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Tile Shopping

Have you gone tile shopping recently?

New tile stores are popping up in every neighborhood. It is a lucrative business these days because of beautiful and cheap Chinese tiles which are flooding the U.S. market.

Recently I had to select tiles for a bathroom with a shower. It was not an easy task because I was looking for tiles made in the U.S. There are basically two established American companies, Datile and American Olean, with web sites where it tells you where the tile is manufactured, charts that have thickness of the tile, and recommended grout thickness. Their selection is limited and they do not have huge mosaic selection. They are behind and are not competing with the foreign made tiles. There is a demand for more varieties and Chinese companies are responding to that demand.

Last but not least, want to tell you why I prefer tiles made in the U.S. Living environment has to be safe and free from toxins. Companies in the U.S. have to abide by many standards, but I do not know if the same standards exist in a foreign country, most likely not, or if it exists, it is just on paper.

Here is my tip. If you go to a web site and cannot find the origin of the tile, it is a good assumption that it is not made in the U.S.

And, ask the store. If they can not tell you right away where the tile is made, most likely it is not made in the U.S.

I just wish American companies start competing in the market.

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