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Warning about carrara tile from The Tile Shop

14 years ago

If anyone is ordering carrara subway, basketweave, trim, or 12x12...basically any style from The Tile Shop, open ALL of your boxes before taking your order home.

When I ordered my tile, I asked my salesperson about the color variations that I would see. I had deliberately bought a range of samples so I would have all sorts of colors at home before making my final decision. She said that they had had ONE bad lot in the past of yellowed tile, but that isn't a problem anymore.

The basketweave (floor) and subway they tried to give me tonight was all yellow. My trim and 12x12 was beautiful. My salesperson is now pulling together boxes from other lots that are the right color. I'm a little annoyed that they tried to give me tile from the bad lot.

So, a word of warning. Open every single box you get before you take it home.

My samples:

My samples against the tile they tried to give me:

More yellow tile:

Comments (9)

  • sombreuil_mongrel
    14 years ago

    I bought the same tile from them this spring, and it only had a few random tiles streaked with rust, not the whole sheets. I hope they get it resolved. The alternative sources are all much more$

  • Jeannine
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    It's definitely a problem with a particular batch of tile. My trim and 12x12 came from different batches and look beautiful. The bad subway and basketweave is from the same batch.

    The salesperson acknowledged the problem and is pulling boxes from other batches right now.

  • kelleg69
    14 years ago

    At least they are making it right. My friend bought 12x12s there and they let her go through all the boxes and choose the ones she wanted. I hope to get tile there too and I will probably ask to go through all the boxes too. I am also going to use their basketweave with ming green accents. I will be sure to look them over before I leave! Thanks for the heads up.

  • Jeannine
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Agreed. I'm just a tad upset because I live about an hour away from the store. The salesperson said she'd find a way to get the tile to me.

    If she doesn't call tomorrow, I'll be tempted to drive the tile back over there this weekend.

  • sweeby
    14 years ago

    Hey, making it right is a GOOD thing. Many (most?) inexpensive tile stores would simply state that natural stone has color variations (true) and it's 'take it or leave it' or worse - less restocking fee.

    But opening the boxes and checking the tile is ALWAYS a good idea.

  • Jeannine
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Totally agree, sweeby. I just talked to the girl and she has all my subway in, she's just searching for 40 square feet of basketweave at this point.

    Needless to say, my start date (Monday) isn't happening. My tile guy is probably going to have to go to his next job (I can't expect him to just "hang out" waiting for this stuff to show up), which might push my project back until after Christmas.

  • Jeannine
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Well, my saga continues. Here's a recap:

    Wednesday, 12/3 - went to pick up tile, found yellowed tile lots (6 of 34 boxes were good), was promised new tile by Saturday

    Friday, 12/5 - Initiated call to see if I could pick up new tile on Saturday. Wall tile found, no floor tile. Promised tile by Monday, when project was supposed to start.

    Wednesday, 12/10 - Initiated call for another update, mentioned returning the entire order and going to Best Tile (another national chain) and was promised that floor tile would be located TODAY and salesperson would search all Tile Shop stores in the country.

    1. My tile guy has moved on to his next project (even in a great economy, I would have expected him to wait for the tile to show up). My bathroom was supposed to be finished before Christmas and at this point, it might not even be started before Christmas.

    2. My salesperson has never called me. I have always called her.

    3. My salesperson promised that the yellow tile problem was months ago and they weren't getting bad lots anymore, but on the phone today, she said that all she has in her stock is yellowed tile.

    On principle, should I return the entire order and go to the other tile store? The other store has similar tile that I didn't like quite as much. The other store's tile costs about 10-15% more than The Tile Shop's tile. I'm getting fed up with this company!

    What would you do?

  • Jeannine
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    I never updated this!!!

    Did I mention that Best Tile had warned me about yellow tile from The Tile Shop? As a result, I specifically asked the salesperson (who wound up being the store manager) about yellowed tile. She promised that my tile would look exactly like the tile on display. She said they had had a problem with yellow tile lots "a long time ago", but that it wasn't a problem anymore.

    Thursday, 12/11 - The Tile Shop called me for the first time during all of this to tell me that the tile just can't be found. They would not come to me to get the tile, so I would have to load it and haul it myself to Richmond, an hour away.

    After the call, I submitted an email through The Tile Shop corporate site detailing my entire experience. I suggested that I had been deceived because I had specifically asked about the yellow tile. I also suggested that the tile be taken off display in their stores, on the website, and in their catalog if they can't deliver the tile they show.

    After submitting the email to corporate, I moved on to my Better Business Bureau complaint.

    About 30 minutes later, I got an email from The Tile Shop (my store, my salesperson who is the store manager) and here is the conversation that followed:

    TS: Thank you for sending that email.
    Me: Excuse me?
    TS: Thank you for sending that email. Now everybody is trying to find the tile.
    Me: I thought everyone was trying to find the tile last week?
    TS: I think we can find it.

    Saturday, 12/13 - I loaded the tile back into my car (it took 30 minutes) and drove it back to the store. When I got into the store, she made me stand around while she worked with another customer. I went over to the tile display and there were still pristine, perfect sample tiles on the shelves! It wasn't enough for my project, but they were still showing those perfect, white samples!!! I was livid.

    After I finally finished the return, I went to Best Tile. Most of the staff as there, as were some contractors, and some customers. I told the whole store in detail and had them shaking their heads in disbelief.

    My tile, from a totally different source, will be here next week, so I'll get me tile. My story about this experience has been posted all over the web (here, Better Business Bureau, Rip Off Report, Flickr,, HGTV boards). I'm not saying The Tile Shop is a horrible company, but I think people need to be super careful about their purchases with them.

    By the way, corporate never contacted me.

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