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.