Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Elevators For Commercial Applications

An elevator is a device used for transporting persons, luggage and goods between different floors of multi-storied buildings. Of the various types of elevators available, commercial elevators are the powerful ones and find a wide range of applications in healthcare centers, shopping malls, multiplexes and small scale industries.

Commercial elevators are of hydraulic or electrical types and are available in varying lifting capacities ranging from 1,000 lb to 6,000 lb. Hydraulic elevators that travel 8 floors or less can reach speeds upto 200 ft/min. In the case of electric elevator it is 500 ft/min. Acceciblity equipments that travel above ten floors have speeds ranging from 500 ft/min to 2000ft/min. Hydraulic elevators are commonly used in buildings having 2-8 floors.

Safety Measures in Commercial Elevators

Most commercial elevators are incorporated with excellent safety and security features. Alarm button is provided as a safety measure for signalling outsiders whenever the elevator is in trouble or when the lift gets trapped. An alarm is also triggered when the accissibility equipments are stopped for a long time.

Switches are provided to control the ventilation fan and light in the elevator. Some accessibility equipments are provided with telephone for the passenger to use in case of emergency. Commercial elevators can also be controlled from outside using the up and down button in each floor and all controls are so user friendly that passengers can use them even in the absence of an elevator operator.

For commercial lifts designed to carry freights, stop switch is provided to hold the elevator doors open, for loading and unloading. Open/close buttons are used to instruct the elevator for opening and closing the doors.

Choose from a Wide Range of Elevator Models

There are many branded companies that provide different models of commercial elevators with varying features. ThyssenKrupp Access, Savaria Concord and Federal Elevator are some of the world class elevator manufacturers. These companies have nationwide dealers. These dealers provide you with necessary assistance for quality installation and maintenance of your elevator. Always rely on branded elevators for long lasting and trouble free use.

Panorama Residential Elevators

Founded in 1988 and with its headquarters in Ontario, Canada, Federal Elevator is a leading manufacturer of accessibility products in Canada and the US; it is also one of the fastest growing elevator companies in the world. One of the highly acclaimed products from Federal Elevator in the residential elevator category is the Panorama residential elevator. With the increasing need of having highly efficient elevators for serving the aged and the disabled, Federal Elevator's Panorama residential elevator can prove to be highly beneficial to clients.

The Panorama elevator from Federal elevator maintains high standards in quality with lots of exceptional features being incorporated in the model. All features provided in the model are aimed at ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride for its users, along with keeping the whole unit free from all kind of troubles and maintenance issues.

Some of the features provided in the Panorama residential elevator include:

o 1000 lbs load carrying capacity
o Standard platform size of 36" x 48"
o Maximum speed of 50 fpm
o Key switch arrangement to shut elevators off during landing
o Stainless steel control panel

Passenger safety is given top priority by Federal elevators and the safety measures implemented are of the same standards provided in commercial elevators. The Panorama residential elevator has its own car control station with emergency stop buttons for user convenience. The emergency light and alarm activation implemented can immensely help passengers when normal power supply is off and the emergency lowering power supply system can safely land the elevator on to its platform whenever regular power fails.

A lot of customization options are offered in these Panorama residential elevators. The components which can be customized include interior cab finishing, car enclosure, arrival gongs and lights, floorings with carpet and rubber options and voice activated controls, to mention a few. The options for customizing car gates include manual or powered accordion folding, manual black scissor and bi-folding types. The optional platform configurations include the 90 degree side opening as well as three side openings.

Federal elevator offers one year company warranty for replacements of all defective parts for its Panorama residential elevators. With authorized elevator service centers operating throughout the US and Canada, getting your Panorama elevator serviced is even easier. With company trained technicians in service centers offering onsite and offsite servicing for federal elevators, clients can get their panorama residential elevators serviced in an efficient and time bound manner.

Thus to experience more freedom of movement in your residential apartment, Federal Elevator's Panorama residential elevator is the best suited product. With one of these accessibility products installed in your home, you and your family can enjoy an improved way of life.

The First Passenger Elevator

Elevators are devices that are used to carry goods and supplies between floors. The earliest notation of an elevator dates back to 200 BC and is accredited to a Roman architect named Vitruvius. Elevators would continue to be used for thousands of years by people to move goods between floors.

