Cement Tile. Carrara Tile – The never aging trend.

Atlas Black used on the front of this Countertop. Stunning (our marble 4×12″ Venato for $8.00 a Square Foot along with Arabesque picture frame used as a border). Stunning Kitchen posted to our IG feed (take a look to see questions).

If you are an avid follower of design trends, or frequently spend your time on Pinterest or Instagram looking for the hot and charming trends, then it is safe to say that you might have come across some beautiful looking patterned tiles now and then. From kitchen floors to bathrooms and laundry rooms, these patterned tiles offer an appealing outlook to any floor.

Several of the patterned tile you’ve set eyes online and social media is Encaustic Cement Tile. It perfectly encapsulates the essence of a vintage tile. This tile like other Handmade Cement Tile has been making waves in Europe for quite some time now, but only just gained prominence and popularity in the US only in the last couple of years. What makes it an attractive Cement Tile is its alluring matte finish and the smooth, silky feel of its body.

We can rave about the amazing qualities of Encaustic Cement Tile all day and not be tired, and indeed it’s an integral part of The Builder Depot line up of products their Cement Tile collection. The Builder Depot is the only Google Trusted Store and the highest ranking store in the Tile and Stone Industry as a whole not just in the Cement Tile Industry

As well as the only company that ships from its own warehouse which it owns, giving us complete control over QC checks prior to it being loading onto the truck.The competition well…. They are all 3PL a 3rd Party ships their orders at a high price (that is a person simply scanning an order and putting a box on a pallet, no checking, fast as possible, then move onto other orders in the Air Conditioning section) 3PL’s stock multiple product types.

The Competition tries to sneak around their higher cost structure by selling online as cost per piece for example $6.95 is all the customer will see. But to get to the square foot price you have to multiply that by 2.25.

An example of pricing per piece (FYI. The only flooring product that is sold by the piece). $6.95 x 2.25 = $15.64 per Square Foot. So you do have to watch this tricky maneuver, to make you buy before you think. Whereas we are $10.95 a Square Foot and Free Shipping to boot.

The Builder Depot works on massive economies of scale, a no debt business, pays cash upfront for the product (which ensures the highest quality – no one wants to loose a cash paying account). Along with a no frills marketing strategy, that keeps our costs down, along with no fixed costs. Instead of keeping this extra margin, we pass it onto the consumer. Pricing in 2019 for our Handmade Encaustic Cement Tile (made with the highest grade of Cement; Portland cement) is $10.95 a Square Foot and Free Shipping.

The competition does not have (and this is to warn not poke holes)

  • Their own a warehouse
  • Have a review policy (We are the only Google Trusted Store in this industry)
  • An address shown on their website, very few. (as it is operated out of their home, nothing wrong with that but at least get a mailbox).
  • No return policy (read their policy if you can find it in the lines and lines of waffle).
  • Why you might ask? So they can collapse overnight and you cannot come after them for the sub-par Cement Tile they sold you. They have no assets. They will simply hide behind their LLC and you cannot take their 3PL that is not theirs. The inventory will be gone before you can say “But Lawsuit…..”

However: This well-designed Handmade Cement Tile still has a couple of drawbacks on its own. So let’s discuss those.

It is very similar to marble. As a Cement Tile, it  can stain if acidic liquids like wine are just left to sit. It is handmade and can be more susceptible to wear than any other tile (depending on the quality you purchased, from a small company with no history he will be buying the cheapest tile possible. Shipping from a 3PL (3rd Party Location and close up shop and hide behind his LLC as everyone is left with terrible tile, company has no assets, that is why they are all 3PL shippers).

It needs to be re-sealed as required better sealer quality less often. It does share very close similarities with marble. But some of these drawbacks could be a blessing in disguise. These “imperfections” are what makes the Encaustic Cement Tile perfect, and you know what, because the color and pattern of the tile are usually bold, when they wear or fade, their beauty will even come out the more. So, like fine wine, the Encaustic Cement Tile gets better with age.

Prices subject to change at anytime. The website has the most up to date pricing but we try and keep some stability. Ordering a sample for example. That locks your price in for 30 days from when you ordered the sample gives you time to decide without the rush. (Sorry lawyers want this caveat added to anything with pricing).

Here to stay!

The Builder Depot Building

Alpharetta, GA. 5920 Shiloh Road East: Finally it is completed. More space at last!

Back of Building

I like this side the best. This is showing seven loading docks, this goes on for fifteen. A ramp for loading local pickups and plenty of space for UPS Trucks.

Best of Houzz for the 4th year running!


Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,

Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Alpharetta, Georgia, January 17, 2017The Builder Depot has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The largest white marble stocking wholesaler was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

What a great way to start 2017!

Google Trusted… Yes! World First for Natural Stone!

We all must have by now purchased something online. I think it is fair to say that Google are the masters of the world wide web. They have captured the marketing unicorn “synonymity” or “Synonymous with a product or action”.

Throughout history this has always been the goal in the 1980’s we did not photo-copy you would “Xerox this please”. Kleenex is another one, it was not pass me a tissue or napkin it was “Kleenex please” and people “Hoovered up the floor” following the brand Hoover and vacuum cleaners.

Today when we want to look something up we “Google it!” we do not say “Bing it!”

We “Google It!”. So Google has become Synonymous. Will it last? I cannot predict the future so I cannot say, but certainly other brands in this position have lost control. Xerox could not keep their hold, it is hard to keep complete control.

But today June 13 2016. Google is the Internet.

They have a Google Trusted Store Program. They are the only 100% unrivaled most invested mechanism for reviews. Their entire business and keeping the internet clean is based on it as they are the Internet. So why have others not dived in? Something to hide?

I honestly believe the Billion Dollar Home centers are running good systems for reviews.

But when you get into companies that are less than twenty years old and not on the stock market or have less than 2,000 employees and are not in your state then you must fall back on the company that controls the internet. If you are buying on the Internet. Google.Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 8.31.03 PM

The Builder Depot is the only Google Trusted Store in the online Natural Stone world. Try and buy a complete bathroom of matching tile 6×12″, perhaps 12×24″ and chair rail and pencil along with a matching mosaic…… there is no other Google Trusted Store in the World. The Builder Depot is the only company that sells matching natural stone product collections. A World First!

How are we doing. We are trying to get better every day. Spotting issues. Removing products that do not fit the standards required by Google and pushing the limits.

Ultimately the real trick is not us. It is the consumer. We can fix a terrible supply chain, improve products, but a product that is natural and has variation (aside from our Glass, Wood Look Tile, Metal, porcelain, ceramic…) okay so 70% is natural which means every lot is different. That is where looking at the blog, reading the FAQ page read the Q&A page as well. Finally I would read #15 on the FAQ page, this is mistakes made by others. Reading and reading the website is the key to success. We have a great product. We have an incredible business model that is striving to save consumers money outlined here (and by the reviews below again left on Google)

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 9.00.12 PM

As a company The Builder Depot seeks to disrupt the inefficient supply chain that has been in place for decades, wasting consumers money. Take those savings and pass them along to the consumer. Keep the savings….. Nope, pass them on. So you can add value to your home. That is our passion!

It is the only Google Trusted Store in the Industry to do so.



Here is a little more about us!


Yahoo has posted us as their Feature blog post on Yahoo Small Business “Start“. This is a blog to help small businesses get off the ground and get going. You can read it here.

When Yahoo first approached me about this, I did ask “Why? I simply assumed this is what everyone in America did at some point a Garage Startup with little or no investment. The American Dream” I was corrected “No! Today everyone goes to the bank or chases VC’s with their concept”.  But I really got going in 2008 and no one even cared about me, three banks told me they were not opening new business accounts. I did not want to borrow money just needed to make deposits.

Borrowing money. I could never really grasp that principle. If you had a good idea. A good idea you believed in. Then why not just work. You do not need to be a millionaire. You just need to provide a great working environment for people, provide healthcare and look after everyone that works at the business. Create a family. There should be no titles (as you can see from our “meet the team” (which has grown so we need to add to the page). You will also get an email from “David” that is me.

In my mind. If you have a good idea. Or not even a good idea, but are willing to work as my Grandfather said “Until the cows come home” then it will work. Yes it hurts and you do not sleep and you can expect a decade of misery.

But just forget the money. Forget about the wealth. Focus on the people that work at the business help them have a great life and focus on the customer. Work, answer the phone. Be a person who sweeps the floor. Just because you created a company that makes you no better or no different than anyone else.

Also this is odd, but do not sell anything, ever. Just simply offer the facts. We have decades of knowledge, if your plan does not fit our business, we can help with other suggestions. We are not looking to be billionaires or some mega company. Perhaps this is the new Mom and Pop of the 21st Century.

My advice is to anyone feeling like giving the “Dream” a go, firstly you are in the right part of the world. So that is a massive head start!

Then cut your costs. Live on very little and get used to it. Friends, you will have to give those up for a while as you will just be working, when they are out socializing you will be well…. working (not an easy sacrifice).

Focus on your “Vision” and then the families of the people that work for you, look after them. Think of all the children who are now dependent on you. Do not borrow money, no debt. Just work as a warehouse guy, as a freight manager, as a CFO, a CEO do it all until perhaps in 2-4 years until you can hire someone. But only part-time and only full time when you are sure you can take care of his or her family as they are now your responsibility. Make the dreams and goals of those that work for you, your priority. Put everyone else first. Put yourself at the bottom. Empty the trash.

