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
Thanks in advance for any advice, Anthony
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.
Marble is fragile and as mentioned, shipping would
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
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
Also too, you're only doing a bathroom. It's
not like a lot of square footage will make or break
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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"
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.
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
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
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.
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)
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,
But other than that, I would suggest you get your tiler on board
*before* you buy the tile, and keep him in the loop.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.