Discussion in 'NZ New joiners' started by Bob Neary, Aug 27, 2012.
Hey how ya doing and welcome
You guys are so lucky living in New Zealand!! I had a couple of friends from the North there I have since lost touch with, but I have seen so many amazing photos.... one day I'll take a tour through Australia, where my son is married, and through Tasmania where I'll visit Jay, and through NZ, too... it will happen.
Yea it sure is a great place to live. I was away in the UK for 10yrs and loved it but wow it is good to be home.
Is anybody here?
Hi Don, welcome to the forum.
The NZ forum has been up for a while. The kiwis can be a quiet bunch but the forum is available for them to use any time.
Anything on your mind?
Welcome to the forum, hope you enjoy it
I actually joined the forum about a month ago. I thought I'd wait until there was a bit of activity before I introduced myself. Anyway the reason I joined is because I think a forum dedicated to the NZ tiling scene is a great idea.
Personally, I joined to network with other people involved within the tile industry. Having worked for 2 stone and tile restoration companies I know I can help the tilers with problems that might otherwise cost them thousands if a stone restoration expert is called into fix it.
On the other hand I'm not really an expert on the tiling process so I could get help too.
The only paid tiling I did was over in Australia where I clad the tops of concrete burial vaults with tiles . The sides were clad in matching slabs of granite. I also built the vault,s installed the headstones and interred the bodies. It was a dead end job
I'll keep that in mind. I've been in the industry for about 28 years now but no longer on the tools due to the injuries I received in an accident 2 years ago. These days I work as a sales consultant for Tile Warehouse. Always getting queries about stone care. We stock lithofin which I highly recommend for cleaning and sealing.
I agree and and strongly believe that education is the key to maintaining the excellent level of service the public expect and pay us for.
The forum has been created to bring those in the industry together to assist one another if required.
You can add your contact details to your signature.
You must be a real asset to the Tile Warehouse. It makes a big difference having someone with knowledge to help clients with their tiling projects For example,. I've had to apply anti-slip treatments for people who bought the wrong type of tiles for wet areas. Someone with industry knowledge would have guided them away from making the wrong decision.
You say the Tile Warehouse has now switched to stocking Lithofin products. The last time I went there, it was a while ago, they were still stocking the Aquamix range. I suppose the change is linked to Custom Building products buying out Aquamix. The buyout was a bit of a bummer for stone and tile restorers as we use to get Aquamix products at wholesale price but now we have to buy them at retail price. Their grout colorant is their best product I suppose you still stock it as I'm pretty sure Lithofin doesn't have an equivalent product
As for Lithofin I've worked at three different stone fabricators/supplies, in New Zealand and Australia, and they all used Lithofin products. They make good products. Personally I use a few of them, such as Stain Stop W, Abraclean, Power Clean but I also use products from a wide range of other suppliers as no manufacturer produces all the best products.
Also as people are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment I've also started using "Green Cleaners" these are based on products that anyone can easily find impartial facts about One example is for cleaning certain tiles I use a blend of Washing Soda, Hydrogen peroxide and a natural surfactant. It's basically a high powered version of the oxycleaners people use domestically for getting stains out of clothes.
Do they work as good as the specailist tile cleaners? I think they do the problem is they require a longer dwell time, and more agitation, to be as effective. That means either the client has to be pay more, as the job takes longer, or I make less money per hour. At this point in time I'm choosing to make less money per hour.
As for my statement that I could possibly save a tiler thousands. For this forum that was a bit OTT as I know the tilers here are a lot more switched on than the average tiler. However, there are tilers out there who make some massive cockups
For example a common occurrence is when a tiler seals a honed stone and they aren't required to remove the residue as it is all sucked into the stone. They then go to seal the same stone, on another job but this time it has a higher grit finish, meaning it is less porous. Based on their past experience, with that stone, they follow the same procedure, apply the sealer and walk away. The next day they get a call from an irate client because the stone is all blotchy from the sealer residue. If the tiler is lucky it's a residential client. If their unlucky it's a commercial client and in a few hours time they are having the grand opening of the building.
This type of error isn't restricted just to tilers there was an Auckland company that had absolutely no background in the stone and tile industry and they started up a stone and tile restoration division. While they didn't know anything about the trade they compensated with slick marketing that centered on how their technicians were all certified and had specailised training, What they didn't tell their prospective clients was to gain that certification the technician had attended a one day tile cleaning course put on by a carpet cleaning product supplier.
Anyway,a few years back the company managed to win a contract to clean, and seal, all the stone tile in one of Auckland's largest commercial buildings. They did the old spray and walk away trick and ended up being forced, by the courts, to pay 150,000 dollars to have the company I was working for remove the sealer residue.
The owner of the company I was working for, that removed the sealer, is presently winding down his business, mainly because of low balling franchises and carpet cleaners promoting themselves as tile restoration experts. The sad part about it is through heavy, clever marketing they manage to convince people they are professionals. You only have to visit a carpet cleaners forum and you soon learn what they are really doing is faking it till they make it. They ask idiotic questions like, "Can anyone tell me how to clean this porcelain tile?" when it's a granite.
Anyway, I've waffled on a lot longer than I should have I just hope the forum will make a rebound
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