Connect with us

Contractors and Builders

Preventing Failures in Glass Tile Installations – What Are The Pros Using?

Published

on

Preventing Failures in Glass Tile Pool Installations With Danilo Bonazza and Curt Rapp

When discussing how to prevent failures in glass tile installations, we figured it best to consult with the pros. Known as a premier installer of artistic mosaic tile pool interiors, Danilo Bonazza has been the installer for many elite builders across the country. Part of the Tributary Revelation group, a network of high-end builders and service providers; Bonazza is frequently called in to consult on some of the most intricate and elaborate tile settings. Having access to the same social media groups we do, frequently Bonazza sees his fair share of posts regarding failures in mosaic tile installations. Consequently, having an in-depth knowledge of what products and methods are being used, he is often afforded an expert’s insight as to why and how specific failures have occurred.

Being in an elite class of high-end installers, Bonazza is called to perform his mosaic art in a variety of settings. The pool, being his canvas of choice; Bonazza has been relying on traditional tried and true old-world methods of tile setting. This, while in conjunction still utilizing the most innovative and reliable products available on the market.

Go-To Products for Glass Tile Installations

Bonazza insists that using the right products to perform mosaic tile installations in the pool is absolutely essential. That along with using inferior or substandard materials along and applying non-standard installation protocols is the reason for 90% of failures.

Partnering with The Tile Doctor, Curt Rapp on many projects, Bonazza utilizes one of the most popular line of products they distribute, the Litokol brand in the majority of his mosaic glass tile installations. We had a chance to chat with both of them recently, while Rapp was consulting with Bonazza on yet another inground pool project he was doing an installation on.

Tile Doctor - Curt Rapp
Litoelastic - Litokol

Rapp, who started Tile Doctor back in 2000 at first as an informational website that gradually morphed and conformed to his mantra of distributing best-in-class products in terms of health, wellness, and sustainability. “Litokol is exactly that,” said Rapp, “it’s not only high performance, but it’s incredibly environmentally friendly as well”.

Litokol, an epoxy-based grout system is often the product of choice for many glass tile interior installations. The Tile Doctor is the exclusive U.S. Distributor for Litokol products.

As far as The Tile Doctor is concerned, today the end-user in mind is often tradesmen and artisans alike that are looking for performance-based products that can help mitigate catastrophic failures and ensure successful applications.

Changing Perception About Glass Tile Failures

Rapp said he began attending pool tradeshows years ago in an effort to better understand the pool industry. Taking note of a particular event he attended in New Orleans, “I was talking to people and asking them do you do glass tile?” said Rapp, who explained that half of the builders he spoke to said they refused to touch glass tile projects.

He had met others who were doing glass tile projects and were eager to find better solutions. “A lot of them were involved in these education programs”, said Rapp, “they would lean in and say ‘well what do you got?’, generally they were involved in some projects with problems and were interested in learning how to set glass tile without failures,” explained Rapp.

As word about the Litokol products began to spread, Rapp suddenly became a very busy man. “We started to get a lot of calls from folks in the pool industry who said, ‘I heard you have the Litokol products, how do we get them?'”

“I’ve run into a lot of people who think just because they’re doing glass tiles in pools they’re going to have failures” and that’s just not true said Rapp.

Researching Best-In-Class Products for Pool Installations

Bonazza, who first started researching pool tile installation products back in the ’90s, has spent his career field testing products. “It’s great having laboratory tests, but you also have to conduct research out in the field” said Bonazza, who often subjects different materials to submersion tests in various chemicals to test their adherence properties while conducting his field trials when trying any new product.

Bonazza, an expert in the field of mosaic tile design giving a presentation on preventing failures in glass tile installations.
Bonazza, an expert in the field of mosaic tile design giving a presentation on preventing failures in glass tile installations.

Subsequently, he had become extremely proficient at using Litokol products early in 2002 in the application of mosaic tile installations back in Italy. When he relocated to the United States he was unable to find a suitable replacement for this product and found himself routinely making trips home and buying Litokol epoxy in Italy. He’d then bring as much of it home in his suitcase as he could fit. On occasion, he recalls even making a special trip back home to Italy just to get his hands on the product. “It was a big struggle up until around 6 years ago. They gave me Curt’s name and said he was their U.S. distributor,” said Bonazza who seemed relieved that his days as a transcontinental grout smuggler were finally behind him.

As an expert in his field, he says that there are primarily three main products that are his go-to solutions right now.

“Litoelastic which is an epoxy bright white adhesive has amazing properties. It’s non-sagging, easy to use, and mix. It’s not super tough on your hands and it bonds perfectly well. The fact that it’s so bright white really enhances the mosaics, especially the ones that are translucent.” said Bonazza, “I use their line of grouts, which are available in vibrant colors.”

Bonazza relies on Litokol products in the installation of mosaic tile projects. Photo Credit: Finnerty, LLC.
Bonazza relies on Litokol products in the installation of mosaic tile projects. Photo Credit: Finnerty, LLC.

“There are special ones like the crystal one that I use a lot. Whenever I have a lot of colors combined together that I use to make my artistic pieces, there are 20, 30, 50 colors combined with the shadowing and everything else. Choosing a grout color is almost impossible.” explained Bonazza, “If you choose a dark grey or a black, it shows horribly in the lighter colors of the mosaics in the whites and the yellows. When they started to come out with the crystal it was the perfect solution. You can also mix it with what Curt calls “Jewels” its a line of glitters that you can mix with this translucent grout that you can use to make your own custom colors which is great.”

“Also I’m using the autoseal for the expansion joints. It’s a silicone grade pool grout, plus it color matches all the other products they have so it’s a perfect line to do pool installation. There’s no one project I’ve done that doesn’t have these products in them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pool or one of my artistic pieces like my Marilyn Monroe.”

Aside from being glad that Tile Doctor carries the tried and true products Bonazza has come to count on, he also appreciates the level of customer service and support he receives from the company. This above all, he values the most in his relationship with the U.S. Distributors for Litokol. “Curt stands behind their product,” said Bonazza.

Listen to our complete interview with Curt Rapp and Danilo Bonazza on the Pool Magazine podcast.

Featured Photo Credit: Finnerty, LLC.

5/5 - (5 votes)

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

Continue Reading
Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Contractors and Builders

PHTA Debuts Pool Professionals Pipeline

Group plans to launch a robust jobseeker education program to fill pipeline with new talent.

Published

on

PHTA Debuts Pool Professionals Pipeline

(Alexandria, VA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) today announced it is jumping into the waters of workforce development with its Pool Professionals Pipeline, a new program designed to help its members find workers, drive awareness amongst today’s jobseekers, and foster long-term career progression in the pool, hot tub, and aquatics industry.

“It’s no secret that many industries and businesses today are struggling to find and retain employees, and this is particularly true in trades such as ours,” says PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman, CAE. “Our members are looking to PHTA to help fill that gap and we’re ready for the challenge. We are incredibly excited to share this new program with our membership and give them the tools they’ll need to compete in today’s labor market while working to attract a skilled, diversified, and thriving workforce.”

Underneath the PHTA’s Pool Professionals Pipeline workforce development umbrella is its external industry awareness campaign and jobseeker website, Work in Aquatics and workinaquatics.com, launching in 2023. Work in Aquatics will seek to advocate for trade professions by highlighting the numerous advantages, training and apprenticeship opportunities, job openings, and potential career progression tracks that are available working in the pool and hot tub industry. From construction labor to lifeguards, sales representatives, entrepreneurs, and even engineers and designers, there are many industry sectors and paths along the way that PHTA wants jobseekers to explore.

Pool Service Software

“This program is a game-changer for our industry as it works to drive qualified talent to our respective businesses and our industry as a whole,” says PHTA Chairman Charlie Claffey, owner of Claffey Pools. “To be successful, we’re going to need everyone on board as we work to put the industry on the radar of those searching for an alternative path to college; a rewarding career in a healthy lifestyle environment; the ability to work away from a desk; creative freedom through modern design; and lifesaving skills through swim instruction. The possibilities that exist in the aquatics industry are endless and once you begin in this line of work, you’ll never want to walk away. Let’s share that passion with the next generation of workers.”

