About This Blog

Stone and Tile Industry / Tile Installer Blog

If you Google “tile installer blog,” you’ll find DIYs, how-tos, training and support, and the like, with most of the content focused on materials, methods, tools, and the business of tile installation. This blog is something different. It focuses on the challenges and successes of people in the stone and tile industry, with special emphasis on tile installers, from new apprentices to seasoned veterans. I’ll also include some highlights from my personal journey as a content creator in this industry.

I reserved the domain name “stone and tile stories” June 20, 2019. It’s February 18, 2023, and the time is finally right for me to write my first blog post. I would love to say that I am a travel blogger for the stone and tile industry. Technically, I guess I am, since I’m a North Carolina-based writer now sitting in a tent in the middle of the Mojave Desert using 5G to create this content. Time will tell whether I will continue tile trekking in the coming months and years.

Human Connection

To me, using emails and Zoom meetings to capture the essence of human connection can be unnatural. Although the mission can usually be accomplished to everyone’s satisfaction, the most powerful, compelling content I’ve produced has, hands down, been on projects where I have been physically present. When I decided to do less agency work and focus on building a freelance business, I also decided to roll up my sleeves, immerse myself in the industry, and interact in person or on site as often as possible.

Let’s Do an Experiment

I’m taking this trip across the country as an experiment to discover whether:

  • spending weeks or months at a time on the road is something I would enjoy.
  • investing in a built-out van would be worthwhile.
  • tile installers and other industry folks want to welcome me into their market areas, job sites, and lives.
  • I can generate enough revenue to keep gas in the tank and food in my belly.

NOTE: This blog will continue even if I’m not traveling.

Off to a Great Start

I recently attended The International Surface Event (TISE), including the Women’s Leadership Conference, the NTCA Ambassador’s reception, several NTCA training presentations, and Schluter’s rooftop soirée.

The following week, I attended Stone Forensics’ Stone and Tile Troubleshooting and Inspection class and visited Las Vegas Rock’s Rainbow Quarry.

This week I’ve been getting caught up on some work and making arrangements to meet with tile installers along the California coast. Why? I am getting images and footage for a promo video. The purpose of this promo video is to showcase the badassery (is that a word?) of tile installers, bring attention to market areas where tile installer “competitors” work together for their mutual benefit, and to stimulate conversations that may help foster a sense of cohesiveness in the industry.

If you are in CA, OR, or WA, I’ll be coming your way over the next few weeks! Feel free to reach out if you would like to invite me to your turf.

A tent wraps over an open hatchback.

By Alice Dean, Writer, Video Editor, and Content Manager

I help tile installers and other trades contractors to be seen, heard, and understood by creating marketing content that attracts and educates your target audience and sells your services.