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Showing posts with label affordable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label affordable. Show all posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tile Excellence Welcomes Guest Blogger from Truguard Systems, LLC

Our guest bloggers are from the world of tile, and we offer our site to share their stories, experiences, niches and opinions. We at Tile Excellence, Inc. and SEO Marketing for Business in NO WAY endorse, agree/disagree with the opinions stated. We do screen prospective guest bloggers, and edit posts, but we are are not responsible for the contents of any guest blogs. We always encourage readers to do their research! Also, feel free to ask questions and make comments to our guest bloggers posts. We do not allow advertising or links in the blog post itself, but you can find contact information under our Guest Blogger link. Thank you. Tell us what you think!!

We do not If you would like to be a guest blogger on Tile Excellence, Inc., please contact our marketing director:

Chris Lawson, Owner of Tile Excellence, Gloucester, MA, blogger for "ask chris"

Trugard Systems, LLC surprises the Tile Industry with high quality and affordability of a greatly needed Solution

 Founders Ryan & Matt Kriser
Trugard Systems, LLC is solving a long-term problem: The Schluter 

Kerdi company has been dominating for over 25 years with the relatively new revolutionary state-of-the-art bonded polyethylene tile shower waterproofing system embraced by Europe over 40 years ago. This new substantially improved waterproofing system is changing the way the whole tile industry waterproofs showers.

The reason this should be important to each of us, is because there are over 22,000 “shower leak” and over 33,000 “leaking shower” Google searches every month. The old shower pan and cement backer board systems are problematic and cause a lot of heartache, frustration, and expensive repairs. We call it a "shower pan-demic". The Kriser brothers, Ryan and Matt, said "it's time", time to take this superior state-of-the-art shower wall membrane, sometimes called shower liner, to the masses through affordability. By doing that everyone that needs to tile a wall or shower floor can do so with confidence, practically eliminating all shower leaks completely. The goal was to make the superior bonded polyethylene tile shower waterproof system available to everyone. 

For the Kriser brothers, having been home builders previously, we experienced the frustrations of the problematic rubber shower pans and cement backer board systems. Over time we absolutely had leaks. A good family friend's walls rotted out in their master bathroom behind the shower in only seven years after their new home was built. Cement backer board is porous and actually absorbs water and moisture vapor easily gets through the porous substrate. We are passionate about providing an affordable way for the whole tile industry of how they waterproof and protect the structures of the buildings from the moisture in the shower stall and steam room areas.

The membrane protects the building structure by creating a complete vapor-shield and watertight envelope behind ceramic tile or stone. Tile showers are beautiful, artistic and have unlimited artistic designs which makes them the preferred choice for showers.

Ryan doing stress test!
The vapor-shield is a soft polyethylene waterproof membrane bonded to medical grade webbing which acts as an anchor for the membrane to adhere with thin-set mortar to the walls and floors of the shower. The pliable membrane has incredible yet limited crack-bridging capabilities and is forgiving as structures move or settle.

Some people ask about the liquid shower membranes like Redgard or others, and what I will tell you is that most of the professional tile contractors will not use them. Most of them are only rated at a 1/8 inch crack-bridging warranty. Homes do settle, and there are earthquakes. Generally speaking, the liquid membranes just have not been able to hold up to the same standard and performance as the bonded polyethylene waterproofing systems. Any potential leaking shower is everyone's worst nightmare. You definitely want to make your tile shower pan out of a shower waterproof membrane that can hold up under most unforeseen situations.

One of the reasons this system is superior is because of one of its greatest benefits which is that the vapor-shield is installed on top of the walls and mortar bed just under the tile, shedding the water quickly and directly into the drain allowing the shower to dry out promptly so that it does not encourage mold and microorganism growth, leaving a maintenance and worry-free tiled shower.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Tumbled marble backsplash completed today total labor cost $310 !!

