Topic: We’re learning how to keep our glass half-full with Cameron Kartak of AAA Kartak Glass and Closets Inc. Cameron joined the Carey Brothers to discuss shower doors, mirrors, correctly measuring a client’s bathroom for swinging doors, and, of course, the CareyBrosPros Three Points for Success.
During this edition of CareyBrosPros, you’ll find out:
– How you should prepare for measuring a client’s bathroom.
– What keeps AAA Kartak glass cleaner than all the rest!
– Why you should ALWAYS put in double backed studs or a 4×4 stud for your shower enclosure.
Guest: Cameron Kartak is the CEO of AAA Kartak Glass and Closet’s Inc. of the greater Seattle area.
3 Points for Success – from Cameron Kartak:
1. The most important is that glass is a final product. You need to make sure that you’re looking at what you’re buying.
2. You get what you pay for. Everyone has the same glass. There’s going to be probably just a couple of glass manufacturers in the world and so everyone all over the world gets shipped the same glass virtually. And so you’re not really paying for different glass companies for the glass, you’re paying for the installers.
3. It’s better to over strengthen your hard surfaces then under strengthen them. If you understrength them, you could have your frameless shower enclosure dream shatter. You need to get a header.
BONUS TIP: Out of squares are okay as long as they’re consistent. We don’t want any dog legs or elbows. That’s where you can’t cut the glass very specific in that way.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW:
Morris: [00:00:00] So good to have you with us for another episode of CareyBrosPros. Hi I’m Morris.
James: [00:00:06] And I’m James and we are joined by someone who knows a lot about eye candy and protection for your projects avoiding leaks and squeaks. Now we’re not going to do a lot to avoid squeaks, but he can sure help you avoid leaks. He is Cameron Kartak. He is the chief executive officer of AAA Kartak Glass and Closet’s Incorporated in the Seattle metro area. Cameron welcome to CareyBrosPros.
Cameron: [00:00:39] Thank you.
James: [00:00:39] Now I kind of framed what you do as eye candy and I think that architectural glass and mirrors can do so much to affect the appearance of the interior of a home. Notice I didn’t say bathroom, although a shower door of course is typically in the bathroom, you can find mirrors and other architectural glass in virtually every other room of the home. Are you doing a lot of that?
Cameron: [00:01:08] Absolutely. Yeah there’s definitely plenty of gym mirrors that we put up into homeowners houses. Lots of dressing mirrors or hallway mirrors. People love to put mirrors all over their home and definitely makes this home feel like it’s bigger than it actually is. The light that reflects off a mirror really helps the home to open up and just makes things more visually appealing.
Morris: [00:01:31] I want to ask, I want to go from mirrors to shower doors, and I know a lot of our listeners would like to know how to do this correctly. What do I need to do to prepare the shower before you install a friendly shower glass enclosure?
Cameron: [00:01:48] Yeah so one of the most important factors to prepare before we come out to install would be to make sure you have adequate stud backing. We like to say to have double standard backing where it’s horizontally put back to back. So that you get eight inches two two-by-fours put together and really be able to hold the weight of the glass adequately. Too often we cannot measure for a customer’s home, we find that you don’t have step back or even adequate enough back in for us and, although they had a really nice tile job, their dreams have been shattered because we have to put on a header or some type of a hardware device to help them structurally. The last thing that a homeowner wants is for a dog to fall off the hinges crash and break and somebody’s bodily harm.
Morris: [00:02:38] Now I just want to be clear on this because my mind’s eye is maybe picturing the wrong thing. Would you say that at the shower line there should be a four-by-four? A four-by-four instead of a two-by-four would be better yes?
Cameron: [00:02:52] Sure that would work great as well.
Morris: [00:02:54] And because you’re bolting has to be longer than an inch and a half to hold these new heavyweight doors.
Cameron: [00:03:00] Yes.
Morris: [00:03:01] And something that won’t deflect like a two by four does.
Cameron: [00:03:04] Correct.
Morris: [00:03:04] OK I get it and I’m going to tell you something I just learned something from you that from now on I will do in every single home that I work on from here on out. I will put a four-by-four backing in for every single shower door from now on.
James: [00:03:21] Now do we routinely, Cameron, do shower door backing. We routinely do that on every bathroom project whether we’re installing a shower door or not. We prep it so that at some future date, if there’s a shower door that’s going to be installed, we’re going to back it out.
Cameron: [00:03:39] And that’s good business practices that have because all too often we come into customers some that the remodeler finished the job years ago and they can’t remember what it is. So just having that ability to say that all of our shower doors or our bathrooms that the Carey brothers do are adequately backed to it’s studs.
