Question about buying tile


Hi everyone,
Since I have started renovation on my bathroom I have gotten a lot of good advice on this newsgroup. I am finally to the point where I am ready to purchase my tile. I am planning on buying Dark Emperador marble. I recently went into the local granite and marble shop and the price I was quoted was between 10.50 and 11.00 per square foot (the lady has to do more investigating).. Anyway, it never occurred to me that I could purchase marble tile on ebay but I see the dark emperador on there for 7.49 per square foot. I am a bit hesitant to buy tile online but I do believe in shopping around to find the best deal possible. Does anyone here have any experience with buying tile online (ebay or stores).. Anyway, this is the link to the ebay page (not sure if I'm allowed to post it here), but I just want to know everyone's opinions. http://cgi.ebay.com/EMPERADOR-DARK-POLISHED-MARBLE-12-STONE-TILE-FLOORING_W0QQitemZ6041112406QQihZ009QQcategoryZ42129QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem
Thanks in advance for any advice, Anthony
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Shipping charges may make it more expensive than buying local. Marble is heavy. Be sure you know what you are getting into before you commit. If the price is close, the local guy is there for you if you have problems with the product or the installation.
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Can-of-worms alert...... Marble is fragile and as mentioned, shipping would be expensive. There are many advantages to a local supplier. You need to weigh out "saving some money" with all the potential problems of buying on-line.
The large variations in price tells me something is wrong with either the on-line supplier or the local supplier. I would contact the manufacturer and see who their distributor is in your area. Could be the high priced supplier is a re-seller and you're paying $3 a foot too much. Or they may be right in line with what it should be, and may be that distributor you need for that material.
Also too, you're only doing a bathroom. It's not like a lot of square footage will make or break you.
Marble is difficult for a homeowner to install. Do you have an installer? The local installer is a valuable source for these answers. Usually when people order and purchace tile on their own before contacting me, they end up making a mistake because they trusted "instincts", and salespeople who are not looking out for their interests.
thetiler
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/EMPERADOR-DARK-POLISHED-MARBLE-12-STONE-TILE-FLOORING_W0QQitemZ6041112406QQihZ009QQcategoryZ42129QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem
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| | Usually when people order and purchace | tile on their own before contacting me, they | end up making a mistake by hiring | thetiler | |
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Hi Everyone,
Actually, I do have a professional tile man in mind to do the installation. I am sort of handy but working with marble is something I would never attempt myself. Here is one more sticky question. If I were to buy this marble tile online, would it be offensive if I went to a marble/granite shop and asked them to install it even though I didn't buy it from them.
Anthony:)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I wouldn't have the nerve to buy the product somewhere else, then go to a local shop that sells it and ask them to install it. It's very likely they won't want any part of this, and for good reason. They've likely found from experience that this type of customer is more trouble than the install margin is worth. Like, when the job is done, the customer isn't happy and blames them rather than inferior cheap product from Ebay and refuses to pay.
If you want to buy the product online, I'd look for an independent installer. And for me to consider going that route, the price savings would have to be substantial, the seller would have to have excellent feedback/rating, take credit card payment, and have a reasonable return policy. Even then, you are likely out return shipping, etc. For a bathroom, I doubt the savings would be worth it.
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It certainly would be. Most would just not do it. If a problem arises with the material, they are stuck in the middle.
Saving money is a good thing, but you still have to maintain dignity and character. This just shouts "cheap bastard" and I'd avoid it completely.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Wouldn't be offensive, but they might charge you the same amount as if you had also bought the tile at their shop. Or, they might just say no.
You can buy marble on line at a reasonable price? Doesn't the freight make it costly?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

And you don't think the hundreds of times he's ordered tile doesn't make him important to consult with on this?

Are you reading anything anyone is saying here?
thetiler
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We bought tile first, found the contractor afterward. We just loved the tile when we first saw it and wanted to order before supply exhaused.
When we started looking for a contractor, we ended up with the first one we talked to. He mentioned that he could have ordered the same or very similar tile, but it was no big deal. You might be in better favor with a contractor you buy tile from, but that is life. If he is offended, he doesn't need to accept your business.
FWIW, the only thing I know about marble is that I often see instructions not to let water stand on marble. Do you KNOW this tile is suitable for bath?
I know a mechanic (good, honest one) who installs stuff customers bring in. They can always adjust the price on the install to make up for what they lose on the sale.
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Norminn wrote:

There are two types of customers who buy their own tile generally, those who innocently buy tile first because they liked it, thought that was the way to do it, were told to do it this way etc etc. I don't have a problem generally with these people.
The problem people are those who deliberately by their own materials to purposefully cut out the markup by the contractor. In my experience, people who go cheap on materials usually want to go cheap on installation. Going cheap and hiring me usually don't mix so the relationship starts off bad right away.

See above. In your case, he probably saw that your motive was as you described it, you like the tile and bought it before it went away. No problem. He perceived you weren't trying to be cheap.

Does he know that some marble can only be installed with epoxy adhesive? How about some adhesives can bleed through some marbles.........point is he should value the experience of a professional marble contractor (not the saleperson or store clerk) before he proceeds with this. Cheap marble can vary in size, vary in thickness, be damaged, have bad edging etc etc.

This is an important issue. I'm going to start another subject heading to post my opinion, and call it: "Customers purchacing their own materials"
thetiler
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Why don't you just hire "thetiler" to put in your tile? he's obviously experienced as he posts useful information on usenet all the time...and he must be busy because he always posts at like 10pm.
Plane tickets aren't that expensive...well, compared to the cost of putting in the tile. Who knows, maybe his price is cheap enough to justify buying him a plane ticket.
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clipped

There were issues with our job that we settled thoroughly in advance. First, tore up the carpet to make sure there weren't cracks in the slab that might have made tile a bad choice. Did that before we ordered the tile.
Some really tricky issues with tiling up to unlevel adjoining rooms, tiling around a step with bannister embedded in the face of the step. We had the baseboards undercut so the tile would go under them, not up against as some of our neighbors have done. We had considered laying the tile ourselves, as I have always liked DIY. Glad we didn't. He even helped solve how to get grout lines in the right place where there is a long "line of sight" that would have looked weird with other placement.
His price was decent, but (I suspect) very good money for him. There was no discussion of his price - paid what he asked. He did a superb job. The contractor has been in biz a long time, and we could tell he was serious about his work.
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I NEVER shop for lowest price. If it is too good to be true, then it is :o)
We had a vacuum cleaner salesman stop by a while back. Hubby answered the door :o) He did the old trick of vacuuming a spot with my old vacuum cleaner, then putting a piece of filter paper on his to show me how much dirt was left when he ran the new vacuum. Nice guy, chatty. I asked him for a spare piece of filter paper, which he gave me. I put it over the nozzle of my 30 year old Electrolux, vacuumed the same spot, and showed him how much dirt HIS vacuum left :o)
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kitchens etc. wrote:

That was funny. You better get off the computer before mommy comes home. I see all the posts you make to alt.home.repair are real helpful.
thetiler
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/EMPERADOR-DARK-POLISHED-MARBLE-12-STONE-TILE-FLOORING_W0QQitemZ6041112406QQihZ009QQcategoryZ42129QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem
I bought some tile a long time ago very cheap - it was a 'reject run' by the manufacturer and I got $10 tile for $2. It was worth paying the shipping. You just have to make sure that you have *all* the tile you need, as the regular tile won't match.
I would suspect that the ebay tile is similar; you can probably do better by telling your local shop you're willing to take seconds, leftovers, etc.
But other than that, I would suggest you get your tiler on board *before* you buy the tile, and keep him in the loop.
--Yan
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