Every month we feature a contractor, business, or success story. Learning from others in the biz is the best kind of learning. This month, we’re featuring Tony Christensen with Kbartee Renovations.
Spring is upon us, which usually means business picks up. Tony with Kbartee Renovations has been in full swing through the winter, too. We’re grateful for the time he spent with us, sharing more about his business here in Sashco’s home state of Colorado.
How did you get started in Log home finishing?
I graduated college with a degree I wasn’t going to do anything with and was looking for work. Scott Stropko (Sashco’s Western Territory Manager) was a good family friend and he asked if I liked working outside. I said yes. He hooked me up with Jim Davis out of Wyoming and I started four days later. I worked with Jim for 3½ years and decided that I didn’t want to travel as much anymore, so another business partner and I broke off on our own. I worked with my business partner here in Colorado for 11½ years. Then, about 18 months ago, I decided to split off on my own. Life. is. great! Every day I pinch myself to make sure it’s real. I have an incredible job and I get to work in some incredible places. When I decided to be sole proprietor, it was a little scary. I never thought I’d be this busy. It’s mind blowing. I’m so grateful. There wasn’t a day during COVID that I didn’t work.
What is your favorite part of this work?
Restoration. I like working on older homes. I like it when homeowners haven’t liked their home for a while, but didn’t know they could get it the way they wanted. I simply apply expertise and elbow grease. I love taking a home, transforming it, and seeing how happy the homeowner is at the end. We’re restoring their dream. Their smiles make it all worth it.
What is your least favorite part?
Weather: It’s hard to work around the weather. But then, I had more working days in January and February of this year than I have in March and April because of spring snows. It’s also difficult to manage expectations for people who don’t know that we’re booked so far ahead. They call in June wanting their home done by end of the summer.
What is your advice to a newbie?
I wish Sashco offered the Zero Failures Business Focus class when I started out 13 years ago. I’d be so much further ahead. I would tell people that your word and your reputation are everything in this industry. You better have an incredibly good work ethic and be able to work with lots of different personalities. Be willing to learn. Soak up everything. It’s paramount to do good work and maintain high-quality relationships in this industry. If you get a bad rep with homeowners, that’s also a bad rep with distributors and others in the industry. When you screw up (not if, because it will happen), be willing to fix things and learn from it. Don’t just cut and run. You learn who you don’t want to be before you learn who you do want to be.
What does the future look like?
I’ve had opportunities recently to merge with another company or purchase another company, but I really like where I am now. I like having the smaller crew. It’s part of the appeal with homeowners, too. I’m the owner, I will be on the jobsite 85-90% of the time, they’re dealing with me from A to Z. I’ve gotten really good at selling that. There are people who I know want to grow. That was me at first. I have two guys working for me and they’ve caught on really fast. Eventually, I know I will need to ease back and let those guys take some things over. In 5 to 10 years, maybe they’ll want to buy me out and I can go buy my cattle ranch.
Speaking of cattle ranching, what is the meaning of Kbartee?
Kbartee is a brand my wife’s grandmother sewed into her wedding dress. It’s a K, a Bar, and a T. As a gift for our first wedding anniversary, my wife registered it. I wanted something different for a company name and this just fit. It will be the brand for our cattle ranch someday.
Thanks again, Tony, for the time. Hit Tony up to talk shop!
Out of all the spaces in your home, the bathroom is one that is most likely to be a breeding ground for mold. Even if you keep your bathroom clean, the moisture in the environment makes it fairly easy for mold to grow. Using mold-proof caulk when renovating your bathroom can help prevent mold from growing in joints or crevices.
Whether you’re a DIYer renovating your own bathroom or a general contractor who wants to provide superior performance for your clients, Sashco’s mold-proof caulks are the smart choice for any bathroom space. Here are three reasons why you should use mold-proof caulk in your bathroom.
What is Mold-Proof Caulk?
Sashco’s CleanSeal mold-proof caulk is designed specifically for use in moist environments, such as the bathroom and the kitchen. This caulk is water-resistant, and it also uses active enzymes to prevent mold from growing over time.