A steering committee comprised of PHTA members, industry partners, and PHTA staff will serve in an advisory role to help guide programming, funding, and more:

  • Charlie Claffey, Claffey Pools
  • Joseph Laurino, Ph.D., Periodic Products, Inc.
  • Andrew Levinson, PoolCorp 
  • Elizabeth McMurray, Florida Swimming Pool Association 
  • Albert Miller, Hayward 
  • Dominick Mondi, Northeast Spa & Pool Association  
  • Kevin Post, Counsilman-Hunsaker  
  • Teri Wiltshire, Master Pools Guild  
  • Lisa Zarda, CAE, US Swim School Association 

Members, partners, and others interested in becoming involved in the PHTA Pool Professionals Pipeline can contact Seth Ewing, PHTA Senior Director of Member Programs & Services, at [email protected]  

Media Contact:
Amy Willer
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
703-838-0083, ext. 121 | [email protected]

Rate this post

Continue Reading

Contractors and Builders

Basecrete Launches OnDeck Wearable Waterproofing System

OnDeck waterproofing system promises to be a real game changer for pool contractors.

Published

on

Basecrete Launches OnDeck Wearable Waterproofing System

When it comes to the waterproofing of residential and commercial pool vessels, Basecrete Technologies has long been a leader in waterproof bondcoatings for the pool and spa industry. Recently, Pool Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Vito Mariano and Christopher Gates to discuss the newest innovation to hit the pool trade, OnDeck, a new system they claim will revolutionize waterproofing.

The OnDeck Difference

“The actual application process is super simple. It can go horizontal and vertical and can be textured as the installer sees fit. Heavy and light textures can be rolled on, shot on, or troweled on but it’s based on the same science as Basecrete,” said Gates, who will be managing the OnDeck product.

One of the primary reasons the new system is predicted to be a surefire hit with pool contractors is due to its versatility, which Gates says will be a game-changer. “You can take a new project and marry it to an old project. Our material allows you to build up an old existing deck that’s chipped and broken. You can clean it out and build up to two-inch lifts using the material to build that up so that it’s seamlessly the same elevation as the new concrete. Then you coat the whole thing with OnDeck and it all is just beautiful and elegant. That all happens out of one bag and bucket of polymer.,” explained Gates.

OnBase – OnDeck – OnTop is the 1,2,3 Waterproofing System Pool Contractors have been searching for.

Versatility and Customization

OnDeck is sure to appeal to contractors who have experienced frustration with other products in the past said Gates. As an industry veteran, he knows those frustrations first-hand, “you have to buy a bag of this for horizontal, and a bag of that for vertical, and a bag of that for waterproofing. Ours is just real simple,” explained Gates.

Color options and customization are a big factor when it comes to decking materials. OnDeck promises to alleviate many of those concerns as well. “The last coating is a pigmented stain and sealer which comes in seven different colors. We operate in a light base and a dark base so you can tint a custom color,” said Gates, “if you have a big project, say you were doing a stadium, for example, and you wanted to have the colors of the team, you can get your own color mixed with a lighter or darker base.”

A Cost Effective Waterproofing System

The OnDeck system is all the brain-child of Vito Mariano who has a history of producing award-winning products of this nature. His strategy for propelling the system into the market is to win contractors with a better product they can have at a smarter price point than what they’ve already been accustomed to using.

“Price per square foot is number one,” said Mariano, “OnDeck is not expensive and it’s a fast waterproofing decking system at the same time. Now you get all these new benefits that the industry isn’t used to; instead of just your typical low-end cementitious spray, roll on, epoxy or latex-based material. We’re staying focused on simplicity, our waterproofing capability, and price. That’s very important out there.”

