How to Know if Your Dream Tile is Worth the Money

While most people appreciate a good deal (Starbucks $2 iced-drink summers, anyone?), a good deal and a cheap price aren’t quite the same thing.

Good deal = high quality + low price

Cheap price = low quality + low price

See the difference?

Therefore, I’ve decided to hand out some valuable tips to keep in mind while you are purchasing your tile to ensure that if you’re breaking the bank, you’re getting a high quality product. And alternately, if you’re paying a lower price, that it’s a good deal and not just a cheap product.

Mixed Dye Lots

  • Back-painted glass tile: Sadly, the majority of this glass is sourced from China at the moment. Even designer brands are bringing it in from China, so you might as well try to find the cheapest price possible with this tile. For a more detailed account of the potential problems associated with this tile, read here.
  • Infused glass tile: This one is trickier. Iridescence is the only real easy indicator, so ask to see a sample of an iridescent tile from the collection you’re interested in and look at the iridescence closely: does it only cover a portion of the tile surface? Does it scratch off easily? These are indicators of a cheap product.
  • Stone tile: Any way you slice it, if you find stone tile for less than $30/s.f., you are risking spending money on a product that may end up giving you mixed dye lots. If you’re going to go stone, go all the way. Stone is worth the splurge to ensure you get a nice-looking product.
  • Porcelain tile: Look at the width of the tile. The thicker it is, the higher-quality and more durable. A good Italian porcelain can run pretty cheap, as low as $4/s.f. and up to $18/s.f. Any more than that for your field tile, and you may be falling victim to useless markup.
  • Ceramic tile: This is another one that can be tricky. Many ceramic tiles, even high quality ceramic, chip and scratch quite easily if the color is rich enough. If you are ordering ceramic as a special order, make sure your tile is coming from the same dye lot. If it’s an extremely cheap tile, it could be because you’re being sold multiple dye lots.

At the end of the day, none of us wants to spend more money than we have to. But investing in a product that will stand the test of time and won’t bring you headaches down the road is always worth a couple extra bucks. That’s certainly what I told my boyfriend when I came home with my new Manolo’s…and you know what? They are holding up great.

If you would like assistance planning your next tile project, email me at for a free consultation!

3 Responses to “How to Know if Your Dream Tile is Worth the Money”
  1. Toan says:

    good advice, thanks!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Fact: They mix dye lots. Once again, it’s much more expensive to pay attention to which stone came from which block and to separate them accordingly, therefore when you’re buying from a company that cuts corners, you have no guarantee that you’re buying from the same block of stone. For an example of what mixed dye lots looks like, click here. […]

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