Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes about selecting tile.


To this point in your addition, differences of opinion with your wife have not extended to questions over what materials to purchase. She has let you do the choosing because picking out drywall and 2X4s does not require good taste. My wife believes that I have no taste whatsoever (good or bad). Thus, she does not even allow me the privilege of picking my own clothes when we go to social functions. It should be no surprise that when she learned I was going shopping for tile, she insisted on coming along.

I have to give Robin credit. Whenever she shops for anything, she does a thorough job. She visits every possible source, and exhaustively researches the subject. I am only there to ask the technical questions and as an excuse not to buy something.

If she is harried by a salesman, Robin will look at me and say, "I'm sorry, my husband doesn't like it."

At this point it is not healthy for me to show any positive interest in the item. More, I am called upon to find a flaw in the tile. One of my favorite excuses not to buy tile is, "If the toilet overflows, I'd like to know where the mess is."

By the time we had gone to the fifth tile outlet, my limited store of patience was gone. I was spectacularly indifferent to the type of tile, the pattern, or even the price. I found myself acting as another salesperson, trying to persuade my wife to choose anything in which she took the slightest interest just so we could go home. She wanted a light color for the bathroom, yet she was afraid it had no character. She wanted a tile with character, but she was afraid it would not be light enough.

"How about this?" I asked, holding up a light slab of green marble.

She shook her head.

"Or this?" I held up a blue and white ten-inch ceramic tile in my other hand.

The biggest problem with tile is there are too many colors and designs to choose from. My wife believes that there is only one good decision to be made, and to make it you must see every option...and every combination of options.

I subscribe to the philosophy that any decision is the right decision. Just make a decision! However, it is not expedient to tell your spouse to hurry. This will either cause her to break down in tears and delay the search to another day; or it will cause her to break down in tears and choose your least favorite color just to spite you...PINK!

So what can you do when it takes her longer to make up her mind about the tile than it did to decide whether she should marry you?

Buy her jewelry? This worked when you asked her to marry you, but this time it's the wrong answer. She needs to stay focused on tile.

Offer to wash dishes for a week if she makes up her mind within the next ten minutes? Maybe it will work, but then she might decide she likes it when you do the dishes. You don't want to set any bad precedents.

Find a tile the same color as her eyes and tell her she would look good in the shower next to it? Whether or not she slaps you, this will probably work.

Although she was picking out floor tile, this last option successfully convinced my wife we had found the right tile. We bought ten-inch, white square tiles with the corners notched and square green dots where the notches had been.

The dot is not exactly the same color as her eyes, but it's close.


There are many kinds of tile. They are differentiated by both their use and the material from which they are made. Tile can be made of ceramic, stone, wood, etc. There are wall tiles, floor tiles and counter tiles. These vary in their thickness and come in a variety of shapes and colors.

The tile you choose is primarily a matter of taste. In my opinion tile lends a touch of class to almost any room and that makes it worth the trouble it is to install it.

Next Page

Tile Selection
Tile Glue
Cutting Tile
Hand Painted Tiles

Ceramic Tile How To Manual

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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