Hey There, Regards, Chris
 Today I did this Tumbled marble  backsplash in Hamilton ma, It took me 4 hours of my time from start to finish and I grouted it as well. The labor cost to the customer was $310.00 I made almost $80.00 a hour and the customer saved hundreds. The point being  a experienced tile guy doesn't have
to charge a outrageous amount for his work to make money. When I finished the job, the customer asked me to quote a installation for  his entire kitchen (581 sqft tile) as well as 200 sq ft of tile to install in his bathroom. This ethical treatment of a customer turned into a job for me that will be worth several thousand dollars.
    Recently I was in a local tile store speaking with a acquaintance  of  mine who opened his store a couple of years ago. He seems to be at the store a lot and not out doing installations even though he has ladies tending the store. I told him of my formula for pricing backsplashes  $10 per sqft and $10 for each electrical outlet cut. He thought me crazy and said he would never do backsplashes for such a small price. I wondered if somehow hanging around the tile store was better than actually making money? Seems to me that trying to get the most $ from every job you price Rather than actually getting every job you price makes for poor business. In the long run doing many more jobs and having thrilled customers will build a solid business base and assure yourself work every day and more money in the end. There are many tile installers who believe they should make as much money as possible from every job they do. I understand this thinking because tile work is very hard work and in a lot of ways very specialized. Some tile guys have a different style all together  use $10.000 tile saws take days and days to do a job to get every piece perfect. I am a production tile guy who gets it done within the bounds of industry standards.  There is no doubt the quality of my work  just check out the hundreds of pictures of jobs done by me personally  on the web site and read some customer testimonials. But One thing about me that seems to bug some customers is the fact that I treat all customers the same rich or poor , they are all the same to me. The customers who want 5 star service with a chocolate on their pillow will be disappointed by me and the president would get the same treatment and service from me as the janitor And that's just the way it is. There also many guys who do terrible tile work and a good tile guy is sometimes hard to find. I appreciate the fact that high quality dependable service professionals are not always the norm. But for me and my business it just makes sense  to work every day and not have to take every job that is offered. The philosophy I follow allows me to work every day. pick and choose who I will work for, But most of all help people get affordable tile installations. Most of my competitors  hate me but most of my customers love me and Im ok with that . Thanks for reading  and I hope you enjoy the pictures of the tumbled marble backsplash below


Wednesday, January 1, 2014



My grandfather was a stone mason and his son after him,  now me as a tile mason. It is so hard now to find young folks who want to learn this trade and many others because of the labor intensity of the crafstman trade. Many young people comming into the service trade industry choose to do computer related services and real HANDS ON service is fading fast. Furthermore  finding a  fair priced honest ethical HANDS ON service professional is becoming harder and harder to find. There are several prominent reasons for this, one being all the immigrant service providers who do such work at prices American one family providers cannot match. Most of the immigrant workers live in groups together and have very low living expenses coupled with the value of thier money sent home(out of the country) they can make a profit on much less then any american craftsman.

Another huge factor that many old school craftsmen will attest to, is the noticable change in the new millinium customer. I can personally tell you after 37 years installing tile the customers have really changed in attitude and appreciation in the last few years, they want more and more for less and less, part of this is certainly due to the amount of immigrants within the work force and the costs of the services they provide.

I will start this analysis by explaining my specialty and talent and how this new milliniam customer effects me. My career started as a stone mason laborer mixing concrete and breaking and providing rock for the masons to install. This is very labor intensive pushing 200lb wheelbarrows of wet concrete through knee deep mud out on the job to provide for the mason to lay rock. Between wheelbarrows of concrete  you hade to break rock into installable pieces with a 25 lb steel sledge hammer, load the rock into the same wheel barrel and then get them to the masons. All
this happened within a time frame so the masons never ran out of  any material or your ass was grass.

So to make a long story short I learned at a early age what real hard work was. I've carried this work ethic until today pushing myself to my limit every day laying tile and getting the work done  in a fast paced production manner. I have at times in my  life laid as much as 500 sq ft of floor tile in one 8 hour working day. I am a production tile guy ,during the Olympics building boom  in Atlanta(94-96) I laid 300 sq ft of tile every day in new hotel construction  for over 2 years straight while running a 10 man tile crew.

My specialty is getting it done within the bounds of the American tile association standards which specifies the boundaries of quality given to what standards fall into a quality tile installation.  I've learned how to get it done with quality , price and ethical practice in mind. I specialize in quality installations for a really good price because i know how to get it done fast and right with the highest quality materials at the most economical price.
Today i do about 100 jobs per year by myself with no helper or assistance, I take great pride in my work and do no less in a customers house than i would have in my own .But over the last few years ive encountered more and more a type of customer  who couldnt be satisfied even if you laid their tile in gold inlay. I try to weed out these customers but they can be very tricky to identify. The mistake of taking one of these customers jobs can be devastating to the reputation  finances and heart of any craftsman who has great pride in their job.  These customers are controlling, arrogant and most of all vindictive and selfish, If you dont kiss their ass, jump through their hoops and bow down to their wishes they will lie cheat and steal  to destroy you and your reputation, and the internet is their most potent weapon.

Now out of the 100 jobs i do each year only 2 or 3 of these customers have bullshited  their way into my daily routine in the last 12 years or so .But  when they do slither their way in  it truly is a "worm in the apple" "hole in the boat""nail in your tire" kind of a moment. Ive came to be very tired and discouraged  over the last couple of years because more and more of these customers seem to be emerging in numbers. These customers will tell you how great you are and what a wonderful job ur doing til about 3/4 of the way through the job then comes the 180 degree turn around then suddenly they are picking every single aspect of you job apart under a microscope. Very seldom do you get paid your money and they trash you on line as if you were pond scum. If you talk to any contractor around you will hear story after story with the same story line about these kind of customers. The policies of the online review sites allow anyone with a computer to say anything they want with no proof or substance regarding the service you provided them more than often just outright lies.
Soon I will retire from personal installations  and probably  transition over to tile art  and make tile art products  from home and sell them here on the web site. We will sometime soon transition over from installations to sales. I will continue to write the blogs and share my experience with others
so they can learn how to find a honest tile contractor or do their jobs themselves.  I love to help people and each day i do tile work for others  I give themquality installations at a price that they normally might not be able to afford. I get great satisfaction from what I do and will continue to make sure I help others learn to install  quality tile or hire a honest ethical tile man in their house. But tile artwork with my hand will keep and maintain my work ethic and skill honed and stone and mortar is in my blood... Thanks for reading  and please make comments about this blog if you've experienced the same things about NEW MILLINIUM customers as I  have. THANKS  


