Sunday, 26 February 2012

Project Bathroom #2

Last week saw the first installment of 'Project Bathroom', our challenge to turn our Swedish-sauna-wannabe of a bathroom into a sleek and modern sanctuary; for those who missed it you can see it HERE. Today we embarked on completing stage 2 - The Tiles.

I honestly had no idea just how expensive decent bathroom wall and floor tiles were. So here we are, it's a beautiful day, we're fired up and in the mood to hunt out the perfect tile combo - we want a sophisticated, bright and airy look without crossing over into public toilet territory, in other words we need to steer clear of white shiny tiles...should be easy enough.

Like any good search we started off online. A little ambitiously I headed straight for Fired Earth; I knew it would be a pricier option but I seriously was not prepared for the prices staring back at me. With the cheapest option available being almost £40 a square meter - we need around 16 square meters - this makes it £640 just for the walls, and this wasn't even the tile that I would have wanted, oh no, they would have totaled at £2224 (I really do seem to have a knack for sniffing out the most expensive option possible!) we decided to shop around and lower our sights a little - enter Homebase.

Homebase had what looked like some nice tiles, and all at half price at the moment; unfortunately the website was insanely slow and my boredom of waiting got the better of me, moving on...

After searching through the millions of options from the usual suspects - B&Q, Topps Tiles, Wickes, even Tesco - I was getting completely overwhelmed with the sheer choice and price ranges on offer, (who knew it would be so difficult to choose between various shades of beige?!) I decided to seek help. On recommendations from my older, and therefore wise and trusted, brothers I toodled along to Tile Base and Tile Depot, both handily in the same retail park about 15 minutes drive away (both are available elsewhere and online though, fear not). Both stores offered a huge range of tiles, many of which were very reasonably priced and exactly what we were after. 

Since I'm doing a full evaluation I'll go into the service provided - Tile Depot wins hands down. While the Tile Base service was good, the sales man was exactly that - while being slightly creepy in manner he also managed to tot-up a quote for almost £700, claiming this to be the best price on offer. Completely out of budget we decide to head over to Tile Depot. We take one step outside Tile Base - on 'Manager's Promotion were the perfect tiles, almost identical to those quoted inside, the only difference being about 3/4 of the price! With this in mind we head over to Tile Depot where we were greeted by Mike, the very nice, chilled out, charming salesman. He let us wander, said he could do us a deal and to find him if we needed anything; a far cry from the goblin following us around Tile Base.

With everything in mind I'm ashamed to say that price won over service this time...let's just hope that the tiles are nicer than the service getting them. 

To save you some time here are links to some of the best tiles on a budget that we found...

 And for those with no budget boundaries I'd still say Fired Earth, if I could live in one of their showrooms I would!

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