Recently, myself and a few other tilers from around the country decided to get together and organise a trip to Schluter Systems HQ and take part in their highly recommended workshops. Having used their products for more than ten years. I still thought it necessary to update my skills and take the opportunity to become one of there registered installers. Initially, Schluter only advertised their training courses as half day modules and with the four different courses being offered on different days of the month. It soon became apparent that it wouldn’t be financially viable for me to attend them all as their HQ is over 300 miles away.
So just out of curiosity, I decided to contact them anyway and see what they could do. Their first response was amazing. Within a couple of days, they came up with a block booked package that would include several tilers. The package included training, transport, accommodation and lunch over the two days. All I had to do was find a few like-minded tilers to help fill the spaces, that would be interested in attending and be available on the dates on offer.
At first I thought it was going to be difficult to fill the slots, but with help from Kevin at Mitchell Tiling and Twitter, we soon found enough peeps to fly in and attend, and the whole thing soon became known as the #TilersOnTour. In the end, we ended up with myself, Kevin from Mitchel Tiling, Joe from Hillhead Tiling Services, Karl the “model” and his”dad” Bill from NYC Ceramics and one of my previous apprentices Jamie, who now has JC Tiling.
The training itself was second to none and the team at Bardon 22 couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming from the moment we stepped through the doors. The classroom based talk throughs were very informative and relaxed. Giving us a chance to ask questions and voice any concerns we may have had. There was also an endless supply of products to get our hands on, pull apart and see how they worked. The most enjoyable part for me, was getting hands on with their products in the practical area. This gave us an opportunity to install a range of there products in real-time situations, which is the best and only way to learn in my opinion. This continued over two days, which we initially thought might have been too much, but the way Andrew and the team structured the 4 courses over the two days made sure it stayed informative and interesting without it ever getting dull.
As well as the training with Schluter. #TilersOnTour was also a great opportunity to meat up with some of the most knowledgeable and skilled tilers in the industry. All credit to the guys that traveled from Orkney, Fife, Northern Ireland and Manchester. The banter was excellent and only equaled by the hospitality of Schluter. It was also an opportunity to meat up with Dave Carr from Tiling Forum and Lee Simpkin from Tile Town who very kindly showed us around part of the Tile Town empire and treated us to a sneaky pint before our flight home. I should also give a mention to the night manager at the hotel, who came storming into the bar after we had been told it was closed for the night. She then went on to explain that she was in charge and if we wanted more drinks, then more drinks we shall have! This came as a huge relief to Kev, who then almost collapsed, when she then declared that we would not have to pay for them, as the tills were closed.
All in all, it was a first class training get-together for the #TilersOnTour and one that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone considering training with Schluter. Give them a call. You’ll be amazed at what they can do for you.
Just one note of cation though…. please make sure you book your return flight home for the correct day. Upon checking in at the airport, it became apparent that I had booked my return flight home for the 1st of March and not the 1st of February! A school boy error that cost me an extra £120 but taking everything into account, it was more than worth it…..