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Ethical revolution of this new economy and why we all have to become patriots

Today here in America things have changed so much in the last to 30 years. Its like a whole new planet from then to now. It used to be banks were servants and protectors of your money,Now they are just thieves and hustlers,with some banks charging hardworking Americans $9 just to cash a check written on that very bank! As well they take your deposited money loan your money at 18% interest and pay you .025% in return.Big taxpayer bailouts on their bad investments just prove our own government is part of the scam in helping them rip off the American people. Those are the banks.

What about the insurance companies? What about the hurricane Katrina disaster, thousands of poor hard working home owners paid big ins co millions and millions  of $ over many years with relatively  few claims. Then when the shit hits the fan very few claims were paid to those folks and the government didn't push the issue because corporate profit was of much more value than the actual people.
Oh and cant forget big oil!! The American economy is systematically being raped economically by huge corporations and I could go on and on with example after example ,We all know the story  we live it every day Ins co run our health system our housing
and banking system man you cant even own a home or a car without paying your tribute to the insurance co!!all dictated to you by state and federal Government!!
Its time for a ethical revolution and a NEW DEAL like after the depression. We have to refuse to do business with any unethical persons or company's and FLEX OUR CONSUMER MUSCLE and refuse to give our hard earned money to those who don't do good things. That's why I started this blog in the first place I wanted hard working people to learn what a ethical caring tile mason really was; So many people in my industry had priced tile and bathroom remodeling right out of the reach of the common man. The general consensus was tile was to expensive for me to afford,Ive heard it hundreds of times.By sharing my 35+ years of knowledge to those who are paying attention Ive shown thousands of people now that they can afford a quality tile job Or i will tell them how to do it themselves!I say we as fed up Americans, Us who are tired of getting ripped off every where we turn  . Have the power to change this course were on  by changing who we give our money to. We have the economic power to force the ethical behavior of those we do business with.Demand fair business practices or take your business elsewhere look for the do gooders people who give back.Help and deal with ONLY THOSE  who help others don't give your money anywhere that doesn't give some percentage of it to a good cause.Help those to help others, most of all we can work together to kill corporate greed companies that Only focus on profits.

Over 10,000 reads on the blog now from over 30 or so countries. Diana and I are proud to focus our web sites and blogs on doing good for others and hoping everyone will pass on the same to all those they encounter.We could all make a big difference together by at least demanding the same from those we give our hard earned money to.Become a ethical patriot and recruit everyone with the heart for the task, LETS CHANGE OUR PATH and bring our country back to the good and demand the same from our government and those we do business with
regards   Chris Lawson

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unbelivable prices for flooring in my town

A friend of mine in Rockport mass. who has referred me many jobs over the last 2 years, called me to come do atub shower tile job. The square footage of the job was 50 sq ft plus 16 liner ft. of bullnose. I charged him $ 350.00 and completed the job in 5 hours a good job for me.

They were not sure what they wanted to put on their 35 sq ft bathroom floor.After completing the tub,I asked About the floor.The wife told me she didn't think they could afford tile on the floor and would have to do linoleum . She was talking with a very well known Family flooring company in Gloucester ma (my town) the next town over. I asked more about what they would get and the cost. Unbelievably the cost for linoleum for 35 sq ft was $700!!!COME ON how do these people sleep at night?My friend is a good hard working ethical homeowner living on a semi retired income.I told the wife to go get 40 sq ft of porcelain tile from Home Depot $40 3 sheets of 3ft by 5 ft hardy board hardy board $30 1 lb 2 inch roof nails$3 and 15 lbs sanded grout $13. I charged her $135 for labor , completed her job in 2 hours more that day.She had a floor installed material and all for $211 and I made $68 per hour more that day.Now my question to readers and contractors out there Whats your opinion on this??I do tile every day and have for over 30 years and am very quick and have a lot of tricks in my tool bag to expedite the job. But the kind of prices being charged out there are just plain crazy. I advise ANYONE who is having work done in their home to shop a while see you options and talk to at least 3 or more tradesmen until you find the best fit. Don't get caught up in smooth talk and salesmanship and pay dearly. And if its a tile job feel free to contact me any time for the lowdown on what I know best   I wont solicit you just give you my advice like I do every day through this blog no strings attached.  Thanks Chris

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