While elevators were used for many thousands of years, the first passenger elevator was not invented until the middle of the nineteenth century. Prior to this the elevators were really dumbwaiters. The usually consisted of a simple rope hoist system. These dumbwaiters were powered by people, animals, or water.

One of the first major developments in regard to elevator technology occurred towards the end of the eighteenth century. A Russian inventor, named Ivan Kulibin , developed an elevator that used a screw drive system instead of a hoist. Kulibin's elevator would be installed in Winter Palace and several years later another Kulibin elevator would be installed in Arkhangelskoye, which is a suburb of Moscow.

While there are many documented uses of the elevator, the first passenger elevator would not be seen until 1884, when a very talented inventor named Elisha Otis unveiled the worlds first safety elevator. Otis led a very interesting life and was a talented mechanic. While overseeing the construction of a new factory, he invented a way to stop a rope hoist from falling if the rope broke.

After the building of the factory was complete, he was set to go mine gold in California, when he began to receive many questions about his elevator. Seeing a market for this device, he started his own company that was aimed at providing commercial dumbwaiters to businesses. In 1854, Otis unveiled the first passenger elevator, which incorporated a new safety design to protect against cable failure. His design is the basis for the safety system that is used on today's elevators.

Otis's first safety elevator was showcased at Crystal Palace, which was a building located in New York. The Crystal Palace was built as a place for people from around the world to meet and showcase their designs. He quickly received an order for his elevator and the first permanent passenger elevator was installed several years later in 1857. The safety elevator was not Otis's only contribution to elevator technology. He also developed a steam powered elevator in 1861. This elevator was unique because it contained its own steam generator, so even businesses that had no power source could use the elevator.

Otis died shortly after receiving his patent for the steam elevator, but his two sons took over his business. They were much like their fathers in that they were very mechanically inclined and continued to help steer the elevator industry.

Today the Otis Elevator is known world wide and holds over twenty percent of the elevator market. Their elevators can be seen in almost 1.25 million buildings all over the world and they employ almost seventy thousand employees.

The elevator has come a long way since the early dumbwaiter and its history is very interesting.

An Elevator Speech Can Help Take Your Business to a Whole New Level

What Is An Elevator Speech?

If you're in business, looking for a job, of even if you socialize a lot, having an "elevator speech" is an essential resource to have in your professional or personal tool box.

For those who are not familiar with the concept, let's start with an elevator speech definition:

An elevator speech (or 30 second intro) is a short, persuasive description of a person, organization or group, or an idea for a product, service, or project.

It is a sound bite that details your professional or personal story, which should be prepared well in advance before you need it. This sound bite is a short well-crafted statement that should be concise but detailed enough to inform a potential business prospect, employer or anyone else you come into contact with about yourself, your business, your products or services, or your organization, preferably in the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator.

An elevator speech, therefore, should be short, to the point and grab your listener's attention by saying a lot in very few words, yet leave your audience wanting to know more.

A good elevator speech can be as short as 3 to 4 short sentences, about 50-100 words and take less than 30 seconds to deliver, or, as we will see a little later in this article, it can even be longer than 30 seconds. One minute and 2 minute elevator speeches can also be used in appropriate situations.

According to Wikipedia, an elevator speech is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. A good elevator speech is short but packed with information that is memorable, original, and personal.

In business, the elevator speech is a powerful sales tool for just about everyone. It will create great relationships and bring in more sales. Those who know how to use it effectively, would most likely agree that it is as essential nowadays as using a business card.

In your personal and social life, a prepared intro speech can be useful as a way of getting a job interview, or providing a quick introduction to any topic you want to pursue further with others in conversation.

Ultimately, the elevator speech is your 7 - 30 second response to the question, "so what do you do?" and the answer should be effective enough to introduce yourself and get your point across to a complete stranger in the time it would take for you to share a ride in a lift.

The Purpose Of An Elevator Speech

One of the great benefits of an elevator speech is that it helps you think attentively, creatively and intently about yourself, your job history or business, and your goals. It helps you to organize the information inside your head and crystallize your communication with others.

