When Jill Vuncannon of Ellerbe built her house 20 years ago, the design of a shower meant she had to tile the area instead of buying a prefabricated unit.
Watching ceramic tile installer Bernie Fulp of Ellerbe tile the shower base and wall surround, she decided she wanted to learn how to lay tile. Fulp shared the secrets of laying tile and she built a business out of the skills she learned. Now, she is sharing her knowledge in a course offered by Richmond Community College.
Ceramic Tile begins Jan. 17 and ends Feb. 21. It meets Thursday nights from 6 until 9:30 p.m. at the Trades Building on RCC’s main campus. Tuition is $65. Preregistration is requested as space is limited.
Vuncannon says the class will cover the basics of creating backsplashes, countertops, and Jacuzzi decks.
“We’ll touch briefly on floors because you need a knowledge base there, too. Taking a course is good because there are so many tricks you can learn that you simply cannot get from a book. Cutting tile is hard, but there are things I can show you that make it easy to understand and accomplish. Experience is the best teacher, and I’ve been doing this for 17 years, so I’ve learned a few things that will help others get off to the right start,” she said.
Bring patience to the class. She says you cannot grout if you’re not patient.
“It has to be at the right stage before you wipe it down; if you rush it, you’ll mess it up. You’ll also hear sayings I’ve learned, like, ‘You can finish with too much, but you cannot finish with too little,’” she said.
Vuncannon recalled a project she was unsure of that caused her to call on Fulp for assistance. She called it a continuing education project because she learned something new from Fulp and expanded her skill sets.
“Everything will be supplied for the course. Each student will lay tile on a wooden square he or she can make into a tabletop or wall hanging. They will grout their pieces. We will finish the class by doing an actual backsplash in someone’s home,” said Vuncannon.
To preregister, call 410-1700.