Mosaic Madness Jimmy Reed is the president of Rock Solid Tile, a Los Angeles-based glass mosaic, ceramic tile and natural stone installation contractor. The company is known for working with high-end luxury designers, architects and builders and has a reputation for quality and detail. He recently answered some questions for us. RBP&T: What kinds of products are popular with builders right now? Jimmy Reed: People always are drawn to high-quality beauty. Many times our clients are concerned with the sustainability of the materials we are using. They are curious of how, why and where the products they like have been manufactured. We think exactly the same way and are very familiar with top-of-the-line green products. Most of the glass mosaic tiles we use are made with some recycled content, if not all. RBP&T: What types do you like to work with? JR: I’m more passionate about glass mosaic tile design and installation than all others involved in a given project. We go into each project knowing the glass mosaic tile water feature we’re installing will become the center of the home for the family — especially in Southern California, where the weather allows families to enjoy or entertain year round.
RBP&T: There are tile products from all over the world; do you see differences in quality? JR: There will always be those out there who only care about the bottom line. How much is this going to cost? Because of that you'll find there are plenty of options. We're fortunate enough to have established Rock Solid Tile in the luxury home category. So we almost exclusively work with top-of-the-line materials. Bisazza has a beautiful line of glass mosaics. They produce nothing but quality tiles, and they have a range of blues that work really well in pools and spas. We also recommend Oceanside Glasstile with regularity. RBP&T: Installation is a big part of tiling. What are your favorite systems? JR: We always use Laticrete when it comes to installing pools and spas. We prefer to use them on all of our projects. Back when I first started out we used them because of the waterproofing membrane they produced. Obviously, in submerged
Residential Building Products and Technology
installations waterproofing is a crucial step. We used the 9235 product, and never had a failure in probably 20 years. Then they came out with the Hydro Ban product and now we have the same confidence in the integrity of the waterproofing, but it’s much easier and faster than anything we’ve ever come across. RBP&T: What piece of advice would you give architects and builders specifying tile? JR: I would tell them they should specify more of it. First I would let them know about all the resources available to them. The information they would need for the tile or stone, and the specifications for the installation process are very readily available. There's nothing more beautiful than a perfectly executed glass tile pool or spa. ■
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