It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices and the beautiful tiles when you first go to a tile showroom, so we thought we’d give you a few tips to consider as you’re making your selections.
— Large tile is very popular right now, and it’s getting larger. We’re glad to install it for you, but it does require upgraded mortars and more time to ensure the substrate is appropriately flat and that patterns flow with the maximum full tiles possible. Therefore, your price will be a little higher for large-format tile (anything larger than 15″). Because most large tiles have some degree of curvature, we can’t install large tiles with anything less than a 1/8″ grout joint.
— Glass tile and sheeted materials also require different setting materials (and tools in some cases), so there is usually a higher level of skill needed to install these materials. Many sheeted materials may not line up the same way non-sheeted materials will (grout joint widths will vary from one sheet to the next). The nature of the material will usually mean a little higher installation price for sheeted or glass products.
— Natural stone has a honed surface and will need to be sealed prior to installation (as will some that have polished surfaces). If the stone is pitted, grout will fill any holes and won’t be removed. Filled stones are not a good choice for floors where high-heel traffic may impact these weaker parts of the end-product. Sheeted pebbles/ river rocks will be grouted, and we’d like to make sure you like that look as much as you like the ungrouted version you might see in the showroom. (You might want to see a sample mock up for approval.)
— Accents and liners should be similar in thickness to the tile being installed. A good tile designer will steer you to products that line up well, so it’s important to take advantage of the talented showroom designers we have in our area.
— Grout joints are routinely 3/16″, so if you want a different width, please discuss it with the designer and your installer. Some tiles require specific types of grout and joint sizes, so it’s important to be specific in what finish look you want.
— Patterns, accents, and borders can add pizazz to a tile installation, so they are worth including in your plan. They do take more time to install, so your labor cost will increase each time you add an accent or extra feature.
— Standard heights of showers are 7′, and tub surrounds are generally 5′ off the tub. If you want a different finish height, be sure to let your designer and installer know that.
— Niches are more popular than soap dishes these days, and most showers now contain a shelf or foot prop, so be sure to specify which of these you’d like to add to your project. Waterproofing is needed behind that niche, and the best installers will be sure your design flows seamlessly through the indentation. There’s a little extra charge for these items, but having an easy place to keep your shampoo and soap is priceless!
May 31, 2013 at 5:27 am
I’m glad your mentioning that natural stone needs to be sealed. I get a lot of calls on how to clean then. The first thing I ask is if they were sealed and 9 times out of 10 they’re not. If anyone is buying natural stone, you need to add in the cost of sealing to get the most accurate gauge on costs.
August 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm
Thanks for the wonderful tips. And also about the information about buying natural stone with extra seal cost.
May 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm
Thanks for the tips! I would like to install tile in both my bathroom and my kitchen, but I’m not sure what types of tile is right for either room. It’s very important to me that the tile in the bathroom is different from the tile in the kitchen. I liked your tip about using patterns, accents, and borders to make tile look more interesting. Perhaps I can be safe going with a similar type of tile for both rooms as long as I use a different pattern and border.
May 29, 2015 at 1:49 pm
Yes, using a tile designer from a local showroom will make sure you’re happy with your new space. Enjoy the transformation!