For a huge multifamily development project like The Avalyn in Chula Vista, Calif., there’s no shortage of challenges for builders to deal with. Many of these vary from unit to unit, since this eight-building, 480-unit, 528,000-square-foot complex contains everything from one-bedroom flats to three-story town homes. But no matter the layout, every unit is going to share one thing — a shower and/or tub enclosure, each of which takes a whole lot of time to finish.
Traditionally, crews like Southern California Interiors, Inc. (who were responsible for the framing, drywalling and finishing on two mixed-use buildings within the luxury apartment complex) would finish around showers by filling the gap between the enclosure and the drywall with caulk, then mesh-taping over it. This was time-consuming, messy and inconsistent, leading their team to search for a cleaner, faster way.
“When we tried to flat tape around the edges, it was a nightmare going back after a finished product because the owner wasn't accepting the way the trim around the tub looked,” Southern California Interiors President/CEO Jesse Rodriguez says. “Even though we went back and caulked it and we did different things, we still had a lot of issues with it. It just doesn't look that good. It doesn't at all. You're able to really see the inconsistency. Not only that, when the taper goes back and tries to apply mud, every hand is different, so it's not going to be consistent. It doesn't work out, it hasn't worked out, and we have problems going back and forth fixing that … Once Trim-Tex came by and introduced [Shower Bead] to us, we jumped on board right away.”
Shower Bead eliminates many of the steps involved with finishing around tub enclosures, with an extra-wide vinyl flange that bridges the gap between the enclosure and the drywall. It’s an all-in-one solution built to save you time and material. Because this bead is vinyl, it won’t rust or serve as a food source for mold — problems that frequently occur with metal beads and paper tape, respectively, in moisture-rich environments like these.
“It's always been in the back of my mind there's got to be a better way to do it,” says Southern California Interiors Estimator/Project Manager Anthony Anderson. “The caulking infill is just a lot dirtier. We've always been looking for a cleaner, faster way to infill those tub flanges, and when my superintendent showed me this, it's just quicker, cleaner installation all around … We've been jamming through, as opposed to the standard infill, mesh tape, and all that. I think, in the long run, it'll be better because we don't have the contraction with the building itself and with the moisture in the air being in the restroom. I think, in the long run, it would overall just be a better product at that application.”
Learn more about how to bridge the gap between drywall and other substrates like shower and tub enclosures with Shower Bead here.