This is one of the most common problems home owners bring us. For decades, countless people have visited our showrooms with a spare tile in hand, desperately searching for the same tile; hoping we have it in stock or just a few boxes lying around our warehouse.
These forays are typically caused by kitchen renovations. New cabinets have a different “foot print” and home owners are on the hunt for a couple extra tiles to fill in where there is no tile. Sometimes the culprit is plumbing problems that require sections of tile & concrete slab to be removed for access to under-ground sewer pipes.
How often do we have their particular tile in stock?
Unless the tile was originally purchased from us within a few months, it’s unlikely. Sometimes we can figure out the manufacturer & collection. If we have that information, we contact the factory to find out if the tile is still in production. If it is still produced, we can get the tile. Keep in mind that shade & tone differences, even size differences must be expected.
How often will you find a couple pieces or boxes of 5, 10, 15 or 20 year old tile lying around any tile warehouse?
Here’s why: the lifespan of a tile collection is 3 to 6 years on average. There are some very rare exceptions to this, but generally, if you are looking for a tile that was installed 5 or more years ago, this is likely an exercise in futility. Think about it this way, when you buy an outfit at Bloomingdales, once they sell out of that season’s stock, you’ll never find that outfit again. Tile trends are a lot like fashion trends. Popular colors & styles, shapes & sizes change over time and manufacturers are constantly refining and modifying tile productions to meet current demands.
This is why we recommend purchasing & keeping extra tile when doing a flooring renovation. Having a few boxes on hand when you need it in the future will save a lot of aggravation in the long run.
We might be able to help you come up with alternative solutions. It’s best to be open minded about this very real possibility.