United Tile Makes A Move
Owner finds creative ways to bring businesses together
There are big changes underway at United Tile Company and its sister companies, American Tile and Marble, Farley’s Glass, and Classic Stone Company.
These operations are coming together in a new location in Slack Industrial Park in a setting that mixes tradition and modern design.
Sid Menard is president and owner of the companies, and he explained that they had been spread across Shreveport and Bossier for a while now. Recently, the Home Design Center, which housed United Tile, was sold. Needing a place to move and needing to be moved by Oct. 1, Menard went on a lightning headquarters search. He decided that it made sense to bring all the operations together for a lot of reasons. That required a building that could accommodate 50,000 square feet of product.
Menard and longtime friend and realtor Mark Sealy focused on the Slack location. “He was showing me some of these tin wall buildings over here and showed me some of these old 1945 constructed buildings. We couldn’t get past the concept of how cool it would look if we build out the interiors.”
The existing buildings they chose comprise almost 88,000 square feet, more than enough for Menard’s operations. “Now we’re going through the massive renovation and relocation of all our businesses. What drew [the location] to us is the old construction. There is an old truss system, and it’s a solid wood construction. The concept of having this thing where we take the old and we enhance it, put new stuff around it. The outside of the building is being enhanced to this cool metal motif. We saw that as an opportunity.”
The site affords Menard a lot of flexibility with the huge open floor space and walls of varying heights. “You’ve got a 60-footby-250-foot clear span. You’ve got varying heights of wall. You’ve got high walls of 32 feet, and low walls of 22 feet. The whole thing just talked to us about having a cool customer experience.” The bonus for Menard and his staff is getting to be in the same location.
The process began on July 1, Menard said, and as of last week, the walls were going up and painting was underway. It is an understatement to say he is enthusiastic about the project.
“This thing was built by the government. I think it was the Army Corps of Engineers. They were originally built as ammunition shelters. They have three or four sets of these buildings. They’ve been various things since then. A cabinet facility was here at one point. Tango Trucking was located in this building for some period of time. It was constructed as an ammunition storage facility by the Army Corps of Engineers. It’s been here for 80 [years], I’m hoping it’s going to be here for another 40. We looked at this as a generational event.”
Even before the move, United Tile boasted the largest warehouse in a 100-mile radius. The company partners with over 60 carpet, porcelain and ceramic tile, engineered wood, stone and cabinetry vendors for homeowners and business applications.
A full-service option, which is open to remodeling contractors as well, offers a multi-step approach to creating a project budget, designing the project, selecting material, scheduling installation and project supervision by trained professionals.
A self-service option is available to homeowners who want to try their hand at tackling a project, contracting companies who employ their own installation crews, and anyone who needs supplies for a project. The staff is made up of licensed architects, interior design graduates, construction project managers and talented artists “ready to take your project ideas to the next level by guiding you on material purchases or overseeing your home construction project from design to completion,” according to the company website, www.unitedtileco. com.
“We are moving in in the first week of October,” Menard said. “We’re starting our move in some of our product in late September. Then we’ll move the Bossier store over here the first quarter of 2021. We have two phases going on. We have the flooring operation. Then Farley’s will move in right after that, and then Classic Stone will move in after that.”
In other words, by Oct. 1, locals can come into the new location in Slack Industrial Park and get their projects handled.
“Absolutely. We will not fail. By that first Monday in October, we will be open for business.”