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Mudroom Tile

April 6, 2012

Progress on the mudroom.  We gutted, reframed, and drywalled last week, and I laid about 80% of the tile today.  It’s going to be nice having a proper closet and mudroom.  But I learned another valuable lesson:  think twice before buying a tiling “kit” in a pattern.

The new mudroom is about 60 SF.  As a rule of thumb, I buy 10% more tile than I need, but because we were buying the tile in pre-sorted sets, I ended up buying about 15 SF more than I needed (at about $10 per SF).  My plan was to return one of the kits if I didn’t need it.  Of course, this stuff was special order, so I had to wait almost a week for it to show up.  About half of the tile in the first two boxes were broken — a couple of completely smashed tiles, and a lot of broken corners.  I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the job, so I called the store (The Tile Shop) and they said they would order another another 60 SF for me — I told them I probably only needed half that because I would use what I could (I’m not opposed to putting chipped tile along the wall if it’s going to be concealed by base mold).  So, other than waiting another week for the rest of the tile to get in, not a huge problem.

But there are a few of problems…

The pattern comes with three different sized tile:  8×12, 8×8, and 4×4.  The first problem is, the tile (shockingly) isn’t cut to include a kerf — meaning, the pattern works just fine if you aren’t planning on a grout line, but if you want a grout line, the tile won’t line up perfectly.  I understand why they would do it this way (they don’t know what size grout line you want) but it makes for a LOT of cuts.

The second problem (at least from a total cost perspective):  I had to break into all eight of the kits to get that far, and I’m still short three of the largest tiles — which means that I will end up having to buy another kit (for $100) unless the store will sell me the three tiles that I need to finish.

The last problem — as opposed to buying one size tile and cutting your own smaller tiles — is that unless your budget allows it, you have to be really frugal with the largest tiles.  My room wasn’t made for these tiles, so I ended up needing 8×9 tiles at one wall to avoid having an 8×1 “sliver” at the wall — but since I didn’t have any of the large tiles to spare, I ended up going with the sliver (I was still hoping at this point to be able to finish the job with the tile I had on hand).  

So my key take-away:  if you’re thinking about tiling in a pattern with variable sized tile, buy the tile in one size and cut it yourself (assuming you have the appropriate tools).  You will invest a little time cutting the tile yourself, but you’ll have a lot more flexibility in the end.  As it stands, I’m going to have a ton of extra 8×8 and 4×4 tiles.  Hope I never break any of the 8×12’s.





From → Interior Design

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