I first came across the concept of "elevator speeches" and the necessity of having them readily available many years ago, when I joined a network marketing company with no previous experience in business, sales or presenting.

The dilemma that most newcomers to network marketing experience when trying to grow their business, is whether to lead conversations with people they meet with the product or the business opportunity. In other words, if someone asks you what you do and you talk to them about your products (e.g. "I market a terrific nutritional supplement, blah blah blah..."), then you are steering the conversation towards a retail sale. If you lead with the business opportunity, however, (e.g. "I train motivated people on ways to build a profitable home based business, etc...") then you are qualifying people for your business as a potential new recruit.

Having a couple of elevator speeches ready and knowing when to apply each type, therefore, was a valuable lesson I gained during my network marketing years.

Although I am no longer involved in the direct selling industry, the elevator speech is just as vital today in my professional and business life, as it was when I was trying to build a distributor organization many years ago.

Today, elevator speeches are more often used at networking events than in actual elevators, but the purpose is the same. Having a scripted mini-speech when searching for a job lead enables you to provide succinct information to the network of people around you so they know exactly what you are looking for and can help you find it. These short-to-the-point intros are also appropriate to use when following up on referrals or leads.

Let's take a look a little more deeply, then, at the purpose of creating and using an elevator speech.

A really good elevator speech should help you create opportunities to pursue new business, new job offers, or new social contacts.

The purpose of your elevator speech should be to help you start a conversation with one or more people and get their permission to continue it. A good elevator speech will immediately grab your listener's attention by saying a lot in very few words and then leave your audience wanting to know more.

Instead of disengaging your prospect's attention, a properly delivered elevator speech should create a positive response and lead to a positive result. It should get people interested enough to continue talking about you, your product or your business, or make them want to call you again to understand more of what you're all about.

How To Write An Elevator Speech

Your elevator speech should not be your organization's mission statement, or your resume. Also, one of the most common mistakes made when trying to come up with an effective intro is to focus on what you do, or what you are.

Your elevator speech should be conversational, probably last 30 seconds or less and focus on one or more "emotional benefits" for the prospect.

In other words, there's got to be something in it for your prospect. Don't make it about you, make it about "them" and how you can help "them" to solve a problem or improve their lives.

The elevator speech example below is the one I use at business networking events for growing my internet marketing consulting services business:

"I help businesses get more leads and sales from their web sites."

It may not be a "killer" as such, but it works incredibly well. I know that most small business owners have websites that are not delivering them the results they want (more traffic, more leads and more sales), and I can help them, so I have targeted my 30 second intro (more like 5 seconds, actually) specifically for their need.

Your best elevator speech should be a "viral creature" that can burn itself into your listener's brain so that they will not only remember it, but also repeat it enthusiastically to others.

Can such a thing be created?

Of course! But it will probably take time, and a great deal of trial and error.

The best way to create your 30 second intro, is to begin by thinking deeply about the answer to questions such as:

- Who is my audience?

- What do they need or want that I alone can provide?

- Where and when will I use the speech?

- What are all the different situations I might face in the course of my professional or personal life where it would helpful to have a compelling mini-speech already prepared?

- What is the best response I want to elicit from others after I give my elevator speech? (For example, do you want to get a conversation going, a business card, an email address, a referral or an appointment for another meeting or presentation)?

Once you have thought deeply on the above questions, create your first elevator speech draft and then write it out. If required, create different versions for different business scenarios.

You may want to record a video or audio of yourself delivering your elevator speech. Watching the video afterwards will help you finetune your content and delivery, as well as help you develop a clear, concise and compelling message.

If you feel anxious about using an elevator speech, practice. Rehearse your 30 second speech with your partner, a friend, or in front of a mirror. Make it such an integral part of you that if someone woke you up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and asked you "what do you do?", you would be able to respond instantly, smoothly, naturally and without any hesitation.

Finally, don't worry if your "elevator speech" isn't smooth, easy, or natural in the beginning. Just keep rehearsing it and presenting it, and monitor the response you get afterwards.

If you are really having problems coming up with an elevator speech, consider joining a business networking group, or search online for sites that offer speech writing tips and tutorials

If you can afford it, you may even want to consider hiring a marketing professional or sales copywriter to help you or staff come up with an effective elevator speech.

