white ceramic subway tile with grout
Photo: Michael Krinke/iStockPhoto
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What do they cost?
Prices start around $2 per square foot for budget field tile and soar to $50 (or more) per square foot for handmade artisan tile.

DIY or hire a pro?
Many factory-made tiles have integral lug spacers that help DIYers keep grout lines consistent. Still, tiling is a messy job that takes practice and patience. Novices should start with a small area, such as a simple backsplash. Projects involving tricky angles, complex cuts, or pricey artisan tile requiring manual spacers are usually better left to a tile setter.

How long do they last?
Ceramic tiles are tough enough to take a beating for decades; the adhesives, grout, and caulk used to install them will likely need replacing long before the tiles do. Colors won't fade when exposed to light, but dark glazes are softer than light ones, so they might show scratches.
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