So when is it worthwhile spending the extra money on tile?
When you’re trying to save money on tile, cost vs quality is always a compelling factor. When you’re on a tight budget, then cost usually will win out, and these days there are plenty of great looking choices. So buying less expensive tile would make sense if, for example, you’re working on a rental unit, perhaps a first home, or a DIY upgrade.
But if you own a nice home, a quality home, and you want the quality of the tile to match the quality of your home, then plan on at least a mid-range or higher-end tile. The reason? To invest wisely.
Those of us in the tile business know that low end tile tends to be more warped and often doesn’t wear as well as the better stuff. It’s also more difficult for a tile professional to set the lower end tile, as they have more obstacles to overcome to get it to look really good. And here’s the interesting part. A tile setter will charge the same fee to set tile regardless of whether it is low, medium, or high-end tile, custom work and fancy layouts aside.
How much does each range of tile typically cost?
- Low end = up to $3.90
- Middle of the road = $3.90 – $5.90
- High end = mid $5 range – $10/$12
What to look for in a better quality tile?
- The tile is often rectified meaning the edges are more squared up and clean.
- There is less wave, warble, bubbling. The gloss appears more durable.
- Most often (but not always) manufactured in Italy, Spain, Turkey. But remember, every country that manufactures tile also makes a low-end tile, so make sure you’re getting their mid-to-upper range product.
- If looking for custom, handmade tile rather than manufactured tile, always check that the product is crafted by a reputable source with a solid reputation
So really, the message here is to match the quality of tile with the quality of your home. It’s a good investment. It will show, and it will make a difference.