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16x16 ceramic tiles: Brand name sold under Lowe's generic brand

3 years ago

I'm currently having my house renovated, and my next step is to have the kitchen flooring installed. The area is about 205 ft^2, with 1/4" HardieBacker already installed. Since 12x12" seems small for the area I need to cover, and 18x18" a little big, I decided to go with 16x16" tiles, in ceramic. The tiles I plan to use are the Project Source 16x16 Tiolo Beige ceramic tiles from Lowe's. They have good reviews on the Lowe's website but they cost only 67¢/ft^2 so I'm wondering if I should be suspicious of the quality due to the price.

Although they're sold under Lowe's generic brand name, Project Source, I noticed that the back of the tile says "Celima", a Peruvian brand of tile. Lowe's also sells one type of ceramic tile under the Celima brand name that goes for 88¢/ft^2. My Spanish is pretty decent so I went to the Celima website based in Peru and tried finding more information online about this manufacturer. Seems pretty good, obviously from what's on the manufacturer's website, but also an independent source that I'm not aware is affiliated with them. I did notice, however, that Celima's current catalog doesn't feature any 40x40cm (about 16x16") tiles at all.

So are these by any chance selling cheap because Celima, the manufacturer, apparently discontinued these tiles and Lowe's bought their remaining stock to sell under their own brand name? Lowe's also sells Project Source 12x12" Alamosa Beige ceramic tiles that are only 49¢/ft^2, also with "Celima" on the reverse, and they also have good reviews and seem to be very popular.

Just for reference, ceramic tiles selling at my local tile wholesaler are 99¢/ft^2 but they have just a small selection and the salespeople honestly seem to be porcelain tile snobs. I know porcelain is better but it's just me living in the small house and I'd like to allocate more money towards other stuff if I can help it.

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