Tile Flooring Options

I am so excited to finally be able to type this…. WE HAVE A DATE SCHEDULED FOR FLOORING INSTALLATION.

After many months of thinking about it, budgeting, planning, discussing, getting quotes, etc. we finally decided on an installer and time. And the date is… August 1st!

I have taken the week off work to be home and wrangle the pups while the installer is here. We went with a local guy that John knows and we did get quotes from other contractors, however the selected installer came in at the lowest price.

The tile will run from the laundry room all the way through the kitchen and kitchen nook and into the dining room- all in all 540 square feet of beautiful, sparkling, new porcelain tile. John made the final call about having someone do it versus doing it ourselves- he’s just not confident in our abilities to do the tiling ourselves and we want to have this in our house for very, very very, veryyyy long time so we might as well do it right (that’s what I’m telling myself). While it pains me a little to have to pay someone thousands (with an ‘s’ at end), we gotta do what the hubby says. Lord knows there’s no way I can cut and lay all that tile myself. Instead, we will save money by doing the demo, moving appliances and replacing the baseboard moldings. We’re also going to tackle laying the tile around the fireplace hearth which will save us more $$.

And so, with a date now in mind I’m finally ready to pick a tile. My first thought (2 years ago- good thing I didn’t buy anything) was we would do wood look porcelain tile (which is so popular right now), but I’m worried that it’s too trendy, too rustic and will draw too much attention to the break in the flooring since it tends to have more colors and dimensions than a solid tile. We’re going to be getting carpet in the living room and I worry that with three different types of flooring going on the house is going to look choppy. Also, our house is pretty modern in design and the kitchen came out sooo simple, modern and elegant that I’m worried the wood look tile will lean “farmhouse” which I definitely don’t want or the space.

With that in mind, I’m more drawn to dark porcelain tile that is similar/in the same color family as the existing slate. I know I want porcelain over ceramic since porcelain is more durable in high traffic areas. I ordered these two porcelain tiles from Floor and Decor:

Tile Option #1

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This one definitely mimics the existing slate we have. The stock photo across a little light but it’s definitely darker in person.

Tile Option #2

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The Uptown Gray is light, but I wanted to give it a shot since it has a concrete like color that I though might work. Plus, at $1.69 if I loved it the price would be perfect!

Just for comparison, I also ordered this ceramic tile (even though I’m pretty sold on porcelain).

Tile Option #3

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I know everyone in Blogland loves Floor & Decor, but I had a really bad experience with them. As in, 2 of the 3 samples (samples!) had not shipped over 3 weeks after ordering them. They promise 7-10 business days for shipping… so yea, that didn’t go as planned. Secondly, I had to call customer service 4 times and was promised each time that my order “was shipping that day”… obviously, not accurate. Finally, I used their chat function and was promised the order would ship that day from a different store. Anyway, as you can see, my experience was less than stellar. Not sure I will be confident enough to order ends-with-three-zeros amount of tile from them, especially if we need to order tile to arrive by our planned start date.

Finally, I grabbed a sample of this Galvano Charcoal Tile from Lowe’s- also $1.99. I’m really trying to stay in the $2 sq. ft. range since we have such a large space to do, but I also don’t want to compromise quality. Also, if we end up going with Lowe’s we can use our Lowe’s card which will give us either 5% off or 6 months special financing- definitely something to consider.

Tile Option #4

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Our installer is going to take us to his wholesale warehouse to look around in a few weekends. Maybe I will see something even more budget friendly and/or fall in love with something there. Having said that, the options above are definitely representative of the direction I want to go with flooring- which in and of itself is helpful and shocking that I decided without a major mental breakdown (see That Time I Tried to Pick a Counter Material).

As for grout, I definitely want to go with a dark grout. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to make the flooring transition as seamless (hopefully unnoticeable) as possible and dark grout will help mimic the existing slate. Also, if there’s one thing I hate- it’s dirty grout. Sorry not sorry I refuse to commit to a lifetime of scrubbing dirty grout. Dark grout will create a seamless transition, hide dirt and spills and camouflage anything that does stain- win, win, win

Here is a stock photo from Lowe’s of the Galvano tile with dark grout.

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Definitely the look I’m going for. It’s modern and updated without being too loud or in your face. For carpet, I’m going to go with a StainMaster option in gray as well. HOPEFULLY, by being smart with the flooring options and picking tile/carpet that doesn’t attract too much attention to the different flooring types I can create the illusion of seamless flooring on the whole first floor. I mean, that’s what I keep telling myself at least.

Or, who knows, I may change my mind again and go in a totally different direction. That’s how I roll.