Choosing the right tile for your backsplash can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your kitchen. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to buy your tile backsplash. Here are some tips on where to shop for stunning, quality tile that will stand the test of time.
Big Box Home Improvement Stores
Popular home improvement chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer an extensive selection of backsplash tile in a range of styles. Pros:
- Convenient locations across the country. Easy to swing by and view tile selections in person.
- Great prices on tile, especially during sales and clearance events.
- Large inventory with plenty of choices including ceramic, porcelain, glass, mosaic, and stone tile.
- Can buy tile along with adhesive, grout, and installation tools in one trip.
- Employees can advise on installations, recommended products, tools, etc.
- Selection is not as unique or high-end as tile specialty stores. More common designs.
- Limited selection of trim pieces, decorative tile, and accessories.
- Quality not as high as tile from specialty retailers.
- Samples can only give general idea of how full tiles will look.
- Limited knowledge among employees about advanced installation issues.
Tile Specialty Stores
For a wider selection of unique, high-quality tiles, visit a tile specialty store. Staff is very knowledgeable about product specifications and advanced installation methods. Pros:
- Largest selection of tile materials, colors, designs, and textures. Unique styles not found anywhere else.
- Carry tiles in all price ranges from budget to luxury.
- Many exclusive, specialty tiles made by artisans.
- Trim pieces, medallions, borders, mosaics, and accessories available.
- Can order custom or rare tiles for special projects.
- Knowledgeable staff can guide you through entire process.
- Limited locations compared to home improvement stores.
- Higher prices than big box stores, especially for premium tiles.
- Need to order far in advance for rare or custom tiles.
- Less convenient if only need a few supplies for DIY install.
Ordering tile online opens up many brands and styles while still allowing you to buy from home. Pros:
- Convenient way to have many tile samples or full tile orders shipped to your door.
- Access to a wider range of brands, colors, designs than available locally.
- Low prices on tile, especially on closeout or overstock items.
- Helpful customer reviews on websites.
- No trips to the store lugging heavy tile boxes.
- Can’t see full tiles in person, only samples or photos. Colors and patterns may look different installed.
- Shipping heavy tile can add substantially to costs.
- Returns and exchanges more difficult than at brick-and-mortar store.
- No store employees to advise or answer questions.
Direct from Manufacturer
Some tile companies sell direct online or from their warehouses. Pros:
- Cut out the middleman markups for significant savings.
- Larger selection of tiles from a single manufacturer’s product line.
- Specials for ordering full cartons of tile.
- Some manufacturers offer design or installation assistance.
- Very limited local showrooms to see tiles in person. Must rely on samples.
- Shipping heavy tile long distances tacks on fees.
- Customer service tends to be slower and less personal.
- No neutral advice on best products since promotes own brand.
Where to Buy Tile Backsplash: Key Considerations
- Shop around to compare prices and find best deals. Measure the space and calculate how much tile you need.
- Hold actual tile samples next to cabinets, countertops etc. for most accurate color match. Lighting in store can alter appearance.
- Hire an experienced installer for intricate, expensive stone tiles to avoid cracks, chips or uneven spacing.
- Read customer reviews of tile brands for feedback on quality and durability.
- Consider ordering 5-10% extra to allow for cuts, waste and replacement of damaged tiles.
- Budget more for specialty trim, borders, niches if desired. These details add up.
- Make sure to get suitable tile edges for the installation style – bullnose for exposed edges, butt for grouted seams.
- Shop with pros like backsplash designers at tile showrooms if unsure what products work best.
No matter where you choose to buy your backsplash tile, make sure to get all the components needed for a successful installation. This includes tile adhesive, grout and sealant formulated for the tile material. With the right tile source, planning and prep work, you can install an eye-catching, quality backsplash in your kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Where to Buy Tile Backsplash
Where can I find the biggest selection of backsplash tile?
Tile specialty retailers offer the largest selection of backsplash tiles available, including more sizes, colors, textures, and patterns than home improvement stores. They also carry more decorative accents and trim pieces.
Should I buy backsplash tile online or in stores?
Buying tile online provides convenience and a wider selection. However, seeing tiles in person is best to get an accurate impression of color. Hold samples next to cabinets and countertops to match colors in your kitchen lighting.
Where can I get high-quality designer tile for backsplashes?
Tile specialty showrooms and high-end retailers carry exclusive designer tile brands and luxury materials like handmade subway tiles, stone, and metallic mosaics. This is where to shop for museum-quality statement backsplashes.
What tiles should I avoid for kitchen backsplashes?
Avoid very porous tiles like natural stone for the backsplash. Opt for less porous glazed ceramic, porcelain or glass tiles that resist moisture, grease stains, and food residues. Don’t use rough, uneven tiles near the countertop work area.
Should I get backsplash tiles on clearance if some are damaged?
Exercise caution when buying discounted or clearance tile, especially for backsplashes where every piece is visible. Minor chips or cracks make tiles unsuited for this application. Check closely for defects.
Where can I get backsplash tiles cut to size?
Many home improvement stores and tile shops offer tile cutting services for customized backsplash installations. Provide them with tile dimensions and they can cut tiles, trim pieces and decorative insets to size prior to installation.
Finding the perfect backsplash tile involves sourcing quality materials and comparing styles at different retailers. Home improvement stores provide convenience for one-stop shopping while tile specialty stores offer the widest selection and highest quality. Ordering tile online opens up more options. Whatever option you choose, be sure to get tile samples and calculate the correct amount needed for your space. With some planning and smart shopping, you can find beautiful backsplash tile to transform your kitchen.