How Much Do Tile Installers Make

In 2022, over 40,000 tile installers were working in the US. If you want to become a tile setter, the first question you might ask is how much tile installers make. This article will examine how much tile installers make for different services, hourly rates, and salaries. The article will also discuss which tile contractor insurance can boost your income.

What are Tile Installers?

Tile installers are responsible for measuring, cutting, and installing tiles to walls, floors, and outdoor spaces. Tiles make walls and floors easier to clean. Tile floors are cost-effective, low maintenance, and an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.

People will commonly install tiles in kitchens and bathrooms because they are water-resistant. Any areas with high amounts of humidity and moisture would benefit from tiles. You can also use tiles outside because they resist dirt, stains, and wear.

What is Required to be a Tile Installer?

Unlike many other types of construction or contract work, you do not need a license to be a tile installer. Tile installation is a largely unregulated industry. That said, tile installers must possess a high school education to be accepted into apprenticeship programs.

Different certifications are offered to tile installers to signify the quality of their work. These certifications usually require passing an exam that tests their tile-setting abilities. A tile-installing certification will instantly boost the credibility of your business in the eyes of customers.

What Projects Do Tile Installers Get Paid for?

Tile installers will offer various services to clients to get paid. These services include:

  • Removing existing floor

  • Leveling surfaces

  • Tile floor installation

  • Other tile installation

  • Tile repair

Removing Existing Floor

Removing old flooring is a time-consuming process that your customers will pay you for. A typical rate to remove old flooring for customers is $1-7 per square foot. Removing tile flooring from a 160-square-foot kitchen is estimated to cost between $320-$1,120.

To remove an existing tile floor, you first have to loosen the grout with a hammer or chisel. You then need to pry the tile away from the adhesive underneath. After thatt, you remove the mortar and clean up the debris you have made.

Leveling Surfaces

Tiles can only function properly if they are installed on a level surface. Typical rates for land leveling are between 20 cents and $2 per square foot. You might need to perform this service before properly installing tiles outdoors.

To level an indoor surface, pour a leveling compound on the floor. You utilize a trowel to spread the compound over a work area until it has the right depth and is completely level. Floors need to be completely level, or you risk the tiles you install being misaligned. Misaligned tiles are a tripping hazard for occupants of the building. Also, tiles not secured together will crack and chip along the edges.

Tile Floor Installation

A tile floor installation costs between $5 and $50 per square foot. Homeowners will spend an average of $1,672 on a tiling project. Your customers can choose between ceramic, glass, marble, granite, stone, and porcelain:

Tile Cost per square foot

Other Tile Installation

You can install tiles on more than just floors. Tiles can be installed on walls, backsplashes, countertops, and more. Installing tile on backsplashes and countertops is estimated to cost between $23 and $35 per square foot.

You can even install tiles on a ceiling. Ceiling tiles are a way to reduce noise that travels throughout the building. It also has the benefit of stopping the spread of fire between floors. Since tiles are easy to clean, having a tile ceiling can be more hygienic. Lastly, tiles improve the aesthetic appeal and acoustics of a room.

Tile Repair

The cost to repair tiles varies based on the material and location of the tiles. Sometimes inexperienced tile setters will do a lousy job laying tile that needs to be corrected by you. The average cost to repair a broken bathroom tile is $150, but this number could easily be higher. 

Another service you might charge for is grout repair. Grout is the material that fills the gaps between tiles you install. If you need to repair a tile, you will likely have to repair grout. You can also provide grout staining services to get a custom-looking color. Grout repair costs range between $180 and $450 on average.

What Industries Pay Tile Installers the Most?

Tile installers get paid from a variety of sources. Below is a list of industries and how much they pay tile installers:

IndustryAverage Annual SalaryHourly Rate

What Are the Highest Paying Cities for Tile Installers?

Not every area will pay you the same rates for your work. The rates for tile installers will vary based on where you go. Below are the top-ranked cities for tile installer rates. If you are starting a tile-installing business, these places might be worth looking into:

CityAverage Annual SalaryHourly Rate
Sacramento, California$56,402$27.12
Gulfport, Mississippi$54,332$26.12
Cincinnati, Ohio$52,139$25.07
Kirkwood, Missouri$50,763$24.41
New York, New York$50,402$24.23
Boulder, Colorado$50,251$24.16
Williston North Dakota$49,861$23.97
Minneapolis, Minnesota$44,262$21.28
Eugene, Oregon$43,233$20.79
Wilmington, North Carolina$43,190$20.76

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How Much Do Tile Installers Get Paid Per Year?

How much do tile setters make every year? The average tile installer's salary is $41,110. The low end in the 10th percentile is $26,000, and the high end is $64,000 in the 90th percentile. Tile installers with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $42,598 annually. This number decreases to $40,638 annually for tile installers with only a high school education.

Tile installers make the most money in the automotive industry. In this industry, they make an average of $42,519 annually. The next highest is manufacturing. A tile installer will have an average annual salary of $42,363 in the manufacturing industry.

