Q&A / 

Pepe Corona Daltile Los Angeles CA

Yesterday my good friend Steve Loyola and I got some expert advice from Pepe Corona.

Pepe works the counter at the Daltile showroom and supply house in north Los Angeles just off the 2 Glendale freeway.

I was out in LA taping home improvement videos at Steve's house. One video showed how to repair a broken and cracked Mexican patio tile.

We needed to perfectly match the existing grout between the tiles.

The common premixed colored grout you get at the big box stores was not a match. We needed a custom color.

Expert Advice

Pepe is on the left and I'm wearing my Climb to the Clouds long-sleeved t-shirt. Thanks Pepe for the great advice! Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Laticrete Permacolor® to the Rescue

The day before we discovered that Daltile was only eight miles from Steve's house. We called and discovered they stocked the Laticrete Permacolor® Sanded Grout system.

The Laticrete Permacolor® grout is something I dreamed about forty years ago. It allows you to create any colored grout you want.

laticrete permacolor

In just a matter of minutes, I used the two different dry powered pigments to create a perfect match. You can see the first attempt to the right of the wide putty knife. It's too gray. But the blend sitting on the edge of the putty knife is a perfect match. You always match the colors with the grout dry, not wet. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

You mix small amounts of colored dry pigment powder with pure white sanded grout base to achieve the exact color you need.

Related Links

Grouting Floor Tile Videos

Patio Grout Repair Tips

The Daltile Oasis of Knowledge

Within minutes of walking up to the counter, I struck up a conversation with Pepe. I asked his associate moments before if they sold a grout release agent.

She asked Pepe to jump into the conversation.

It only took seconds for me to recognize Pepe was no ordinary sales counter clerk.

expert advice

This is just part of the Daltile showroom where Pepe works. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Steve and I had wandered into a lush oasis of knowledge and Pepe was there ready and waiting to dispense expert advice. He harvested this sweet nectar by working for 30-years in the homes of paying customers. In other words, Pepe is a true professional and you can trust his expert advice.

Forty Years of Expert Advice

I've dealt with counter sales people for over four decades. Some are as dim as a night-light bulb while others are as brilliant as a new LED flashlight.

Pepe is the latter. He's one of the rare craftsmen who has walked the walk for decades working at the homes of paying customers. He knows what works and knows what happens if you take a shortcut or use low-quality materials.

Setting tile and grouting is hard work. Pepe probably decided it's best for his body and mind to let younger men and women take his place in the field while he transitions to a different way to make a living surrounded by the materials and people he's worked with for years.

Many a craftsman does this and you'll do yourself a huge favor by taking the time to find them at off-the-beaten-path places like this Daltile showroom hidden in out-of-the-way places.

Thank Pepe for making my day and Daltile I hope you treat Pepe well so he doesn't end up working at American Olean, Marazzi, Interceramic, or Florida Tile!



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