I love the month of November because it is so focused on thankfulness. As a Grand Rapids business owner and designer, one thing I am especially grateful for are other local businesses that are creative, timely, and client-oriented. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we wanted to share a little Q&A with you from one such gem: Welch Tile and Marble.
Let me just tell you now, these guys are great! Remember that snazzy tiny house that The Georgia Pear designed for Coverings 2017? Welch Tile and Marble played a huge part in bringing that design to life. Their team worked tirelessly for almost three days straight to build that home. I would be so lucky to work with such a dedicated group on every project.
Welch Tile is family-owned and has offices in both Kent City and Holland, Michigan. For our interview, we got to speak with company president, Dan Welch, who allowed us to explore the story behind the business. Without further ado, meet Welch Tile and Marble:
A photo of our awesome team at Coverings,
including Dan Welch in the front left corner.
1. When did Welch Tile and Marble get started? What's the story behind it?
Welch Tile began in 1987 with three partners eventually narrowing to one, Dick Welch, who focused on large, labor-only commercial tile projects. Dick and his wife, Colleen, worked very hard to build a crew of craftsmen and started as a union signatory contractor through the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts Workers Hall.
2. Give us your "60 second" commercial on what Welch Tile is all about:
People providing high quality work on projects that require skill and expertise. The problem solving and team approach to tile contracting is a value add for our clients under tight construction deadlines and critical project details.
Beautiful tile work done by Welch Tile and Marble for Coverings 2017.
3. Tell us a little about your background:
Second generation tile setter involved with The National Tile Contractors Association trying to make the tile industry a better place. I am a certified Ceramic Tile Education Foundation CTI and ACT. My passion is training, education, and building a better system. Dick and Colleen had seven kids, including me, and most of them still work in the family business.
4. Tell us about a favorite project or achievement:
Miami Forum was a performing arts project in South Beach where we needed to provide pre-cast terrazzo and cut to size stone. The job site conditions and schedule were tough but the main thing I liked was the challenge.
5. What is one of your favorite things about what you do?
Solving problems, running a crew efficiently, and looking back on a good day's work.
6. Tell us something about your business that makes it unique:
Second generation family-owned, highly developed for the size, focused on process development and efficiency, caring and family focused.
7. What are some of the current trends in your industry?
Large, thin tile panels. Specialized projects such as pools, food, steam, showers, and water management systems.
8. What does your process look like when working with a client?
Typically we bid projects through a set of documents solicited by a general contractor, or construction manager, then a bid is prepared by the estimator. Once reviewed, a contract is signed, executed, and materials are ordered. Our client is normally a builder or construction manager. When onsite, we work in a team setting to divide the work into phases and task the team with meeting the expected quality and schedule. Many times we are initially viewed as difficult to work with due to the attention we give to detail when starting our work.
9. What does it look like for you to partner with an interior designer?
When an interior designer is involved the look needs to adjust to functionality. We are the team member that is pushing for life cycle decisions to make this method work correctly.
10. If a reader wanted to get in contact with you, or learn more about your business, where could they do so?
Another snapshot of the tile installed by
Welch Tile and Marble at Coverings 2017.