The other night I woke up at around 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I know I needed to order some office supplies for work and decided to make use of my insomnia. After a couple of clicks my supplies were ordered and I went back to bed knowing I had one less thing to do the next day. That is the beauty of online shopping! It’s fast, easy, and can be done anytime day or night. That brings me to the point of this blog, what about shopping for tile online? You surf the web and find an online tile website. You click on tile products and see a ton of manufactures, but who are these companies? Are their products good quality? You see no reviews like on Amazon or other sites so you can’t get an opinion on the product or service. Does the picture really reflect what the product looks like? What does the surface feel like? I could go on and on but the fact of the matter is you can’t efficiently or confidently shop for tile and natural stone online. The technology and convenience to make this industry an online presence it just not available. Honestly, unless there is a more cost-effective way of moving the product from a warehouse to inside your home tile shopping online will never catch on. Don’t forget the fact that you really need a sample of the product to view in the environment it’s going to be installed to make the selection. You could go to a tile showroom, select a tile and have a sale person give you a quote, then go home and shop for it online. You may even get lucky and find it cheaper even though there is a massive freight charge. The internet company will ship it to you via common carrier who will drop the pallet in your driveway. No, it’s not like getting an appliance delivery where trucking companies expect to bring the items in the house. You better hope nothing arrives broken because the internet company is going to tell you to file a claim with the trucking company. If you didn’t see that it was broken and did not write it on the packing slip you signed you are out of luck! The trucking company won’t be able to file a claim with the insurance carrier without it in writing something was broken. Now what if you run short? You’re going to pay to have a 50 pound box shipped UPS, and pray you get the same dye lot and that it arrives in good condition. As much as we all want this to work it’s just not practical to buy a product online that is heavy, breakable, and needs to be seen and touched. The tile manufactures know this and some, like Florida Tile, will not allow their tile to be sold online.
When you walk into our showroom we have thousands of items on display and very eager Design Associates to help you. They know the products and can show you some interesting designs. You can see and feel the products, plus in most cases you can take a sample home. Being in the business for 25 years the most important aspect of tile selection is the color! No computer screen will ever be able to represent the true color of tile or natural stone. Our main focus this year was to find and use online technology to help us sell our products. Knowing we can’t duplicate the product color exactly on a compter screen we are added high-definition televisions to the showroom so you can see actual finished installations. Seeing a product installed and how it was installed will help you visualized what your room could look like finished. We also equipped our Design Associates with Ipads for pricing and access to the fabulous design website Houzz.com. So buying tile and natural stone online is probably not a good idea but using online content to help you is. So come visit our showroom and well will show you a new way to shop online.