Are you planning to renovate your home soon? Or are you currently in the midst of a kitchen or bathroom renovation and trying to figure out where to save money?
As you plan your renovation, there are a few secrets the pros live by to help cut costs that I’ll share with you, and tile is one. If your upcoming renovation project includes adding new tile to your kitchen or bathroom you need to read this first –
5 things every renovator needs to know about tile to cut costs like a pro:
1. Types of tile
There are three main types of tile: natural stone (marble / travertine), porcelain, and ceramic. While natural stone looks great, you can often find a tile in porcelain or ceramic with a very similar look (especially if you’re using it for a backsplash).
2. How to use tile
The important thing to consider when picking out tile is to first determine how you’re going to use it. Avoid using soft stone on counters since it can chip and show marks more easily. Using limestone on a bathroom floor is the worst way to try and cut costs because it chips constantly.
Applying large tiles on floors and walls is another way to save money. As I shared with the Washington Post, not only do larger 12-inch-by-12-inch-tiles have less grout lines and labor costs, they can make a room appear larger. You can also save money by not taking to the tile to the ceiling around the tub or shower. using tile that is 12-inch-by-12-inch.
3. Where to shop for tile
If you’re looking to buy tile but aren’t sure where to start I always recommend looking at Home Depot since most people have one in their area and you can physically go look at different tiles in person. If you’re looking for a good price Home Depot is one of your best bets. The chain carries a range of affordable styles including penny tile and subway tile, but unfortunately their color options can be limited.
Modwalls is another great place to shop for tile with their glass tiles coming in a nice range of modern patterns.
4. When to decide on tile
Many renovators make the mistake of waiting to decide on the type of tile until after receiving a quote from a contractor on a project. The best way to stay within your budget, is to window shop for tile first to get an idea of the price point you’re looking at before meeting with your contractor. By telling your contractor this ahead of time, they can factor the actual material cost into your budget and provide a more accurate estimate. Note: many contractors may also pass along their wholesale buying discount to their clients. Make sure to ask your contractor ahead of time to understand your options and ensure you’re getting the best price on your renovation project materials.
5. DIY vs. calling for help
Tile is one of a few renovation projects I advise renovators avoid trying to do yourself. Tile can get tricky, so relying on an expert can go a long way. Depending on your space and the complexity of your tile design, you may need some custom cuts which require a wet saw. While you may feel you’re handy enough to do it yourself, some homeowners end up costing themselves more in additional material and equipment rental. I recommend most renovators stick to DIY projects like drywall, mudding and painting and let the renovation pros handle tile, electric and plumbing.