You can get tiles so cheap at home improvement stores - even stone tiles run as low as a couple of dollars per square foot. But limiting yourself to a grid can be a bit, well, boring. We can recommend this trick of the trade we& done many times:
carrera marble in a herringbone pattern.It is a standard inch carrera marble tile (honed). We purchased at Kenny and Co. in Nashville.but available at The Tile Shop.or pretty much any tile place- just have it laid in a "herringbone" pattern.
Danielle and Austin's Kitchen and Garage Remodel: The Inspiration