How Much Do Ceramic Countertops Cost?
$480 - $1,950
$480 - $1,950
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Published October 19, 2021Written by HomeAdvisor.
Most homeowners pay an average of around $1,215 per 30 square feet for ceramic countertops, including materials and labor. On the low end, you can expect to pay around $480 per 30 square feet of machine-made ceramic. For intricate, glazed, or handmade tile, you’ll pay the high end at $1,950 per 30 square feet. Other factors like edging may also bump up the price higher.
|Average Cost||$1,215 per 30 sq. ft.|
|High Cost||$1,950 per 30 sq.ft.|
|Low Cost||$480 per 30 sq.ft.|
When homeowners think about the material's longevity, ceramic is a popular choice due to its easy maintenance. A countertop contractor near you can install them in two of the most commonly used areas: the kitchen and the bathroom.
Countertops in both areas have different costs depending on the size of the countertop. Depending on the type, style, and edging of your ceramic tile, the price of countertop installation may change.
You may also need the following work done to install the tile properly:
Removal of existing countertop
Sanding or shaping
Polishing and sealing
Removal and installation of plumbing fixtures, if applicable
Here are a couple of room examples and their respective average costs:
|Room Location||Average Installation Cost|
|Bathroom (6 to 12 square feet)||$96 – $780|
|Kitchen (30 square feet)||$480 – $1,950|
The average cost for a professional to install a ceramic tile countertop in a bathroom is between $96 and $780, depending on the size. Most bathroom countertops are 6 to 12 square feet.
The cost of a ceramic countertop varies by its size and may differ for large or small countertops. Sealed ceramic tile is popular in wet areas because it resists water and can unify with the other tiles on walls or in showers.
Installing ceramic tile on your kitchen countertops will cost between $480 and $1,950, on average, depending on the type of tile you choose. Most kitchens have around 30 square feet of countertops.
Homeowners sometimes choose to install a small galley kitchen or a large kitchen with peninsulas and islands. These kitchens may require more or less material, which could affect the cost. Depending on the styles and edging, you can coordinate your edges to have a range of prices. You can also extend tiles up the backsplash for a more unified look.
The average cost to install a standard ceramic tile countertop is around $15 per square foot or $450 for a 30 square foot countertop. Building the top from a cement backer board is a more common way to install a ceramic countertop. Most homeowners may also choose to pay an extra cost to tile the backsplash.
Ceramic tiles work well in the kitchen, whether for flooring or cabinets. They are an affordable alternative to granite or quartz as they come in many varieties and price points. You can use most types of ceramic tiles, including the following:
Machine-made wall tile: $1–$10 per sq. ft.
Floor tile: $5–$30 per sq. ft.
Glazed terracotta: $10–$30 per sq. ft.
Glazed quarry pavers: $10–$50 per sq. ft.
Handmade wall tile: $20–$50 per sq. ft.
Machine-made tiles range in price from $1 to $10 per square foot and come in various colors and textures. Machines make this thin uniform tile designed for use on walls and counters. Ceramic countertops end up with a machine-made seal finish. Some ceramic tiles come pre-finished, but any of these surfaces may craze (form hairline cracks at the surface) at any time. You may have to restore or repair the countertops at a cost later on.
Some tile surfaces are more likely to craze than others. Ceramic tiles with matte glazes tend to craze less than glossy finishes, but most wall tiles are ideal for countertop use. Machine-made tiles have thinner grout lines which make maintenance easier.
Expect to pay about $5 to $30 per square foot for floor tile. Ceramic floor tiles are commonly used for countertops as they are four or five on the Mohs hardness scale–perfect for everyday heavy-duty kitchen use. The downside is that many floor tiles don't offer matching edging for a more cohesive look.
Choosing a floor tile can mean you need to edge the countertop with another material such as wood or MDF. Finding a countertop with matching edges can be difficult. Matched bullnose tiles are an affordable option that many homeowners choose instead.
Glazed terracotta can cost $10 to $30 per square foot. Glazed terracotta tile is fired once and usually has a rough and rustic appearance. This type of tile often has an uneven surface and wider grout joints.
Sometimes the corners of the tiles will rise higher than other surrounding tiles. Most modern terracotta tiles have a bullnose edge, but some do not, so always be sure first.
Glazed quarry pavers range from $10 to $50 per square foot and provide a long-lasting, durable countertop. These tiles are fired in an unusual beehive style kiln and have a bright matt surface that is less likely to crack than other types of tiles.
These tiles need a wider grout joint than most machine-made wall tiles, so a stain-resistant grout is recommended.
