A step-by-step guide to buying tile for beginners

Subway and picket tile flat lay by Tile and Stone Source


It may feel intimidating to enter the world of tiles with all the terminology, style options, tile materials and retail providers. But making your selections can be a lot of fun and updating your tile can really transform your kitchen, bathroom or flooring.

We at Tile and Stone Source are experts in the world of tiles so you don’t have to be. We’ll walk through the steps of buying tile from inspiration to installation so you know exactly what to expect and how to prepare for it. 


1. Define your project 

Determine all of the areas you want to update. Are you updating a small area in a single room or multiple rooms with floor and wall applications?

Depending on the scale of your project and your comfort level with home renovations, this should give you an idea on whether or not you’ll need to hire an installer or if this is something you’re willing to DIY. With a large range of prices, it’s also a good time to get an idea of what you would feel comfortable spending.

2. Get inspiration, narrow down your style

Time to hit the internet! Houzz, Pinterest or a good ol’ Google search will bring up a plethora of inspirational photos on everything from backsplash kitchen tiles and wall tiles to fireplaces, entryway tiles, laundry rooms and more. We also have over 3000 items online for you to browse through on our own website.  www.tilestonesource.com

Save the photos that you like, taking note of what exactly about the design you like and start to narrow down the options until you have a good idea of the look and functionality you’re aiming to achieve. Pay attention to things like trim and edge finishing as well. These ideas will greatly help you with your search when you are in the store.  

3. Measure your space

Now it’s time to measure your space. Whether you plan to hire a contractor for the tile installation or purchase tile and install it yourself, you’ll need to know the total square footage of the areas you want to redo. Here’s a how-to guide on how to measure the square footage of your project. 

4. Book an appointment or visit our showroom

Swing by our Calgary store or Edmonton store anytime or book an appointment for a free consultation either in person or virtually. An appointment allows us to ensure you get dedicated help from one of our Tile Advisors. 

If you’ve already found a contractor – great, we are happy to work with them and relay all of your product selections to them. If not, we are happy to provide recommendations of reputable installers in your area. Usually, you make your purchase with us and your contractor will pick up the tile plus installation materials, saving you the heavy lifting. 

Tile and Stone Source is your go-to tile shop in Calgary and Edmonton. We have over 3,000 tile styles and carry over 1 million square feet of inventory – meaning you can get the tile you need for your project right away with minimal wait times at excellent prices. 


What do I need to bring to my appointment?

If you’re coming in person, come prepared with pictures of the current space in your home, the inspiration photos you like and the square footage calculation you did in step 3. In addition, if you have any paint colors, cabinet samples, countertop samples, or other flooring you would like to use, please bring them in, and we can use them to help determine your tile selection.

If you have a virtual appointment, have those items on hand and we will pull them up on the computer together. You can also email them in advance by replying to the appointment confirmation email.


How does a virtual appointment work? 

A virtual appointment is one-on-one video chat with one of our advisors via a unique zoom link that we will email to you. We’ll listen to what you’re looking for and provide recommendations by pulling up product pages on our website. We can then set aside tile samples for you to pick up in-store or deliver samples free within Calgary and Edmonton city limits. 


5. Get a sample

We highly recommend seeing a tile in person before making a purchase, and ideally, seeing the tile in your home where it will be installed. The sample will allow you to see it against your cabinet and countertops, and also see how it looks in the lighting of your home. We charge for samples by piece, but you will receive a full refund for the samples upon return.

6. Make your purchase

It’s happening! Once you feel confident about your tile choice, come in person or give us a call so we can process your order and let you know when it’s ready for pick up. You can also go online and make your order there!

7. Pick up and install 

Most of our inventory is in-stock and available for pick up right away, and if not only a few days away. Any special order items including all Jeffrey Court tiles, will generally require 2-3 weeks. Regardless, we will let you and or your contractor know the expected arrival date of your order. Then it’s time to pick up and install! 

We also have setting materials, grout and tools to help get the job done.  

8. Share photos with us 

Let us know how it went! We’re tile geeks who get really excited about this stuff. Once you’ve completed your install, email us photos of the final product so we can share in your excitement. With your permission, we may even feature your home on our social media so others can get inspired too.