FORT MILL TOWNSHIP -- While businesses across the country are cutting back staff and expenses, Fort Mill-based Avanti Tile and Stone is hoping to expand.
"I haven't really seen the effects of the economy," owner Hector Cardona said. "In 2008 compared to 2007, we actually did more business in 2008, not a whole lot more but around $40,000 more."
Avanti currently occupies the top floor of the two-story building at 3020 Hwy. 21, and Cardona said he would like to expand his showroom and take over the bottom floor as well, if he gets the opportunity.
The company carries a wide variety of tiles from natural stone to glass to ceramic that can mimic stone, hard wood, metal --even leather. Avanti also carries an array of mosaic tiles, some hand painted by artists for a company based in Texas. Others use a computer and special paper that bonds to the tile to reproduce images.
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Customers can bring their own pictures, or choose from a catalog of designs.
Granite countertops, stone sinks and hardwood flooring also are available, as are grout and other tools and supplies necessary to install the tiles.
Avanti sells in bulk to builders and contractors and in small quantities to homeowners with remodeling projects, co-owner Janet Cardona said.
The company offers assistance in designing a tile scheme for customers, and will provide estimates after visiting the home and taking measurements. The company can also provide installation if requested.
Cardona said he stays competitive with big box home improvement stores by offering a larger variety of tile, much of which he imports from Spain, Brazil and other places around the globe.
Avanti is open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Saturday and by appointment.
The company also has a Web site, avantitilestone.com.