OnDeck - Basecrete Decking System
OnDeck – Basecrete Decking System

Bringing OnDeck To The Industry

Mariano is confident in having an industry professional like Gates to help drive the product in the market. “I’ve been producing OnDeck for a long time. The formula goes back many years,” said Mariano, “and I’ve used it again and again for my own applications. I never really had the time to pursue it because I was busy with other products. We think Christopher will be ideal for us. He’s got an edge because he knows the industry and he gets it. “

The success of Basecrete has industry insiders eager to demo the OnDeck system. “I had a phone call from a gentleman I did a contract with a while back who wanted to thank me. He told me ‘Where has this product been? I’ve used everything out there in the last 35 years. I’ve never seen anything this good before.’ He now has 60 driveways totally converted to the OnDeck system and will be doing our training,” said Mariano.

Mariano expects many brand ambassadors to come forth and champion the product in the coming months. “We’ve got folks like Jose Garcia from Barefoot Pools in Arizona, chomping at the bit to get this product. He does phenomenal Basecrete applications on hundreds of pools. Those are the kind of companies and applicators that we’re going to go for,” said Mariano.

Gates, who has a long history in the pool industry, previously with California Pools and San Juan Pools; says the timing is ripe for a product of this nature.

OnDeck decking system by Basecrete Technologies
OnDeck decking system by Basecrete Technologies – Photo Credit: Basecrete

“On pool and deck projects many years ago we started doing polymer overlays and acrylic top coats. Every one of them kind of marched to the beat of their own drummer, and you had to figure each system out. You’d try to stick with one that you could use if you knew the idiosyncrasies of a given system,” explained Gates, “when Vito started telling me that it’s the same bag to make the material that goes on the flat deck, that goes up the walls, that waterproofs the corners; it’s just different mixing styles – that’s got me excited. That coupled with this fellow he’s talking about who will doing all the training for our team members that are coming on board makes it a no-brainer,” explained Gates.

Listen to our entire conversation and learn more about the OnDeck system on the Pool Magazine podcast.

5/5 - (1 vote)

Continue Reading

Contractors and Builders

Pentair Pool Builder Software May Just Be a Game Changer

We take a look under the hood at Pentair Pool Builder and discuss the software with developer Tommy Reynolds.

Published

on

Pentair Pool Builder Software May Just Be a Game Changer

These days pool builders are searching for best-in-class software that can help them save time, improve efficiency, and communicate better with customers. Pentair Pool Builder is a software that aims to do exactly that. While there are plenty of solutions out there geared toward design, few applications exist for managing a pool construction business. Pool builders in general prefer a system that offers flexibility, ease of use, and reliability. Consequently, Tommy Reynolds, the developer behind the software, said his app is the game changer that the pool industry has been waiting for. We had the chance to discuss the software with Reynolds on the Pool Magazine Podcast and got the opportunity to learn more about the features and benefits.

One on One With Pentair Pool Builder Developer, Tommy Reynolds

For Reynolds, the path toward developing the app started with building a pool. A seasoned software developer and entrepreneur, he was having a swimming pool of his own built and discovered that communication throughout the process was lacking.”I was going through building a pool and had some experiences. I felt like as a consumer, I should be a little bit more connected. That was kind of the premise of me getting involved in starting this project,” said Reynolds.

Frustrations With The Pool Building Process

For Reynolds, he felt that he knew what to expect before construction began but once things got started is when he felt the need for better communication. “When we got to construction, there were a few communication gaps. A lot of times they use subcontractors, and their availability could be at the drop of a hat. They’re going to be at your place unannounced to work on the pool.” explained Reynolds, when describing the frustrations.

“My dog had been let out a couple of times,” said Reynolds, “and so I just thought, ‘I wish there was an app that I could put on my phone that would tell me when someone’s going to be at the house, I could put the dogs away.’ I just felt like, maybe there’s an app for this. I approached my builder and asked him, ‘Do you have an app for me to use?’ And he said he didn’t. My next question was, ‘Does anybody have an app?'”

