There's a new show in town called Flip Wars: Buying Blind and Tile Outlets of America participated! Are you watching it? #flipwarsbuyingblind
The series airs on A&E at 10 pm ET/PT starting April 11, 2018. We think you'll want to watch it!
Especially if you love before/after home transformations. It is sure to provide you with ideas on how you might remodel your own home, although perhaps not in such extreme circumstances.
We particularly love this Flip Wars series because tile is a natural for creating stunning home remodel transformations, and we partnered with the show to provide product. Cool, no?
What is Flip Wars: Buying Blind?
Here's the official description for Flip Wars: Buying Blind.
A&E's new series Flip Wars tracks experienced, professional flippers as they tackle the next big thing in the market - ghost flips - where buyers invest their own money on homes they've never laid eyes on, completely unaware of a home's potential problems that could turn their quick flip into a major headache. Using their network of agents, diligent desktop research, and flipping savvy, the buyers acquire properties they believe to be unbeatable deals, transform them into renovated masterpieces, and flip them for a hefty profit.
If you haven't seen the 30-second trailer video for the show, here it is:
So, now you have a sense of the extreme conditions of the before scenarios. Yes, yikes, sight-unseen ghost flips.
And high expectations for how these homes will look after... otherwise, there's no profit.
For this first season of Flip Wars: Buying Blind, three teams of Florida ghost flipping experts invest their own money into homes they’ve never laid eyes on.
Each episode begins with the three teams going head-to-head at a live auction to outbid one another for a chance to purchase a mystery home. The show follows the highest-bidding team as it transforms the ghost flip property into a renovated masterpiece, and then flips it for a hefty profit.
Meet Flippers John and Lana
Tile Outlets of America partnered with John Gettle and Lana Tufo for Flip Wars: Buying Blind. Here they are in front of one of their flip houses and the Tile Outlets' van.
"Flipping is a competitive business, and John and Lana are formidable opponents: he’s a retired pro MMA fighter who’s never intimidated, and she’s a New Yorker who never takes no for an answer.
This young couple is starting to make waves in the South Florida market, but with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, every flip is still a huge risk, and when they don’t see eye to eye, neither is willing to back down. But at the end of the day, these two always kiss, make up, and make a profit."
Season 1 Episode 2: A flippin' knockout
In episode two of Flip Wars: Buying Blind, John and Lana successfully purchase a 1990s house at auction. However, they soon realize they must deal with disgusting bathrooms, a kitchen that's out-dated and a living room that's full of garbage.
So full of garbage, in fact, that a dumpster's needed to cart it away.
The outdoor before and after images of the property barely offer a clue as to how much transformation took place inside...
Basics about this flip house
It's a 1549 square foot ranch style residence with three bedrooms and two baths. The house includes a garage and large back porch area. It is nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood tucked under a large canopy of lush oak trees that fill the entire block. You typically see birds, and squirrels as you walk and drive through this area.
It now offers an open concept which incorporates the kitchen, dining, and living-room areas without walls separating the space.
What goes into selecting a house to flip?
For an effective flip house purchase, it's important to do your research. Look at the comps in the neighborhood and how they compare to the purchase price of the house you're considering.
In this neighborhood, comps were in the $300,000 range. At $200,000, this particular house was priced low enough to allow room to make significant improvements, and still be profitable enough to sell.
John and Lana set a budget of $30,000 for the transformation; they spent $35,000.
The house sold for close to the full asking price after just two weeks on the market.
How tile fits into this flip house
When John and Lana did their research, they also looked at properties that were new builds or remodels. They noticed that most that had contracts on them had a light, dark grey two-tone cabinet package and that tile featured prominently. Tile not only looks good, but it provides a durable surface.
When they looked at the different types of tile available at the store, they liked the high-end look of the wood plank tile.
Here are the products they chose.
Floor Tile: Castle Cenere
Throughout the entire house, John and Lana selected Castle Cenere 8x24. This is a ceramic wood plank tile from Pamesa Spain.
This tile has a lovely rustic look with knots and washed wood grain. As you can see, the planks have a large variation in color tone from piece to piece creating this barn floor look.
The image below shows you how the plank tile was used in the outdoor area as well as indoors. You'll notice it in some of the other images below.
You may remember Castle Cenere from these other blog articles:
Kitchen Backsplash Tile
From the image above, you get a peek of what the open kitchen living space area look like. Both feature a similar backsplash area with the product below: Tour Grey 2” Hexagon Glass Stone Mix by Intermatex, Spain.
Here's a closeup of the finished installation. Isn't it fantastic? It's both warm and cool, whimsical and definitely fun. The Tour Grey mosaic has glass, metal, and stone in the hexagon design. The glass pieces have a newsprint feature on them. The cool tones in this mosaic blend well with the white cabinets and countertop.
Tile in the Master Bathroom
John and Lana made the master bathroom special with a polished Carrara marble tile in a 3x6 subway tile format.
A decorative tile band in the shower added visual interest. As you can see in the image below, this linear mosaic has stainless steel, marble and glass strips. It is called Stainless Nordic Storm Linear Mosaic.
The shower floor is made with Marmol Bianco Carrara Mosaic 12x12.
Here is the final reveal of the master bath shower.
Guest Bathroom Tile
In the guest bath, John and Lana chose a Taupe 3x6 subway tile by Roca, Brazil and combined that with a decorative strip called Stainless Twilight Mist Linear Mosaic 12x12.
This linear mosaic tile has stainless steel, marble and glass strips. Notice the taupe tones.
Here is the finished guest bathroom. Notice that the wood plank tile extends into the bathrooms, too.
Successful Tile Installation Reminders
As important as the right tile is for creating floors and walls that not only look beautiful but also function as they should is ensuring that the right tile installation materials are used. That starts with using the correct grout.
Merkrete grouts were used throughout the house including floor and wall installations. In particular, Merkrete 720 Marble Pro White.
Merkrete regularly holds product knowledge sessions at Tile Outlets of America to demonstrate best practices for installing tile.
When it comes to installing tile on concrete slabs, it's important to use an underlayment to protect the tile from structural movement. In this case, installers Bella Casa Ultimate Designs used a NAC 40 mil Anti-Fracture Membrane under the floor tile in the entire house.
Finally, for tile that is 24" or more longer, we recommend using a leveling system to avoid lippage. In the image below, the red clips in between the wood tile planks correspond to a leveling system such as the Tuscan System.
Go Watch Flip Wars: Buying Blind!
We are so excited about this #flipwarsbuyingblind series! Yes, we're partial to John and Lana, but we love seeing homes get the love they deserve, and the tile that makes them truly shine.
Come visit Tile Outlets of America and let us know what you think of the series.
Just don't bother us at 10 pm ET/PT on Wednesdays: we'll be watching Flip Wars: Buying Blind on A&E.