Then if you can make money, give to the community. Focus on scholarships with a local high school, give back. But make sure it does not involve you. Have someone that works for the company give the checks out. (Never you). Let them see that the year was more than just work, that they made a difference as well. Because they did!

Good luck. Hopefully your idea is a lot lighter than mine, like Diamonds. I used to wish that a lot. Why could I not be in the socks or cufflink, business.

I am not a Journalist. I am sure there are mistakes in this post. But one of our rules is to keep costs as low as possible to the consumer, a no frills, word-of-mouth marketing strategy. So paying for journalists is just not a cost we want our customers to pay for. As that is how all costs are covered through the sale of the product. If you are a writer/journalist please let me know and I will correct 🙂

The Builder Depot

Buying online? 3 Helpful Tips to buying Carrara.

The world of buying online is changing.  It started with books, electronics next groceries now Natural Stone and Tile.

The focus here is Carrara. It is tricky. It changes from lot to lot. It is not a static product like a book. So before buying online you may want to check out a few things before diving in. Particularly if you are buying a bathroom and need your mosaic to be a close match to the tile to the trim and so on. Not easy. At The Builder Depot we have over 200 different Carrara products and with stock over a million square feet of Carrara. Our products have been installed in clothing retailers on 5th Avenue to Hotels in the Caribbean and homes. Home from Miami to Seattle from LA to Maine. We come from a good place to offer a few tips to buying Carrara online.

#1. Many will find the product online through a search engine. Google is the top search engine. Companies will show up in Google shopping or advertising text to draw you to their website. These companies value Google as a resource. They must do, as they are using them as a vehicle to reach you. So they should be a Google Trusted Store…  right?  They advertise with Google, put their products on Google, so it would seem logical to be a Google Trusted Store. If possible buy from Google Trusted Stores. Google has already done the homework and investigation and offers guarantees for free. They know who the good guys are. They pretty much are the internet.

#2. You should buy from a company that has access to the Carrara. By that we mean direct access. Not sitting in a cube somewhere or in another country when you call. A US based company that can take pictures before your order ships. You need to know the person you are speaking with on the phone is the person looking at the Carrara. That they can touch it, can take a snap with their iPhone and send it on. Otherwise how do you know what “lot” or particular look you are getting. How can you do a quick background check by yourself? Look at their Instagram account. See pictures of marble in pallets and boxes open in a warehouse? That is a good sign.

#3. Room scenes. If there are no room scenes then why not? It is most likely that no one was thrilled enough to send any in. How can you check? Go to their blog. Check to see if they have a section for “Room Scenes” if they are proud of them it will be upfront. Bloggers are a great resource. Some of the room scenes should come from independent bloggers. There are thousands of DIY blogs today. If the online store you are buying from has not been in a single blog. Then that is quite an accomplishment. They must have gone out of their way to avoid them altogether. Look for room scenes by bloggers who are good photographers and they can also provide DIY tips as well.

Simple tips to buying Carrara online and you can avoid some of the headache reviews and stories we hear everyday from other customers. If they are not Google Trusted. Why? If they cannot send pictures then they have no access to the material and that means you have no idea what lot or look or veining you are getting! If they are not in any DIY blogs, how?

We cover all three but we are not saying you need to buy from thebuilderdepot.com.  We are not trying to sell anyone anything. We simply provide pictures, samples and prices. Then the decision to buy is up to the retailer, builder, contractor, designer, homeowner. We are not salespeople. We simply provide the facts on our products. We treat people as we would treat our family. If we can find a better option elsewhere then that is where we will suggest. For many customers this concept is met with shock and disbelief. But it really is a simple concept. We are acting like your neighbor or family friend. If there is a better option then we need to improve our game, it helps you get what you need and us get better.

As the first Google Trusted E-Commerce supplier of Natural Stone Collections and a product member of the Marble Institute of America we come from a position passionate about the integrity and future of Natural Stone as it moves online.

Number 1 asked Question of 2015

How are your products so cheap? (you need volume to hear)


We are asked this a lot and even if we are not it is in the back of peoples mind. That aged old classic “if it sounds too good to be true…….”

But it is true need more than a video and want to delve into how it all began, read “about us“.

