When it comes to using stone in our house, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost.  Whatever the use, be it a kitchen countertop, a bathroom vanity or a fireplace mantelpiece, going for stone is always the most expensive option.  Stone is a good choice of material because it is durable, generally non-porous and does not emit any toxic chemicals into your environment.  It is however one of the most expensive options and some people shy away from considering stone for this reason.  It doesn’t occur to a lot of people however, to look for off cuts or reclaimed stone tiles.


When setting up to decorate your home, it is understandable that you want the best material, so thinking of installing offcuts, or other people’s seconds, may not be the first choice.  There are however, a lot of bargains that can be made, and with a little creativity, you can end up with a unique fixture that is highly durable, and of very good quality.


Your local warehouse will always have a section for offcuts or seconds.  These materials may come with scratches and markings so viewing is a must.  Depending on the required size however, workers can work around these imperfections.  It is always best to buy one slab instead of two, because the color may not match.  If you require the stone to be set a fair distance apart however, say at both ends of the kitchen sink, the difference is color will not show as much.


Second hand tiles or reclaimed tiles from other projects can be found at almost every tile vendor.  These tiles may be slightly damaged around the edges so again, viewing is a must.  These tiles are normally heavily discounted and can be used for kitchen countertops, shower flooring or broken to pieces and set as a unique backsplash for your kitchen.  If the tiles are bought to be broken, slight chippings around the edges may not be as important, buying different colored tiles can also give you a unique pattern. 


The biggest advantage of using offcuts or reclaimed tiles is of course the cost.  Offcuts or seconds can cost as much as 30% less than the original price.  If you require a small piece for a fireplace mantelpiece or a bathroom vanity this is an option worth looking into.  For larger applications, you can also be creative and use original material for the countertop but an offcut of a different color for the kitchen island.  Windows sills are also a good example for using offcuts as slight variations in color will not be noticeable. 


Another advantage is that using reclaimed material is environmentally friendly.  You are recycling used material, or material that is on its way to the landfill, and you are also saving money in doing so.


If you think that using stone for your countertops or windows sills is too expensive then think again.  Taking a look at the offcuts section is definitely worth it.  There are some good bargains to be made and with a little attention and creativity you could have the quality that you are looking for, for a fraction of the cost.