Bathroom pre-model: Tile Shopping

Before I started my bathroom remodel, I made trip after trip to tile stores around the region in search of the perfect tile at the perfect price. One day, I went into a chain I had never heard of called The Tile Shop and was really surprised at their great prices on marble basket weave tile. Their prices were so good that I let myself order marble subway tiles to go with the basket weave (I had been planning on using bead board or simple, ceramic subway tiles). I knew the tile wasn't the very best quality, but I thought that going for the top of the line (I really loved thassos basket weave, which was $50/sq ft) would have been foolish because I was renovating a tiny condo bathroom.

I should have be suspect of the great prices and of the gentle suggestion given by a former employee of the store that I stay away from them. The tile that arrived was nothing like the tile on display in the store. They gave me boxes and boxes of yellow tile. I have to admit that I cried over all that bad tile. Even at the great price, it was a huge purchase and the bad batch also meant that the start of my remodel would be delayed.

Delivered tile with a sample pieces of subway on top of it

After about a week of promises from the store, no tile that matched what was on display was found. I even wrote to the corporate office trying to get help. In the end, the order was canceled and I was back to square one when it came to tile.

The internet, as you probably know, is full of tile stores. I was leery of trusting a store again and searched message boards for information about stores that had good prices and consistent quality. That search took me to ebay. I found a seller in Canada who had very good prices and a reasonable ship fee. Past buyers had great things to say about him. Still, I was nervous. I remember holding my breath as I hit "submit" on my PayPal payment to him.

I had nothing to worry about. The tile that arrived (bubble wrapped and cushioned) was beautiful. The only odd thing was that the subway tiles were on mesh. My tile guy later guessed that it protected the tiles from smashing together during shipment.

With the tile in, work could start, but because of the delay, my tile guy had taken another job (totally understandable...I wouldn't expect him to turn down jobs in a bad economy while The Tile Shop tried to track down tile).

That left some time for a few more projects...


  1. Could you give me the name of the place you got the tile from in Canada?I really like the basket weave...hope your bathroom turns out great!

  2. What a frustrating start to your bathroom reno! But I bet the end product was worth it. :) Can I also get the name of the seller??? - hoping to convince my husband to redo our master bath and want to do something very similar to yours!

  3. Hey ladies,

    The ebay seller I found was selling under the name Marble Outlet. The seller's Western name is Simon. I think his Chinese name is Jun, but I could be wrong.

    The product is Chinese (I think I alluded to this in the past), but so is The Tile Shop stuff, from what I've read. It is not top quality, but it looks beautiful and has held up well. I haven't had any problems with it.

  4. Hey! I know that Canadian seller from Ebay! I was wondering if they were legit and I think I have my answer now!

  5. Do you mind telling me if you ordered the honed or polished Carrara marble subway tile? It is sooo beautiful I would like to do something similar for my master bath!! Also was the subway tile installed by the mesh or by individual tiles? Thanks and again it is great!!!

  6. Special, just look at my last comment!


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