How Long Should Your Elevator Speech Be

Ideally, you should develop a 30 second elevator speech following the guidelines and suggestions presented here. Keep in mind that a full 30 second intro may actually be too long in certain situations. The more concise you can make it, therefore, the better.

If, like me, you are a "systems-driven" person, then here is a really useful tip: Think about every business interaction with your prospect leading up to your sales presentation (and beyond) as a chain of scripted presentations. Your elevator speech is a scripted mini-presentation and your sales process is really nothing more than scripted speeches of longer duration.

So, if you were to map out your business sales process as a chain of scripted conversations, you would probably find that your 30 seconds elevator speech naturally leads to another speech, i.e. a 60 second elevator speech (or a 2 minute elevator speech) as the person expresses an interest or curiosity in response to your 30 second speech, which then leads to a longer speech called a "needs analysis" presentation, then more conversations called a "solutions" presentation, "decision confirmation" presentation, "training" or "product delivery" presentation, etc...

When you learn to tie up all of these "speeches" or scripted conversations together, you will have a powerful business system that you can test, measure and improve upon for continuously better results.

Additional Tips

To conclude this article, here some great tips on ways you can use your elevator speech for growing your business and getting more leads and referrals:

- Don't be afraid to leave it as a voice message when making cold calls or speaking to potential employers (e.g., when leaving a voice-mail message for a hiring manager).

- Use it in your blog or web site in the "About Us" section.

- Use it in your email signature and on the back of your business card.

- Use it any time you are networking for business... even socially when attending functions.

- Use it when following up on referrals.

For more great ideas on ways to grow your business, I recommend listening to business audio books. Check out some of the excellent business audio book titles here: Best Business Audiobooks

I hope you have found this information useful and practical and I wish you great success.

Design Your Business Cards So They Help You Continue "Selling" To Your Prospects After You Leave

Why Are YOU "Really" In Business?

"I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn't really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going" - Richard Branson

If you are a true entrepreneur, you will know that to succeed, it helps that you enter a line of business that you naturally enjoy, and would gladly do even if you did not get paid(as tends to happen during start up). The truth however is that you are(I hope) in business to make money in a manner that is profitable - which will in turn enable you stay in THAT business you enjoy, for the long term. To achieve the foregoing purpose, you will need to do cost-effective and results-focused business marketing. One very important - but I believe grossly underutilised tool - for doing that is the Business Card.

I discuss in this article how you as a business owner, can better design your own business cards, to significantly improve your ability to market yourself to those who really need your services and/or products.

Marketing is about creating an impression - a positive impression - in the mind of your intended customer - that YOU or YOUR BUSINESS are more capable of meeting his/her perceived need or want than any others. The more successful you are in creating this impression about yourself/business in the mind of your target audience, the greater the chances that they will choose you over others who may offer the same products and/or services you do. This in effect means, you will be better able to achieve your major business goal of making MORE money, MORE profitably.

This Article Is Meant MAINLY For Non-Employees

Just before I continue, I wish to make the following clarification. The ideas I offer here are mainly for use by self-employed individuals (independent contractors, consultants, entrepreneurs/business owners) - i.e. people who are their own bosses and therefore take decisions that affect how their company is perceived or operates.

For those who work as employees in companies, it is likely that decisions about the type and design of business cards used will be taken with considerations relevant to the company's preferred mode of operation and business vision. I will therefore only say that persons who fall into this latter category, if they find what I say here of potential usefulness to their organisation(e.g. sales/marketing personnel) explore the possibility of bringing it to the attention of appropriate decision makers for consideration.

Is There A Rule Book For Business Card Design?

I am not aware of any rule book that actually spells out what information or details should or should not be on a business card: But if you know of any, I would appreciate your sending me a note about where to find it. :-)

It appears instead, that most people seem to have come to some tacit agreement on the most relevant pieces of information and features to adorn their cards with. Or maybe they just adopted what they found others doing when they entered into business for themselves. Either way, the point I'm making is that I believe each person needs to try and design a business card that works for him/her.

What Does The Conventional Business Card "Say"?

