Tile Design Software
How do you choose tile design software? What computer programs and criteria do you need to support tile design software? What, if any, are the costs associated with tile design software? Learn about tile design software choices so that you can design your own tile wall, floor, backsplash and more.
Getting Started with Tile Design Software
Depending on your artistic and professional abilities, there are numerous tile design software programs available on the Internet. The costs range from free to more than $8,000, depending on your needs and your skill level. If you are looking to "do it yourself," you are going to require, at a minimum:
- Windows 2000 (there is usually special software for Apple users as well)
- A 350 MHz processor
- 128 MB of RAM
- 80 MB of free hard disk space
What do tile design software programs offer?
Tile design software programs allow you to prepare your design, ideas and layout in a concrete format. Whether you are going to lay the tile yourself or hire a professional, you can potentially save money by having a plan prepared ahead of time. Most programs will allow you to import and export pictures and designs, or allow you to work with your own drawings. There are tools to work with dimension; some even include the ability to see your project in 3D. A number allow you to print your designs in high-definition digital format.
Programs vary in sophistication, but nearly all include a method of not only generating a cost quote, but allowing the user to export quotes to Excel or other accounting software. You can generate a good estimate of the cost of materials.
Why use tile design software?
Many programs allow you to generate your visualization for how you want the whole room to look. This way, you won't end up with tunnel vision and forget the big picture. For example, you may have some great ideas on how you'd like one or two tiled walls in your bathroom to look, but how will the room balance out with other materials, colors and fixtures?
If you want the benefits of using tile design software, but aren't artistically or mathematically inclined, the software will allow you to choose from plenty of options to create a beautiful tiled project.
Why is the range in costs so extreme?
There are several online programs you can download for free. If you are relatively computer-savvy and have small or one-time projects, that should be all you need. The only downside to some of these programs is that you have to remain online the entire time you are using them. Saving your designs can also be tricky.
There are low-cost programs for as little as $24.95 that will allow more freedom and boast more features. Most for-cost programs also come with technical online or call-in support and "how-to" videos.
If you are a tiling professional, starting a tiling design business or have a very large project that you want to be very involved in, costs for professional software grow exponentially. More features are included as the price goes up. There are also tiling design software subscription services for a monthly fee.
Whatever tiling design software you choose, you will have the opportunity to be creative and involved in your project and save money in the process.
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