Q1. How Do I order a Sample?

Click “ORDER SAMPLE” Button. (and follow the process, thank you!)

Q2. How do I get a shipping quote (and product quote)?


Select the product and quantity. This can be updated later at the checkout.

Once you have the quantity you need to click “checkout” to get the shipping cost. (do not worry you have not entered any payment information  – this will provide information only)

Select the shipping method using the drop down arrow.  If you choose UPS terminal, then you can go to the UPS TERMINAL LOCATOR and enter your zip code to find a terminal near you.  Or enter residential.  You need to enter your shipping address

Once you enter your address, just hit “APPLY” and then on the right hand side you will see your total including freight cost. Easy – sort of.  Any questions please email us at questions@thebuilderdepot.com

Q3. How are your prices so cheap?

This was a really common question 5 years ago but not so common now as consumers have become used to the lower prices that the internet offers.  However still worth answering, I will try to be brief which is not easy considering how many areas of business and economics this question touches on.  Companies hate the word cheap, well not companies but marketing execs, they like inexpensive or good value – no matter what we call it the question is still the same.  How can we sell a product for 50-60% lower than everyone else and because of that is it inferior?

First lets remove the “cheap” issue with an example.  Our brick metal 1.5″ x 3″ we sell for $14.95SF boutique retailers sell for $50SF.  Metal has a high “price feel” to it, it looks expensive and is relatively new so retailers will charge what they can (marketing 101 if it looks expensive make it expensive). But the reality is this is not the case while it is not as cheap as ceramic technology has driven down the production costs of stainless steel mosaics. Additionally traditional boutique retailers have 2-3 steps in their supply chain each one adding 50% so very quickly the price goes up.  We ship directly from the factory to our warehouse then ship out direct to the consumer, we skip 3 steps in the supply chain and pass the savings along to you.  This explains how we can sell for $15.00SF.

Now quality (related to cheap) – here is brick metal mosaic product installed in a $2m house click here to see.  Cheap does not get installed by professional architect firms. (This is one of many examples we have). Then there is our marble.  Italian Carrara and Calacatta Gold the best we can import.  We import direct (strategy #1) missing out 3 steps in the supply chain our competitors the ‘boutique tile and stone retailers‘ have to suffer.  Why do they have to suffer an inefficient supply chain?  Because a retailer cannot buy 28 pallets of 6×12″ Italian Carrara at a time – he does not have the ‘wholesale’ sales to support it.  We import direct and then ship onto you.  Big savings.  Big savings we pass along to you.

We do make a profit but no where near the same as a tile store.  We do not need as much profit because we operate a low cost business (Strategy #2).  No frills marketing is our mantra pictures taken with a $50 camera = no advertising cost.  We are in magazines and on DIY network but we do not pay for this we are such good value (or cheap) that our customers want to tell their friends, TV shows wants to tell their viewers and magazines their readers.  We operate with minimal staff, so minimal that answering the phone can be sometimes be a challenge (sorry I know that can be frustrating).  I could go on but you get the idea.

Direct import, minimal operational costs and premium products (word of mouth is our marketing).  Certainly the products themselves are not cheap (inferior) we just offer a really, really good deal.  So good we understand the skepticism. To help alleviate the skepticism you can buy a sample to check it out for yourself or look at the reviews online from EBay and Amazon.  We are proud of our business model this economy needed something new and we offer just that.  We receive a constant stream of happy emails from our customers who create a fabulous bathroom buying $4K worth of marble and adding $15K in value back into their home price.

We are probably one of the few online products that offer an instant profit once purchased and installed. I hope I answered the question and did not go off on too many tangents.  If I failed please let me know david@thebuilderdepot.com if you liked it please let my boss know sales@thebuilderdepot.com. Thank you :)

Q4. Are the products per square foot or per piece?

This is on the product page right below the ‘sales price’.  For example on the 3×6″ you would get eight tiles, the 3×8″ you would get six tiles, on the 6×12″ you get two tiles as the tiles get bigger they work the other way.  For 12×24″ you get half a tile per square foot – but please do not let this be a concern just order what you need and we will round up to the nearest 12×24″ tile.  We will not cut in half and send you half a 12×24″ tile. The mosaics are all sold per sheet. Pretty self explanatory, on the 2″ Hexagon unlike most other suppliers our 2″ Carrara Hexagon is larger than a square foot.  The 1″ Carrara Venato Hexagon is 0.96SF per sheet, the Basketweave are all 1SF (it is easier on square tiles to be exact) the same for 1×1″ Square, 1×2″, 2×4″, and 2×2″ Square.  The trims are all sold per piece. Every trim is 12″ long so technically it is also sold per linear foot (a term used by many contractors).

Order Quantity

Q5. What does the packaging look like?

The packaging is quite impressive considering we are all about lowering the cost.  However in order to ensure that the marble makes it in one piece from Italy to Savannah and then from our warehouse to your home, retail store or warehouse we have taken some steps and care over the packaging. We are considerate not just for our warehouse workers but for the end user packing almost all our products in boxes of 5SF.  This ensure the boxes are manageable and can be lifted easily (especially lugging it upstairs to the bathroom).