What I would call the conventional business card typically contains information that "says" the following(in addition to some graphics such as a logo, or artistic effects for aestetic appeal):

1. Who you are: Your name/title/business name, and possible qualifications that lend credence to your claims.

2. Contact Info: Phone numbers, postal/physical address, web URL/email(you do have these don't you?).

3. A Tag Line: Punchy phrase about your biz. BUT will these help achieve your purpose?

But the question could be asked: Does the conventionally designed business card work as well as it could be made to? I say NO. I say NO. In fact, after thinking about this issue, I have come to the conclusion that one word best describes the conventional business card - and that's "Passive". It's contents are not designed to be response-generating or action-inducing. I however believe one can adopt a card design that is more "Active" -- hence my efforts at finding an alternative that works, which eventually led to this article being written.

I have always been a bit of a non-conformist - with a penchant for "playing devil's advocate", "rocking the boat", "stirring things up" etc in a bid to challenge others to re-evaluate accepted norms for possible refinement - or total replacement. :-) If I find that the status quo does not offer me what I consider optimal returns towards achievement of a set goal(s), I immediately begin exploring alternative options to adopt, till I find something that gives me the results I want.

Based on the above, the question, for me - as a performance enhancement advocate - on the issue of business cards and how to get the most value from them is: What information do business persons NEED to put on their business cards, to help them MORE successfully achieve their intended purpose for handing such cards out to prospects ?

By the way, with a few possible exceptions, I assume here that the reader - like most people who give out business cards - does so because s/he expects that the cards will further impress(or remind) the recipients to make contact at a later date in relation to the product or service discussed. In my view the business cards many business persons give out are not properly equipped to achieve the full marketing impact potential they possess. Business cards, I believe, can be designed to play a more active - even though silent - role in the marketing and/or selling process.

Think about it this way. Someone you speak with about your work could say "Can I have your card?", possibly because your conversation is interesting enough to them, that they want to be able to contact you at a later date to take it further. However, whether or not you do end up closing a sale with that person could depend on what your card "says"(if at all it has anything to say) to him/her AFTER you've parted ways.

Now, if s/he runs into ANOTHER person who "appears" to offer something similar to what you told him/her you could, s/he might just give that OTHER person the job. But if your card is THE type that "tells"(or reminds) her about specific unique benefits you provide that the OTHER person may not be able to match, s/he is likely to tell the other seller "NO", and come back to you. I say the foregoing here on the assumption that you do actually have a Unique Selling Proposition(USP).

In essence, my argument is that business owners can do a little more thinking to MAKE MORE OBVIOUS, the TANGIBLE BENEFITS they offer, which prospective - and existing - clients would find attractive, and therefore be willing to take ACTION to get. The business owners can then highlight those benefits in form of keywords and phrases on their business cards. Such business cards would subsequently have a greater marketing "impact" on those who receive them, increasing the chances of the prospects making contact at a later date.

A Comparative Analysis Of Two Similar Restaurants With Different "Sales Pitches"

Let's do a little comparative analysis. Say it's 12.30pm and you are driving on a major highway to the next city to do a presentation scheduled for 2.00pm. If you keep driving at the same speed, you estimate you should get into the city in another thirty minutes, leaving you just enough time to check into "Clear View International Hotel", take a shower, change clothes and move into the conference hall on the ground hall of the hotel where the presentation will hold. But you are feeling a bit thirsty and hungry, and worry that there might not be enough time to quickly order something to eat at the hotel(Please bear with me: for some reason, I could not think up a better "excuse" :-)).

Suddenly you get to a junction and notice road signs for two different fast food outlets poisitioned next to each other. For the purpose of this example, we assume that both places actually offer equally quick services and more or less the same variety of foods and drinks. The difference is in the way they describe - on their road signs - what they offer the prospect(traveller), who needs to make up his/her mind.

One sign says "Quik-Caterers! Get Our Quik Travel Meals & Drinks Pack(TM). Wait Max 15 Mins - Or We Pay!". The other says "Welcome To Jazzy Jaff's Fast Foods Restaurant And Bar".

You will agree with me that if many travellers - who are in a hurry - had to decide which fast food restaurant to stop at, they would pick "Quik Caterers" - not because the name sounds better, or more appropriate, but most likely because their road sign offers MORE information - using catchy keywords/phrases - about TANGIBLE BENEFITS the prospective customers can relate to.

