Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Tile Adventures

So after I finished yesterday's tile appointment I still had a bunch of time left in the afternoon. The Tile Shop where we originally found the rock tile we want to use in the kitchen and on the fireplaces charges $15.99/sqft retail and had quoted us $11.25/sqft with a builders discount and a Parade of Homes discount. This still seemed really high to me, so I set out to do some competitive pricing.

I wasn't very optimistic that I would find anyone else that carries it because I have found absolutely no one who carries the crackly accent tile for the bathroom that I also found at Tile Shop. But I called a few places and found a couple leads. I decided to look at it as a scavenger hunt and an opportunity to become more familiar with Raleigh as I was driving around.

As I was on my way to the first store, I passed a place called Best Tile. Even though I hadn't called them, I figured I might as well stop in, so I turned around. Well, that was quite possibly my best find of the day. Not only did the salesperson immediately recognize the sample I was packing around, she had just completely redone her own fireplace with it. And she had pictures of the finished project!

Scoob and I had been debating about doing the fireplaces in some other stone thinking it might be too much if we did it all the same, but her pictures were so stunning that all doubts flew out the window. And guess how much they charge? $6.99/sqft retail! Their retail price is substantially lower than the other store's heavily discounted price! Once the builder sets up an account with them the price should come down from that even.

Needless to say I was stoked.

Although, when I brought in my granite sample the salesperson was very critical, "That's going to be way too busy." She thought people would be uncomfortable in the kitchen because there's a lot going on in the wall and she thought the granite would make it too busy and set people on edge. "Can you change your granite?" No, the granite is already paid for, and besides, I like it and think they really complement each other.

When I told her that the rock wasn't a backsplash but would cover an entire expanse of wall from cabinet height to ceiling on a 17' wall she changed her mind, "Oh, in that case, no one is even going to notice the granite."

I stopped at two more tile stores after that. One store had it, but didn't have a sample in store that I could see. They were asking $8.95/sqft. The last store had something very similar, but not all the tiles were long and horizontal, a few were square. They wanted $6.80/sqft, but Scoob said no to the squares.

So, here's a picture of the original tile, and 4 sample tiles from the first tile shop. Can you tell the difference?

Which of these is not like the others?

In my opinion, the only thing that gives away which is the original is the fact that it is not mounted to a black board.

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