One of 2014’s big personal projects is to finish my basement. Husband and I moved a little closer to that goal last weekend when we finally decided on what tile we’re going to use in the new, basement bathroom. It was quite the process as I have a vision for our bathroom, a vision that’s apparently quite original because I was having a very hard time finding blue tile that’s suitable for a shower floor. A few weeks ago, I thought I’d found something that would work but then it turned out that it was discontinued.
After I learned that, it was back to the internet and searching through Pinterest and Houzz.com for new ideas. And then I came across this and realized that I’d found it the ideal floor tile, which you can partially see over on the right (we’ll be using three different shades of blue, glass one-by-one squares as the centre of the pinwheels). Once I saw it, I was immediately worried that I wouldn’t be able to get the tile in Toronto but nope, it was here and available at a place called The Tile Store.
So on Saturday, Husband and I drove out to Scarborough and to what turned out to be the best tile store I’ve ever been in. The selection in this place is absolutely amazing and there must be thousands of options available; everything from marbles to mosaics to lots and lots and lots of pretty, glass options. I’ve included a few photos of the store’s offerings but note that these are just a fraction of what’s available.
During Tile Hunt 2013/2014, we went to Olympia Tile, a couple of tile shops located around Olympia Tile, that tile shop on Roncesvalles, the Home Hardware on Ossington, assorted bath-focused stores and both Rona and Home Depot. None of these stores had even close to the selection that The Tile Store has.
Now, the downside to all of that choice is that this store is a bit overwhelming. Products are organized by type however, different colours, sizes and prices are mixed in together and that can lead to a lot of digging and looking. Thankfully, and impressively, the staff seems to know where everything is and can be relied upon to make excellent selections.
The Tile Store easily had the best excellent customer service. With the exception of Rona and Home Depot, the customer service I’ve experienced in all the other tile stores has varied from non-existence to begrudging. But at the Tile Centre, people asked if we needed help and when we asked questions, we were given clear, useful answers. They also asked us questions and offered advice and recommendations.
Price-wise, The Tile Store is all over the place, which isn’t a bad thing if what you want is selection. I was actually quite impressed with the prices we got on our tile, particularly since the shower floor tile is a little different.
And yes, there is room to negotiate or price-match at The Tile Store. We had a quote from the Home Hardware on Ossington and when we pulled it out, the guy who was taking our order asked to see it. After reviewing it, he happily offered to match the lower price that the other store had given us on the subway tiles that we’re using on the bathroom and shower walls (it wasn’t a dramatic difference). He tried to match the price that Home Hardware had given us on the Schluter Kerdi shower kit but couldn’t, because his cost price was higher than what the other place was charging at retail. And no, he wasn’t just saying that, he even showed up his pricing book. I was quite impressed with his openness and his willingness to work with us.
We placed our order on Saturday and in roughly two weeks, our tiles should be in (our special shower floor tiles are why it’s taking so long). We had to, of course, put down a deposit but it wasn’t for even half of the cost of our order, something that was a nice surprise. Really, The Tile Centre just kept getting better and better.
The next time we need to get tile, we’re just going to go straight to The Tile Centre. It’ll save time, prevent stress and leave us with great looking tiles.