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Old 11-22-2003, 09:20 PM   #1
LadyGodiva
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Lowes/Home Depot tile classes

Does anyone know whether these classes are worthwhile? I don't know anyone who has actualy taken their classes on laying tiles, but I thought someone here might know something about it. Well, I'm hoping you do
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Old 11-22-2003, 09:32 PM   #2
Dog paws
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It's iffy. Sometimes you'll find folks at the big boxes that are very knowledgeable. Sometimes you won't.
It would be nice if it were mandatory that the instructors spent a week at the CTEF.
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:08 PM   #3
Maurizio Bertoli
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Lady Godiva:
Are you trying to tell us that a sexy lady like you is thinking about getting classes that will lead her to go down on hands and knees to set tiles??
Ciao and good luck,
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Old 11-23-2003, 05:24 AM   #4
John Bridge
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Hi Emily,

I have inadvertently taken a couple "classes." Twice within the past several years I've happened to be at the Home on Saturday mornings when things were underway. Both times the instructors were Home Depot employees whom I recognized. I spend a lot of time at HD. I didn't stick around long for the second class, having already been fully instructed during the first.

In the first instance, the guy had a class of about 15 enthralled by his making the god-awfullest mess you ever saw with mastic over a sheet of plywood. He was gluing 12X12 tiles to the plywood. His notched trowel looked to be about a 1/2 by 1/2, a huge monster. There was plenty of coverage. I'll say that for him. Of course the tile joints were completely grouted with mastic, and it was all over the surface. (And of course, he was not aware that we don't use mastic on large format tiles.)

As I walked away biting my tongue, he was allowing individual "students" to give it a go. I could envision about a half-dozen failures in the works.

The real irony of this particular situation was in the location of the demonstration -- right alongside and facing the how-to book rack where one of the best tile books ever written was prominently displayed, Michael Byrne's Setting Tile.

Now, wanna hop up to the Depot for a little tile instruction?


Last edited by John Bridge; 11-24-2003 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 11-23-2003, 05:50 AM   #5
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Speaking of such diasters in the works, some clown at the nearest HD told my neighbor that mastic was the product to use to set the tile in her new master bath, including the shower!! I sort of discretely set her straight, which I hated to do cause she's kind of a, well a five letter word I won't use in mixed company, but her & my better half are friends, so I started reading the product label out loud, you know the part where it says not recommended for wet areas Right about then is when I heard the shocked "HUH!!! Let me see that!", followed by, "I thought all those people really knew what they were talking about?!"

As I walked back across the yard she was on the cell phone giving some lucky employee at lowes a piece of her mind, "I drove 65 miles one way & you idiots gave me bad advice...........nag, nag , nag"

I'm ever so happy she thought my bid on her job was too steep, good thing too, cuz my next tactic was to be booked solid for 6 months.
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:28 PM   #6
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Personal Experience

My sister and I attended a tile class at the HD.

Our instructor actually used thin set, not mastic on the 12x12 floor tiles. Each student went up to the front to set a tile. It was nice to get up there and try it out on a board.

He did go over some basics; he talked about the appropriate consistency for thin set and for grout, and he mentioned some things to be aware of like expansion cracks in the slabs. As far as I recall, we did not get any misinformation.

For my REAL learning and practice, my husband made me tile a 5x7 landing in the garage with 12x12 tiles. That was more valuable than the HD class.

However, for me it was interesting just to sit thorough the class and listen to the guy yak on and to listen to all the different questions from the other students. I did not use this as my only source of information and I would not recommend that.

Marge
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Old 11-24-2003, 12:16 AM   #7
Sonnie Layne
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Great response, Marge.

Not everyone who sells tile or related products at a home improvement store is an idiot. I've known one or two that really had done it right and wanted to pass that along. Problem is they get promoted.

now.... having said that.... the associates selling PAINT or related products at any home improvement store no matter the colour of their banner or their location on the planet are complete imbeciles and should be banned from uptaking oxygen, then fined for exhaling CO2 unless it could be found that said exhalant was being used for the benefit of saving a spotted owl or tile setter's knees.

Other than that, I have no opinion
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Old 11-24-2003, 04:15 AM   #8
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I've seen those demos with the Mastic and the 1/2" square notched trowels. In defense of the Depot, the guy I saw doing it said that Mastic is mixed to about the right consistentacy right out of the can. So as a demonstration that won't actually be used for anything, it does work. It's cheaper for the store to use up a little can of Mastic than a big bag of thinset.
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Old 11-24-2003, 04:31 AM   #9
drew
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Hey you can defend those places all you want, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to spend their hard earned $$ where ever they want. It's still a mostly free country, I still shop there myself for some things, but I do the majority of my business with local shops, which I know directly benefits the local community, as opposed to the corporate giants. The yard in a box stores are putting a squeeze on small material suppliers and at some point they'll put all of the smaller competition out of bus, wonder how low their guaranteed lowest prices will be then?
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:49 AM   #10
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Sonnie's right. I have been impressed with the knowledge of some of the people at Home Depot -- in the plumbing and electrical departments where they actually have experienced people on hand.

But never in the tile aisle, not even once.

And I have seen guys who appear to be tile setters giving little demos during the week from time to time. I think what might happen on Saturday mornings more often than not is that a tile person is scheduled to come in and fails to do so. Since the session has been advertised, someone has to step in.
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Old 11-24-2003, 08:22 AM   #11
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Or is it that YOU dont know as much about plbg. and elec. and buy what their telling ya??
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Old 11-24-2003, 09:21 AM   #12
LadyGodiva
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Thanks for all your comments and opinions. Yesterday I attended a 'faux painting' class at HD! What a total waste of time. The girl knew just as much as I do (which is NADA) about faux painting. One woman in the class actually got up and helped out, pointed me to a book, and we left.... with zero knowledge.

So, after that experience, I am very hesitant to try them on tiles. How does one go about learning to set tiles then? I've tried the trade school in my area and all they offer is masonary (Maurizio, I AM going to take the masonary class.... so there!!!) . I'm tired of academics... wanna do something with my hands (no Xrated comments allowed on this board Maurizio and John)
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Old 11-24-2003, 04:48 PM   #13
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Drew.....

I noticed in your first post above that your "lady friend..??" was schooled at an HD big box but then later called Lowe's to complain......I wonder if it did any good...??

As a matter of information, I will admit to knowing almost nothing about tile before I first visited this site. Now, I know a lot more...at least enough to properly identify someone who knows less than I do.

Recently at a local Lowe's store, I asked a question of a "tile person," expecting the type of horror story that has become all too familiar. I was quite literally stunned as this woman answered my questions intelligently and guided me through about ten minutes of "how to build a shower floor," including the proper mix and consistency of dry pack, and the proper amount of slope in the floor. I don't know who trained this woman (didn't look like a tile setter..?)...(what's a tile setter look like..???), but whoever did the training, they did it correctly and it "took." Maybe she is a frequenter of this forum..
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:29 PM   #14
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Howard, her name wasn't eMily, was it?

Emily,

Da Man, Dave Gobis, runs the only full-line (sanctioned and approved) hands-on tile school in the USA. It's called the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, and it ain't far from you -- Pendleton, S.C. That be da place.

http://www.tileschool.org
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:58 PM   #15
flatfloor
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Hmmm....John, I just had an idea for a new scam...er profit center. How about we start a school for Big Box tile sale employees? All credits earned would be fully transferable to S.H.I.T. (Sam Houston Institute of Technology for the newcomers)

So.. all you HD and Lowes employees lurking there, how about it, stand up and be counted. Tell your masters you want the truth and it shall set you free.
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