Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A tile store expedition

Have I mentioned on this blog that I hate tile?  Well, I really do.  It's so cold and hard and geometric. Anything that's a step up from utterly disgusting costs the earth.  Yet despite the complete obviousness of tile's grossness, I have yet to meet anyone who shares my antipathy for it.  Puzzling.

You may remember that we were planning to use a product called tadelakt on the walls and floor of the guest bathroom.  It's a traditional Moroccan lime plaster that's been used for centuries in their steam baths, so it stands up to water.  It goes on similarly to regular plaster - with a trowel, so there aren't any pieces or seams.  Since I last wrote about it, we've been having all kinds of problems finding a subcontractor who is both willing to come to the RBB and experienced in applying the stuff.  I've been getting a lot of heat to just pick out some tile instead. 

Wavering under the pressure of our imminent move in, I went to a marble and granite tile auction on Sunday (the same one where we bought the tile for the headhouse floor and tenants' bathrooms in the winter) and I visited two tile stores today.  The results were depressing.  Here are some photos of what I liked best disliked least.  Keep in mind that anything I get would be white and in a matte finish, with no nosing, border, trim, plain field, or what have you.

With the exception of the last image (which is between $5 and $11/sq ft, depending on size), all the tiles are in the $25 and up range per square foot.  We need about 100 squares for the walls and another 50 or so for the floor.  At the "low" end of $25 per square, that's about $4000 (once you put in tax and the inevitable shipping/delivery fee).  Then we have to pay the labor to have it installed, which will certainly mean at least a week's work for our tile guy.  And all this for something I don't even like to begin with.  Starting to see why I'm so anti-tile?

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