In my mind, there are three reasons why people use tile as a building product in their homes.
I'll start with looks. There is a certain beauty to a tile bathroom or kitchen. People have been building with tile for centuries to put off the impression of wealth. When I see a beautiful shower or back splash it almost takes my breath away. Most homeowners buy tile for the looks. You imagine in your mind what the new tile project will look like and with so many different types of Mosaics, finishes, sizes....deciding what look your going for can be the most difficult part. I recommend scouring the internet, looking in magazines or speaking with skilled professionals to narrow down your search.
The second reason (and the most important) is the longevity. This is where your skilled installers come into play. Tile has been used for over a thousand years in some of the greatest architecture through out the world. Go to the Vatican, for example, to gain a complete understanding of the longevity of tile. When you have a tile floor put down it should last the lifetime of the house. The old cliché "set in stone" was created in reference to tile work. Longevity often gets downplayed and the importance of 'looks' gets inflated.
I want to speak about longevity because it is completely dependent upon what tile guy you chose. If any corners are cut, there is a chance your tile project will not last. If your tile guy is low skill, there is a chance your tile will not last. So on this website I try to give you information so you know what to look for when hiring installers. Not all installers are created equal...Does your installer back butter his tile? Does he get complete coverage while installing tile? Is he using high quality thin set and grout and the most modern water proofing techniques? Tile is a one time endeavor (and an expensive one) so it's important to verify what building techniques will be used in your home. In Atlanta, Hamilton Tile makes a living off bad tile installers. All we do is tear out horrible tile work and do it right. Something to think about.
The last strength of tile is its functionality. Tile is tough as nails. If you have a splash installed we think about splattering spaghetti sauce. On a floor install we think about years of walking on it...and in a shower we think about building a custom plumbing fixture that directs the water from the shower head to the drain. Tile is by far the most functional building product and that is why there is an added expense to using it. Again, if you focus on the looks you're thinking of tile in the wrong way (although looks are still very important). We are the most desired and highest paid trades people in the industry because a great deal of trust is put in our hands. The amount of liability that is involved in some of the jobs we do is mind boggling. You won't know if you hired a good tile guy or a bad one until the job is done, so that's why we focus on putting large amounts of content out onto the cloud in order to build our credibility. So if you truly worry about cost, consider tile for your next project because history has shown, if installed correctly, tile is the most cost effective building product in existence. Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon.