Preparation in product knowledge, design, and training leads to excellent outcomes for Turner Ceramic Tile

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By Kristen Frisa
Special to New York Construction Report

For Turner Ceramic Tile, a job doesn’t begin when tiles are laid down. Rather, installers’ work begins as a culmination of thorough training, research, and planning, a process that ensures the outcome will be successful and long-lasting.

Founded in 1979, Turner strives to stay on top of industry trends in installation methods and new products. “Everyone in the commercial world trying to set their own trend,” says Josh Turner, president of the Kansas City-based company. He says knowing what products are available lets Turner help bring a client’s vision to life. “For us it’s a matter of researching and finding the product that meets their budget but still gives them the look they’re going for.”

He says that sets Turner apart from the competition: rather than simply instructing clients which tile needs to be used, Turner Tile works with clients to present them with an array of options. “We go in ahead of time,” Turner says. “When we bid we’re trying to figure out is this going to meet this budget, and if not what will?”

Preparation for a project doesn’t start with selecting a tile. Turner also has to discern the best installation method for the space at hand. For this, the company works closely with manufacturers. “The design starts with the substrate,” Turner says.

If they’re going to lay new tile on old concrete in an old building, for instance, it’s important to understand the affect that might have on the flooring over time. Turner says you run into concerns in high moisture areas, or in outdoor settings that see the Midwest cold winters and hot summers.

“You’ve got to have the right team of people to help figure out a system that’s going to work for the install needed. A system that’s going to last versus being a temporary bandaid system,” Tuner says. Turner teams up with all manufacturers in the design process to understand what products will work and for which conditions.

Once product and methodology are established, it’s time to get the tile laid. Installers are well prepared, too. In fact, ongoing manufacturer-led training is a cornerstone of Turner’s operation.

“We train in our warehouse yet also our forman and project managers go to specialized courses throughout the United States with leading manufactures,” Turner says.

Turner says tile can be deceiving: people with minimal training think they know how to install it, but it can be much more complicated than that. “At a big box store my 13 year old Tank has corrected DIY classes on the correct way to install tile. People feel you can place some thinset on the back of the tile and install it, it’s probably going to stick, it’s just how long will it last,” he says. “We perform a lot of training to make sure we’re doing it properly to last a life time”

While clients are all interested in a job done well, sometimes the stakes are higher than others. Turner says sometimes a job requires heavy tiles to go up on the outside of a building. “When you have tile that’s 70 feet up in the air you don’t want to just hope it’s going to stay.”

Solid preparation allows Turner Ceramic Tile to enter into each project with the flexibility to offer solutions to clients, designers, and contractors for a beautiful, long lasting project.

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