Buying tiles online: how TileCloud trio have succeeded

If you’ve ever had to shop for tiles you’ll know just how daunting, frustrating and often fruitless the task can be. In my experience there’s usually too many stores spread across too many suburbs making the task a time-sucking, logistical nightmare. And to top it off, after trekking across the city I typically only find a handful of tiles that pique my interest anyway. But as with many other interior design tasks, online shopping is changing all of this and online tile shop TileCloud is leading the charge. 

One of Three Birds Renovations’ latest projects featuring TileCloud tiles. Photography via Three Birds Renovations
“We have an ideal mix of renovation, tiling and interior design experience and our work in the renovation world enabled us to identify that the tile experience was broken. We believe shopping for tiles should be a joy, not a hassle, so we have combined one of the oldest building materials in the world with one of the best technologies; the internet,” says Drew Mansur, who founded the business with partners Florence Kelly and Mark Wilkinson.

From super stylish encaustic tiles to pastel hued subways, delicate fish scales and myriad mosaics, there isn’t a trend the site doesn’t have covered.

Photography: Three Birds Renovations
And while the business is only around two years old, it’s been a quick ascension for the trio (who now employ seven additional staff) who attribute much of their success to social media and the loyal online community they have built. “The social community is what’s grown the business and it’s filled with people who are really inspired by interiors, home renos and architecture. People are constantly sharing their renovations too because not only are they proud of them, but they want to inform the next group of renovators,” says Florence. 

Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are the main platforms that the business uses and they provide priceless real-time feedback that gives them precious agility — akin to an online fashion store, the TileCloud stock is constantly changing to reflect current trends. “We are always on top of what is current in the renovation market. If someone posts a photo of a beautiful bathroom and then people want that tile we can easily source it which allows us to be very flexible and dynamic,” says Florence.

TileCloud’s popular ‘Avalon’ range
A strong digital marketing campaign, Google AdWords and smart collaborations (Three Birds Renovations, Future Flip, and Adore magazine are some of the latest) have also helped disseminate the brand’s message. The company has also featured in plenty of magazines, including Inside Out and Real Living, though it doesn’t pay for PR.

TileCloud tiles feature in Adore Home Magazine editor Loni Parker’s recent bathroom renovation
And as for any resistance to the online model, Florence says there has been very little because their customers are used to buying everything else online. “The majority of our customers are already purchasing clothing, furniture and food online so it’s just an evolution of those practices,” she says. For $15 (fully redeemable on a purchase), you can have five samples sent anywhere in Australia (unsurprisingly the site services a lot of rural areas). “This lets customers test the process and gives them the confidence to make a purchase,” says Florence.

A recent collaboration with FutureFlip. Photography: Layla Sawyer
A user-friendly interface, the TileCloud site allows you to search for tiles by colour, shape, material, pattern or room. The company also offers free design advice, advice on quantities and tile and freight prices are displayed on the site so you don’t need to wait around for a salesperson to get back to you. And with fewer overheads than a bricks and mortar store, it’s able to pass on better prices to its customers also.

“Ultimately we founded TileCloud to create an easier more inspiring way to shop for tiles and we are passionate about helping people create beautiful spaces they love coming home to every day,” adds Drew.

Shop online | Seven different ways to use subway tiles

A Few Of My Favorite Things {August 2019}

It’s August! 

Only a couple more weeks of summer vacation for our family — and then it’s back to school again for another 9 months! 

Although the kids are excited for school (2nd grade, Kindergarten, and preschool) and it will be nice to get back into more of daily routine again, having everyone home for the summer is pretty high up there on my list of “favorite things”! 

I’m sharing a few more of my favorite things in today’s post! 

DISCLOSURE: None of these products are sponsored; however, some of the links below are affiliate links — which means that at no cost to you, I may get a small commission. Please know that I use these products daily in my own home and life. Read my full disclosure policy for more information.

Also, check out my Amazon Market for all my favorite things.

Neutrogena Sunscreen for Super Sensitive Skin

Two years ago, we had our family’s very first encounter with any type of allergic reaction — and of course, we were gone on vacation! 

We were on spring break in Florida and James’ entire face swelled up after putting traditional sunscreen on him the very first day. When he woke up the next morning, we could hardly see his eyes! 

Thankfully, after finding the Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen, we’ve been able to apply sunscreen to James’ sensitive skin without any reactions. 

For the record, I have tried several different sunscreens on him over the years (just in small sections) and he’s always gotten some type of rash from them. 

So far, the Neutrogena is the only one that works for James! 


RuffleButts Onesie Swim Suits

On my word — the RuffleButts onesie swim suits are officially the COOLEST baby swimsuit I’ve ever seen — and they are also cute (or maybe it’s just my model!) 

They are SO easy to get on and off, thanks to the zipper up the back and the snaps on the bottom. 

They make poolside diaper changes a breeze because you can simply unsnap the bottom and don’t have to take the entire suit off. 

Add in the fact that they are long sleeve with a built-in 50+ sun protection, and they are the best baby swim suits around! 

I totally wish I would have found these suits before my FOURTH baby! 



Galvanized Bins

I was lucky enough to score 2 galvanized drink buckets for $4 each on clearance earlier this summer — and we’ve already gotten so much use out of them! 

NOTE: Here’s a link to similar styles on Amazon. Also, the glass water dispenser was a thrift store find… but here are similar styles online. 

I love how rustic they look, as well as the fact that they stack nicely for storage. 

I try not to amass too many entertaining pieces, but considering how often we have people over (especially when we’re outside) these galvanized bins have really come in handy. 

I’ve thought about looking for more to use as flower planters (poking drain holes in the bottom) but so far, I haven’t found any for reasonable prices! 


Lifetime Foldable Picnic Tables

Earlier this spring, Dave and I FINALLY found the exact picnic tables we have been looking to buy, ever since we renovated our deck (5 years ago!) so of course, we bought 2 of them! 

NOTE: Our tables were from Costco for $150, but here is something similar on Amazon. 

They look like wood, but they are not wood. They are light-weight, easy to clean, AND THEY FOLD DOWN FLAT for easy storage! 

We currently keep one table set up on our deck, and the other one folded down in our outbuilding. 

It only takes a minute to quickly set it up, and we use that one when we eat out by the pool and swing set area. 

And when we have lots of people over, we put both tables together! 

These picnic tables have gotten SO much use already, just this spring and summer — they were definitely a quality purchase!

Thanks Costco! 


Counter Top Fruit Stand

This is another Costco purchase — and another item I have been looking to buy for many years already. 

I wanted a 2-tiered stand that was light-weight but sturdy and could corral fruit, veggies, or other items I wanted to leave sitting out on the counter without them rolling around, or smashing other fruits and veggies on the bottom of a large bowl. 

I’ve even been using this stand to “hide” some of my sourdough starters! 

I found this specific item at Costco (here’s a similar one online) I love that each level can rotate independently, making it super easy to grab the fruit or veggie I want.

Plus, I think it looks really nice siting out! 

That’s all for me this month.

Check out my previous months’ favorite things — and feel free to share some of YOUR favorite things in the comments below!