Everyday we get a flurry of customers who vary from overwhelmed first time tile buyers to seasoned designers who can select products with their eyes closed. Nevertheless, whether you are a novice or a pro, mistakes can happen. For this post we sought out our in-house design experts for the most common mistakes made by tile shoppers and some advice to help prepare you for your next purchase.
#1 Last Minute Ordering.
Human nature is a funny thing. We are born with the tendency to postpone tasks until the last minute for many reasons, perhaps we do it for the suspense of “Will I or won’t I make it?” but for the most part, it may be safe to say that denial and laziness are what get the best of us. However, tile shopping is definitely an activity where punctuality is of utmost importance.
Those who order late will often find themselves in a bind. Tiles have to be ordered and delivered separately from an external entity because tile is not carried in stock at showrooms. However, many overlook the details that come with this process, including varying lead times, possible delays, and shortage of availability. In light of this, especially for hard-to-get tiles, make sure to factor in lead times when placing an order.
#2 Underestimating Quantities.
In this down economy, everyone is trying to save every penny they can. Although it is completely understandable for people to only purchase exactly what they need, the tile industry doesn’t necessarily operate this way. When customers only place orders for the exact number of tiles required for their project, they are actually inconveniencing themselves in the long run.
Tile installation is a delicate and tedious process that can sometimes involve accidents: tiles breaking, getting cut wrong, etc. If you don’t have extra tiles available on-hand during events such as these, you run the risk of delaying your project and dealing with the complications of re-ordering, which will ultimately cost you more money. Another advantage to having extra tile is being able to readily perform any future repairs.
It is better to be safe than sorry, so remember that exceeding the bare minimum is advisable when purchasing tile.
#3 Treating Tile & Stone like a Commodity.
One of the most common mistakes made by customers is their tendency to commoditize tile. To some, tiles are a work of art, unique and diverse, a true facet to the fashion industry. Consequently, many see tile as just a four-cornered stone that they walk on everyday—an afterthought in their busy lives.
Stone is a natural product which means that each tile is unique in itself. Many tiles are hand made and hand glazed so colors between lots and tiles themselves can vary greatly. The same material will not always have the same grain color or veining. Because of this, there are no two exact pieces. Customers will often forget this about tile and assume that it is generally always available, especially for re-orders, and be disappointed when they discover its inaccessibility.
Make your tile ordering process as smooth as possible by keeping these tips in mind for your next project. But, don’t feel like you have to do this alone!
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