James: [00:03:58] Right. So the idea is that you’ve turned us onto the four-by-four where we’ve been using a two-by-six on the flat, and so that’s going to be a nice little improvement, and I think, you know, perception is reality and I think for those of us who are pros and our audience listening like to demonstrate to their buyers that they’re really doing something that will last a long time. And what better way to demonstrate that than a 4-by-4 in the wall as shower door backing nice sales tips and a nice structural tip.
Cameron: [00:04:36] Absolutely.
James: [00:04:36] All right so let’s talk a little bit about shower enclosures and let’s get beyond. We’ve done the framing you guys make the installation. What is it that builders need to focus on to make your end of the project go neat and clean? Now, as an example, I would guess that something like walls that are plumbed would make a big difference. Yes, plumbed walls, level tubs? What other things come to mind in his mulches prep that a builder can do to make the job go smoother and end up with the really first rate finished and installed product.
Cameron: [00:05:21] Yes so one thing that we that we always try to cover when we’re out there measuring with the client is to plan for the door swing. All too often we can get in there right after the tiles done because the product is being pushed along quickly and the toilet hasn’t been installed yet and so the homeowner or the contractor meets us in the bathroom and we decide where we want to put them in your basement where the showerhead is and they haven’t contemplated where your toilet doors swing into you. And so we order the glass and we order everything up when we get ready to install then we show up, and if we install it the way that it’s measured then it will open up into the toilet. So one of the most important thing is to look out for is your door swings. Same with towel bars or maybe a cabinet that you weren’t thinking you’re going to put there previously. A lot of people don’t necessarily think about where the door is swinging until after it’s visually there and you can open it and see oh this is going to pop into this fill in the blank objects.
Morris: [00:06:22] Hey Cameron, I have a question that relates to something I’m going to do.
Cameron: [00:06:25] OK.
Morris: [00:06:26] I want to build a hexagonal shower front and I want to build it out of glass and I want to put the door in the middle of two panels of glass. The two panels of glass are at right angles to each other and the door would be at a 45 degree angle. I want to attach the door to the glass. If the glass panels on either side are attached floor to ceiling, is that possible? Can the door swing off the glass?
Cameron: [00:06:57] Absolutely. There’s a couple of ways you can do that. Either having the top support beam a deluxe header or a standard header that will go all the way across the glass.
Morris: [00:07:07] Sure.
Cameron: [00:07:08] That would allow for enough stability to hold the weight of the door.
Morris: [00:07:13] OK.
Cameron: [00:07:13] Or if you had the panels tuned up into the ceiling you have to get that 4-by-4 that you were talking about for the panels to be attached, securely attached, to that on the ceiling. And at that point you can have the either 135 or the 90 degree glass to glass clamps.
Morris: [00:07:32] OK. Just beautiful because I want to build a steam shower. That’s all glass in the front and walls in the back at a 45 degree angle in my bathroom. I want it to be solid glass because I think that’d be cool.
Cameron: [00:07:45] Yeah. And one thing that you may not even be thinking about is well we actually do a lot of steamer showers. And one thing that says glass professionals can provide is a glass transom. And what that is is where you get a hydro touch inside the glass itself. If you can imagine the rectangular piece of glass and somewhere near the top center of it you can have a glass cutout inside the glass and have a little operational window. So if you get to steamy or if you want to kind of control the temperature of your steamer shower you can put hinges and a handle on that and build a functioning open and close window inside your steamer shower.
Morris: [00:08:23] That’s really cool.
James: [00:08:25] All be darn. That’s a new one.
Morris: [00:08:25] Thank you man.
James: [00:08:26] All right. We know that frameless has really been the trend for several years. People, less is more when it comes to shower enclosures. But what is it that our pros should know about as regards to colors and textures that are popular for hardware and glass these days? Is it still clear glass Cameron? Is it three eighths thick polished pencil edge? What is it.? What’s the trend these days?
Cameron: [00:08:53] Yeah. So the trends are the most common colors for hardware. And that’s just to clarify for hardware that’s clamps, your U-channel, your hinges, and your handle typically is all that you would see inside a frameless enclosure. And your hardware, typically you’d see either chrome, you’d see brushed nickel or you’d see oil-rubbed bronze. There are others out there, but those are the most common colors that you would find for hardware.
James: [00:09:20] Yeah we’re finding that polished chrome has made a very strong comeback and it just looks beautiful.
Morris: [00:09:25] Yeah it’s the easiest finish to keep clean.
Cameron: [00:09:29] You never started to make a slight comeback as well it is actually a combo of Polish Chrome with actions of gold.
James: [00:09:38] Oh really.
