big box unglazed porcelain hex tiles?

melissastarOctober 10, 2013

Any reason not to go for this bargain priced tile rather than a more expensive version from an upscale tile store? I know there's a huge controversy over unglazed vs. matte glazed, but putting that aside, what about just the quality of the tiles?

Are you really paying for a big quality difference?

Since the unglazed porcelain hex is the look I really want, I'm thinking it's the perfect place to economize, leaving me a bit more to splurge on a nice faucet, shower, etc

Would love any input from those with experience!

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I saw your post in the kitchen section also. I can give you my opinion, but will of course preface it with I am a DIYer and by no means a professional, so please take it at face value.

I say, take the savings and run with it. Especially if you are doing the job yourself. My husband and I install everything ourselves. While I had installed small tile jobs before, I had never done a large tile job or done one in a home I actually owned and was planning on living in forever. When it came time to buy our own hexagon floor tile and white subway tile for tub surround I did my research and had a few long conversations with my brother in law who had been in construction for 40 something years. I was going to splurge on the tile, figuring I save all the money by installing everything ourselves, why not spend a little more and get a "high quality" product. For the very little difference I could see side by side in the tile I was considering the cost difference was astronomical. My BIL advice was also spot on. The more expensive tile had many imperfections as far as the depth of the actual tile. A more "hand made" look and feel yes, however it requires a very skilled installer to make it look right and they must take added time to get it to look right. So not only would it have cost us more, but I wouldn't have been able to do a great job alone without hiring it out.

We went with the big box store brands. The only issue I had with the big box store, was paying attention to their quality before buying and while installing. For instance, I did a black pencil trim with our white subway tile. I had a hard time in the store finding as many trim pieces as I needed that weren't scratched already. A bad batch sent to the local store was not padded properly and had to be gone through to find ones that I deemed perfect. Also before grouting the hexagon floor we checked extra carefully to be sure the black hex tiles were where they were supposed to be in the black and white design as there was one sheet of the mosaic that had one out of place. We certainly did not want to grout and find out later that we had a mistake in the pattern. But honestly well worth it for almost $2000 savings I figure I got from just the cost of the tile.

I am about to start the second bathroom and have already started shopping my local big box store for my tile.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Take a look at the abrasion resistance of the tile. Some tiles aren't appropriate for floors because they just don't tolerate the walking. At least that is what I remember considering when I got my tiles. It has been so long ago as this bathroom project drags on :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz article on tile characteristics

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Enduring, thanks for that article, I bookmarked it for later reference.

Kali, your information was also valuable, thanks!

Melissastar, what did you decide to do? Since "porcelain" means it is impervious to water, it seems like it would be good on a bathroom floor. BTW, can you share info on the controversy on unglazed vs. matte glazed tiles? I have not heard of it and am planning a bathroom remodel, too.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:29PM
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