Customers are likely to PERCEIVE that "Quik-Catering" is more capable of meeting their NEEDS than "Jazzy Jaff's". Now, imagine the information said to be on the road signs(or some of it) is used on business cards given out by the respective owners of the two restaurants. Chances are that Quik-Catering MD's business card would raise more eyebrows, and probably result in one or two additional queries or comments to him/her(regarding the service described) - creating "openings" for sales conversations to take place.

Look at it this way: Wouldn't you be curious to know(and test?) if Quick-Catering could really deliver on its Wait Max 15 Mins - Or We Pay! promise? It's an attractive - though unusual - offer, but if Quik-Catering only put it on flyers placed on the drinks counter in the restaurant(and not on the road sign or on business cards), less people would get to know about it and stop over.

What Does Your Business Card "Need To Say"?

A business card that keeps "selling" you to your prospect long after you're gone, needs to say what you do in a way that makes those fitting your customer/client profile more likely to realize they actually NEED your product(s) and/or service(s).

You can design your business cards such that they cut down the amount of "work" you need to do to generate potentially valuable sales leads. This is particularly important because many times we come across people who qualify to be our "perfect customers or clients" in first time meeting situations that do not permit lengthy discussions or interactions. So, often times we end up using an elevator speech, answering one or two questions that arise from it, then exchanging business cards.

Some days later, the executive you gave your card to(and who at the same event went on to receive not less than four additional ones from "others like you"), sits in his/her office staring at your card. Among other things, s/he may struggle to recall where/when during that cocktail dinner s/he met you, and what again it was you said you could do for him/her that sounded so good!

This kind of dilemma faces many people who receive the conventional cards I earlier described. Of course s/he sees on the card that you are a CPA, or Certified Coach etc. What s/he does not see on THAT type of card is something(keywords, phrase etc) to help him/her see or recall the "slant" in your offering that sets you apart from others who may offer anything like you do. The result? S/he puts the card back in the desk drawer(or worse: the round filing cabinet - aka "Waste Paper Bin") and (probably) forgets it. Why? Because s/he cannot find a compelling enough reason to take the relationship further by giving you a call.

Think back to the two fast food restaurant signs comparison I did earlier and imagine you are a decision maker for a large company that's trying to choose a caterer to supply snacks to be served at their Annual General Meeting. Looking at the business cards given to you by the MD of Quik-Catering and that of Jazzy Jaff's, all other factors being fairly constant, you are likely to get the "impression" that Quik-Catering will be able to meet your needs more readily, because they sound (from what they say on their road signs and business cards) that they're already thinking along the lines of proving the value YOU seek.

What It Could Look Like: A business card that "sells" you looks different from any your prospect has seen, and creates a lasting impression that sets you apart from the crowd. You can print your information on the front - and leave the back blank, or print on both sides. From testing various designs, I have found that it is useful to leave some blank space on the back for writing answers to "Date We Met?", "Where We Met?", "Notes/Comments" etc prompts that are printed on it.

Actually Jeffery Meyer([]) suggests that you write answers to the earlier listed prompts on the back of cards you get from others - so YOU can remember them, and what they are about. I have taken it a step further and designed cards that let me, "the giver", write that information on the back of cards(which I take with me, as Meyer advises, to important meetings/events) I'm giving out, so as to "help" my prospects remember ME.

Click here to view a web page showing images of sample business card designs that incorporate the features I have discussed in this article(I also offer a FREE downloadable copy of the Corel Draw template I used to create them). Incidentally, my business cards have sort of "evolved" over time as I played around with the ideas I had - until I settled for a particular design/layout. You may also find it useful to let your creativity loose so as to arrive at the best design for your work.

A Business Card That Works Will Help You Market More Effectively & Efficiently

Jeffery Meyer once wrote that to avoid the "feast-famine" syndrome that can plague a business which fails to ensure steady inflow of new work, one must continually search for new customers - and "weed out" hopeless prospects who cost you marketing effort, time and expense, but give you no jobs. For instance, he advises that you take the repeated non-return of your phone calls by a prospect as a sign that s/he does not feel a compelling need for your product or service. Instead, divert that marketing energy and expense towards recruiting NEW prospects.

