Installation of our Black and White mix Chevron Mosaic

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.41.44 PM

From Instagram: Black & White Chevron $12.95 a Square Foot part of the largest collection of Nero Marquina (Black Marble) Mosaics, Field Tiles and Trims in the USA.

This installer is remarkable at installation and best of all really takes pride in his work in the same way we take pride in the selection of our stone. It is difficult to find installers with a passion for installing natural stone. Here is our Black and White Chevron pattern being installed.He dry laid it measured out the area and then started the process. So many at least 80% of “so called” professionals just install box to box, sheet after sheet. Just throw it down. No checking by dry laying to stand back and think “perfect” then install. When you throw it down box to box, if their is a rouge sheet that is darker it will really stand out, but not until you have finished and it is too late. That is why the dry laying of natural stone is vital. To ensure the product is correct prior to installing. You can see his process on his Instagram Feed and follow him on Facebook.

You can read it in Dustin’s reviews “This is a guy who pays great attention to detail”. Love installers, craftsman, car mechanics anyone with a passion for what they do. It gives them an edge over every one else as they do it because they want to not because they have to.

Wish he lived near us.

New Arabesque Arrives

White Oak ArabesqueArabesque Silver Cream White Oak $16.95 a Square Foot Marble Mosaic Tile, part of our larger matching collection of mosaics, trims and field tiles.

The difference of Venato and Pietra Carrara

The DifferenceTwo very close collections Pietra Carrara and Venato Carrara but there is a difference in the Herringbone you can see the Pietra Carrara has more variation gray pieces. The Venato while still has gray veining, has less variation of the base color.

On the mosaic it is really difficult to spot the difference. But in bigger tiles the variation would be more noticeable.

 On the outside Pietra is Black boxes and Venato is Brown with our Trade Marked  exclusive Logo.

Pietra Carrara, let’s start there. This is probably going to be a collection but we are not 100% sure in it’s direction at the moment as we engage on a voyage of discovery the consumer benefits by the price savings. The Pietra Carrara Mosaics have to be blended more it has more veining, more life more action and variety going on.  What we do is ensure that the darker and lighter pieces of the mosaic are spread out creating a balanced look. You can see from the image.  It is an incredible mosaic.Carrara Pietra 2%22 Hexagon TileThe 2″ Hexagon in Pietra Carrara $9.75 a Sq.Ft. As long as we blend our end the look is incredible. As a mosaic this to me personally looks better than Venato I am attracted to the Variation and Price.

Quick Mosaic Summary (for those that have to get on with the order).  Mosaics look incredible. Had you removed the Venato from this image. The blending is excellent. Looks great and the price is unbelievable.

Pietra Carrara base color has more variation (to Venato) within the Mosaics. Has more life and more activity for me I like it. I like the way it looks I like the price 🙂 but that is short term and a promotional price. It maybe that it is a collection that can only be made in mosaics. It is still in development and that takes years to build up to a million square feet, pick products, build molds and design.  It is a good product for a bathroom floor.  But if you need a full bathroom project, I would opt for Venato tiles and maybe save a little with Pietra Mosaics.

Pietra CarraraPietra Carrara 6×12″

The Venato collection has a white base but it is difficult to see over larger areas.  Both offer a consistent base but in the field tiles the Venato is whiter slightly because the veining is softer.

No one can have perfection but we are chasing it, and we may just catch excellence (always liked that quote).  To get the best looks do as DIY Network and HGTV we have worked with both. For a 100SF job they order 130SF, they order 30% more and pick exactly what they want and throw away the rest.  With marble over ordering is the key so you can dispose of any rouge tiles but Venato has a whiter look.  You can see it in the room scenes a lot better than one piece.

Why have two collections so close? Because we love marble is the short answer.  No company in the world would class these as two collections except for ours. I know many that overlap the two, it is not easy to split something so close as stone has variation, but this is what we are doing.Venato Concept BoardCarrara Venato. Looking for a bathroom this collection offers a consistent base and that is what we and wanted it turned out that the consumer wanted it as well 🙂

This is just historical ramble if you wish to continue…. or click on something else and escape……

It was 2006 that I was the very first person (David Shearn typing now) that launched the first online collection of Carrara marble.  You could buy three types of tile (3×6″, 6×6″ and 12×12″), one of 3 mosaics baseboard and a pencil (it was just 6 inches in size back then for both baseboard and pencil – just 6 inches in size was the max and baseboard was around $27 to $45 a piece). We had 7 choices and it sold incredibly well.  The prices were high as the economies of scale were not in place, machinery not yet perfected. The website looking back which I have screenshots (and do now and again) is embarrassing. There were no templates. You had to build from scratch. (Take a look at Amazon’s first efforts…. we all learn and grow).

