I decided against using a 32-bit color mode. It seems wasteful because I'm using only 8-bit color (for effect). I'm going to make a simple pallette file loader once I'm finished with my tileset loader.
On a side note: does anyone know a good way to do animated tiles? I'm considering treating them like sprites, but then I can't layer them. If no one responds then I'll just make all of the animated tiles be on the base layer.