Buying tiles in Tijuana

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Submitted by ninaprincess on March 8, 2011 - 8:02am

Some of my Mexican American co-workers suggested that I buy tiles from Tijuana. They say the savings can be up to 40%. Has any one done this? I have never been there. Is it safe to go to Mexico? I worry that I might go down in a hail of gun fire. I want to buy marble tiles for an 800 sq ft area which can be very expensive here.

Submitted by UCGal on March 8, 2011 - 8:30am.

You do understand that you are required to pay duty on them when you bring them back across the border.

Back in the day, my dad used to get autobody and auto upholstery work done in TJ. He was totally busted when he was driving his car back across the border and the US Customs agent smelled the fresh paint. His savings were wiped out in duty costs.

I'm not saying it may not be cheaper to buy them there- but be prepared to pay import duty. When they ask "anything to declare" they mean more than drugs and illegals.

Submitted by xtina on March 8, 2011 - 8:40am.

I agree with the word of warning form UCGal.

I would not get tile from TJ since you have never been there. Your fears of safety and "hail of gun fire" come across strongly to me. Only reason why I would, if I were in your shoes, is if one of your coworkers volunteered to "escort" you. You would need a local (or someone accustomed to the locals) to give yourself the best deals, anyways.

Submitted by recordsclerk on March 8, 2011 - 10:05am.

In stock 12x12 marble tiles are reasonable at home depot/costco/lowes. The price ranges from $1.75-2.99 a foot/tile. It's more expensive when you have to custom order. Check all three places you might find something you like.

Submitted by NotCranky on March 8, 2011 - 10:33am.

The tile contractor I work with is from Ensenada and I have weighed this out with him on occasion for my own jobs.

It never really penciled out. If cheap stock tiles are suitable, porcelain is great and not much savings could be had by buying the more fragile ceramic or clay from Mexico.Considering the trip, it is a lost cause. You can get ceramic tiles very cheaply here.

If you want custom tiles then I think Mexico is too time consuming and risky compared to going shopping Miramar Road or to the tile stores around the city.

The only thing I can see is getting a few folk art type tiles to use as accents, if that is something interesting, I would probably look for them online.

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