Case Studies

Emser Tile LLC

45 years of a perfect fit in tile and natural stone

Established in 1968 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Emser Tile (Emser) has become a leading designer and marketer of the world’s finest tile and natural stone. With renewed confidence in the post-recession climate, Emser is looking forward to further expansion.

“We’re now in 56 different markets, catering to our trade industry,” reveals Bob Baldocchi, director of marketing for Emser. “We service more than 80 of the top 100 builders in the country with many exclusive and preferred arrangements and have a healthy portion of the market share in the builder’s world. We also service and sell tile and natural stone to both residential and commercial sectors.”

Since its inception in 1986, Emser has expanded from coast to coast. “We cover the entire U.S. from Los Angeles to Seattle, Jacksonville, Fla., to Washington, D.C., and everywhere in between,” shares Baldocchi. “We have recently opened two new locations in the Indianapolis and Baltimore markets and will be expanding up the East Coast and across other areas of the country.”

Emser is able to cover such a broad expanse thanks to its massive 500,000-square-foot distribution centers in Houston and Ontario. “We have more than 2 million square feet in facilities,” notes Baldocchi. “This allows us to offer an extensive selection of tile and natural stone productions, but also helps us respond to changing trends and technology.”

The company’s business model is centered on the trade industry, including homebuilders, commercial contractors, dealers and architects. Emser can find a product and solution to fit the needs of any professional project. Emser’s distribution network allows the firm to tackle everything from a small residential job to a project for a major commercial contractor.

It’s not so hip to be a square

While the company certainly has strength in numbers, it’s not its size that truly counts, but a level of service, selection and value that sets the bar high. Emser’s comprehensive selection of more than 4,500 products encompassing the interior and exterior is always changing. “We believe by offering our customers new products continuously throughout the year is one of the best ways we can support their business and drive growth,” explains Baldocchi.

In January 2014, Emser unveiled several new products at the 2014 Surfaces Show in Las Vegas, including two eye-catching porcelain wood look-a-like recreations called Parquet, a parquet wood and stone blend and Modena, petrified wood. Also part of the new mix was four sleek and contemporary porcelains – Perspective Pure, Style, Surface and Patina, ranging from glossy to matte and metallic finishes.

“We’re working with larger, unique formats and multiple finishes; tiles aren’t just square anymore and many of the new products on the market have multiple finishes, including matte, polished and textured,” announces Baldocchi.

Emser continues to expand its selection of natural stone with introductions in marble, limestone, slate, quartzite, sandstone, granite, travertine and pebbles. Headlining these introductions is the launch of exquisitely polished and honed marbles and larger limestone products.

A market chameleon

With such a wide range of products and markets, Emser exhibits great diversity and flexibility as a company. “We’re continuing to expand within the commercial segment,” reveals Baldocchi. “If one segment within the industry struggles, another one often thrives and we are positioned to capitalize on these natural shifts in the business. Our customers have diversified, as well, some into multifamily and other commercial products. Crossing over into other segments has helped them survive the recession and at the same time has driven the product development cycle and benefited the market.”

With a business model as solid as its stone, Emser has come through the recession with renewed confidence. “Even when things in the industry turned our business model, it enabled our overall business to remain solid,” ensures Baldocchi. “We believe the worst is behind us and the industry. During the down cycle, we slowed our expansion but looked to invest in other areas of the business. Our balance between segments allowed us to put additional emphasis in segments such as commercial and retailer as the homebuilder market took a hit.”

Baldocchi says the recession has only made Emser more agile and better prepared for what is ahead. “Now that most markets are coming back we are confidently engaging in expansion and growth opportunities,” he says. “We’re back to opening new locations and moving into new markets.”

With superior service and second-to-none selection, Emser Tile LLC is well-poised to take on the next growth spurt, continuing to hold a position as an industry leader in the world’s finest tile and natural stone.

Published on: July 21, 2014

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