Hi friends!

As I sit here continuing to miss all of you, I also tell myself that we’re one week closer to being at the end of all this. Being able to step in your offices again will take on new meaning and appreciation 😊 In the meantime, let’s lean into the coziness of our new quarantined home offices, and take moments for spa-like relaxation during the upcoming April showers. That’s why, this week, I want to focus on 5 affordable ways to bring the spa to your own home (as if you have a choice). And while we’re on the topic of affordability, I want to highlight 5 easy ways to find savings in your tile specifications – both on the material selection and installation. Starting with your savings on self-care:

LVH (Live From Home) Tip: This. Not That.

I think this goes without saying because clearly I’m way too busy being your tile girl to take on a lifestyle blog, but these aren’t ads. These are all legitimate products that I have overpaid for, and subsequently found much more affordable ‘dupes’ of. Which really work. Just as great, or even better in some cases. I’m just here to pass on the savings. Around $350 savings..
1. Deep Hair Conditioner This | Not That
2. Spa Candle This | Not That
3. Hydrating Face Mask This | Not That
4. Serum This | Not That
5. Exfoliating Mask This | Not That


You’re welcome. 

Tile Tip: Savings in Your Selections

  • Mosaics:
  • Mosaics can be a delicate addition to a backsplash or feature area, but they’re not always in the budget. Why are they typically more expensive than a standard loose piece tile? Because (1) the smaller pieces need to be cut, and (2) they need to be mesh-mounted. Both of these layers add to the overall cost of production. In my experience, a really affordable range is as low as $6.99psf, and upwards of $15 for something standard. Getting into the $20’s or $30’s for more intricate designs and finishes.
  • A way to keep the look of a mosaic, without the price tag, is a pre-scoured wall tile. They give the appearance of a mesh-mount mosaic, but can be as low as $3.50psf
  • Try Vibrant, for example.

  • Cute Over Quality (in some cases):
  • Not all tiles are created equal. A premium glazed through-body porcelain tile in a rectified 18x18 format, for example, has additional steps in the production process that drive the cost up. The quality is exceptional: It has less than 0.1% water absorption and can withstand freeze/thaw cycles in an exterior setting. However, that’s not always needed for your intended application. Many times a very similar tile can be found in a glazed white body ceramic that looks just the same, at a fraction of the price. No need to pay for features you don’t need right? For example:
  • Bedrock is a through-body porcelain around $4.25-$4.99psf for the 12x24:
  • Modern Concrete is a technical porcelain, still suitable for exterior use, just not through-body. The 12x24 is around $2.95-$3.15psf.

  • To the Windows, To the Wall:
  • I have seen architects & designers calling out for wall tiles with 6ft or 7ft wainscot where the ceiling is 8’-0” high, just to save money in “tile costs”. Thing is, you still have to cap off the wainscot with bullnose trim or some sort of Schluter metal. If the wall tile is simply extended up to the ceiling, many times it’s cheaper because 1) expensive trim pieces are eliminated, 2) it’s actually faster to continue installing with field tile, and 3) painters who would come in to paint the small patch of wall above the wainscot actually charge more for that labor. Something to consider. Usually it’s just cheaper to tile that wall!
  • Fun option, here’s a tile –Boiserie – from our new 2020 Spring/Summer collection that mimics a wainscot.

  • Knowledge is Power:
  • Might be an obvious point, but the higher the square footage, the lower we can drive the price down. Oftentimes I’m asked for a price on a tile, and I’ll usually ask for an estimate in square footage or where its being considered so I can get idea of quantity. Understand that I’m not doing that out of greed for chasing large projects only. It's because factories negotiate on their tile costs. And if I know upfront that it will be a larger amount, I can secure special pricing. Even for something modest, I can secure additional discounts and drive the budget down on the front in, so you’re not scrambling to VE something we could have priced lower from the beginning. For more information on this topic, see our Tile Talk blog series: Why Quantities Matter written by our Quality Assurance and Technical Team Lead, Ken Ahn.
  • Every factory is different, but sometimes these price shifts can be pretty significant. Point is, the more I know, the more I can go to bat for you and your clients.

  • Check Yourself Before You Rectify Yourself:
  • Rectified tiles means it has gone through an extra process after firing, to be cut to an exact measurement where all the tiles in the line are exactly the same. This extra step means that you can make tighter grout joints (as small as 1/16”), but it also of course means.. extra cost.
  • Selecting non-rectified tiles is an easy way to find significant cost savings on both your materials selection and labor. The difference in labor costs could be as much as 20%, since calibrated tiles with larger joints are easier and faster to install.
  • Go to our “Porcelain” page and select “No” from the “Rectified” drop down on the right to see a selection of our non-rectified tiles.

Now you can save money in your home AND your specs! If you have any other questions on how to find savings within your specific project scenarios, let me know and I’m happy to address them or discuss different solutions. Or of course, if you have questions on any other self-care savings tips. I’ve tried.. basically everything there is to try. And overpaid for a lot in the process.

Look forward to catching up in the city soon. Until then, all the best and healthy vibes from your Tile Girl,
Creative Materials Corporation
120 E 23 rd St, New York, NY 10010
Mobile  551.202.9047 Office 929.372.7294