tile flooring pricing issues

aggie33September 19, 2011


We are in the last week of finishing up our home. We are scheduled to close this Friday. Our builder just tried to present us with an overage of 7k, just in tile overages. When he showed us his calculations, it was priced above retail just in materials. We realize we are being given a bogus invoice, but he's saying this is what his tile contractor is charging him. I know that places like Daltile, give discounts to the trade and he in fact received this. Could someone please give me an idea of how much of a discount the trade receives? 20%? 30% etc. I do not have 18k worth of tile in my home.

Thank you

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It is not typical for Daltile to sell direct to a builder. It normally would be through the portico program which a store would still sell to the builder. There are some very large builders that may possess the power to buy direct. I do not know of a discount per say that a trade receives. A builder at times receives a small discount, however they charge just below retail to the end user and take the additional profit. It is common in the industry. Is the house built and if so was this number not discussed before the home was built. Is there not a contract or a change order to discuss the overage? No one on this forum should or has the right to discuss trade secrets, however; 20 to 30% is ludicrous to think it is that high.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:18PM
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18K worth of tile (and labor?) is very little tile in a custom type house. It adds up. The deco tiles are often $10-$20 each. There's a poster on this site who is spending around 100K on her tile, and she really doesn't have a whole lot of fancy touches. Yes, some, but not anything like the whole floor and ceiling done in mosaics.

You cannot have gotten to the billing stage without doing some sort of change order. What does the previous paperwork say?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:20PM
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I thought the retail price at Daltile was twice the contractor price

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Yes, unbelievably, we did in fact get to this stage without a single change order! This is why we are so upset about this whole situation. We have been advised to get an attorney because we were not given a change order or advised that we were going over budget at any time. The tiles installed were subway tiles mostly. nothing fancy or costly. Basic white subways. Octagon & dot on bathroom floors that came on mesh 12x12 sheets. I'm just sick about the while thing. I've never heard of any overage not being approved with a change order.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:25PM
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Lynne Reno

our contractor is a friend of ours, he is having us pick the tile, tell him what we want and he will buy it and charge us his price. He gave us the names of 3 major tile stores to and said that he gets a substantial discount at all of them. I'm not disagreeing with what Floortech said, but maybe it's a regional thing...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 2:24AM
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I agree that he will get a discount for sure and then it gets marked up to the end user. This is where contractors make some of their money. For an example if a flooring store normally operates at a 35-40 margin, they may sell it to a contractor for a 25 margin. Thus about a 15% discount to the builder and he in turn makes 10 % or so on the product when he passes on the product to the end user. All pretty standard stuff. But to want to know what a contractor pays is normally unethical. Now if there is no change order and he never informed you that you were going over budget...he is the one that will need the attorney because you shouldn't be paying it. he will have to file the complaint against you and you defend. he will have to show in writing that you authorized the overage. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:25PM
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The bigger fast tract builders do have a showroom for many things including the flooring.

Because of the showroom, they do qualify for wholesale status. They have a distributor service them directly.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:08PM
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Dont want to argue, but not in my territory they do not! We and another store provide big builders their showrooms. If a distributor would attempt to move in, they are done with the level a flooring stores!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Lynne Reno

There are 3 major tile showroom/distribution centers here. After my last post here I wanted to confirm that my contractor was correct when he told us not to worry about retail price because he gets a big discount. So, when I returned a sample today I told the salesperson that I felt like I was spinning my wheels not knowing the actual price would be for the tile I'm looking at since I just can't afford $12 tile, he said "contractors get a discount of 30-40%, it depends on the tile, the size of the order and our relationship with the contractor." I asked if that was typical of the other two distributor's showrooms and he said "it's always in that range, not usually lower than 25% and never much higher than 40%"

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:37PM
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It will all come down to what is in the contract and how that contract is written.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:41AM
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Sure, I'd buy a 40% off list discount is being offered, BUT, no one pays list price. That tile with the $10 price sticker is "on sale" for $7 all the time. Your contractor, if he does enough business with the showroom, might pay $6 for it. That's a "40% discount". What doesn't happen is 40% off of the $7.

It's just like with cabinets. The suggested retail price is a list price that is so high that it's laughable. The closer you are to the manufacturer, the more discount off of list you receive. The more volume you sell, the more discount you receive. "Discounts" are normal retail price, and not anything extra that a contractor gets that you don't. It's like Sears. Everything is always on sale all the time, it's just that sometimes the sale prices are slightly cheaper, but you have to work really hard to know if you're getting a deal or not.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:22PM
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depends on the wording of your contract, and your state consumer protection and labor and industry legislation.

you may want to consult an attorney because you are not talking about flooring issues really. Its a legal matter.

In some states they can not deviate from the contract without your approval, and product replacements like this at a higher charge are tantamount to theft and criminal fraud.

while in other states, since they indeed did provide and install the products on your property, if you owned it at the time, give them lien rights to that property because of the improvements.

I would consult an attorney asap if I were you.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 3:13AM
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