H.B. Fuller Construction Products, maker of TEC-brand tile installation tools, and Lowe’s have created a shopping-list tool designed to make buying tile materials easier.
The Lowe’s tool is detailed, which is good. But it pulls you through many pages, each with multiple drop-down menus. You’ll get the job done—you’ll find out which and what quantity of TEC’s products you might need—but the experience could be faster and more efficient.
The biggest ding on the web tool is that it only gives you a shopping list. After so much effort, and considering that Lowe’s is co-branding the affair, I would like to have seen an order form with prices as well.
Other than your actual preferences, the product selector doesn’t ask for too much personal information. You choose the state you’re working in, presumably because Fuller’s distribution network isn’t uniform across the nation. Once you’ve chosen a state, you have the choice of indoor and/or outdoor merchandise (though some states only get indoor products).
Then it’s all product-related questions. Do you want powder or premixed products? What’s your surface, and does it need patching? That sort of thing.
To put the tool to the test, I pretended to be tiling all 5,330 square feet of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. I chose TEC’s quarry tile in mammoth 16″ x 16″ x 5/16″ slabs and a 3/8″ grout width.
Along the way, I was asked about grout features like color and stain- and crack-resistance.
What follows is the suggested TEC shopping list:
• Patch and Leveler: 333.1 gallons
• Universal Adhesive: 266.5 gallons
• Ready-to-Use Ultimate Performance Premixed Grout: 48.7 gallons
• Waterproofing and Crack-Prevention Membrane: 106.6 gallons
Helpfully, the tool further recommended that I have the following on hand:
- Carpenter’s level
- Tape measure
- Tile cutter/wet saw
- Notched trowel
- Tile spacers (It’d be nice to know how many…)
- ½” Electric drill and mixing paddle
- Grout float
- Towels for cleanup
To find out more, check out the tile product selector web tool here.
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