Shopping Guide - Hardware Stores, HomePro, HomeWorks
There are two important hardware stores around town : HomePro and Homeworks (this one associated with Central Group).
An HomePro outlet is located at Wave Place, conveniently connected with the Phloenchit skytrain station. There are both a HomePro and Homeworks (in Robinson store) located close to Thailand Cultural Center subway station. At that area you will also find a Carrefour and Robinson Department Store, so it is actually a big shopping area, but you will not find many foreigners there, even though it is quite easily reached nowadays.
The HomePro Plus at Carrefour (Thailand Cultural Center station) is by far the largest of the stores mentioned. A large Homeworks store is located out of the center of Bangkok, at Bangna Central City.
At bot HomePro and Home Works, you will find lots of 'do-it-yourself' equipment, bathrooms, kitchens, tiles, garden equipment, construction equipment, electrical hardware and the like.
You can also have HomePro and HomeWorks do some repairs, do some work in your bathrooms, install a kitchen etc. However, exactly how this works is not always clear. For example, at one time we wanted to put some wall paper around our living room and bedrooms. When taking information at a branch of HomeWorks, we were told all the work was for free, as long as we ordered a large enough amount of wall paper material.
Not long ago, we wanted to put some new floor and wall tiles in our bathroom, together with some other minor repairs. Both at HomePro and HomeWorks we were referred to an 'affiliated' home decoration company. For around 500 baht they visit you at home to take the necessary measurements, so they can quote you a price afterwards. These designer companies really charge a lot of money. Honestly, we suspect they may have different prices for Thais and foreigners. Possibly, the hardware stores refer you to a home decoration company, 'specializing' in working for foreigners. Since the prices quoted were clearly inflated, we deferred having work done (nothing urgent, really). Most striking was a quote by a decoration company, affiliated with HomeWorks in Bangna. Among other things, we wanted them to change a Venetian blind on a window in our kitchen. Depending on quality, the Venetian blind in question would cost about 300-700 baht. However, we were quoted a price of 5,000 baht (material included).
The message is : sometimes it is for free, at other times you are referred to a home decoration company, that will charge a lot. If you have the inclination, it may be better to buy the material necessary, and find an outside company to do the work.
Despite the large floor space available, you might not find all you expect at these hardware stores (the same holds true for electrical goods stores at department stores). As an example, we could not find a filter for our hood oven at all these major stores :
HomePro Plus, HomeWorks, Carrefour, Central, Robinson. We finally found something suitable at Tesco-Lotus hypermarket.
Similarly, while lots of shops will sell Dishwashers, you might have to do some effort to find dishwashing powder.
[You can find it at Foodland, and also at Villa Market, though three times more expensive].
Suffice it to say that this indicates that service after purchase can be suboptimal.
Recently, we wanted to visit the Spare Parts department of Siemens-Bosch, which is located on New Petchburi road, not exactly easy to reach. When arriving there, it was evident that nobody was working there. The guard explained that ALL the staff was at some kind of field trip or training session. Quite surprising for a large company, to just close down their service department in a huge city like Bangkok. And on top of that, nobody answers the phone when calling the spare parts department at Siemens.
For the newcomer to Bangkok who is looking for new furniture, we would suggest you visit MBK- Center (formerly known as Mahboonkrong). On the fifth floor you will find ample choice of both cheap and upmarket furniture. As far as we know, this is the largest collection in Central Bangkok you will find. 10% discounts on the suggested price seems to be standard. MBK center can easily be reached by skytrain, a little walk from Siam Square. Best is to take the connection to National Stadium, and take the walkway into MBK from there.
Pathumwan Princess hotel is located at MBK-Center.