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7 Steps for Finishing Your Remodel on Time

By Ted Ryan

7 Steps for Finishing Your Remodel on Time

By the time you decide your kitchen or bathroom is ready for a renovation, you'll wish it was done yesterday. But following these 7 steps will get the job done as soon as possible.

1. Decide on a Design

Whether you’re working with your own designer or one of our talented design consultants, choosing your design is the first step for any project. The more work you do at the outset the quicker things will come together during installation, so leave no detail undecided in this planning stage.

Working with a professional installer is strongly advised. They will help you measure your space to ensure you order enough materials, consider layouts, and discuss trim and other finishes.

Don't forget trim. Often overlooked at the outset of a design, trim can tie an entire project together and should be ordered at the same time as tile.

Some renovations are more elaborate than others. If you are planning on changing the layout of a space, this may require bringing in other trades besides a tile installer like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.

get free design assistance

Keep in mind that our Design Consultants can only work with you on the tile design of your home and other elements of your design will be up to you or an interior designer.

white kitchen

Tile Shown: Calcite Mini Star and Cross // Design: The True House // Image: Mino Pro Media Group, LLC

3 Fs

Our design consultant Kristina recommends considering the 3 Fs in design:


    What’s the mood or the style that you’re after?


      What is the overall purpose of the space that you’re designing for?


        Is the room or space going to be visible from other areas in your home or project and how will the colors and patterns in those spaces affect the colors and patterns in the space that you’re working on now?

        bathroom with red tile floor

        Tile Shown: Red Rock 3" Triangle Sheeted, Red Rock 2x8 // Design & Image: Dawn Stringer


        Even the most inventive designers draw inspiration from elsewhere so keep an eye out for things that appeal to you. Scour Pinterest, design magazines, and our Gallery to get a visual sense of what you're looking for.

        Not only will this step speed up your own decision-making, but it will also help articulate your vision to your Design Consultant and installer, eliminating unnecessary back and forth.


        Your budget will determine many of your design choices from materials, appliances, scale, and finishing touches. Structural choices like changing the floorplan of a kitchen or bathroom will immediately drive the cost up so if you’re satisfied with the general layout of a space, you can spend more of your budget on the finishes and modern conveniences.

        For more renovation inspiration, check out our gallery of stunning Before and Afters.

        On the other hand, decisions like color and design style generally won’t sway a budget at all so be intentional and honest about what you’re looking to get out of a renovation and what you can afford.

        kitchen with white tile and black cabinets

        Tile Shown: Essentials 3x6 Salt Creek

        For budget-conscious or large-scale renovations, our Essentials line is a perfect choice, starting at just $10/SqFt with lead times of 5 days or less.

        2. Purchase Materials ASAP

        Before you even call an installer to schedule your project, make sure you have all of your building materials on site. You’ll need to research the availability and lead times of the products you’ll be installing and purchase them, beginning with the products that take the longest to make or acquire.

        Made-to-Order lead times at Fireclay can fluctuate so check with your Design Consultant and plan on purchasing well ahead of the start date of your installation. If you need tile faster, we are happy to accommodate rush orders for an additional fee and we carry an assortment of our most popular tiles in our Quick Ship Shop that are ready to ship in just 5 days or less.

        3. Hire an Installer

        Finding an installer that can work on your timeline can be a challenge and the best installers will be booked out longer than the less experienced, so start your search early to get a sense of when you’ll be able to have your job completed.

        tile being installed

        Tile Shown: Fallow Custom Motif // Design & Image: Elena Lohse

        Spring and summer are the most popular times for home renovations and the busiest times for contractors and installers. Always look for an installer with at least three years of experience, ask for references, visit one of their current job sites if possible and ask if they have experience working with the materials you plan on using.

        4. Secure a Contract

        The best installers are busy with multiple projects and receive inquiries for new jobs almost every day so once you’ve found one you’d like to work with, lock them in with a contract. A contract will not only specify a firm start and completion date but it will also get you and your installer on the same page regarding budget and scope of work so don’t leave anything up to assumption.

        new traditional kitchen

        Tile Shown: Rosemary 3x9 // Design: Next Stage Design // Image: Scott DuBose

        5. Arrange Alternative Accommodations

        If you’re occupying the home you’re renovating, realize that your private property won’t be so private during the duration of the remodel. Plan accordingly by finding alternative solutions.

        pink and white bathroom

        Tile Shown: Tumbleweed 2x6, Tusk 2x6, Tusk 4x8 // Design: Eliza Blank // Image: Stefanie Villers

        If you’re renovating your kitchen, set up a small pantry area somewhere else in the house equipped with a microwave or toaster. If you’re remodeling your bathroom, plan on using the guest bathroom or the facilities at your gym for a while. If you're renovating your entire home, it could be a good idea to plan on a short-term rental to alleviate the stress of living in an active construction environment.

        You’ll be more comfortable and less likely to create delays as your installer negotiates their work and your needs at home.

        6. Be Diligent, Not Distracting

        During your renovation, you shouldn’t simply disappear. Being an active observer of your project will ensure that things are proceeding just as you’d like and prevent any dissatisfactions before they’re made permanent. Visiting the job site lets you keep open and clear communication with your installer and be aware of any potential problems or delays.

        victorian kitchen

        Tile Shown: White Wash 4x4 // Design: Mandy Lozano, Neil Kelly // Image: Netra Nei

        At the same time, being a presence on the job site doesn’t mean becoming a distraction. If you did your homework selecting an installer, you can trust that they know what they’re doing and will execute a job to your specifications. Trying to step in and manage the project will only slow things down.

        7. Factor in Additional Time

        Even the smoothest installation can suffer from delays. Weather, labor and material shortages, permitting, pre-existing issues in your home, and last-minute changes can all add up to delays that lead you past your desired finish date. Add in a buffer at the outset to avoid stress when things take a little longer. If you’re hoping to finish in August, save the party for September.

        white pool and patio

        Tile Shown: White Wash Mini Star and Cross // Design: Jessie Lane Interiors // Image: Jess Isaac

        Ready to get remodeling? Get in touch with our Design Consultants for free personalized design assistance including sampling, estimating, renderings and ordering.