Bathroom surfaces are consistently wet and create the perfect environment for mold to grow. If you use a caulk that isn’t water-resistant, water could seep into the caulk and actually cause mold to grow underneath the surface. Since you can’t see this type of mold, it is difficult to clean and can go undetected for a long time.
Additionally, CleanSeal contains environmentally friendly enzymes that prevent natural oils from building up on the caulk and feeding into mold. These enzymes are designed to keep working for a long period of time and continuously keep your caulking mold-free. While there are other sealants on the market that claim to be mold resistant, they typically use mildewcides, which can lose their effectiveness over time. Many mildewcides are also harmful for the environment, whereas CleanSeal’s bio-friendly enzymes are much safer.
3 Reasons to Use Mold-Proof Caulk
Over time, it’s normal for your house to move and settle. You may not notice it happening, but these shifts could actually cause your caulking to crack if you’re not using the right products. When your caulking cracks, it’s much easier for water to seep in and mold to start building up.
While other caulks are rigid and can break when your house moves, CleanSeal is highly elastic and actually stretches with the building. This is because of its co-polymer construction, which keeps it flexible.
CleanSeal uses proven anti-mold technology to keep your bathroom fresh and free of mold and mildew. This is because we use unique anti-mold enzymes, which you can’t find in any other caulking product. Instead of killing the mold after it grows, these enzymes actually prevent the mold from growing in the first place. The enzymes ‘eat’ the natural oils that feed the mold.
Additionally, these enzymes are environmentally friendly and safe to use indoors. They stay active over time, so they will continue to prevent mold from growing years after application. This superior performance makes CleanSeal a great product for contractors. However, CleanSeal is also very easy to apply and clean up, so it’s equally good for DIYers who want to renovate their bathroom on a budget.
Finally, CleanSeal mold-proof caulk is highly adhesive. This means that it creates a fully waterproof seal on any surface that you apply it to, which can prevent mold from growing inside. Additionally, this caulk won’t peel off over time, even with the consistent wear and tear that the bathroom gets. Since CleanSeal is so adhesive, you can scrub away at the tiles to get them clean without worrying about the caulking peeling off.
Choosing Your Mold-Proof Caulk
While there are many caulking products that claim to be mold-resistant, Sashco’s CleanSeal is a superior option because of its unique mold prevention technology. Not only can it prevent mold from growing in the years to come, but it provides superior adhesiveness and elasticity. It’s also very easy to apply and smooth out for a clean finish.
If you need a mold-resistant caulk for other areas of your home, Sashco’s Lexel is another reliable option. Lexel is a rubber-based sealant that works on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. It has a clear, paintable formula that looks great and blends in with many different surfaces. It can also be applied wet or dry.
Whether you need to renovate your own bathroom or you want to provide superior performance for your clients, Sashco CleanSeal is a great caulking product. Using durable and mold-resistant caulk for your bathroom can help keep your bathroom clean and healthy for years to come.
Over time, wear and tear on your bathtub can cause the caulk to break down. However, you can actually repair your tub on your own with the right sealant. Not all sealants are created equal – you’ll need an option that’s easy to apply and will provide long-lasting performance. Sashco CleanSeal is the contractor’s choice for tub repair and other kitchen and bath projects. Here’s why CleanSeal is the most reliable option for DIY bathtub repairs.
If you’ve just added or replaced your kitchen backsplash, you know how much it can add to your kitchen’s aesthetic and revitalize the entire space. Before you start to use your new beautiful kitchen, however, you’ll want to commit to one last step that will ensure that the cabinets and walls won’t suffer from any unwanted moisture damage: you will want to caulk around your kitchen backsplash.
Our kitchen countertops get a lot of wear and tear over time. They also serve as a landing place for moisture throughout the day, which, if not wiped up, can seep into gaps behind walls and appliances. Over the years, moisture buildup can lead to larger problems in the walls and cabinets, so it’s important to caulk along the kitchen backsplash before using the area.
Why Updated Caulk Matters for Your Kitchen Backsplash
Even if your backsplash looks good and is either cleaned regularly or was recently renovated, adding sealant is crucial to maintaining its long-term health (and yours!). You’d be surprised how much water regularly collects in kitchens over time in out-of-the-way spaces. It’s even more important to know the potentially harmful impact of that collected water over time.