“He’s been building pools for 25 years, and an industry expert, and so he said he didn’t know of anything for the customer,” explained Reynolds, “so that really started the creative juices flowing and made me think I should just take this on as a passion project for him and I to work on something. I figured, if it works out, he can share this with the next customer, and then they could benefit from what we built.”

Reynold’s builder recognized the potential of what they had developed in a short time frame and began showing it to his Pentair dealer who took interest in the app and invited Reynolds to demonstrate it for the senior leadership team at Pentair. “I was invited to go to the International Pool & Spa Expo to show them what we’d been working on,” explained Reynolds, “When I showed them what we were doing, they said, ‘This is pretty cool and we’d like to be a part of it.'”

Reynolds, who began working locally with pool builders in Texas said word began to get around fast. “Once we got out there, we really knew that we had something. There’s a real demand and need for this type of product. So we started working with builders locally and then it just grew to what it is today,” explained Reynolds.

Learn more about Pentair’s new software for pool builders – Pentair Pool Builder

Communication is the #1 Challenge for Pool Builders

“I think the biggest challenge that a lot of pool builders have is just with communication and managing the customer’s expectations along with inner office communications and their subcontractors,” said Reynolds, “what Pentair Pool Builder really does is it addresses the communications gap. We start with the sales lead management process. When a salesperson goes out to the job site, they can begin taking photos and uploading those right then and there. We relieve some of the stress and friction just by allowing them to do things on the spot. The mobile application allows that salesperson to manage that lead throughout the process.”

Problems That Pentair Pool Builder Solves

Pentair Pool Builder promises to solve a few different problems that contractors face on a daily basis. Their mobile-friendly app enables builders to simplify job costing with real-time pricing updates and easily create instant estimates and change orders that be signed electronically. With a robust built-in CRM, salespeople can efficiently manage their leads and sales with better visibility.

Pentair Pool Builder is feature packed and has numerous cost saving benefits.

Core Benefits:

  • DITCH PRICING SHEETS
  • LESS WINDSHIELD TIME
  • EASY COMMUNICATION
  • EASY CHANGE ORDERS
  • HELP MANAGE MORE SALES
  • EASY INTEGRATION

What Pool Builders Are Saying About Pentair Pool Builder

  • “It gives the designers the ability to see what’s going on in real time.” – Susan Rodriguez, Office Manager, Cypress Custom Pools 
  • “It’s a very efficient app, and it has helped streamline the building process. For everybody.” – Tommie Fleeman, Project Manager, Backyard Oasis

Simplifying Pool Construction Management

Custom tailoring the pool construction management experience to a variety of contractors was key in developing a tool that can be universally adopted, said Reynolds. “It’s a completely customizable process. So how they build their pool may be different than someone else. They’re able to customize that experience to their process,” he explained.

“The construction module of the software is basically the orchestration of producing a swimming pool,” said Reynolds, “from the time they excavate it to the time they put water in it. All the processes that happen and all the people that it takes to make it happen are managed through the software which provides the ability for scheduling of resources. There are also notifications to let people know when it’s their time to do the job, as well as let other people know what’s happening on the job site.”

The integration of camera monitoring into the software system also promises to lower the amount of windshield time between visiting job sites, explained Reynolds. “Generally the project superintendents are having to drive job to job to check things out. Once we introduced the job site monitoring capability that we now have, it allowed them to do that remotely. Now, they can actually cover more jobs in a single day than they would by driving around to check on those jobs.”

Listen to Our Entire Discussion

Learn more about Pentair Pool Builder take a deeper dive by listening to our conversation with Tommy Reynolds on the Pool Magazine podcast. For those interested in learning more about the software or taking a demo, visit Pentair’s website.

4.9/5 - (10 votes)

Continue Reading
Follow us on Google News
New Orleans Pool Builders - Baton Rouge Pool BuildersSponsored Advertisement
Pool Magazine App on Google PlayPool Magazine App on Apple Store

Download the NEW Pool Magazine App

Recent Pool News

Advertisement

Pool News

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x