Square tiles sold well in 2006 and then it all went “Subway Tile mad” so I decided to write about it with “It is no longer hip to be square the explosion of subway tiles in the USA” or something along those lines.

By late 2008 we pushed further with collections keeping with Venato as our main line. Carrara Venato has now been sold for eight years and with its length of service granted a Trademark. I believe the only trademarked brand of marble.

Jumping forwards we are at this point. The plan is to offer four lines. Carrara Venato. Pietra Carrara. Bianco Carrara “C” Grade and Bianco Carrara “CD” Grade.  Four collections of marble.  All with 80 to 100 SKUs each with each having one million square feet of inventory in the USA to support them.  We have this in place already with Bianco and Venato.  Businesses are difficult, they cannot standstill you either go forwards or backwards. My goal is: a commitment to the success of others. So forwards we must go.

The world changes quickly so it is difficult to plan to far in advance. But sticking with the core principle of “do more with less and put the customer before profits”. Internally “Empower those within your team making their success your priority. Commit to the success of others and not yourself”. Is a solid company foundation.

I wanted a company where people could work for life. Like companies of our Grandparents or Parents (trying not to get too nostalgic) but that is why our new fulfillment center is built where it is. We could have easily moved somewhere else, but this is designed to be surrounded by the best schools and they are all 10 out of 10 on zillow.

I have yet to meet someone who enjoys a long commute, that is a huge negative. Long commutes impact corporate culture more than companies even understand.

The current website is being changed and will launch with a new fresh look in January 2016 which we have hinted at.  Following behind that is our new fulfillment centre on 5 acres supported by a main Distribution Center in Atlanta.  Next year will be interesting.

Carrara Bianco 12×24″ Honed – this just arrived!

Carrara Bianco C Grade Italian Marble

Pictures from Italy finished and packed.  Sometimes it is nice to see it from Italy on a sunny day.  This is just before it is wrapped up and sent on over.  This is the honed version of our 12×24″ also available in polished for $9.95 a square foot, for all the professionals out their they know that the tile is on white polystyrene boxes (really white), and you can see the base color of the “C” grade against it.  Do you see how perfect that is.  What an incredible lot.  How long will it last in stock? Not long 🙂

It is $9.95 a Square Foot if you can find another supplier with “C” grade it would be $60 to $100 a Square Foot. How can we do this?  We explain it in the FAQ’s a lot has to do with having an office in Europe and working with them all the time investing with them and of course never asking for terms, just pay cash upfront and a lot of it 🙂

Italian Carrara Bianco Honed Marble Mosaic Tile

Just another picture of another crate, about 380SF to a crate weighing around 2,000Lbs. You can see how well it is all packed, not just the boxes themselves but even the wooden crate.  It is a lot of effort to ensure when it gets to your home it is in perfect condition – as it should be.

Carrara Bianco 1×4″ Herringbone Polished Mosaic

Carrara Bianco 1x4With over 24 Herringbone Mosaic Tiles in our Herringbone collection, I had to take this iPhone picture as the crate was already halfway down and why it has sold so fast is understandable.

This 1×4″ Bianco Carrara Polished is one of those in the collection.  A 1×4″ is a different look 1×2″ has always been more traditional, the 1×3″ has taken off and looks great but the 1×4″ at $12.95 a Square Foot Carrara Bianco 1×4″ is a great addition and offers our designer customers a different look. As of Oct 13th 2015 we have over 1,000 Square Feet in Stock.

Free Shipping Items

There are a lot of Free Shipping items, we try our best work with UPS. We constantly review products.  What we will not do is what other companies do.  Add on $1.00 a square foot to the product cost and then say “Free Shipping”. That is how it works, if anyone believes that 200 Square Feet of 18×18″ Carrara Bianco Italian Marble ‘C’ Grade can ship for free because UPS is just feeling kind, then that is not the case, it is built into the product cost.

We have negotiated lower rates and passed these on and selected items best suited to free shipping.  But please note, there is no “Free Shipping” in the world. It is part of the product you are buying through #1. A reduction in quality #2. A higher price.

These are the current Free Shipping Products, it can fluctuate based on availability and discounts provided by UPS:

Entire Glass Tile Collection

Entire Metal Mosaic Collection

Entire Pietra Carrara Collection

Venato Basketweave and Herringbone

Entire BridgeWater Ceramic Collection of

Bianco 1″ Hexagon Honed

Bianco 1″ Hexagon Polished

Bianco 2″ Hexagon Honed

Bianco 2″ Hexagon Polished

Bianco 3″ Hexagon Honed

Bianco Herringbone 1×2″ Honed

Bianco Herringbone 1×2″ Polished

Elongated Hexagon and on and on…….  Like Tuscany Ivory Herringbone. There are more you need to see the Free Shipping icon as below.  If there is no Free Shipping icon it is not Free Shipping.  But this represents hundreds of products.

Free Ship All