But in Summary which is not as  short so I apologize 🙂

  1. We buy direct, hundreds of Ocean Containers and then sell direct, this skips three steps in the supply chain a supply chain that is 70 years+ old (it needed revamping).
  2. Volume create economies of scale.  We pass these savings onto our customers. 100%.
  3. No debt also means we are not paying the bank any money, again if you hold debt you pay interest. Interest is a cost. Costs can only be paid one way. Through the product’s price.  Which means the customer pays. All costs can only be paid one way. Through the product or service. If it is through the product it means that cost is coming to the consumer. In short you. if anyone knows of another way please let me know 🙂
  4. We have done everything we can do reduce this business to bare bones. So it focuses on product quality (quality control), shipping quality FAQ#18 (we shipped 99.4% of all orders in 1-2 business days with 99.6% accuracy) and price. Getting the quality as high as possible and price as low as possible. No business would operate like this but we are trying what started out as a “small” experiment to help consumers in a confusing industry that never seemed to show prices and seems to have grown and grown and now 2016 we are opening a five acre facility with fifteen loading docks. It has taken almost a decade doing this without debt, but now, now it is worth it. As we have over 2 million square feet of stock and 600 different products types of white marble alone. Today we receive reviews, great reviews and thank you’s from people saving thousands and thousands of dollars.


We are also A+ on the Better Business Bureau.

The end of 2015 – Thank you and Happy New Year

The end of an incredible year. Thank you to all our customers, I know it is not easy buying marble or products online. Many have concerns. But we have a great team and can send pictures before we ship.

The savings are great, maybe looks too good, we understand that as well. But it is simple economics and supply chain management (all explained in FAQ#3).

To all the 30,000 customers this year that took the plunge. Thank you! As we did not receive a single negative review and have a A+ BBB rating we did as we promised.  Without our customer the retailers, contractors and home owners we would not be here. We will strive to seek ways to find new products our customers buy and lower the prices by paying cash and improving the supply chain. We will continue to focus on never loosing site of doing more with less. So pictures will still be taken with just an iPhone in 2016.

We are looking forward to improving our website with a new website launch January 2016 and also we have now become a Google Trusted Store, which is what happens I suppose when you never have a bad review 😉

Happy New Year to everyone!

New 2016 Video Starter chosen.

New Video Header for 2016

Christmas is coming! Which impacts shipping….and us…

Merry Christmas EveryonePlease note UPS and all Freight companies are also closed Friday Christmas Eve. As we cannot ship anything we are also closed.

It does become a difficult time in December. Shipping times are more exact to the rules of UPS. Which is not what we have been used to. I have seen shipments get to the customer on the West Coast in 3 days.  December and weather it will be 5 days, maybe longer.  UPS has a weather clause (every shipping has an everything clause, just no Santa Clause).

Everyone that works here full time is a parent. They want to see their Childs Christmas play. They will never get to see their child do a 3rd or 4th grade Christmas play ever again (you do not get do life over again), you cannot go back in time when you are 50 and they are grown up and have money. Reflect and think perhaps I should have gone.

So we need to let them go.  Product will be shipped.  UPS will have holidays too and we cannot do anything about that.  UPS will run slower as they get busier it was the same as last year. So please plan ahead.

Again Plan ahead. Place the order and say please ship December 10th.  Or say ship on the 2nd of December.  Please do not say, ship now (at 7pm PST) to arrive tomorrow in CA and then be annoyed when it does not happen, there are ways to speed things up and you can read that on FAQ#13 (but that usually only shaves off a day).

Please note: It is on sale now. It has been on sale all year, it could have been ordered in November and stored near you.  We just are trying to avoid any Christmas disappointment, by doing our best to encourage people to plan.

Planning ahead is the key.  Do not let someone contractor or otherwise tell you otherwise.  It is. The product can sit in a garage waiting for the moment it needs to be used.  What it cannot do is board a plane.  This year I am hoping it will be different. We are putting a flyer in samples.  We are letting people know. UPS is impacted by the Christmas season and seasonal part-time workers.  Other freight  can companies fall apart at least we use the very best UPS freight, but they still need your planning.

So if you have read this far, then you deserve something extra. There is a song from England that everyone grew up with from 1985 and onwards.  My kids now 6 and 11 have loved it for years.

It is Shakin’ StevensMerry Christmas Everyone” here is the link.

Or direct to You Tunes. (I am no expert at iTunes, I suggest asking a 6-7th grader if you are like me).

You may have to do a little research. But the lyrics are pretty much: “Snow is falling, all around us, children playing having fun it’s the season love and understanding Merry Christmas everyone“.

He never made it to the USA as an 80s artist. But this song was a great a one hit Christmas wonder. Two weeks at #1 in 1985. But rereleased every now and again and played constantly at Drive Time in the UK, to put British drivers in a good mood.  The song will cost $1.00.  So here is my offer: from December 1st to 20th of December at 12pm, if you purchase $750.00 or more and do not like the song, email us at badsong@thebuilderdepot.com (along with your order number) and we will refund the $1.00. (I may regret this, you must submit the email before December 20th not in June or July or Christmas Day.  Please take this in the spirit that it is meant, just trying to offer people a great song for their morning, evening drive, not start a revolution.)

Shakin Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone

I apologize in advance for this song going around and around in your head for hours and hours 🙂