Bianco Carrara Stella Long Octagon Packaging (5SF to a box)

Q6. How long is the sample and order shipping time?

Estimated shipping time of your sample and actual order.  For faster shipments place the order online, then in the comments write please send me cost of 2-Day and Overnight shipping.  Or email your order confirmation to quick@thebuilderdepot.com to speed up your shipment.  Do not delay on order placing.

Q7. How much additional product should we order?

This is the scenario: You received your product four weeks ago.  It is now time for the installation.  Your installer has found that cutting the Herringbone mosaic is harder than planned, perhaps he/she drops a box of 6×12″ and now you need more product.  Paying for shipping is frustrating enough, but if we run out of stock or we do not have the matching dye lot then that takes things to a whole new level of frustration.

To avoid this nightmare scenario just you want to consider adding 20% extra to your order.  10% is for the cuts and waste on the immediate job.  The other 10% is insurance (we’ll explain that in a moment) You may end up with too much tile, save it.  Something may happen in the future and you may need that matching tile.

The remaining 10% is for insurance.  If we were a “fly-by-night” company and had no plans to stick around then this would be irrelevant.  But having done this for decades and will continue on for decades we have customers that come back after years asking us if we have 10 square feet of 6×12″ that is from the same lot as their previous order.  They had to replace a shower head or some other minor change.  This resulted in tiles getting broken.  They need the 10 square feet to replace the damaged area.

This is YEARS ago.  I can guarantee you 100% we do not have a match.  Lots change.  Factories re-tool the marble cutting machines.  The dimensions of even the tile itself change by +/- 5mm.  At this point the only chance of getting a perfect match is to get into the De Lorean and with the flex capacitor (I just wanted to say that “Marty, I’m sorry, but the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning”) go back 5 years.  Read this post and order 20% extra :)

Every time the above nightmare scenario occurs (at least two times a month) for some reason we are somehow to blame.  We ask customers to order another 20%, not because we want to increase our sales by 20% but because we do not want the this bad scenario to occur.  We have yet to fail anyone and we do come up with the matching product, but it adds time and additional shipping cost.  PLEASE ORDER 20% ADDITIONAL TILE WHEN PLACING YOUR ORDER.  Then you are covered and so are we from another panicked “I didn’t order enough” email.

We know this is counterintuitive to human nature.  The objective is to reduce costs.  Ordering more is paying more.  Our prices are fantastic compared to the well known premium retailers.  You have saved a lot already.  Ordering extra for insurance is a great insurance policy on your new bathroom.  If you do it will save us both a lot of time and heartache and also avoid the awkward email, when we say “we cannot match your marble from 10 years ago.”  Which no doubt will result in anger.  Probably at us :(

A helpful answer?  Remove the Back to the Future quote?  Let us know your thoughts faqs@thebuilderdepot.com.  We are not journalists and without spell check we would be lost.  Any changes grammatical or otherwise are welcomed comments :)

Q8. How are your products shipped?

Samples are shipped USPS or UPS, either way you are provided a tracking number.  Your main order is shipped either freight LTL (Less than Truck Load) or UPS ground in boxes (roughly 10SF in a box).  Usually orders less than 60 to 70SF ship UPS ground, orders with more than 70SF ship freight.  The freight process is on a truck with a powered lift-gate to lower your shipment to ground level.  We break the freight process out for those not familiar with freight deliveries into more detail with a step by step guide here.  (A refresher course is always a good idea too).

Q9. How do I make a return?

Good question and so is looking at the return policy before buying anything.  We have it broken out into more detail with a “making a return guide” blog post.  (Just click the link).  As always any questions, comments or help with grammar :) (let us know).  Thank you!

Q10. What is the difference between Honed and Polished?

Honed is not as shiny as polished and lacks the reflective qualities that polished marble has.  To the touch it is velvety and has a satin-smooth look to it.  Honed is more scratch resistance as it does not have a gloss finish like polished.  This property is created because honed marble does not have the reflective surface like polished consequently when light hits it the marble scratches do not show up as clearly.  This is also true for watermarks and smudges, this makes it an overall lower maintenance product.

Polished looks incredibly regal or palatial.  The polishing process brings the full character and charm of the stone to the surface.  It gives the veining clarity that the honed does not have.  Polished marble has a smooth shiny surface almost mirror reflective with its glossy finish.  The polishing does create a level of protection (though the sealer should be doing this) for spills and liquids.  It still must be sealed.  But should the sealer wear in places without you reapplying, you will get more resistance from the polished than you would the honed.

Need More?  We have a Movie……

3 Responses to FAQ

  1. Pingback: Herringbone with Wood Look Tile | the builder depot

  2. Linda Graham says:

    Do you have a showroom in GA or TN?

    • Hello and Thank you for your question.

      We do not and this is part of our lower cost strategy. This is answered partly in “how are your products so cheap”. We estimate that a showroom would cost us/you (our customers) an additional $5.00 to $10.00SF onto the cost of the product. With insurance, renovation, etc.

      We have found our customers prefer to order a sample for $5.00SF and pay $10.95SF for an mosaic instead of seeing it in a showroom and paying $20.95SF. Any questions please let us know questions@thebuilderdepot.com

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