First things first: We all know there are a ton of benefits to installing tile flooring in your home. There’s no question—between its durability, variety, life expectancy, easy maintenance, and lack of health concerns, tile has historically stood out as a top-notch home flooring option.

But we’re not here to talk about tile itself, today. We’re here to talk about tile stores.

Why are tile stores so important?

Some of the things that make tile such a popular choice — the vast array of choices (design, pattern, material, etc.), combined with the range of situations it can be used in (walls, floors; kitchens, baths; etc.) — also make it very difficult to shop for on your own. We know it doesn’t seem so complicated on the surface, but there’s so much you have to know to make an informed tiling decision.

This is where tile stores come in. Tile stores, like our sister company, Crystal Carpet & Flooring Company, are staffed by tile experts. When your options are endlessly customizable, and when each potential option comes with a range of prices, materials, and thicknesses, having an expert there to wade through the jargon and explain to you exactly what challenges you might face with each tile sample you consider.

I’m pretty smart, though. What if I just buy online?

Buying tile online is almost always a bad idea! What makes tile stores so valuable is the fact that you can see and touch the tile, in real life, and consult experts for any questions you may have about pricing, materials, or design. Reading that a tile is 3/4-inch thick is no substitute for actually touching the tile itself. (Once you do that, you’ll realize that that’s actually much thicker than most conventional floor tiles. This could lead to issues with matching floor heights between the tile and the flooring of the room next to it.)

Another perk of a tile store? If you buy your tile online, you’ll either have to outsource the installation or do it yourself. Most tile stores work with tile installers, who can do that job quickly and professionally for you.

Okay, but why a tile store specifically? Why not a big-box home improvement store?

The differences between a tile store and a big-box store are simple—selection and expertise. You’ll find that most big-box stores don’t actually carry a very wide range of tile options; they only carry the ones that are most popular in your area. If you have unique taste or are looking for a more customizable option, a big-box store likely won’t carry what you’re looking for.

On the same note, the staff at a big-box store are typically not tile experts. They may have an understanding of the store’s selection, but many big-box store employees have to shift from department to department. This means they’re much less likely to have the same level of insider knowledge about tile as a tile store employee.

Are you thinking of installing tile in your home? Stop by our showroom today to speak to tile experts and browse our stellar tile selections.