Naptime Gnome #38
Tile death do us part… picking the perfect tile for the long haul (or is it hall? 😉
So tile it is… for us anyway! We never really liked our old tile. Which initially made me think I didn’t like tile at all. In my mind the ultimate flooring was always wood — a warm, beautiful, natural look, with a little texture, and no grout to clean. It seemed like the way to go, but upon further evaluation of our lifestyle (click here if you’re new to our flooring saga), tile was really our best option. After having seen wood-look tile a friend had installed, we thought we had found the best of both worlds, but when we began shopping for the ideal product for us, we started to become a bit overwhelmed. We visited well over a dozen vendors in town, but in holding to my “if you don’t have anything nice to say,…” idiom, I’m only going to tell you about our favorites.
I can tell you the best prices on the nicest products, we found, were without question at Bedrosians Tile and Stone… but there’s a caveat, oh isn’t there always a caveat? Make sure you shop during a big sale. The good news is their sales are ever so predictable… and frequent. Just go on any major holiday: Labor Day, Memorial Day, Black Friday, you get the idea. Their prices are 20 to 40% lower during major events. We managed to catch great deals there on two separate occasions, both holidays… definitely the way to go, for us anyway. We also found great prices with a fairly wide selection of flooring in general at Floor and Decor, in fact, they had far better prices than any other vendor in town initially, but ultimately we got the better deal at Bedrosians, after negotiating a touch and shopping a sale. Both of these stores offered the type of product we were looking for, at prices up to a few dollars less, per square foot, than other locations. Which really adds up quick when you’re doing a large project.
Once we found the product we liked, we brought home about 7 samples of various brands, styles, colors and finishes to see what would look best in our space. We were actually shocked which one we went with after seeing them in our home. Our favorite material in the store became our least preferred, once seeing it in our lighting and next to our decor. The floor we ended up choosing had actually been 3rd on our list, after one that turned out to clash with our color scheme in several rooms, and another that looked super classy on a showroom wall, and more like Disneyland boardwalk once on our floor. Spoiler alert: here’s a preview of our new floors!
If you are looking to revamp your floors, here are a few suggestions we can offer:
1. Make a list of the most important attributes of your ideal flooring and decide what you’re willing to compromise on. For example, is color or durability more important, do you want a lighter floor that will hide more (so you may not have to clean as often) or do you prefer a darker floor to accent lighter decor? Are allergies enough of an issue in your home to limit carpet and rugs? If you have kids and pets, do you have the time or means to keep darker floors clean? NOTE: If you go with a lighter floor you may want to consider minimal grout line products just as rectified tile.
2. Consider your surroundings. If it’s cold, stone and tile may not be preferred unless they’re paired with radiant heat. If your family is known to bring the outdoors in, like ours, ease of cleaning and durability may be of utmost concern. Know the pros and cons of different flooring types, and if you are aren’t sure ask! I was most impressed with the sales associate at Lowe’s who actually pulled out his keys and dropped them on a few samples, then began digging them in, I was shocked how easily even carbonized stranded bamboo could mar, particularly after so many people had professed its virtual indestructibility. I urge you to do the same, run a key across some of your favorite samples (after you’ve legally acquired them), or place a small rock under your shoe and scuff a bit. If you find all sorts of foreign objects when cleaning your floors (like I do) these things may be important.
3. Are you installing yourself or will you budget for installation? We found for example that tile can be much cheaper than carpet or hardwood, but the installation costs typically level the field, and can even make tile less cost effective.
4. Measure your space. Even if you will have a contractor doing the purchasing and installation, be sure to measure the space yourself. We had one contractor estimate our space as being TWICE as big as it actually is, after “measuring” it. Not only will this help you when dealing with contractors it will also help you set a reasonable budget before the shopping process.
5. If you are hiring a contractor, be sure to use someone reputable, and get at least three quotes before settling on the right contractor for you (click here for more on choosing a contractor).
6. If you are looking to demo a space, have all your contractors give you two quotes, one with demo and one without (if they do demo, some contractors specialize in installation only). You may get lucky and find someone who will demo for next to nothing (here’s some more info. on demoing yourself, by hand, or with power tools).
7. GET SAMPLES! Bring them home. Put them next to EVERYTHING. You don’t want to find out your beautiful green 20′ floor-to-ceiling curtains look like Christmas decorations next to those gorgeous cherry floors, especially when you have no intentions of forking out MORE money to redecorate. Nor do you want to have a color war waging between your floors and cabinets.
8. If you are having the floors installed, be sure to select your contractor before purchasing your materials so you can be sure to get exactly what your contractor needs. Some contractors figure pickup and delivery of materials as part of their install price as well, so be sure to discuss that before paying for services elsewhere.
-The Naptime Gnome <;’)