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Unread 12-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #1
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Hi all! Introducing myself. I remodeled and resold houses with my uncle who is a retired construction company owner. Learned a lot there, as he didn't believe in doing quick flips but quality work that will last. He is a true "detail man" and taught me to fuss over every detail until your as close to perfect as possible in anything you do. Then when he decided to fully retire, I went on to work maintenance for a food chain for about 5 years and learned a lot from the old man I worked with. He was a mix of electrician, tile setter, plumber, and a bunch of other building related work with decades of experience. Through all of this I learned the basics of setting, grouting, cleaning, and sealing floor and wall tile, and developed a genuine interest in tile work.

Then I went to Lowe's and got myself into the flooring department and chose to completely immerse myself in everything flooring, which of course was mainly tile as the rest is pretty much follow manufacturer instructions and have a properly prepped and level substrate. but there is so much more to proper tile installations. I got lucky and work with some amazing knowledgeable people who got me started on the road to "familiar with tile" to an expert on tile.

My research led me into the TCNA, CTEF, Schluter, NTCA, other educational resources. I really was just a basic handyman before and nowhere close to being a real tile installer. I realized how little I actually knew, and decided to remedy that. I take my work very seriously and wanted to be as helpful and knowledgeable as I can for my customers.

A year later of working with professionals, heavy research online, 2 copies of the TCNA handbook (one for home and one for work), a drawer full of printed manufacturer data sheets, learning all I can from manufacturer reps and professional tile installers that shop with me, and doing several side jobs for family (floor and wall tile, backsplash, even built a few shower stalls from the studs up) have led me to my current level of knowledge. Yet I still learn something new almost every day, and if a customer hits me with a question I cannot answer, I make it a point to learn what it is for next time.

I love helping my DIY customers do their projects right, earning the faith of contractors that they can send their sub crews to me with basic measurements and I can get them everything they need for a job, and making sure my in house install crews always have exactly the right materials to do a job. "Manufacturer instructions and industry standards" is my mantra. Right the first time, no shortcuts.

Extremely happy to be here to continue my education and share knowledge, as I've been called "One of those John Bridge Guys" for being obsessed with following the standards to the letter at work.

On the downside I learned how few tile contractors really take their work seriously or follow the standards, or even know what the TCNA is. Looking to take the CTEF test and become a Certified Tile Installer in the coming months to up my resume and continue to provide the absolute best service to my customers. I intend to absorb every bit of knowledge from all the pro's on here to continue to get better at my job <3

And a special thanks to all the professionals out there who freely share their knowledge even though teaching others is just creating more competition for them, because they have a passion for their trade and want others to also be successful and doing things right.

Last edited by nekotile; 12-07-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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Unread 12-07-2019, 06:42 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Billy.

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Unread 12-07-2019, 08:21 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Howdy, Billy!

...I’m still reading.
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

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Unread 12-08-2019, 01:13 AM   #4
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Hi, and thank you! Browsing around here makes me realize how much I still have to learn =)
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Unread 12-08-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
Dave Gobis
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Welcome! You will find learning tile is a life long process. I still learn stuff after being in it 48 years.
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Unread 12-08-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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Hi Billy, welcome. What Gobis said, there's always more to learn.

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Unread 12-08-2019, 11:46 AM   #7
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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Welcome Billy! This is a good place to learn about tile.
Jim Upton

New DIYTileGuy blog post: Flood testing a shower pan: Why it's done and how to do it
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Unread 12-11-2019, 07:41 PM   #8
Just In Tile LLC
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Hi-ya Billy! Welcome, this is THE place to learn about tile
"Being world class means knowing you're good, but never satisfied you're good enough"
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Unread 12-12-2019, 07:20 AM   #9
John Bridge
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Glad to have you, Billy.

One of the best ways I know of to get a real "feel" for the tile business and how much there really is to learn is to attend the annual Coverings show, this year in New Orleans. You'll meet and talk with installers from all over the world and familiarize yourself with the major manufacturers and their numerous products. It's real eye opener and a great time.

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Unread 12-12-2019, 06:56 PM   #10
Houston Remodeler
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Howdy from Texas

For when DIY isn't such a good idea...
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Unread 12-12-2019, 09:34 PM   #11
Higher Standard Tile
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Aloha from Maui. Welcome Billy. :shaka:

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Maui, Hawaii
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