5 Tips for Buying Seconds Tile

5 Tips for Buying Seconds Tile


Ryan and I recently saw an ad in the back of a DWELL magazine for Heath Ceramics line of Dwell patterns. It was safe to say we were sold. Geometric designed modern tiles in fun colors and endless pattern options (see here!) The two-dimensional shapes (in little diamond, wide hex and half hex) can even be used to create some pretty trippy tile work!

While you can shop overstock tile online which is usually first quality, ‘seconds’ are usually cheaper with a little extra character.Read on for tips to buying seconds for your next tile project!

 1. Buy More For Good Measure
Some seconds tile providers won’t allow you to open boxes before purchasing and don’t allow for returns. Be sure you buy more than enough tile as their is a high chance some is damaged or could be damaged while in-transit or while being installed. The general suggestion is to buy 20% over overages to accommodate for such.

Tips for Buying Seconds |Tile Overages

2. Don’t Overlook the ‘Damaged’
Some tile that is regarded as seconds is simply tile that was fired incorrectly. Some irregularities may appear as bubbles, watermarks or discolorations. If you are looking for something truly unique a full batch of ‘damaged tile’ could be the diamonds in the rough you need!
Tips for Buying Seconds |Damaged Tile

3. Consider Saving and Splurging
For some (like us) buying seconds is the splurge, while for others firsts are the splurge! Consider bringing a tile sample or picture to see how you could intermix tiles to create a wow-worthy display while staying within your budget.

Tips for Buying Seconds | Save and Splurge

4. Pay Attention to Placement
Be sure to read into the care of each type of tile you are considering. Floor tiles, backsplash tiles, tiles for bathrooms, tiles for kitchens and tiles firing and glaze variations have different makeups and specifications. Intermixing tile types can complicate both cleaning and installation.
Tips for Buying Seconds | Tile Placement

5. Consider Warm and Cool Colors
If you are going into seconds tile shopping with a room in mind, consider the finishes. For example, if you have a bathroom with a glossy white sink and stainless steal finish hardware you might want to purchase a glossy tile in lieu of a matte tile.
Tips for Buying Seconds | Warm and Cool Tile ColorsAnother benefit of scouring through boxes of ‘seconds’ is that there is no lead time (estimates here). Instant tile gratification! Now for install….

All photos were taken by Maria Hayhow at Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, California. Click here for more information about HEATH Ceramics tours, tiles and locations.

Maria Hayhow
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