Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Friday, January 30, 2009

DIY Tile Tip of the Week #4

Buy clearance tile to save money:

buy clearance tile to save money I love ceramic tile, but it sure can be expensive. There's such an incredible price range, from about a dollar per square foot to $50 a foot and more. I'm a cheapskate at heart, so I've never paid full price for tile I've installed in my house.

Did you know that most tile retailers have Clearance Tile on hand regularly? With so many tile choices, these smaller stores don't usually stock much tile. It's all special-ordered from larger wholesalers. So what happens when orders get cancelled, or don't get picked up? What about when customers return a box or two that turned out to be "extra"? That's how tile clearance land happens. It's just too expensive to ship heavy tile back for credit most of the time.

This same "we don't want to ship it back" attitude is true for some tile installers, too. We have a huge rack filled with orphaned boxes of tile in the shop I work for. This tile can be bought for pennies on the dollar.

Even the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot sometimes offer deep discounts on their ceramic tile inventories. When they discontinue a style and get down to just a few boxes, they want that tile GONE. You have to be careful that there's enough square footage to cover your project, but the savings are major.

What could you do with just a box or two of tile you find deeply discounted?

  • A fireplace surround

  • A bathroom accent area over a vanity

  • A small foyer - mix and match for a larger foyer

  • A fancy bathroom vanity top

  • A cool tile inlay coffee table

  • A small section of backsplash for your kitchen, maybe just behind the stove
With an open mind and a sharp eye you can find some great bargains on formerly-expensive tile for your next project. Or find some interesting tile first and dream up a project to fit. Let your imagination run wild with really cheap tile!

This is Tip #4, Jan 29 2009

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