Where do you buy tile? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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twentworth
07-07-2001, 12:53 PM
This is for John, since he (like me) is in the Houston area. I'm looking for tile for a bathroom that the stores like Home Depot and Lowes don't carry. I've seen it in "specialty" tile places, but it's very expensive.

Is there a place that you get your tile locally, like a warehouse/discount store? How about a web site? Or do your customers just supply the tile?

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John Bridge
07-07-2001, 02:24 PM
We currently carry accounts at Master Tile, Ceramic Tile International, American Tile Supply, and Daltile. All of them have facilities on or near Old Hempstead Road and also at other locations around town. We can also purchase tile at discount from any full-line tile supplier in the area.

As a matter of interest, Houston is the largest port of entry for ceramic tile and stone products in the country. We import tile from every country in the world that exports it. We are the sole port of entry for many products from South America, Central America and Mexico. In terms of gross tonnage, Houston has become the second largest seaport in the United States. New York is still numero uno.

We supply tile at our cost, which is about 25% less than marked. Our customers go to a showroom, decide on a product and call us with the stock number. We order the material and deliver it when we're ready to do the work. The customer pays for both material and labor when the job is complete.

twentworth
07-08-2001, 08:32 AM
When you say that your customer goes to a showroom, do you mean Master Tile, etc., or somewhere else and then you just order through Master Tile, etc.?

John Bridge
07-08-2001, 09:44 AM
Yeah, that's it. All of the companies I mentioned have showrooms with people who can help you with your selection. When you zero in on something, they'll make you a "worksheet" that lists the descriptions (stock number, etc.) and names of the products you're interested in. We use this information when we order the tile.

This is essentially the system in place in all large cities. There are, however, "dealers" or "retailers." These are the folks who buy the product from companies like those I've mentioned and then resell it, along with installation. There are a couple members on the board who do quite a bit of work for dealers. Dealers usually handle other types of flooring as well.

There are also tile suppliers who do installation as well. In Houston, Bond Tile is one. Obviously, we don't do a lot of business with Bond, since we're in direct competition with one another.