If water seeps through old cracked caulk or an unsealed gap along a backsplash, it can build up in the wall and create extensive damage to everything around it and can potentially penetrate deeper into the structure of the house itself. Water that sits in dark places for a long time is also the perfect place for mold to grow, which can cause serious health concerns to adults and children alike.
Clean, new caulk also provides a finished edge to the backsplash and can help polish off a new space. And before you close your eyes to envision a pasty white line of caulk that’s messy and smeared, think again: not only will this guide show you how to create a smooth bead of sealant along your backsplash, but it will reveal how you can caulk in any color imaginable.
How to Install Caulk on a Kitchen Backsplash
To get ready to recaulk a kitchen backsplash, you’ll want your tube of caulk, a good caulking gun, a utility knife and razor blade, and a rag with some water.
A note on good caulk for kitchen use: Make sure that your caulk is water-resistant and that it will hold up over time as joints naturally expand and contract due to changes in pressure and temperature. You don’t want a caulk that will crack or break its seal after only a year of use!
Step 1: Remove Old Caulk
To get started on a backsplash that already has caulk, use your utility knife to cut out and remove the old caulk from along the joint. Once you cut it out, you may need to use a razor blade to scrape away any remained pieces sticking to the backsplash or the wall.
Once all chunks of caulk are gone, clean the joint to get rid of any remaining caulk dust or smaller pieces. Wipe it down if necessary and make sure that all surfaces are completely dry before applying new caulk.
Step 2: Apply the Caulk
Prepare the caulking tube by slicing at a 45-degree angle about ¼” from the end of the tip so that a small bead of caulk can be extruded.
Once you have loaded the caulking tube into your gun (unless you are using a squeeze tube, which you can simply apply by hand), place the tip of the tube in the center of the joint with the short side of the cut tip facing the gap. Steadily move the tube along the joint while squeezing out the caulk. For a smooth bead, make sure that you are pulling the tube along and not pushing it.
While you need enough caulk to cover the joint, try to keep the bead minimal to avoid making a mess. The less caulk used, the more the job will blend in with the overall backsplash without standing out visually.
Step 3: Smooth the Caulking
Chances are your new caulk bead doesn’t look perfect. Don’t worry! Instead of trying to scrape it into place or wipe some of it away, you’ll want to simply use a damp rag to wet your finger and run it gently along the caulking. The water will help your finger smooth the surface and make it look uniform without sticking to your skin.
Even if your caulk bead looks great after you apply it, continue to smooth it with your finger to increase its adhesion to the backsplash and to the wall. Once the caulk is smooth to your liking, congratulations! You officially have a finished backsplash.
Best Caulk for Kitchen Backsplashes
Now that we’ve covered caulking technique, let’s talk about appearances. Caulk traditionally comes in a limited range of colors that don’t always fit in perfectly with the color scheme of a backsplash or overall kitchen. Some latex caulks are paintable, but taping off an area to avoid getting paint on walls or tile nearby is can be a tedious, time-consuming process.
Sashco’s Color Solution: eXact color®
We’ve made a product that simplifies the caulking process and saves you time while improving your project design. With Sashco’s eXact color®, you’ll never have to worry about whether or not caulk will match surrounding colors, and you won’t have to spend hours taping off every nearby surface. Instead, you’ll be able to precisely match your caulking job to a paint color that fits in with the design of your kitchen or of any other space that needs sealant. In just a few minutes, you can mix your caulk to an exact paint or pigment color before applying it in one simple step, saving you time and improving the aesthetics of the overall space.
All you need to match eXact color® is your paint or stain of choice. The eXact color® product comes with a syringe that allows you to directly add paint before shaking the tube itself to mix it together. Once you add and mix a thickening agent, you’ll be ready to go! The process only takes a few minutes and saves you time and the hassle of coming back to paint.
Design and Performance
Don’t plan on sacrificing quality to get the appearance that you want. eXact color® uses the same powerful adhesion technology that we use in our Big Stretch products to create a long-lasting seal that can withstand constant moisture over time (although we wouldn’t recommend it for areas that experience complete submersion). It can also be used for gaps that are up to 2 inches wide, transforming an awkward space into one that seamlessly matches its surroundings.
