As promised I want to talk floors. We are ALMOST done. Whohoo! Anyone who's ever been through this process knows that floors can make or break a space. They can also delay every other process. Floors are extremely expensive, however worth every penny. My husband agreed to changing the old porcelain tiles to the new travertine tiles under the condition that I went shopping for these bad boys. Things I learned:
1- Your regular hard ware stores are great but not that great when budget shopping floors
2- most places will have an "area" where all of the wholesalers and manufacturers are located
3- these "areas" are not your regular business owners making it difficult to really know your market, margins and have some kind of quality control
4- apparently not all travertine is created equal. They all come from different quarries and have different amounts of fill in them. The average store sells grades a,b,and c with c bring the one with the most fill which can be difficult to maintain as it chips and leaves holes.
5- Most importantly when shopping in these areas (in Miami we refer to it as Doral between 36th and 25th St) you WILL deal with some pretty fishy characters.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I found that there is pretty much no standard when it comes to pricing and it really depends on if you buy direct from the distributors vs the wholesalers. In the end I found what seems to be the main wholesaler of stone floors in general for Florida, but there was a caveat (isn't there always?) After I saw the warehouse and felt very comfortable with the product came the magic question of the price to which he replied with his thick accent "price is secondary, first you must know that you want to buy from us" Say whaaa! I don't know about you but for me price is primary my friend at least on this one. I did what any girl would do and I left and sent my husband back to close the deal. I'm not much of a gambler admittedly but I was quoted anywhere from $4.25- $2.95/ square foot. Robert walked away with a mid-grade travertine in 24"x24" tile for a whoppin $2.95/ square foot. Hot Diggity Dog, I think we got a fair price.....I think
Yes, I know these pictures are a bit weak, but I will have better ones soon as I am told that the floors will be finished tomorrow~