Tile - better supplier than HomeDepot


Tile at home depot is darned expensive. I'm looking for the most generic beige tile I can find, nothing fancy or particular...but I need a bunch of it... about 1000 square feet, and I'm looking for 12"x12", but that doesn't matter too much if the price is right.
Anybody here ever do mail order for such a heavy item? Where do contractors find theirs?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You're right. The Home Depot is expensive for tile, and I find their quality to be lacking on some types of tile. I buy my tile at The Tile Shop. Perhaps you're lucky enough to have one of their stores around you.
BRW
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Tile in general _is_ expensive. Contractors in general for residential go to tile suppliers who do wholesale support to the trade. You might look into that locally. Other option if you're not picky and are in place of reasonable size is the salvage/returns/closeout type places. Ya' never know what they'll have at any particular time so ya' gotta' have some flexibility and be willing to go slumming usually, but may (or may not) find a bargain.
Read in last Fine Homebuilding one of their projects the guy bought a pallet of tile thru eBay for a reasonable savings on cost/ft at least. That for his project he probably only used half or a little more and didn't say what it cost him to get it shipped so no way to tell what the installed cost was, is only a minor flaw in the story... :)
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Last week the tile you refer to was 58 cents a piece at Lowes I have allready taken about 500 home
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Huh?
Is $1000 too much?

Troll alert!
--
Keith

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More like 'stupid alert'.
This person is supposedly buying a batch of tile for the first time, yet makes a judgment on Home Depot.
Tile contractors like myself generally buy from tile wholesale suppliers because they are experts in servicing the tile trade.
Home Depot though doesn't necessarily have bad tile. It's actually often pretty good quality stuff. I used Dal-Tile for 15 years here, dealing with their local distributor until the help got dummer and dummer and I gave up on them, but Home Depot sells Dal-Tile and it is good hard material.
The main problem with Home Depot is that the workers are totally clueless about the tile trade, yet pretend to be experts. When I'm in the tile dept. there buying misc. tools and bits, I often overhear the advice they are giving the public about installation, and it scares me. If I wanted to know about something I knew nothing about, such as electrical, I'd talk to the people at an electrical supply house before I'd ask the "guy at home depot".
I also don't see the reasoning or logic behind going through all the effort to install 1000 ft. of tile, as the poster says he wants to do, and install the cheapest crap I can find. It always seemed more sensible, if I'm going to bust my butt and do that much tilework, to use good quality materials, and end up with a very good job. The duration of the cheap tile could only be a few years, vs. 25 years or more for good material.
Hard grade 4 tile in the outdated 12x12 size can be had for $1 a foot. Only a fool would search to pay less for crap tile and go through the process of installing it, just to save maybe $300.
thetiler
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Thanks for the rant tiler guy. I wish you the best in your efforts to belittle people and the DIY spirit via the internet.
This is part of the reason why I'm doing this project myself, you never know what to expect when you hire folks like "thetiler" to do work. Whether he does a decent job of not, I don't let guests with this sort of an attitude into my home, especially if I'm paying them.
Calling someone "stupid" isn't the best way to get anything done, but I don't expect you to have time to think about etiquette, you're probably very busy as there's a lot of folks using tile these days.
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Kelly, the tiler guy, if he offended your sensibility, is for the good, look past the attitude, he is correct and you can learn from him. I work at Home Depot in the tile aisle. There currently are 4 different types of tile (all grade 4) that are less than $1 per square foot. One, Aticca Beige at 58 cents per square foot, 12 x 12, one, Maui at 66 cents per square foot, 18 x 18, and 2, Elgin Grey, and some other beige at 77 cents per square foot, 12 x 12. These are "National lot promotions" and should be at every home depot.
What kills me is that people buy the cheapest tile, but then spend 4 times more for premixed thinset (mastic) that covers one third of the area and doesn't adhere anything like a portland thinset.
You've asked no probing questions about what to use, how to do it, just where to get cheap tile. How sincere is that? You set yourself up on this one.
Mark from Home Depot

