Angie's List: Top tiles: Giving your home a new look

Kitchen and bathrooms are popular rooms to remodel, but you don't have to break the bank to give them a face-lift. If you need to replace your floors, countertops or backsplash, Angie's List recommends using tile.

The consumer review website claims tile is versatile, durable and low maintenance.

Tile prices vary depending on the materials you are using. David Rhodes is a remodeling contractor who says, "The most common, porcelain and ceramic tile, you'll see pricing range on the low end of 65 cents a square foot up to $5-$6 per square foot for your porcelains and ceramics."

If you can't afford to completely replace your tile, there are other options. Angie's List creator, Angie's Hicks, has some tips.

"If you are looking to freshen up your tile but don't have a big budget consider redoing the grout. Taking the grout out or changing the grout color can give your tile a whole new look while keeping within a fixed budget," says Hicks.

Rhodes also recommends taking care of your tile properly, whether it's new or old. "You want to stay away from bleaches and ammonia-based products. Those will tend to make the tile fade or break down the grout, but then the most important thing is maintaining a tile. Have it sealed. The sealer is really important to extend the longevity and the durability and the color and the sheens."

Angie's List does recommend hiring a professional for a job like this. The site also offers some information to help you choose the appropriate tile for your home and budget:

  • Determine its use: Where will the tile be laid down? Consider the visual effect you want to accomplish for the room in which you are planning to use the tile.
  • Evaluate the space: Different tiles are made to withstand varying levels of impact, so consider the amount of water and wear the tile will endure.
  • Select the material: Tile is available in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Although tiles for the wall may look similar to floor tiles, they are not as thick or durable so be sure you are taking all factors into consideration before selecting the tile material.
  • Determine how much you need: To determine the amount of tile you will need, multiply the width times the length and add about 5 percent. You should also buy a few extra tiles to keep on hand in case some are damaged during installation or in the future.
  • Shop around: You should visit a few tile stores as the same tile from different batches can look very different. When you settle on a tile, make sure the lot number and shade number are the same to ensure all the tiles are from the same batch.
  • Don't forget the grout: When choosing grout, stay away from dark white as it will be more noticeable and show dirt more easily.
  • Factor in the maintenance: You should consider the amount of maintenance that will be required when purchasing the tile. For example, some porous tiles will need annual sealing. Also, textured tiles and light colored grout will require more scrubbing to clean.