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Monday, February 4, 2013

Granite or tile? Which should I pick first?

Are you ready to find Granite and Tile? Or, are you ready to remodel your bathroom or kitchen and you don't know where to start? Well, the answer to that depends on who you ask. 

At the local tile store, they told us to "select the granite first, then return with a sample of the granite".  I chose to ignore this, and pick the tile first. Below we'll list some things to consider for selecting tile and counter tops.  
This client had very specific goals about tile, so in this case it was best to select the tile first. Notice the granite at the top of the photo, how it blends nicely with the tile they loved. In this master bathroom, their will be lots of tile (about 500 square feet between the floor & a  huge walk in shower & tub) yet their will only be a 6' counter top. Therefore, it was smart to find a tile the client loved first, since it will be the dominant feature in the room.
  
1) Tile choices will make it easier to select a granite slab. 
A granite warehouse can be overwhelming, you'll walking down rows and rows of granite slabs, it could be overwhelming if you don't have tile samples with you. 
2) A unique granite 
If you pick your tile first, you can think "outside the box", meaning you might go with a more colorful & unique granite (see the paprika & cinnamon granite slab below). This was for a very large home in NC. We selected granite & tile for 2 kitchens, a massive laundry room, a mud room, &  6 bathrooms. The homeowner was daring and adventuresome, they did not want to limit themselves to granite slabs that all looked alike. The variety was a nice touch, much like you wouldn't want a closet full of camel clothes!  
3) Some tile backsplashes demand a lot of attention! 
If you fall in love with an accent tile that screams for attention, you'll know you should stay basic with the granite, meaning the granite would have less movement.
4) It's easy to carry tile with you. 
It's easy to carry tile samples with you to the granite warehouse, yet it's often impossible to talk a granite warehouse into chipping off a piece. An exotic granite can crack all the way across, so they can't chip off a sample piece from your specific quarry until they fabricate it. Each load will have a different look & colors, no two granite slabs look alike when it comes to exotic granite.  
5) Cabinet color
If your cabinets have a stain color or paint color that's hard to coordinate with, I suggest you pick the back splash first. It will be right  to the cabinets so it's important that they compliment each other. To be more specific, we've all seen those kitchens where the tile has a green or camel undertone, which makes the cabinets look more pink or "flesh tone" than they otherwise would. 
6) The "wow" factor 
The back splash can make more of a statement than any feature in the room, in some cases you want it to be the "wow" factor. For example, there are often stunning focal points behind large stoves. 
7) Budgets
The main field tile is an area where you can keep cost down. The majority of tile (for floors, shower walls & Jacuzzi surround) will be a lot of square feet. It's a great place to save money.   

So, again, it depend who you ask - the tile store doesn't want to spend a lot of hours helping you with selections only to start all over again, and the granite supplier will feel the same way. Therefore, they might both ask you to come back once you've found the other. 

Tile and Granite can be major purchases, you might decide to work with a designer. If so, do your homework. How many homes have they done in your price range? Are they able to switch gears and work on everything from a starter home to a multi million dollar home? Does their web site reflect this?  
The tile above was a favorite of my client since his goal was 
a masculine unique tile for the bathroom next to his office & den
This granite was a nice coordinate to the tile at the top. We would never
have selected this granite if we didn't find the tile he liked first.
But notice how well it compliments the tile above. 

This client had very specific goals about tile, so in this case it was best to select the tile first. Notice the granite at the top of the photo, how it blends nicely with this tile they loved. In this master bathroom, their will be lots of tile (about 500 square feet between the floor & a  huge walk in shower & tub') yet their will only be a 6' counter top. Therefore, it was smart to find a tile the client loved first, since it will be the dominant feature in the room.

The contrast border glass tiles (left) go well with the main tile (right). After finding a tile in a local tile store, it's often easy to find a  remnant granite piece for small counter tops  (see below).  Another way to save money on tile is to
remember that if the accent tile is fabulous, the main field tile can be basic. The Greensboro NC tile store for
the room above showed us an expensive main tile, we found a look alike tile that saved a great deal of money. :
This granite is nice an "simple" not too busy, so it doesn't
fight with the tile in the photo directly above. Since it's a neutral color and a subtle pattern, you this is an example of a case when you could select granite first, then tile later. 
When you select a granite and tile, it's most important to make sure it blends well with the stain of your cabinets and your hardwood floors.

For beautiful kitchen photos, with additional tips - click here:

How to update kitchen on a budget, 6 tips and photos for alternatives to a complete remodeling job.


Unique ideas for backsplash tile, photos of tile backsplash makeovers.

1 comment:

Michigan Stones said...

hi Matt,
this is an awesome blog about Granite or Tiles ..i think this is the only blog having all types of granites in the world. thanks for sharing …keep on posting new articles…all the best..
@chandrakant