material to prevent the tiny flecks from getting into your eyes or hurting your hands.

If you discover rotten wallboard or damage behind the existing surround you will have to spend considerable time and money repairing the damage so the new surface is dry, sound, and level before installing the underlayment and tiles.

Assuming a handy homeowner has tools and some tiling experience, he or she can do the work for $850, the cost of the materials, and save 62 percent. This is a long weekend job so plan accordingly.

You’ll need basic tiling tools, including a notched trowel, tile cutter and nipper, grout float and a bucket for mixing the grout. These tools can be rented where you buy the tiles or at most rental centers.

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.