When we were building the house, I had a file full of designs I loved. One of the recurring themes was glass tile. Especially glass subway tile. I'd seen it in about every home design book and magazine I'd read through, and had fallen in love with the look.

In our last home, we added a travertine backsplash in the kitchen. In this home, I hoped we could afford glass mosaic tile. But everywhere I looked the cost was prohibitive.

One day while looking for tile for the showers at Home Depot, I found a small section of discontinued glass subway tiles. Apparently a new — only slightly different — style was replacing the old, so the old tile was severely discounted.

I snatched up all the mosaic subway tiles as well as two other shiny, square tiles — one in brown and one in white. Then we drove to two other Home Depot stores in the county and scooped up their discontinued tiles as well.

In the end, we had enough of the mosaic tile for the kitchen and kitchenette backsplashes. The white tile was used as a backsplash in the laundry room. The brown tile was used around both fireplaces, as a jetted tub surround, and as detail work around the master tub and shower. And we got it for next to nothing!

Tile is a versatile, beautiful home addition. The variety is overwhelming. You can get tile of stone, ceramic, glass, and metal. You can get single pieces and sheets. You can get tiles that match or mosaic tiles. The price can vary as much as the style.

If you're in the market, look at various sources. Often you can find the same tile for a much better price, just by doing some comparison shopping. And if you're flexible, you can often find tiles nearly identical to the expensive brands for less money.