While the construction industry moves towards licensing as part of the Building Act 2004 and in response to leaky homes scares, the shower industry is moving that way too.
New Zealand shower manufacturer Atlantis Bathroom Style has taken the initiative in ensuring their product performs the way it should, especially in high risk areas such as timber floors and in upstairs bathrooms.
But while Atlantis says its tile shower system is a “bullet-proof solution”, it still needs the back-up of good quality and trained tradespeople to achieve the best outcome for customers.
In response to this, Atlantis has built a network of experienced and reputable tradespeople and specialist shower installers in every region, and trained them as certified Atlantis shower installers.
Atlantis trainer Matthew Francis is responsible for teaching the correct procedures for Atlantis Tiled Shower System to the installers.
“Our installers are usually recommended by local plumbing merchants,” Mr Francis says. “Then we run a background check on their references and workmanship and have them install seven or eight of our showers on a trial basis. If there are no complaints or issues with their techniques, we sign them up.”
Newly certified Atlantis installer Chris Rarity has been an approved contractor in Blenheim for a number of years for several shower companies, including Atlantis. He believes in the need for certified installers.
“If you’ve got a quality product, you want to know the right person is installing it the right way,” Mr Rarity says. “It’s a specialist job.”
Dunedin-based Mike Cranstoun was among the first certified Atlantis shower installers. “There are no guarantees unless you use a certified installer, and that goes for any specialist job,” he says.
“You’re silly even if you get your builder or plumber to do it, as you can jeopardise your warranty if it isn’t installed properly. Everyone’s going to have to be licensed soon,” he maintains.
While the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) licensing scheme currently only covers carpenters, builders, site supervisors, construction managers, designers and draughtspeople, other specialist licence classes will follow.
A DBH spokesperson confirmed there are discussions under way regarding how to manage work done in internal moisture areas, particularly showers.
“There is work that is currently not covered by proposed licence classes that is important, and may need to be done by a licensed person. We have to work with industry to determine how this can be managed.”
Atlantis installers have found people readily accept the need for specialists.
“It’s not a problem convincing the end consumer, but most people don’t know there are those out there who specialise in shower installation,” Mr Rarity says. “If they did, they’d definitely want to use one.”