FAQs

General

Material Bank is the world’s largest architectural and design-focused material resource library. It is the only place for architects, interior designers and design professionals to search materials from hundreds of leading brands on a single platform and, with the click of a button, receive samples by 10:30 a.m. the next day.

Yes, Material Bank is 100% free to design professionals. We are not a “freemium” service, and we will not ask for your credit card after you have placed a certain number of orders. We are 100% free for approved users.

Design professionals interested in using Material Bank must first register. An approval process will follow which is designed to confirm your status as a valid interior designer or architectural trade professional. To expedite the process, be sure to register with your company name and email address. Please know that registering with an email address such as Gmail or Yahoo may delay the process.

Ask a Material Expert was created to help busy designers get their work done faster and smarter. If you need assistance finding a specific material, if you are looking for help answering questions related to material attributes or if you have any other type of general material-related need, our librarians are here to help. This service is always free of charge.

Material Bank’s team of librarians is made up of expert researchers with extensive backgrounds in architecture and design.

Material Bank might just be the single most “sustainability-focused” company in our industry. By aggregating samples requested from multiple brands into one box, Material Bank eliminates thousands of physical shipments each and every week. Additionally, through our sample return program, Material Bank reclaims more samples than any other company in the world. As samples are returned, our teams perform a quality control check and restock items that pass for reuse in Material Bank. Items that do not pass are set aside for students or disposed of in the most environmentally friendly manner available.

Similar to other complex search tools, Material Bank’s search results are determined by algorithms which factor your search query against our diverse product catalog.

Unlike other complex search tools, Material Bank’s search is unbiased. Brand Partners do not pay for ranking or placement and materials returned are those that most closely match your search request, not materials a brand paid for you to see.

Each and every day, we are updating Material Bank with new materials. If you do not see what you are looking for, use the “Ask a Material Expert” feature to let us help you find what you need.

If you are looking for a particular manufacturer that is not available on Material Bank, we want to know! Contact us at support@materialbank.com and let us know any brands you feel would be a good match for the platform.

Ordering

Since Material Bank is a service specifically created for design professionals, we have implemented very few ordering limitations. With that, Material Bank strongly encourages designers to sample responsibly and order items that are suitable for the projects they are working on. Please make sure and order materials that are appropriate to the project type you are sourcing for.

To cancel an order, simply contact us at support@materialbank.com or send us a note through the “questions” button in the lower right-hand corner of the site.

Yes, we provide the brand information related to your sample order request the day after you place the order. At this point in time, we provide your general contact information, the product information of the items you order and the project name you entered during the ordering process. By providing the brand this information, we enable them to conduct “smart follow-up” and deliver you further assistance if needed.

While you can place orders on Material Bank for library needs, we recommend you contact a brand representative first. Doing so allows you the chance to discuss your firm’s areas of specialization and needs, thus strengthening your relationship with the brand.

If you do not have a designated contact with a brand you are interested in, please let us know and we would be happy to arrange an introduction for you.

While our experts work to ensure Material Bank’s data is complete and accurate, we collect data from third-party sources as part of our research process. It is often challenging to verify this data with 100% certainty.

As a result of the above, we strongly encourage you to perform your own due diligence prior to making any critical project decisions and suggest you speak directly to your brand representative to verify all product details. For additional information, please review Section 8 of our terms and conditions.

We strongly encourages designers to return all unneeded samples received from Material Bank or directly from any of our Brand Partners.

To request a return package to be included in your next delivery, simply log into your account, go to our Sample Return page and click the “Request Return Packaging” button.

Help maximize sustainability efforts by consolidating samples from multiple orders, or from multiple team members into a single return shipment.

Material Bank does not accept sample returns resulting from bulk office clean-up or library purges.

Canada

Yes, Material Bank is now able to support designers based in Canada.

You will be able view all materials from any of Material Bank’s partners, however, you will only be able to order samples from brands notating “ships to Canada” in the brand menu or the search filter.

Yes, the rep directory will automatically default to show Canadian Brand Reps. To help find the best Rep for your project, you can narrow down the directory listing by province.

The pricing currently reflected on the Material Bank website is in US Dollars. However, most designers find value in Material Bank’s relative pricing scale, which can be used to determine a materials approximate price range.

