Free and Cheap: A Tile Showroom in My Living Room

Kathy's Remodeling Blog Suze Orman would not be happy with me. If you’ve seen her show, you’ve heard her intone: People first. Then money. Then things.

My current lineup is: People first. Then tile. Then everything else.

Back at the tile shop, where I picked up my free tiled tabletop in the alley behind the store, I checked out the baskets near the door where everything is $1 each.

There, I found samples of various backsplash tiles in all shapes and colors of travertine, my favorite stone. Some were a foot long by 6 inches, some 6 inches square. The prices on the back were from $18 to $37 per piece.

So I picked out 20 of them and paid the $20 plus tax, loaded them into two shopping bags, brought them home, and laid them out on my coffee table.

I had a moment of buyer’s remorse when I realized: Stone is out! Glass tile is in! These are outdated! That’s why they’re in the baskets!

But then I remembered how much I don’t care for trends. And anyway, these are pure earth. How can earth go out of style?

My first thought was to cover the coffee table in a tile mosaic.

But once I saw them laid out, I decided it would be too much intensity for the room. It would not blend. So now I’m placing them around my kitchen backsplash area, noting how each color and style feels and looks. Same with my bathroom.

I might do a mosaic right on the backsplash. I seem to love working with cast-off samples. There’s something so endearing about these little bits of matter that already exist, have served their purpose as samples well, and deserve a fitting tribute inside a home.

I already lined a windowsill with samples of Corian and you may recall the work table I embellished with samples of laminates used on countertops.

Any ideas what you would do with travertine samples like these?

2 Comments on Free and Cheap: A Tile Showroom in My Living Room

  1. Kilika Silina

    Changing your floor tiles is a great way to renovate and bring a new look to your floors. Cheap floor tiles are not hard to come by if you know where to look for the right ones at the right price. And always remember, cheap does not have to mean low quality; it is now possible to get high quality tiles for your floors at low costs. Thanks for this blog.

  2. novel remodeling — Solar Installer

    This can be a good use to extra tile laying around at the back of the tile store. I know projects come and go and extra tile from projects are always stored somewhere.