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you come into a repair newsgoup and ask "experts" for advice, don't announce that you want the cheapest crap material possible. That's what makes it a stupid question. Also you assumed that Home Depot doesn't have inexpensive tile, probably without knowing anything about what you're saying.
I've seen maybe hundreds of bad- crappy DIY tile jobs and have no respect for anyone planning on doing one. I've also seen many good DIY jobs that the DIY has taken the time and preparation and counsel to perform.
I've had thousands of calls and subsequent conversations about proposed tile work. The absolute worst questions I get are "how cheap can you do it"....."I just want to do it as cheap as possible"...... "I'm looking for the cheapest bid possible".... etc.
The flip-side of that are the most intelligent questions..... "I'm wanting to do it right, what would you recommend"......"we need advice and are open to your ideas"...... "is it possible to get a good quality tile at a reasonable price".....etc.
There are two kinds of DIY'ers- one's that are open to right ideas and procedures, and those who already came up with a plan without any advice and councel, and are just posting or asking the questions to fit their bad plan. I'll always spend way too much time helping the first type because I want to persuade them to do the job right, but I have no patience for people who have their own plan.
I gave you good advice in my reponse to you- get some $1 a foot grade-4 12x12 tile. Use $15 a bag multi-purpose thinset, and get good advice on how to do it right. Then you'll have a long lasting floor you can be proud of, and one that the future owner of your home won't curse you for.
thetiler
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snipped-for-privacy@juno.com says...

I thought the $1/sq.ft. comment was the dumbest part. What other decent floor covering can you buy for less than several times that? Ok, add in the thinset, backer, and some tools and maybe it's $2/sq.ft.

The tile guy I worked with when I was in NY had me go to the local tile stores, with a preference for one. Dropped his name and they were eating out of my hand. ;-)

I've bought a fair amount of tile from the HomeDespot. Their choices are limited but I don't see anything wrong with the tile (grade 4).

I guess this is variable. I've heard their people suck, but I've found the local HomeDespot to be pretty good. The one piece of advice they gave me a while back was to forget mastic for a small job (~10sq.ft. outside utility closet), rather use thinset.

Expensive <> good. This is one area where high price is no proof of high quality.

No argument here! 1000st.ft. is going to be a major project. A few hundred bucks is small change.
--
Keith

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The others have contributed their fill, I'll add mine.
NO. Tile is too heavy, and fragile for mail order. Thinset is cement, it doesn't ship well either.
Other home centers similar to Home Depot exist, like Lowes, and Menards, and possibly more. There are discounters like HOBO that sell overstock as well.
There are tile shops that sell nothing but tile and supplies. The real pros shop there, because they get better service.
The image of a letter carrier struggling with a box of ceramic decorative tiles, and dropping it with a crash on the doorstep comes to mind.
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John Hines wrote:

True, especially a "cheap" tile. The breakage would be very high and would offset any savings. Also no shipper will deliver a several thousand pound pallet or two of material without a receiving dock or forklift, which the average homeowner doesn't have. Both Homey Depo and a tile dealer will have delivery trucks with forklifts and can drop it where you want near the door.

The problem with a discounter like Big Lot's or "Price Cutters" who sell closeouts is the delivery issue. 1000# of tile would be two heavy trips for a full size truck, and 3 hard trips for a small truck.

Better service is the #1 reason and covers many aspects of the business, from sales/showroom people to the warehouse personnel, which is usually 5 times better than the box stores. But also important at a true "tile distributorship" is the fact that they major in _tile_, not 5000 other types of product. Important if you don't recognize a brand of tile and want to know the technical data on it. The Home Depot/ Lowes/ Dept.Store salespeople will say "oh it's a grade 4", which means nothing- you have to trust their word. The tile distributor has expert buyers, knows the products, has a relationship with the manufacturers, and can whip out a technical data brochure on the product that will list all the relevant data on the tile- Glaze scratch resistance- MOH scale data- Break strength data.

I once had a load of roofing metal get run over by the dopey forklift driver at Lowes. They stored it right out in the open in the yard, and some blind employee ran it right over flattening out a strip the width of the forklift tire. Took me 20 days to get it replaces.
thetiler
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Yeah, but that didn't stop me from finding the tile for a bath there, and some cute listellos, all of which were easy enough to take home with the car.
I'm just saying, look around and see what they all have.
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