Monday, August 30, 2010

Tips on Keeping Tile Costs Down

The economy is in the forefront of everyone's mind these days, and it is no different in the design world. Designing economically with tile and stone is always a good strategy. It is important to respect today's often shrunken budgets by keeping tile costs down while not sacrificing design style and aesthetics. I would like to share with you some great tips to keep your tile budget in line.

Floor tile budget tips:
  • Select a tile or stone floor that is less expensive than the wall tile.
    • Keep higher cost items at eye level and in the more visible areas.
    • When you enter a room, you typically notice what is directly in your line of vision. Most people do not look down at the floor.
  • Use inserts to make the floor look more important for very little cost.
    • Place small inserts of tile that compliment a rug, wall paint or wall tiles in the floor.
    • This is a very effective design strategy to connect the floor with the walls or other design focal point.
Wall tile and decorative accents budget tips:
  • Avoid linear designs using moldings and liners.
  • Avoid linear designs by using tile inserts
    Avoid linear designs by using tile inserts.

    • Use "inserts" instead.
    • This allows design flexibility in placement which can keep costs down.
  • Always use the most economical field tile available from the line being designed with.
    • 4"x4"s and 6"x6"s are typically the most economical sizes.
    • Avoid small sizes and fancy shapes when budget is a consideration.
    • Consider mixing a well priced stone field tile with matte glazed ceramic accents and moldings.
  • Stone field can often be less expensive than handmade ceramic field tile.
  • The mix of stone and ceramic can create a dynamic textural design.
  • Only tile up to 36" on a wainscot, instead of 42" or higher (but always to the ceiling in the wet areas).
  • Create "feature areas" as follows:
    • With color and tile direction - don't use more costly sculpted or handpainted tile pieces.
    • Design using economically priced tile sizes in geometric patterns
      Lots of design interest using basic and economically priced tile sizes.

    • Create a small-scale, but dramatic, "feature area" where it will have the most design impact while keeping the field tile, trims and floor simple and inexpensive.
    • Simplified Bath with Feature
      Small-scale feature area (above sink), normal-height wainscot, & no molding or trim keep tile costs down.

  • Use color blocking and inexpensive tile or stone for lots of design drama with little cost.
  • Design using the same size tile in two colors
    Dramatic design statement using the same size tile in two colors

  • NEVER suggest eliminating tile on a bathroom wainscot as a cost-saving solution.
    • It will look like corners were cut and the design not well thought out.
    • Select a good-looking, less expensive line, perhaps machine-made rather than hand-made, rather than leave walls un-tiled.
Tile trim solutions Tile trims, whether ceramic, glass or stone, are often quite expensive, especially if they are shaped or highly decorative. Careful selection of tile trims is a successful budget solution.
  • Use bullnoses for trim and an inexpensive liner as décor instead of more expensive moldings.
  • Quarter rounds also can be quite inexpensive, use them to turn corners where needed.
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