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)?

Number 1Step 31: Enter the quantity needed paying attention to the line above that shows you the “order quantity” in this case you can see the order quantity is ‘square feet’.

Number 2Step#2: As we go through this you will not believe how easy it is. Click the “shipping calculator” and then it will provide fields to enter your shipping details.

Number 3Step #3: Enter your shipping details and then click ‘Apply’. Then you have your complete quote.

Number 4Step#4: Click Checkout to proceed.

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 has to offer.  Although this might be true, this is a question worth answering. I will try to be brief, which is not easy considering how many areas of business and economics this question touches on, but by the end of reading this, you will have the understanding of what our company’s goal is.  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.  We sell brick metal 1.5″ x 3″  for $14.95SF; however, boutique retailers sell the same exact product 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). 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 process-each one adding 50% in which the pice rapidly rises. Our company method: we ship directly from the factory to our warehouse and then from our warehouse we ship the product directly to the consumer. With this method, we skip 3 steps in the supply chain and pass the savings along to you.  This explains how we can sell for $15.00SF.

Second,  “quality” (related to cheap) – here is a  brick metal mosaic product installed in a $2m house click here to see or a number of incredible room scenes.  Cheap does not get installed by professional architect firms (this metal backsplash is one of many examples we have). Then there is the marble product that our company has to offer to the consumer.  Italian Carrara and Calacatta Gold are top of the line products that we have imported. Our company imports directly (strategy #1) taking out 3 steps in the supply chain that our competitors the ‘boutique tile and stone retailers‘ have to suffer and in the end just makes there process more complicated than it needs to be.  Why do these companies have to suffer an inefficient supply chain?  Answer:  a retailer cannot buy 28 pallets of 6×12″ Italian Carrara at a time – he does not have the ‘wholesale’ sales to support it.  This goes back to our logical and efficient way of processing: we import the product directly, and then the product is simply shipped straight to you.

In our company, it is necessary to make a profit, yet we are no where near the same as a tile store.  The reason for not needing a higher profit is we operate a low cost business (Strategy #2).  Without the complicated extras, marketing is our mantra-pictures taken with a iPhone = no advertising cost.  We are promoted in magazines and on the DIY network, but we do not pay for this. The value of our products is all top of the line quality at an affordable price that makes sense to the consumer (or cheap) in which our customers want to tell their friends, TV shows wants to tell their viewers, and magazines their readers.  Our company operates with minimal staff (so you feel as if you have more of a personal relationship with the company in which you are getting your product from), 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).  As the buyer, these products do not always come to us cheap; however, it is out goal to offer one of the best deals that can top any competitors pricing-so good we understand the skepticism. To help alleviate the skepticism, we offer a variety of samples for you to physically see, so it can make the process easier when you know exactly what you are buying. Not only  do we offer samples, you can also get more information based on the reviews online from EBay and Amazon.  We are a company that is proud of what our business has been able to accomplish; we wanted to create something new and like no other and that’s exactly what we brought to the market.  In our company, we receive a constant stream of pleased and content worthy emails from our grateful customers who create an enchanted looking 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 have 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 increase they work the opposite way.  For 12×24″ you get half a tile per square foot – please do not let this be a concern, just order what you need and we will round up to the nearest 12×24″ tile.  Our company will not cut in half and send you half a 12×24″ tile. Keep in mind, the mosaics are all sold per sheet. we try to make this process 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. Although this is true, in order to ensure that the marble makes it in all in one piece from Italy, then to Savannah,  and then from there  to our warehouse directly to your home, retail store or warehouse, we have taken some steps to take further 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 ensures 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?

Take a look at this scenario: you received your product four weeks ago.  It is now time for the installation process.  Your installer has found that cutting the Herringbone mosaic is trickier than planned, perhaps he/she drops a box of 6×12″ and now you need more product.  Paying for shipping is fa headache in itself, 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 say 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) may lead you too an overload of the product. In this situation, 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. Having done this for decades and will continue on for decades, we have customers best needs at heart, and they continuously 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. Times are changing, and it is our job to move ahead with that 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 terrible scenario to occur.  Our company has yet to fail anyone and we do come up with the matching product; however,  it does add 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. Our company does put into consideration at all times what is best for the customer, and this is why we want to bring this forth to your knowledge.

We know this is counterintuitive to human nature.  The primary objective is to reduce costs.  Ordering more is paying more.  Our prices are incredible 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 mostly 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 appearance.  Honed is more scratch resistance as it does not have a gloss finish like polished piece of marble.  This property was created because honed marble does not have the reflective surface like polished, consequently when light hits it the marble, scratches are more difficult to notice.  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.  Now should the sealer wear in places without you reapplying, you will get more resistance from the polished than you would the honed.

Q11. Do you have a Showroom?

We do not have a showroom and this is no accident :)  Showrooms add significant cost to the business and as with any business that cost is passed on through the cost of the product onto the consumer.

You can get an idea of how much cost by going into a traditional tile and stone retailer.  For example Basketweave Carrara (and I mean the real stuff from Italy) can cost twice as much as ours.

The other issue with a retail store is the catchment area, for over 90% of our customers (especially those overseas) coming to the showroom is not realistic the distance is just too far.  It is not fair that all those customers pay for a showroom that they would never visit. Given this and a strategy to offer the lowest price we have decided against having a showroom.

Being ‘local’ does have advantages, you can pick up your order, place a sample order online and then once you decide on your order place it online.  You can pick up the order from our warehouse (which is in a great spot), just select “local pickup Alpharetta” (picture of how to do it at checkout below) when you checkout.  We are friendly and helpful and you can look through the order before taking it home.

Local PickupHow to select local pick-up when ordering.

Q12. Does marble need to be sealed?

Yes, all natural stone polished or honed needs to be sealed.

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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