Home Centers Vs. Professional Tile Distributors

 It has come to my attention something that I have surmised for a number of years regarding the manufacture of ceramic tiles. It is not widely known but I have it on good authority from an impeccable source that witnessed this for himself. He is the owner of a very large and successful family owned distributorship here in Tampa as well as several other locations. 

In the same factory of the same manufacturer, similar tiles are produced on two lines. One for the home centers and one for independent distribution. The tiles for independent distribution received a sophisticated process of no less than 12 glaze applications and the line for home center distribution received only 2. I think this speaks for itself and it is probably an industry standard taking place at many different manufacturers. 

Therein lies the reason the home centers can compete with lower pricing. The tiles are not created equal and you get what you pay for. Professional tile contractors will invariably want to use tiles supplied by professional distributors to avoid wear and shading problems as well as sizing discrepancies. This may not be in installers fault, but you will not be happy nonetheless. You will also have no recourse with anyone. 


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