Author: A Clark
Date: 3/16/2007 7:14 am EDT
I saw Avaire mentioned in "Handy" magazine and was immediately excited about the product. I did some looking online and the VAST majority of the reaction from professionals or semi-professionals is very negative. To be fair, virtually all of these people had no personal experience with Avaire. Most had experience with a product that had some similar features to Avaire: Edge Tile. I can see that the comparison may not be appropriate because the backer material on the two products is very different.
So, I decided to read the warranty posted on the Avaire web site, and I must say, it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. It is limited to the plastic backing material only, not the tile itself. The complaints that I have seen with competing products relate to cracks in the tile, not failure of the backer material. My apprehension about installing Avaire concerns tile cracking post installation, which the warranty does not address.
Avaire "Product Performance" web page says: "Avaire is backed by a 10-year limited warranty. Try getting that on a traditional tile installation!" This comment seems to be a little disingenuous because Avaire's warranty is limited to a portion of their product that simply doesn't exist in a traditional tile installation.
My question is: what is the real value of Avaire's warranty to the typical end user? If the backer material fails, it will be replaced - the backer material will be replaced, not the tile. Yet the backer material is useless to the consumer without the tile and if the backer material fails, the tile will almost certainly fail. Even if the tile doesn't fail, I suspect there is virtually no way to remove a failed Avaire tile, separate the tile from the backer material, install the tile on a new backer, and then reinstall the tile.
I am still interested in Avaire and am leaning toward giving it a try. In fact, I intend to post another topic in this forum regarding installation. I can understand why merchants would want to market that their product is warranted, because warranties tend to reassure potential customers that the product is a quality product. Avaire's limited warranty is so limited, however, that it seems to be roughly equivalent to having no warranty at all.
Date: 3/16/2007 5:32 pm EDT
Thank you for your comments.
We have looked around extensively on the web for comments on Avaire. Most - if not all of the comments - are from people who have confused Avaire with Edge. I won't go into detail the differences between Edge and Avaire in this public forum, but we believe and have been told they are substantial. Send me an email and I will give you my comparative analysis.
There was an early prototype version of Avaire available in 2004 that saw very limited distribution. But that version was discountinued in early 2005, completely re-engineered, and brought back to market in the middle of 2006. While the original prototype Avaire was a decent product, significant improvements were made between 2004 and 2006.
We have sold tens of thousands of square feet of Avaire since July, 2006, and we do not have a single complaint of broken tile (or frankly any other customer complaints). Our customers love Avaire. Not to say we will never have a complaint - that would be unrealistic.
Regarding your question on the warranty - as you know, there is NO warranty on traditional tile. If it cracks, you must replace it. The fact is, if you drop something heavy on either traditional tile or Avaire, there is a reasonable probabiity it will break (it will be much easier to replace the Avaire tile using the replacement process - the entire tray/tile assmembly is replaced, not just the tile portion). The 10 year warranty is to assure our customers that the tray and the adhesive between the tray and the tile are designed to last. Also, the tile we use is a minimum of 9.0 mm thick. As you may know, a tile's structural strength increases more than linearly with thickness. It is significantly stronger than the nominal 7.5 mm thick tile found at most retailers.
Shoot me an email and I will send you a video clip of the Robinson Test showing a Avaire floor being abused by 900 pounds of rolling weight. While it is a test, it should give you better confidence in the system. It really does work!!
Author: Dawn Boulton
Date: 10/6/2007 6:50 pm EDT
A video clip of Avaire being tested.
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