The Ultimate Guide to Tile Shopping: Do's and Don'ts for Your Next Project (plus a quick hack)

The Ultimate Guide to Tile Shopping: Do's and Don'ts for Your Next Project (plus a quick hack)

Posted by That Tile Lady on Nov 6th 2023

Are you planning to embark on a tile shopping journey for your upcoming home improvement project? Whether you're renovating your kitchen, bathroom, or any other space, choosing the right tiles is a critical decision that can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your home. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential do's and don'ts of tile shopping to help you make informed choices.

The Do's of Tile Shopping

  1. Research Your Project Needs: Before you start shopping, determine the specific requirements of your project. Consider factors like the room's function, expected foot traffic, and your design preferences. Doing so will help you narrow down your options and make a more informed choice.
  2. Set a Budget: Decide on a budget range for your project and stick to it. Tile prices can vary widely, so having a budget in mind will help you avoid overspending.
  3. Consider Tile Material: Choose a tile material that suits your needs and style. Options include ceramic, porcelain, glass, natural stone, and more. Each material has its unique characteristics, so research thoroughly.
  4. Explore Tile Patterns and Designs: Look for tile patterns and designs that complement your home's aesthetic. Whether it's a classic subway tile or a trendy mosaic, your choices should align with your design vision.
  5. Sample Tiles First: Always order samples of your preferred tiles before making a final decision. This allows you to see how the tiles look in your space and under different lighting conditions. While samples are generally swatches, they are crucial for evaluating color and texture. 

The Don'ts of Tile Shopping

  1. Don't Rush the Decision: Avoid making hasty choices. Take your time to browse through different options, compare prices, and consider how the tiles will fit into your overall design. Tile serves both as a functional element and as a design element in a semi-permanent capacity. Seriously, take your time! This decision is meant to last decades! 
  2. Don't Ignore Maintenance: Be aware of the maintenance requirements for the tiles you choose. Some materials may require more upkeep than others, so make sure you're prepared for the maintenance involved. 
  3. Don't Neglect Proper Measurements: Measure your space accurately to determine the quantity of tiles you need. Ordering too few or too many tiles can lead to unnecessary delays and expenses. We generally recommend 5-10% overage for small-mid sized tiles, and 15+% for large format tiles. 
  4. Don't Forget About Grout: The choice of grout color and width is as important as the tile itself. Neglecting grout can affect the overall look of your installation.
  5. Don't Overlook Installation Costs: Remember to factor in installation costs when budgeting for your project. Whether you hire professionals or plan to DIY, installation can significantly impact your expenses.


Shop with an expert!  Whether that is your trusted installer or true industry tile and design professionals, getting expert help is the shortcut way to the project of your dreams. Our team has decades of industry knowledge and is always available to guide you before, during, and after your project wraps up. That's the added value of shopping at BCT - you get the whole BCT family (and we are a family) to help! 

Find us in store, via phone at 973-589-2080 or via email at