Handmade tiles typically range from $20 to $50 per square foot but can vary depending on style, shape, size, and thickness. Handmade tile is completely created, cut, and glazed by hand. These tiles are often thicker and have many more options for size, shape, and color variance from one tile to the next. They also provide a richer appearance on your countertop.
Tiles are graded on the Mohs hardness scale from 1 to 5. Each grade corresponds exactly on the hardness scale (I.e., grade 1=1 on the scale). One is the most fragile or not hard at all. Five is the hardest and generally used for commercial floor use. Floor tiles should be 4 or above; wall tiles should be 3 or higher.
Depending on the grade, some tiles are more expensive than others. Use harder (3 or higher) in high-traffic kitchen areas such as cutting, cooking, and baking surfaces for durability. It’s also heat-resistant at high temperatures. Always install tiles below a 3 for light use, such as bathroom vanities.
The cost for a ceramic tile goes up based on the tile's level of durability and quality. Grade 1 tiles are usually the cheapest, but they don't last as long, so more frequent replacements will be necessary.
The below chart outlines the Mohs hardness grade along with the use and average price per square foot:
|Hardness Grade||Common Use||Average Cost per Sq. Ft|
Light Use Countertops
|$1 - $10|
Light Use Countertops
|$3 - $10|
Heavy Use Countertops
|$5 - $15|
Heavy Use Countertops
|$5 - $20|
Heavy Use Countertops
Heavy Use Floors
|$5 - $30|
Tiles are only one-quarter- to three-eighths-inches thick, but the countertop itself can be 2 or more inches. Choosing how to finish the edge of your countertops affects your desired style and cost. Here are some edge options you might consider:
Bullnose: $0.50–$15 per piece
Quarter round: $1–$5 per piece
Pencil: $1–$10 per piece
V-tile: $2–$20 per piece
Molding: $2–$30 per piece
Edge tiles are often sold in 3-, 6-, or 12-inch lengths but are also available in other sizes. Be sure to check the measurements before committing to a selection.
Bullnose edge tiles are the simplest way to design an edge. These usually match your other current tile but have a rounded corner. It typically costs between $0.50 and $15 per piece on average.
A quarter round is a small, decorated section of tile that extends off the edge of a counter. Quarter rounds are plain or decorative and complement any height of trim to provide a more decorative look.
Quarter rounds are popular at the edge where the wall meets the countertop, which creates an easy transition from one surface to another. The average cost is $1 to $5 per piece.
The way that a pencil line tile sticks out sets it apart from other tiles. While these tiles are the same thickness as a quarter round, they curl up on the edges. If you want to change or draw attention to the color of your kitchen countertop, consider using this type of edge. They cost between $1 and $10 per piece.
Most tile countertops have a V-edge. This edge is two glazed tiles in the shape of a V that fit together to create a 90-degree angle and form an edge finished in one piece. A typical cost for this kind of feature would be between $2 to $20 per piece.
If you want a decorative edge, choose molding like ogee or chair rails to create a tile edge on top of your counter. This pattern goes around the field tiles and dives straight into the wall for about $2 to $30 per piece.
Installing a ceramic tile countertop can be an easy DIY project. Make sure the grout is as even with the tiles as possible. Also, be sure to seal the surface to prevent food or other items from staining it and causing bacteria to grow.
Your local home improvement store can help you choose the right countertop type for your home and cut the material to size.
Laying tile can be time-consuming and difficult. It might make more sense to hire a countertop contractor to save time and guarantee better results.
Ceramic countertops are an affordable option depending on size and quality. Machine-made countertop tile is the least expensive type as tile counters often beat laminate for price and design.
Ceramic is a budget-friendly countertop material and has many options to choose from for those looking to invest in new countertops. Ceramic becomes an excellent alternative if adequately cared for because it is heat-resistant and durable.
Glazed ceramic tiles can be nearly watertight, so they might not need sealing. Permanently seal the grout exposed to moisture, especially in bathrooms and other areas with a lot of humidity. Seal over the cracked areas before applying tile grout to avoid water damage for deep cracks or hairline splits.
Always seal unglazed tiles like pavers before they're grouted to resist dirt build-up. Sealing also prevents colored grout from bleeding into the tile. If a spot or two of thin-set spills, manufacturers advise wiping the entire tile to avoid spotting.
A suitable material for countertops is either porcelain or sealed ceramic. Porcelain is the stronger of the materials, but it can also crack if you handle it poorly. Sealed ceramic works well for countertops because it’s attractive and easy to clean.