How Much Does Subway Tile Cost Per Square Foot?

Typical Range:

$7 - $13

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 9, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

White Subway Tile Cost

the average cost to install subway tile is $7 to $13 per square foot.

This tile could cost you as much as $15 per square foot or as little as $0.15 per square foot. The average price spans between $7 and $13 per square foot. Sealant and grout add roughly $1.50 per square foot.

You could pay anything from $40 to $150 per hour for professional installation. Quotes vary by type of material, its finish, pattern, and size. DIY could set you back an additional $100 for gloves, a tile cutter, tape measure, level, grout float, and goggles. This excludes your tile and material estimates.

Subway tiles come in grades: premium, standard, or commercial. Premium grades cost the most. Commercial are the cheapest. Estimates may vary by brand and retailer.

Cost to Install Subway Tile

The cost to install this tile averages between $7 and $13 per square foot, excluding your sealant and grout. Contractors could charge a minimum fee of $4 per square foot for labor. This increases by at least $0.50 per square foot with each new complexity.

For instance, your contractor may have to remove existing damaged tile before laying the new ones. Tiling around a window or plug socket also adds difficulty, as well as cutting circular mosaic tile. A typical project invoice would include:

  • Materials: tile, grout, and sealant

  • Labor Charges: contractor's hourly rate, minimum fee per square foot, and difficulty fee.

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Subway Tile Cost Per Square Foot

Average Cost$7-$13 per square foot
High Cost$17 per square foot
Low Cost$2 per square foot

Be prepared to spend between $2 and $17 per square foot, or an average between $7 and $13. Sealant and grout comes at an additional average fee of $1.50 per square foot. Grout color and stain, grout spacing, pattern, type, finish, and size determines what you'll pay:

  • Grout Color and Stain: Select white, grey, glitter, or metallic grout, or jazz up your color scheme with grout stain.

  • Grout spacing: Thinner spacing is less dramatic than wide lines, but you'll need more tile per square foot.

  • Pattern: Choose between stacked vertical, classic herringbone, stacked horizontal, geometric effect, step ladder, 90-degree herringbone, and classic.

  • Type: Primary finishes include ceramic, glass tile, and marble. Or select granite, steel, copper, tumbled marble, travertine, or mosaic glass.

  • Finish: Finishes can be matte, glossy, or flat.

  • Size: Purchase this in assorted sizes, the most popular are 4”x10”, 3”x6”, and 3”x12”.

Cost to Install Subway Tile Backsplash

The cost to install subway tile backsplash could be as little as $600 or as much as $1,350. The national average is about $1000. It can be used in kitchens and bathrooms to add effect to and complement your color scheme.

Kitchen Wall

The cost to install backsplash for your kitchen wall could be between $2,500 and $4,500. Classic white ceramic subway tile provides a clean, timeless aesthetic. Herringbone tile is also great to accentuate focal points, like your cooking area.

Use classic white backsplash to complement a Tuscan-style. You could also use tinted subway tile with a few pendant lights to brighten this area. Or, use a longer natural stone or marble for an elegant touch. Matte-finish glass subway tile is best for spaces that have built-in spotlights, where less reflection is ideal.

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Bathroom Wall Tiles

  • Classic White Subway Tile: Pair with an octagon bathroom floor tile and pedestal sink for a retro look.

  • Gloss-Finish Glass: Great for your shower wall. It adds shimmer and a crispness synonymous with that just-out-of-the-shower feeling.

  • Stained Glass Mosaic: This is great for backsplash near your bath if you love relaxing in an artistic space.

  • Frosted Glass: Create a cool look with this type.

  • Botanical Glass: Perfect for setting a tranquil nature-like ambiance.

Subway Tile Price

Three-by-six (3x6) inch tiles are about $50 for 17 square feet—a commonly installed amount for kitchens. Here's a look at some of the prices for other sizes.

Size (in inches)Price Per 10 Square Feet

The following are the average prices per square foot for some of the most popular tile types:

Tile TypeAverage Cost Per Square Foot
Glass Tile$29-$38
Mosaic Glass Tile$31-$49

There's no need to source tiles if you're hiring a tile contractor. If you're DIYing, compare online retailers to find the subway tile that fits your style and budget.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Tiler

Hiring a professional tiler to install subway tile could cost you an average of $40 to $150 per hour, excluding materials. The best local tile contractors may charge a minimum fee, plus extra for each complexity. Expect to pay $7 to $13 per square foot for materials, plus extra for sealant and grout.

You'll need more than $300 in tools and materials to DIY this project. Avoid DIY tiling. To adequately prepare the space, you must thoroughly remove wall coverings such as old tile and grout, wallpaper and glue, or peeling paint. Purchasing the wrong tile or misunderstanding instructions could also cost you time and money.


How do I get the best price on subway tile?

Get the best price on subway tile by comparing prices on the Internet. Use comparison websites like Amazon and eBay. Contact tiling contractors for the best professional quotes. You're likely to find the best prices online since most tile retailers, and contractors list their pricing there. This is ultra convenient and may save you several trips.

What size are subway tiles?

Subway tiles come in several sizes. Although the classic tile size is 3” x 6”, you can also find it in 2”x4” and 4”x8”. Marble or natural stone tile is usually 3” x 8”. This is longer than the 1:2 ratio of classic tile. Other sizes include 3”x12”, 4”x10”, 2”x8”, 4”x12”, 4”x4”, and 12”x24”.

Does it cost more to lay tile in a herringbone pattern?

Yes, it costs more to lay tile in a herringbone pattern. This tile may cost you an additional $2 to $4 per square foot for labor, as the pattern is more detailed and requires more time and effort to cut than others.

No walls are precisely perpendicular or perfect squares, so contractors have to cut edges at different angles throughout the entire space. They also cut many outside and inside angles, and must use laser levels to set the tile line precisely.

Basketweave designs have thick, ceramic and thin, glass tile which requires more effort to cut than standard patterns.

How do you clean subway tiles?

Clean subway tiles by mixing a bottle of water with 6 teaspoons of distilled vinegar. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the solution. Spray the solution onto your tiles, and leave to set for 2 to 3 minutes. Wipe the tiles with a damp cloth, and dry thoroughly with a clean towel.

How do you measure for subway tile?

Measure for subway tile by multiplying the length and width of your chosen walls. Add an extra 20 percent to allow for breakages and snipping mistakes.

Why do they call it subway tile?

They call it subway tile as these tiles were first used in the early 1900s in New York subways. It was used because it was durable and easy to clean. Because of this, it quickly became common in homes. It’s still a popular choice in many modern households.

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