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Unread 12-21-2020, 08:49 AM   #1
markch
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Were the old days good?

Still reading up on how to DIY a shower, but it seems like there has been a march of technology that makes it much easier now than say 15 years ago.

Between new formulations for paint-on or sheet water proofing, PEX, fancy tile leveling systems, foam board, how much easier is a renovation now than before? Has anything gotten harder (e.g. now a niche isn't enough but you need an LED niche)?

What has stayed the same? It seems even the mud pan is easier with bonded flanges.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 09:42 AM   #2
cx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark
It seems even the mud pan is easier with bonded flanges.
I dunno what that means.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 09:49 AM   #3
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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The tile has gotten bigger, heavier, and harder to cut
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Unread 12-21-2020, 10:07 AM   #4
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I think the older methods are more simple and they definitely put more money in my pocket.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 10:12 AM   #5
John Bridge
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Hi Mark,

I've been around this business longer than most, and I don't know that anything has become easier. I think instead that things might be better.

I spent a lot of years building and tiling mud showers, and I was convinced that was the best method. And then I was introduced to the Schluter shower building/waterproofing method and became convinced that it was better than a mud shower in several ways. Since then other companies have come out with complete surface membrane shower systems, and most of them are better than the old mud shower.

I still don't think anything has become faster or easier.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 10:20 AM   #6
Just In Tile LLC
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Biggest change for difficulty for me is expectations and seems like you have to be on the ball everyday, margin for error has shrunk significantly. In the good old days, even before my time, there was really good money in tile for installs that weren't as complex with the designs and materials we have now.

Guys I apprenticed from brought all they needed for tile work in two buckets. We'd knock out tile work left and right.

Homeowners now are looking through microscopes at finish tradesman work. Not that it's a bad thing that we are all expected to bring top quality to our installs all the time, but margins in profit have suffered because of it. At least for the man providing by the book installs.
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Unread 12-22-2020, 07:36 AM   #7
markch
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CX - I meant bonding flange drains. Not sure how new they are but it seems one deck mud layer for the shower pan is easier.

For everybody else, it's painful to hear of the shifting profit margins. Also unsurprising to be different outcome in reality from the marketing for many products, e.g. goboard showing a 1 day install instead of 3 resulting in shorter builds and more clients.
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Unread 12-22-2020, 09:23 AM   #8
John Bridge
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Go Board is a product I am familiar with, and unless they've changed their shower building method radically from the last display I saw, I wouldn't recommend their method. The problem is that Johns-Manville is very new to the tile products business.
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Unread 12-24-2020, 03:42 AM   #9
CaliGrown
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Mud work is a fundamental method/process it’s applications is a skill set that is invaluable. I take those core aspects of plumb, square, flat and true and nail down the prep portion of my projects before any finish material is installed. As far as new technologies, I blend them in to utilize it with my mud work in order to provide a better finish result/project delivery. I.e. floated walls with a kerdi drain & membrane for our Curbless builds, or prepped flat floors with the use of a lippage system for LFT, Hydroban over my cured floats when it’s applicable.
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Unread 12-26-2020, 12:32 PM   #10
Just In Tile LLC
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I agree mud work concepts have shaped my idea of how nice and straight tile work should be, gives really no excuse for providing a tile substrate that is premium for setting.

Just for me the double edged sword of everything coming out which in some cases are great systems that provide great results when done right, is the perceived ease at which it is to attain a great looking final product. The expectations that are being marketed and advertised are you can have your cake and eat it to without the reality of the easy entry into something means more less experienced people learning on your nice new shower.

It's both a blessing to have new products that open up opportunities for installation of products with less labor and great results, and a curse to have the gateway drug products to bring much needed people into the trades but charging way less to learn on your job, having earned no experience on said trade, and messing with price expectation.

The happy ending here is it does push us to differentiate ourselves in the market to show why experience still matters, and even in a small town like mine there are niche markets for experienced workers to get paid great rates.

But if I could bump the perception of ease mindset on the head...I Would
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Unread 12-26-2020, 10:20 PM   #11
jadnashua
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Regardless of the build method you use, it still takes skill and knowledge. You can learn some on the job, but the time it takes can make it unprofitable for a pro (or one that calls himself one...i.e., someone who charges for their work). If you understand what is required, and you work at it, a beginner can do a great job, but it will take them much longer, and maybe a few false starts (if they're willing to make that concession). There's nothing like (good) experience and practice, though.

Knowing how to do it does not mean it will be professional. Being professional does not mean it will be done right, at least by many people's definition.
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