To tile or not to tile? (The floor that is)

Tile is definitely a top contender for bathroom and kitchen remodels. For backsplashes and showers, it is, in our opinion, the best way to go, but is tile really the right option for your flooring? As per usual this is not a simple yes or no answer, there's a few variables you, the consumer, should consider.


(Tile pictured: Emerson Wood in Ash white from Daltile)

In Alaska the biggest obstacle for tile is our cold climate. Put simply, tile feels very cold. Due to its conductive nature, tile absorbs the cold from around it, hence why it is such a popular flooring option for warmer climates. For us in Alaska though, keeping our floor cold is usually the opposite of what we are wanting! However, if you are one of the lucky Alaskans who has in floor heat, tile can be a great option. The conductive nature of tile also allows it to absorb and maintain heat.

Heat and cold conductivity is not the only thing to consider with tile flooring. Another factor in choosing flooring is durability. Tile holds up very well against scratching and will never have water damage. However, it is susceptible to breaking, be it from a dropped item or one of our many earthquakes. Replacing one or two broken tiles may not be especially difficult but it can be rather time consuming, and you will want to be sure to have matching tile on hand. ( I found a great tutorial for replacing tiles here )

Finally, we all know it boils down to cost. Tile can be one of the most expensive flooring options. The material itself can be pricey depending on what you choose. What really ends up costing the most though, is the installation. Tile installation is both time and labor intensive and will take several days to install due to drying times. A good base price for our tile installation is around $20 a sq. ft. If you are doing a small room or money isn't an issue than tile might be the right choice for you.

Now you have all the facts, and it's really up to you to answer the question. To tile or not to tile?

One final thought, if you decide tile IS the right choice for you, carefully consider the finish. Some polished tiles can look very pretty, but are often very slippery! Here at Builders Bargains we have a large variety of varying types of tile, and would be happy to help you pick out just the right one. Happy remodeling!


Palmer Location

(907) 746-1408

2010 S. Terrace Court

Palmer, Alaska 99645

Anchorage Location

(907) 344-1408

12150 Industry Way, Suite Q-1

Anchorage, Alaska 99515

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