White wooden modular kitchen.

How Much Do Entry-Level Tile Installers Get Paid Per Year?

The estimated yearly salary of an entry-level tile installer is $26,000. As tile installers advance to the junior level, their average annual salary increases to $32,000. A mid-level tile installer will make $41,100. Finally, a tile installer will have an average yearly salary of $52,000 at the senior level

How Much Do Tile Installers Get Paid Per Month?

How much do tile contractors make every month? The average salary of a tile installer monthly is $3,426. This salary will range between $2,167 and $5,333 monthly. The table below provides a further idea:

PercentileMonthly Wage
10th percentile$2,167
25th percentile$2,667
75th percentile$4,333
90th percentile$5,333

How Much Do Tile Installers Get Paid Per Week?

How much do tile layers make per week? Tile installers get paid an estimated $856 per week. The range for tile installer weekly rates is between $541 and $1,333. Here’s a further breakdown:

PercentileWeekly Wage
10th percentile$541
25th percentile$666
75th percentile$1,083
90th percentile$1,333

How Much Do Tile Installers Make Per Hour?

The estimated average hourly rate for tile installers is $19.76. Your hourly rate may range from $16 on the low end and $38 or more on the high end. You’ll get more insights through the table below:

PercentileHourly Rate
10th percentile$13
25th percentile$15
75th percentile$25
90th percentile$31

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Insurance Requirements for Boosting Income

Your tile-installing business must protect its income through a proper insurance policy. While insurance premiums cost you in the short term, the protection they provide more than pays off in the long run. An insurance policy is essential to boosting your income if your business gets sued or experiences financial loss. You don’t want all your income going to defend your business against a lawsuit or repairing damaged equipment.

Business Owner’s Policy

A business owner’s policy is our list's most comprehensive insurance option. It combines general liability and commercial property insurance protection. You can also customize it further through other endorsements and add-ons. By combining coverage into one policy, you typically save money compared to purchasing separate policies.

We recommend NEXT for your business owner’s policy. They serve over 420,000 customers and have a gross written premium count of over $200 million. The company offers transparent policies that you can easily understand. Their service representatives respond to claims within 48 hours. NEXT has an A- from AM Best.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects your business against various third-party liability claims. Insurers will commonly include protection lawsuits and costs related to:

  • Bodily injury

  • Property damage

  • Personal injury

Without this insurance protection, your tile-installing business can be exposed to a lawsuit that may cost you thousands of dollars to defend against. You never know when a tile installing job may cause a customer to slip and fall. Sometimes things go wrong, and you may unintentionally cause damage to a customer’s property. It is better to buy insurance to get peace of mind now than roll the dice on every project you take on.

Thimble is our recommended insurance company that offers general liability insurance. They let you customize your policy duration down to the month, day, and hour. This makes it convenient to buy coverage only for the length of a project. They have sold over 125,000 policies since launching in 2016. Thimble has an A+ from the Better Business Bureau.

Professional Liability Insurance

A professional liability policy protects you and your business from errors and oversights. Customers may sue you for negligence for failing to meet a contract requirement or giving bad advice.

Hiscox offers an excellent professional liability insurance policy tailored to your business needs. The company excels at offering specialty insurance thanks to the diligence of its service agents. Hiscox serves over 500,000 customers, most of them being small businesses. The company has been a top name in insurance for over 100 years and has an A rating from AM Best.

Commercial Property Insurance

This policy protects your business's physical assets like tools, equipment, and a commercial building. However, by default, it won’t cover every physical damage. Typical policies cover events that include:

  • Fire

  • Wind

  • Lightning

  • Theft

  • Vandalism

  • Pipes bursting

We recommend CoverWallet for commercial property insurance. With CoverWallet, you can choose from over ten affordable insurance partners. You can compare different quotes and policies all from one convenient place. CoverWallet has an A+ score from the Better Business Bureau.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Next on the list is commercial auto insurance. This policy protects your business from vehicle accident liability costs. It can also cover physical damage to vehicles you use for work. Most states require auto insurance to operate vehicles on the road. Commercial auto insurance is necessary for business activities that personal auto insurance doesn’t cover.

Tivly is an excellent pick for a commercial auto policy. They offer a selection of over 200 insurance companies on their huge platform. The company uses flexible targeting to match you with the right insurers that can address your needs and stick within your budget. Tivly has 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance is necessary when hiring employees in your business for most states. The policy ensures workers can cover the costs of injuries they sustain working and medical treatments for illnesses. Workers comp also helps supplement lost income for workers due to their temporary or permanent disabilities.

The Hartford is our choice for workers comp. Their workers' comp policy offers excellent perks for employees like excellent medical providers and pharmacy access. The Hartford has a nurse-you-back-to-health program that ensures your employees receive adequate treatment during every recovery step. The Hartford has an A- rating with AM Best and an A+ with the Better Business Bureau. They have a 4.8 rating in their customer reviews.

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