Caulking Your Kitchen Backsplash
Installing caulk along your kitchen backsplash will help prevent moisture from building up and causing long-term problems with mold and water damage down the road. It can also provide a nice clean line to finish the project nicely. Best of all, it won’t take you long, especially if you have a product like eXact color® that allows you to match the sealant to the color scheme of the entire space without messily painting over it.
Whether you’ve just finished a new kitchen remodel, want to replace old yellowing caulk, or need a customized color for sealant in other spaces of your home, eXact color® simplifies the process without falling short on adhesion and long-term elasticity. Find it at a supplier near you to give it a try! For questions or concerns, reach out to our customer service team today. We’d love to hear what you think!
There are some jobs where a classic white or clear caulk just won’t cut it – you’ll need a custom color to match the surrounding material or paint color. Obvious caulk lines can look unprofessional and distract from the flow of the room.
As a contractor, you need a custom color solution that’s effective and easy to use. Here’s the easiest way to get an exact color match that will wow your clients!
Bathroom caulk or sealant is meant to last a long time, just like any brand will tell you right on the tube itself. So why is it that bathroom caulk needs to be repaired or completely reapplied so often? Whether you’re a homeowner tired of looking at peeling caulk or a contractor getting calls from customers to re-caulk their bathroom yet again, you’re most likely frustrated that things aren’t working as they should!
Just as with anything else around the house, the well-paved road to long-lasting bathroom sealant is regular maintenance. While caulk is meant to be a long-term solution, using the wrong caulking product or forgetting to clean the caulk regularly will just lead to leaks and problems with mildew. Let’s take a closer look at bathroom caulk to learn how to maintain it over time.
Finding the right caulking product for the bathroom can be tricky. Bathrooms are warm, humid environments, so durability on its own isn’t enough – you need a caulk that is specifically designed to handle moisture. If you don’t use the right caulk on your bathroom projects, you could end up having to do short-term repairs, which can hurt your reputation and make your customers unhappy. Here’s what to look for in a great tub and tile caulk.
When you’re renovating a bathroom, aesthetics are often just as important as functionality. Many homeowners want to show off their beautiful tile, metal, or granite fixtures in the shower without visible caulk lines. However, they’ll still need caulking that will take the abuse of shower and tub environments. A high-performance clear shower sealant is a great solution to this problem.
Not just any clear caulk will work in the shower. Many caulks are advertised as being clear, but are foggy-translucent at best, often with a slight yellow or grey tinge. A caulk may even dry clear, but just is not up to the challenges of the bath. Ask yourself, “How can a truly water-clear sealant (when applied properly) change the game for me and my customer?”
Knowing how to caulk a sink is essential for any kitchen remodel. Not just any caulk will do for this project – you’ll need a high performance caulk or sealant that gives your customers long-lasting results. High quality sealants are more durable and, for a contractor, that means fewer repairs for your team and less hassle for your customers. Read on to learn how to caulk a sink and why the type of caulk you use makes a difference.
Renovating a bathroom comes with plenty of unique challenges. As a contractor, you know how tough it can be to create a water-tight seal that will prevent mold and mildew from growing. You’ll need a tough, long-lasting caulk with water-sealing technology. Your caulking also needs to look great in the bathroom and be easy to use on any project that comes your way.
Logs are in constant dynamic motion. That's why there's Log Builder®, the sealant made for log structures. Stretches up to 500% of original size, while still maintaining tenacious adhesion to the wood.
It's Music to the Eyes Symphony works in harmony with the unique character of your logs and wood to reflect an atmosphere or cozy warmth and elegance while creating and scuff-resistant and durable surface that's easy to dust.
Maintenance Made Easy Now that Capture® Log Stain is applied, it’s time for Cascade® Clear Topcoat to bring out the depth and character of your unique woodgrain while protecting it against moisture, mildew, and algae. Predictable and affordable routine maintenance with Cascade throughout the years means your home stays protected and beautiful. Easy!
Rot, weather, insects, fungi all pose a serious threat to your logs. Protect your investment—treat your logs first to make them last. Tim-bor® helps protect your home from the costly damage caused by rot and insect infestation.
Bugs don't stand a chance
Easy to mix and apply
Prevents decay fungi
Costs 5 times less than glycol-based borate products