Thoughts on online tile stores?
Jennifer Bogard
April 7, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I think I've determined what I want for my kitchen backsplash and now I need to purchase the tile. I went into the local tile store and it was more than I thought it would cost. I'm wondering if it may be cheaper to purchase from an online distributor? Any thoughts and/or recommendations??
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PRO
Norm Walters Construction Inc.
You are going to get better service from a local tile store. They will have your back if tiles are broken, different lot numbers, defective tile, etc.
April 7, 2013 at 8:54pm   
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K B
Ideally find a contractor to purchase it with their discount and pass the discount on to you (it happens). Otherwise, I saved a lot of money purchasing online at South Cypress. A few caveats, 1) make sure you are 100% certain what product you are purchasing--should request a sample. 2) make sure you measure accurately including amount for waste 3) better to order extra as it's the shipping charge that eats into your savings, not the cost of the tile. 4) make sure you order the correct finishing pieces (bullnose, floor molding, etc.) 5) know where they will deliver to-- may be end of driveway, which means you could be carrying a lot of heavy boxes a good way 6) be prepared to wait for the tile to come in--my order took weeks and then weeks more bc none was available, but I'm pretty sure I could have picked it up at that same time at my local tile store 7) be prepared to still have to purchase some of the tile from the local tile store. That said, if I could source my own tile for my next project, I would probably do it online again as the savings were substantial--this time I would just know what to expect.
April 7, 2013 at 8:56pm   
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K B
I had no problem with broken or defective tiles or mismatched lots. You do have to deal with a "Bill of Lading,"--a fancy receipt/contract and other provisions regarding the return policy if there is a problem with the tile. Read carefully the return/refund policy before ordering (esp. who will be responsible for shipping charges on returned items). Ideally you'll want to inspect the tiles before signing off on the Bill of Lading, but I think there was a provision for returns if you subsequently found the product to be defective. That said, obviously it will be much more time consuming to have to do exchanges via the mail vs. your local tile store.
April 7, 2013 at 9:03pm   
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PRO
Norm Walters Construction Inc.
The problem with ordering online is that when you want to go look at tile again, or any other product for that matter, at a brick and mortar store, they will most likely be out of business. Then you will have to touch and feel pictures.
April 7, 2013 at 9:03pm   
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K B
Good point. Can't find a bookstore within 15 minutes drive of my home, and I live in the city.
April 7, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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PRO
Norm Walters Construction Inc.
Exactly my point, if you don't support the local economy, there won't be one.
April 7, 2013 at 9:08pm     
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Jennifer Bogard
Thanks everyone. After considering these comments I think I'll just bite the bullet and use the tile store. We remodeled our bath last summer (used a contractor) and got a contractor discount at a Emser. Thinking I may go back there and hope I'm in the system as their customer and get the same discount.
April 8, 2013 at 3:45am   
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