Over the winter I had about 6 projects going simultaneously that all needed tile schemes. By the time spring rolled around, I felt like I had looked at every tile option under the sun! It can be a challenge to create interesting tile combinations for a number of rooms in a home without breaking the bank. I’ve found that most builders in my area like to give homeowners an allowance of about $10/sf when it comes to tile. Most people have no idea what tile cost and are usually very shocked and disappointed to learn that a lot of those beautiful Pinterest and Houzz images are using tile that is 3-4x that allowance. So today I thought I’d share some of my favorite tile options, most under $10/sf and all under $15. Read on for examples of these tile in use. I always try to send clients example photos if they exist. It can be so hard to picture how a whole room will turn out based on just a tiny sample!
- Carrara Honed 1×2 Herringbone Mosaic – $8.70/sf
- Carrara Basketweave Bardiglio Dot Mosaic – $10.95/sf
- Carrara Honed 3″ Hex Mosaic – $9.99/sf
- Carrara Honed 16×16 tile – $8.95/sf
- Gray Penny Round Ceramic Tile – $9.95/sf
- 8″ Carrara Honed Hex Tile – $4.99/piece, $13.47/sf
- Matte White Porcelain Hex Tile – $6.19/sf
- Lantern Porcelain Tile – $9.99/sf
- 4×12 Light Blue Glass Tile – $9.95/sf
Carrara Basketweave Mosaic Floor
3″ Carrara Hex Tile Mosaic Floor
Carrara Honed Mosaic 16×16 tiles (with 1×1 square strips)
Gray Penny Rounds
8″ Carrara Honed Hex Tiles
Matte Porcelain Hex Tile
Lantern Porcelain Tile
4×12 Glass Tile in Herringbone Pattern
My general philosophy when working on tile schemes for a home is to get creative with porcelain and ceramic options in the kid’s bathrooms, laundry room, etc and use my savings toward creating something killer and luxe in the master bath. Most people assume that means the kid’s bathrooms are boring but I find that the color options and huge range of sizes in porcelain and ceramic tiles gives me so much creative freedom. You can do so many things with penny rounds and hexs, not to mention subway tile which I haven’t even included here! Think stripes in fun colors, interesting in-laid patterns…honestly the sky is the limit (though be sure to check with your tile setter before committing to make sure the savings on materials isn’t going to get gobbled up by expensive installation fees…been there!)
Three tips for you when planning a tile scheme:
- Not all Carrara is the same so if you’re ordering multiple sizes of field tile for a shower, for example, make sure to get samples and, if possible, order from the same line. You’d be surprised how gray some Carrara is vs. how white other lots can be.
- Strive for a mix of sizes. If you go with some smaller like basketweave on the floor, switch to something larger for the shower walls. The contrast is what keeps it interesting and keeps your eye moving around the room.
- If budget allows, tile the wall over the vanity (take it up to the ceiling) and mount your mirrors and lights over top. The effect is spectacular, it’s practical for those aggressive face washers in the family (not that I have any 🙂 ) and depending on the tile you’re working with, it could be just a couple of hundred dollars extra to create something really unique.