The Cost to Install Internal Wall Tiles

All you need to know about installing internal wall tiles for a bathroom or kitchen including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

Internal Wall Tiles

What the job entails

Modern tiles offer one of the most durable and hard wearing surfaces that can be found in a home. Whether they are used for walls or flooring, they are available in a huge variety of sizes, colours, designs and shapes. Popular tile materials include ceramic, vinyl, stone and lino. Ceramic tiles are probably the most popular nowadays for bathroom and kitchens for both walls and flooring, this is due to their water resistant properties, plus that they are easy to clean and very hard wearing. In kitchens tiles are often used as"splashback" behind sinks and above counter-tops, but in bathrooms often the entire room is tiled from floor to ceiling.

If not tiling the entire wall, floor to ceiling in bathrooms, or worktops to cabinets in kitchen, then after the tiler has finished you may be left with exposed plaster damage. So budget for a remedial plaster work when pricing the job or at the very least a decorator for wallpapering or painting. In addition, if radiators need to be removed for access, there is a high probability that you may have a leak once the radiator is refitted (old radiators really don't like being disturbed). But generally speaking, there is not much to go wrong with this job if using an experienced tiler. It is even suitable for a DIY project if you have the skills and the patience! Although, if you would rather no hassle you can find local tradespeople by using the button "Get a Quote" button.

When buying tiles, always purchase more than you need, as some will likely to break in transit or during cutting. Even after the tiles have been fitted, they may get damaged, having leftover tiles to cover any such eventualities is always handy in case they discontinue the colour or pattern. If doing the job yourself as a DIY project, then before tiling, the walls have to be completely bare, smooth and clean. So when removing the old tiles, take care to minimise damage to the walls, or a plasterer will also be required. Dust the walls down and fill in any larger holes to offer a smooth finish. Then apply a sealer to ensure the tile adhesive stays moist for longer. Use horizontal and vertical wooden battens as your guide rather than the floor or ceiling which are very often uneven. Spread the adhesive using a toothed spreader to ensure an even spread across the wall, then press each tile against the wall using a spacer at each corner to space them evenly with consistent gaps. As you are going along make sure the tiles are flat against the wall and get rid of any excess adhesive before it goes hard.

Take care when fixing into tiles as there may be hidden pipes or cables below the wall surface. Use a detector to help find safe positions to fix into. In addition, even if you are very careful, when fixing into wall tiles you will definitely end up breaking a tile at some point. So when you have finished a tiling job, it is best to keep some spare tiles so you don't have the difficult task of trying to find exact matches to replace them, as tile designs are often discontinued.

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The Installation Cost of Internal Wall Tiles

The pricing information was collected from many online sources, from many different contractors covering many different areas throughout the UK. These prices should be perfectly adequate to hep you plan your tiling project, but of course, nothing takes the place of a written quotation supplied by a tradesman that has visited your property and discussed your exact requirements.

The average material cost to fit wall tiles for a bathroom or kitchen will vary on the price of the wall tiles and the adhesive used to stick the tiles against the wall.

The average tiling specialist will usually charge around £100 to £150 per day in labour costs. The job itself can be timely as extra care needs to be taken to make sure the surface is level and the tiles are fitted correctly. Depending on how big the area, you should expect around 1 to 2 days to complete the job.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a tiling specialist to supply & fit internal wall tiles:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Tile a small bathroom, floor to ceiling £900-£1000 1-2 days
As above but only half tiled with floor to ceiling tiles just around the bath £500-£600 1-2 days
To tile just a small splash back above a hand basin £75-£125 2-4 hours
Tile above kitchen work surface up to wall cupboards £250-£300 1-2 days

Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of tiling a small bathroom, floor to ceiling - Total Cost: £900






Waste Removal


Yes, this is possible as long as the existing tiling is in good condition and firmly fixed to the wall. But you will have to clean the ties thoroughly and degrease them before applying adhesive for the new tiles. Clean, smooth walls will obviously offer the best finish however and you may have trouble getting a professional tiler to tile on top of old tiles.
No, wall tiles are not suitable for laying on the floor. They are not designed to deal with people walking on them and will not last well. But a floor tile can easily be used on the wall with no problems.
Small tiles are often considered a good option for small bathrooms, but smaller tiles create more grout lines and can look cluttered, plus they take a lot longer to fit so cost significantly more. Large plain tiles help to create the illusion of extra space and are cheaper as you only need a small amount of tiles, with fewer tiles to cut around awkward spaces and of course less grouting. The difference in cost between using small mosaic tiles and larger plain tiles can be enormous, by using small tiles you can as much as double the installation costs!
The main tile types are ceramic, porcelain, stone and terracotta. Porcelain tiles are really just a type of ceramic tiles but with a lower than average absorbency, so great in bathrooms. Stone tiles are expensive but look fantastic, but they often require sealing. Terracotta tiles are very absorbent so need good sealing if using on the floor or in bathrooms and kitchens.
If using on floor in bathroom, choose textured tiles for extra grip. Larger tiles are usually recommended for underfloor heating use as grout doesn’t conduct heat as well as the tile and larger tiles need less grouting. But you should check with the tile manufacturer or retailer to ensure the tiles you choose are suitable for use with underfloor heating.