Cameron: [00:09:39] Yeah. Finally it’s not a ton of customers that are interested in that and the gold is just slowly but surely coming back.
Morris: [00:09:46] Really?
Cameron: [00:09:47] Gold kinda comes in and it goes out and it comes in and goes out.
Morris: [00:09:50] Yeah. (laughs)
Morris: [00:09:52] You know there’s a common complaint about clear glass and that it gets so dirty, and I have to tell you that I have clear glass shower enclosure and I squeegee it every single time.
James: [00:10:04] You are the exception not the rule.
Morris: [00:10:06] But most people don’t do that. So can you comment on that problem, Cameron?
Cameron: [00:10:10] Absolutely. Here at AAA Kartak we do have a saying that life is too short to squeegee. I don’t think anyone else does either. So what we’ve come up with is we have AAA Kartak sealer. And what that sealer is if you can imagine there’s pores in our face, just tiny little holes that you know you didn’t get in. And it causes us to have zits. It’s very similar with shower glass. Shower glass is porous and so hard water, shampoo, soap scum, carbon deposits, all these things that go into the port of the glass. And if you imagine when it gets into the pores you can’t Squeegie into the tiny microscopic pores is just not possible.
Morris: [00:10:56] Right.
Cameron: [00:10:57] What we end up doing is that we have a sealer that clogs the pores. It fills up the pores for it so that the hard water, carbon deposits, soap scum, shampoos all of the above cannot get into the pores anymore. And we warranty that for 5 years.
Morris: [00:11:13] Wow that’s cool. I like that.
James: [00:11:14] And you apply that after the product is installed or is it applied to the glass as part of the in shop assembly?
Cameron: [00:11:25] We apply that inside our facility.
Morris: [00:11:27] Okay. Alright.
James: [00:11:27] Okay. Very good.
Cameron: [00:11:28] We do recommend with that is that you Squeegie or shower about once a month to go along with it. And the benefit behind it is that it is also eco friendly. We don’t recommend you use any harsh chemicals on it. Just water and vinegar on a 50/50 ratio and just kinda sponge it with a soft sponge.
Morris: [00:11:48] That’s not going to change how I Squeegie. I only shower once a month. (laughs)
James: [00:11:52] (laughs).
Cameron: [00:11:52] (laughs)
Morris: [00:11:52] No no just kidding (laughs)
James: [00:11:58] Well I don’t know that he’s kidding, Cameron.
James: [00:12:02] Yeah ok.
Morris: [00:12:03] I love it.
Cameron: [00:12:05] It’s the worst day of the year.
Morris: [00:12:06] Cameron here on CareyBrosPros we like to ask our guest to share three points for success with our pro listeners. Could you please share yours?
Cameron: [00:12:17] One of the most important is that glass is a final product. You really need to be looking at the production from your glass professional sends you. It’s going to cover all the hardware, where the hardware is located, the size of the glass, the thickness, the colors, the shapes, everything, and if you just kind of sent it through the system. It’s gonna get made that way and if you make changes later they’re going to have to be on the glass, so the take away is glass is final. You need to make sure that you’re looking at what you’re buying.
James: [00:12:48] Boy oh boy. That’s our great tip.
Cameron: [00:12:51] My next tip would be that you get what you pay for. Everyone has the same glass. There’s going to be probably just a couple of glass manufacturers in the world and so everyone all over the world gets shipped the same glass virtually. And so you’re not really paying for different glass companies for the glass, you’re paying for the installers. And so you can hire a Joe Bloe to get out there and install your shower enclosure or you can hire a skilled craftsman.
James: [00:13:17] Boy that says a lot.
Morris: [00:13:18] Yeah ditto ditto.
Cameron: [00:13:20] And I would say for my trip number three would be it’s better to over strengthen your hard surfaces then under strengthen them. If you understrength them, you could have your frameless shower enclosure dream shatter, you need to get a header. So only over strengthen and don’t understrength and then you know I’m going to give you a fourth tip as well to go along with it.
Cameron: [00:13:39] Out of squares are okay as long as they’re consistent. We don’t want any dog legs or elbows. That’s where you can’t cut the glass very specific that way.
James: [00:13:49] Got it. Got it.
Morris: [00:13:50] I love it.
James: [00:13:53] Our thanks to Cameron Kartak. Cameron is the chief executive officer of AAA Kartak Glass and Closet Inc. They’re in the greater Seattle area. Faster and better since 1956, and you may learn more about Cameron’s business and mirrors and shower doors by visiting their website. It is http://www.aaakartak.com
[00:14:22] And remember you’ll find our guest information as well as additional podcasts videos and articles on our web site at CareyBrosPros.com.