Yes, Material Bank will ship all orders by FedEx Priority Overnight. In Canada, FedEx Priority Overnight arrives the following business day by 12:30pm Canadian Time.

No, FedEx Priority Overnight allows Material Bank to ship orders to all Canadian residential and business addresses. Furthermore, our Sample Return Program will be offered to all Canadian users in early 2020!

Our sustainable, easy, space-saving, and free Sample Return Program will be available to Canadian users in early 2020! In the meantime, please hold on to your unwanted samples and email us at support@materialbank.com to be notified as soon as our return program is in effect.

Brands

No one is better than the designers who use Material Bank to recommend brands to help grow our platform. If you have a recommendation for a brand you would like to see on Material Bank, please let us know by contacting us at support@materialbank.com or let us know your thoughts through the “questions” button located in the bottom right-hand corner of the Material Bank site.

Material Bank has a lot to offer companies seeking to join our list of Brand Partners. Additionally, we pride ourselves on the high quality of brands we represent.

For those brands seeking to become part of Material Bank, please submit your request through our Become A Brand Partner page located on our website footer, or contact us at sales@materialbank.com.

Reps

Several locations within Material Bank feature a "Contact Rep" button. Select "Contact Rep" to create a pop-up where you can add a note and submit your request. Rep requests are sent directly through Material Bank, and your Rep will reply directly to your email.

Three powerful ways enable searching for Sales Reps. Whether using the search option or the brand menu, you can search "All Reps," your "Assigned Reps" or your "Favorite Reps." After finding a Rep of interest, open the Rep's Profile to learn more about him or her or select "Contact Rep" to connect with that person directly. 

You are automatically matched to an appropriate Rep for each brand based on the address associated with your account.  When you select the "Contact Rep" button inside Material Bank, your Assigned Rep will receive your request. To change the Assigned Rep for a brand, find your desired Rep in the Rep Directory, open the profile and select "Set as Assigned Rep."

Assigned Reps are auto-assigned based upon your account location and might not always align with your preferences and/or existing relationships. We suggest reviewing your Assigned Reps in the Rep Directory to ensure your set to communicate directly with those Reps with whom you work most frequently.

Reps with active Material Bank accounts have a yellow circle around their picture. You can easily collaborate with active reps through shared boards. New collaborative features between designers and reps are coming soon.

Shipping

Material Bank ships all orders through FedEx Priority Overnight for delivery by 10:30 a.m. the following day.

Specifically:

  • Orders placed by midnight Eastern Time (ET), Monday through Friday, are delivered the next business day.
  • Orders placed on Saturday before 8 p.m. ET are delivered on Monday.
  • Orders placed on Saturday after 8 p.m. ET through Sunday are processed on Monday and delivered Tuesday.

While the overwhelming percentage of items on Material Bank are in stock and ship overnight, there is a small percentage of materials that are not in stock.

Items that are in stock are identified with a bright blue circle. These items will always ship Priority Overnight. Items not in stock are noted with a black circle and these items will ship directly from the brand. Typically, items shipped from a brand will arrive within 2 to 7 days.

If you are looking specifically for items that ship overnight from Material Bank, use the “ships overnight” filter within your search results.

Currently Material Bank ships within the contiguous United States and Canada. We plan to support shipments to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico in the near future.

Material Bank does not ship to PO Boxes at this time.

Your package’s tracking number can be found on the Order History page. Please be aware that the tracking number will not appear until the morning after you have placed the order.

By entering your tracking number into the FedEx tracking system, you will receive the latest information on your delivery. If problems or questions arise please know that our team is on standby to assist. Contact us at support@materialbank.com or through the “questions” button located in the bottom right-hand corner of the Material Bank site.

Note: If an item you ordered is not in stock and it is being shipped directly from a brand, you will need to contact the brand for shipping details.

While the majority of orders placed on the Material Bank site are delivered in a single box, there are exceptions. For example, if you place an order which includes items where some are in stock and others are out of stock, you will receive a package from both Material Bank and that brand. Additionally, there will be situations where order size or order weight makes packing the items into one box inefficient and difficult to handle upon delivery. In these instances, we will pack your items in multiple boxes. Finally, while we do our best to combine multiple orders placed by a designer on a given day into a single box, there is a slight chance multiple boxes may be used due to timing issues.

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