GROUND FLOOR: With clients that have been with the company for generations, Tile Craft Design Center estimates that repeat customers comprise about 70 percent of its business. Pictured above are Tile Craft Design Center Assistant Manager Susan Wilson and owner Richard Guglielmo in the company’s showroom.
Two years ago, the Tile Craft Design Center got outbid on a job to tile a kitchen countertop in a Narragansett home.
Recently, they were called in to redo that handiwork, said owner Richard Guglielmo.
That countertop had tile that was glued and screwed to the cabinets, he said. “It took us all day to take them apart,” he added, but his team finished the work in three days.
“You do it once and you do it right,” said Guglielmo, describing a mantra handed down from his father, Antonio, who started the business in his home in Providence more than 50 years ago. “It’s the quality and workmanship that’s brought us to where we are today. We work toward the highest quality available. We don’t act as a full general contractor that would build a house, but we go far beyond what a tile company normally does.”
A family-owned business, the Tile Craft Design Center does custom work and takes on some of the most challenging assignments around, Richard Guglielmo said.
“Most of our jobs are difficult, complicated,” Guglielmo said. “All my builders are custom builders. We do a lot of built-ins and decorative work but we could also handle the standard three walls over the tub. We are the ones that usually get the jobs that are very difficult that nobody wants to tackle. Because we do it from start to finish, we deal with all the issues that come up.”
Antonio Guglielmo worked for Arlington Tile, now defunct, in the late 1950s and established his own tile company out of his home in 1960 in Providence, with Richard helping. They moved to Cranston in 1967.
In 1972, they opened a retail store on Main Street in South Kingstown, remodeling an old beauty parlor for use as a small warehouse. After renting a warehouse in the early 1980s in Narragansett to supplement the one in South Kingstown, they built the showroom and warehouse in 1989 that are now on Kingstown Road.
Services expanded to include carpet, vinyl, and hardwood flooring, countertops, and shower and tub-enclosure installations, the owner said.
“We’re a one-stop shop,” Guglielmo said. “We handle jobs from start to finish. Customers deal with one person and that’s me.”