March 2, 2022

Always Have a Backup Plan

I share some practical tips on dealing with shortages and delays in securing materials and why you should have a backup plan. And I’ll explain why you should light up the shower area before you begin tiling.


Securing materials and dealing with delays is something that everyone in the trades is navigating, and NS Builders is no exception. Even with the best advance planning—making conscious decisions to order ahead of time to ensure materials are delivered when you need them—things still happen. And that’s when we have to think creatively—go to a backup plan—find an acceptable alternative that will allow the schedule to remain intact and maintain a high level of craftsmanship.

On this project, we ran into a situation where our wood flooring supplier had a 3/4 inch material we were set to use; unfortunately, it sold out. So we had to improvise. We opted to go with a slightly thinner 5/8 inch material—same wear layer, same material. However, the difference affects all of our heights—tile transitions, stairs transitions, and even cabinetry. Our backup plan: We built the floor up 1/8 inch with lauan, glued and screwed it down over the entire floor. We traced out the location of our radiant heat lines and spray painted the floor so we would see exactly where to avoid hitting a line when we install the flooring.


In the downstairs shower, we’re installing a custom light that is high up—almost hidden—on the back of the shower ceiling. It’s going to create a dramatic effect of beautiful, radiant light pouring down the back wall. Some guys shy away from lighting above a shower because the light will catch every discrepancy and lippage of the tile. However, here’s what we do to make sure the final product looks amazing in any overhead light.

Install the final lighting before you start tiling. At the very least, use temporary lighting in the approximate location. This way, when you are tiling, it will be much easier to catch any of those discrepancies. It allows you to see and address any issues and sets you up for a more successful tile install.

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally craft for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen.

—Nick Schiffer


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