Before you decide to remodel with carpet or hardwood flooring, remind yourself of where you live. It might be a better choice to go with tile. “Most of us live below sea level and the possibility of flood waters is inevitable. A ceramic or porcelain floor is the only type of flooring that will not be harmed,” explains Christel Tripp, New Orleans branch man- ager of Factory Tile & Stone Depot.
Tripp, who does the official tile selection for the New Orleans branch, has worked at Factory Tile & Stone Depot since May 1997. When the store opened in 1996, it first sold products in primarily lower price points, but since 2002 it only stocks high-quality products and introduces roughly 10 new series of tiles each year.
With the help of advanced technology, says Tripp, the company develops new products that give an air of elegance and beauty to every room in the house. “We stay on top of the current trends,” Tripp says. For example, double-pressed porcelain tile resembles natural stone; the Basilica series offers the same look as natural marble, but with higher durability and easier maintenance.
Although the branch sells to many contractors, Tripp and the rest of the staff also work with homeowners. After listening to what customers want, the Factory Tile & Stone Depot staff steer them to the appropriate tile, then teach them how to install it. For example, Tripp might advise against tile that is slippery when wet if a homeowner is planning on placing it in the children’s bathroom. “We try to give personalized services [to private homeowners],” Tripp says. “We make sure that you are purchasing the appropriate tile and materials for your project.” •
This article appears in the December 2004 issue of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles