Budget friendly tips for tiling in the home

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Shopping for tiles? A savvy renovator can save thousands on their tiling project by following these handy cost-cutting tips.

Tiling is one of the most expensive elements of a bathroom renovation. Not only do you have the cost of the tiles themselves but the labour can also be pretty pricey.

Getting a great deal on your tiling can mean the difference between a renovation that comes in on budget and a total blowout. But how do you know what’s a fair rate and what’s downright robbery?

Tilers differ in price per hour, but as a guide you can average between $40 – $60 an hour. However prices do vary depending on the qualifications of the tiler, the size of the job, site access and materials. Basic materials like tiling glue and grout are normally included in the labour rates – but not the tiles.

Tiles themselves of course vary dramatically in price. A bathroom can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per square metre which adds up to either $2400n or a massive $24,000 to just cover the walls of your average bathroom (12m2 walls) – and that’s before you even tile the floor.

And don’t forget the cost of preparing the floor bedding, which is usually added to your total bill and charged at an approx average of $45 per m2, (as a guide only). Given these figures it’s no wonder that tiling your bathroom can turn into such an expensive exercise.

Tile the area necessary

The key to saving on your tiling project is to cut back where you can. Rather than tiling your whole shower recess it could look just as effective to only tile halfway up and paint the rest.

There are some cases when more tiling doesn’t actually cost much more.

You might be surprised to discover that there’s not much of a price difference between tiling to eye-level and tiling all the way up to the ceiling (which can make a room look much bigger) as you don’t have to fork out for border tiles.

Or, for just a smidge more you can create a sophisticated looking bathroom by finishing off your tiled wall with some natural stone accents.

Repair not replace

If you don’t have the spare cash to tile your bathroom from scratch you might be able to work with what you already have. Sure, you might have to replace a few cracked tiles but you should be able to bring the old tiles up-to-date with a quick coat of tile paint.

Another money saving trick is to tile over the existing tiles. This will save you demolition fees, but don’t be too eager to pack away that sledgehammer as you’ll have to definitely pull up the existing floor tiles or you’ll be faced with an uneven wall.

Shop in the sales

Just like your high street fashion shops, tile and home ware shops have sales, so the savvy shopper would wait for their tiles to be on offer, or at least shop only from the sale section – but make sure there’s enough of that tile in stock to allow for a few breaks, it’s advisable to have a box spare in case a few break when being cut.

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