Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

By Eugene WilliamsLast update: 2023-07-23

Of any DIY, makeover, renovation, or decorating home project, choosing tiles is the most exciting step. But don’t let your feelings make you lose focus and make mistakes.

This step is fun but very important at the same time to decide whether your project is successful or failed. Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid when buying tiles:

Choose The Wrong Type Of Tiles

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

Tiles no matter how expensive or how beautiful they are will become useless and even dangerous if used in inappropriate spaces.

For example, porcelain and ceramic tile floors are renowned for their classy look and ease of cleaning, however, they are very slippery – which is dangerous if used in the bathroom or in any wet conditions.

Solutions: The most important thing when choosing the type of tiles is where you intend to add them.

For outdoor floors, choose waterproof and slip-resistant tiles.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

For indoor floors, consider if they are used with underfloor heating, if it requires frequent sealing, or if that space is high foot traffic.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

If the tiles are going to be used as a wall covering, select moderately lightweight ones.

Tile materials are another vital element to consider.

Not Consider The Layout Ahead

Without planning the space layout ahead, you might easily decide on the wrong size tiles and the wrong number of tile cuts needed, which is time- and money-wasting.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

Solutions: Plan ahead the layout that you want to use for your space. It is necessary to create a rough design sketch of your desired layout before fitting the tiles.

Overly Emphasis On Cost Over Quality

Buying tiles at a lower price saves you on the upfront cost, but will inevitably require more frequent replacement than the higher-end ones with higher quality.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

Solutions: A basic rule of thumb is the lower the upfront cost of tiles, the lower the quality.

If your budget is loose, it is recommended to invest in tile quality. But if you’re on a tight budget, ceramic tiles are my suggestion because they’re more cost-effective and low-maintenance than the encaustic cement option.

Not Ordering A Sample Of Your Chosen Product First

Many buyers are disillusioned when the tile they chose at the showroom looks very different from what it looks when tiled at home, which is also a very popular issue.

That difference is due to lighting and angle.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

Solutions: It is recommended to buy a sample of your chosen product at the showroom, see it in your room at the exact angle it will be tiled, and imagine how the whole room would look after it is fully tiled.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

This helps you easily figure out the true finish, texture, and color of the chosen tile.

If the tile is used as a wall covering, lay the sample vertically or at the angle it’ll be tiled, then stand up against the wall and look at it.

If the tile is used for the floor, lay it flatly there, then look at it.

Choose The Wrong Size Of Tiles

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

When you’re looking for tile sizes, there will be a breadth of options available on the market, which is a double-edged thing.

The good side is that your choice won’t be limited and the bad side is that it might be quite confusing during the consideration, which ends up picking the wrong tile size.

Solutions: Large tile sizes leave fewer grout lines in the room, giving a more seamless look. A basic rule is the smaller the space, the fewer the grout lines should be.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

Fewer to no grout lines bring an illusion of spaciousness and extra space.

If it is hard to minimize grout lines, consider utilizing a colored grout in the same shade as the tile.

Choose The Wrong Tile Pattern

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

The tile pattern can decide the failure or success of a project! Choosing the wrong tile pattern might make your space look very confusing and narrow.

Solutions: Tile patterns should be chosen due to the space area – the smaller the area, the smaller the tile pattern format.

Order The Wrong Number Of Tiles

Purchasing too many tiles is money-wasting while purchasing too little is time-wasting (and also money-wasting if you’ve hired a pro in to fit the space).

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

Solutions: Calculate the number of tiles needed for your project based on the tile size and the space area. Don’t forget to consider breakages and wastage.

According to some experts I interviewed, they advise ordering an extra 10% (with regular tile formation) to 15% (with herringbone tile formation) to cover those risks.

Order enough tiles right from the start to avoid the variation in color of different batches of tiles, which results in unwanted mix-match shades in your project.

Consider The Wrong Delivery Way And Delivery Time

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Tiles

You’ve done all the above steps perfectly, only to wait to receive the tiles, and realize that the delivery time doesn't match the date you have planned to renovate your space. That is probably the most irritating feeling in the world.

Another common problem is that your chosen tiles are delivered in bad conditions due to the wrong delivery method.

Solutions: Spend extra time on choosing the delivery time and how the tiles will be delivered.

Make sure to check on delivery that you receive enough tiles and all of them are in good condition.


I have listed out the biggest mistakes to avoid when buying tiles, along with the solutions for each. To make your project the most successful, consider choosing the grout color and hiring a professional to help you install and seal the tiles.

That’s all for this article. Thanks for reading!

Related Articles