NTCA Member Spotlight
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RODKAT: Integrating High Design with Function

 

I grew up working in a custom cabinet shop that my parents owned. I was always building something and learned, at a young age, the skills of working and creating with my hands.  

At age 16, I started working with a schoolmate that had seven older brothers, all with their own tile company. That first day I was blown away when I saw how much prep went into the tile installation process. My job was carrying buckets of mortar to the bathrooms where the brothers were floating showers. I knew those guys were doing something very specialized that not everyone could do. They explained to me how they were making the walls plumb, square, and flat with the mortar and float strips. I knew right away this was the career I wanted to pursue. 


                
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At age 18, I moved to the Bay area of Northern California to work for my cousin. He was a union tile contractor and learning from him was like going to the Harvard of tile setting. We did very high-end, custom residential and occasionally commercial work. 

As the trend turned to natural stone I used a lot of what I had learned in the cabinet shop as far as cutting shapes, miters, and book-matching. I really liked working with natural stone and having some freedom to custom cut to achieve better layouts. 

At age 22, I moved back to Utah and got a job with a company installing tile in custom homes in Park City. The skills I acquired while in California really helped me to advance to the top of the class, so to speak. These new developments were attracting owners who were building homes similar to the kind I had worked on while in California. I decided it was time to get my license and start my own tile company. So at age 23, Katwyk Tile was born. I specialized in custom, high-end residential and enjoyed the challenges of making the homeowner’s vision, the designer’s choices, and the contractor’s reality all come together.  

In 2009, a Facebook friend introduced me to the John Bridge Tile Forum. This was the start of networking with other tile people from around the world who are just as passionate about the trade as myself. I am still very close with a handful of people I started conversations with the first day on the Forum. From there, another Facebook group was hatched – Tile Geeks. This is where I was able to share and get feedback on installation ideas and techniques.


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