Thursday, July 14, 2011

Milestone: Tile Selection (Part Two)

In my last post, I wrote about the tiles we chose for our house. One would think that tile selection is nearly complete once you have decided amongst yourselves which tiles you like and where you want to put them. Oh no, it is not that simple. Nor is it something you can do in a hurry.

Part two of tile selection begins when you call the assistant over. This is not as short a process as you might think. I recommend taking all of your plans with you when you go to make your tile selection. The consultants can be quite knowledgeable and can offer plenty of good advice, especially if you are planning to use feature tiles, so it pays to be able to show them the various views for each room.

When you sit down with the consultant, a form is filled in that lists each of the rooms to be tiled, which tiles you wish to use, the direction in which they are to be laid, their price and what grout will be used.

When I thought of grout, I thought it was black, brown, or white. How wrong I was. Grout comes in many different colours and shades; different grits depending on whether you have selected a rectified or cushioned edged tile; and, can have additives such as flex agents.

Your tile consultant will take care of the flex and grit choices, but you will need to do another round of colour choices. We decided to keep things simple by choosing grout colours that best matched the colour of the tiles. For our “snowy white” wall tiles, we chose an “ultra white” grout and a “charred ash” grout for our feature ensuite wall tiles.

Our beloved floor tiles were a pain to colour match, as they seem to be a brown-grey-blue colour. Eventually we chose “charred ash.” It was slightly lighter than the colour of the tile. We are not great fans of grout lines, so hopefully choosing a grout colour a shade or two lighter than the tile, will help the grout lines to blend and not be so obvious.

Our tile consultation took about an hour. Make sure you ask your consultant plenty of questions, especially if you are mixing tile sizes and edge types. One of the best tips we were given was “to ask our builder whether we can pay any costs over our allotted allowance directly to the tile store, so that we can avoid paying the builder’s mark-up.” Thankfully, Ventura already operates this way.

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