I believe a business card with the right balance of USP information and aesthetic appeal, can help a business owner use his/her business marketing time/effort more effectively and efficiently. This is because s/he will be able to use the card to create opportunities for discussions about useful benefits of the products and services s/he sells, in a way that will impress a prospective client or customer who happens to be looking for such returns.

It is true that "buyers" tend to be undecided when considering a purchase, but when the "seller" points out the USP s/he offers, AND IF they coincide with the buyer's felt needs, the buyer can become quite "sure" of what s/he wants, to the point that other "sellers" would be unable to influence him/her. Think about some products or services that many people use year in and year out(inspite of the presence of many competing brands), and you will find that they do so because certain needs they consider important are being met through the continued use of those products and services.

Designing your business card the way I describe is more likely to result in the card continuing to "sell" you to a prospect, even after you've parted ways with him/her. The card - each time s/he looks at it - will through its contents remind him/her that you offer THAT unique benefit s/he wants or needs. Of course not everyone you give your card to, will call you back to give you work! Life itself is about percentages. So, what I am saying is that a higher percentage of those you give out your cards to, are likely to get a better understanding of what you can do for them(or for someone they know), and so call(or recommend you). You'll consequently get more sales leads, and/or opportunities to close more sales.

Your Cards Cost Money - Aim To Get A Return On Your Investment In Each!

Print Them Cost-Effectively: I believe most individuals who work for themselves might find it more useful to design and print their own business cards in the quantities they require them. Due to the unpredictability of business generally, one or more bits of information on the card you use may change in a way that will make it necessary for you to re-print another set. If you already have thousands of cards printed, and suddenly discover a need to re-print, all the money spent producing the obsolete set would effectively go down the drain.

You can avoid this. If you have a template setup in Corel Draw to print ten standard size business cards on an A4 sized embossed card paper, for instance(and have used colors economically in the design) your home/office printer should be able to generate a set of cards for your use over a few weeks at a time. As your business operations grow, and you become more certain for the long term about the information you have to put on the cards, you may be able to more safely produce larger quantities of cards.

Think Before Giving Them Out: Considering that you would want the cards you give out to have a pleasing appearance, that complements the USP information printed on them, one expects they will not be "cheap" to produce. That's why you may want to make sure every one you give out counts.

If you can form the habit of thinking of your business card units in monetary terms(each of mine costs approximately $0.143 US Dollars equivalent), it might help you decide whether or not to put it in an envelope to just about anyone you're mailing something to, even when you don't know who they are or what they do. That would be like shooting in the dark - only this time you would be doing so, with MONEY!

If I send out twenty five letters in envelopes to different prospects for instance, and put a card in each, I know it implies I have spent at least $3.575 US Dollars(aside from the cost of envelopes, paper, stamps etc).

Business marketing yields better results when properly targeted at the right audience. You could for instance staple your business cards, to letters you are sending out to CEOs of certain organisations you hope will find your products and services potentially useful. Every time I want to give out a card, I ask myself: Am I sure this is going to help me get increased marketing exposure for my work, that could lead to more business? You might want to ask yourself a similar question periodically.

ONE LAST THING: Read Michel Fortin's Ten Commandments E-book

What I have proposed in this article will require anyone who wishes to try out my ideas to re-visit his/her business concepts and philosophies with a view to distilling the "value" s/he is truly capable of delivering to customers. To do this successfully, I want to seriously suggest you download and READ Michel Fortin's "Ten Commandments of Power Positioning" e-book.

Visit his website at and learn how you can get a copy of his excellent e-book(I got mine about 4 years ago). It offers many very practical and tested ideas about how you can market yourself or business more effectively to customers, so that they see you as their preferred provider of your product and/or service range.

To accurately define keywords and phrases that best capture the VALUE you can deliver to your customers, the "Divide and Conquer" concept described by Fortin in his e-book, when properly applied, will help you arrive at the most appropriate ones. Fortin also provides practical real-world relevant tips for crafting YOUR OWN tag lines and elevator speeches; developing press kits etc.

Read that e-book(I actually printed mine out and had it sprial bound) from first to last page as many times as you need to fully understand it, and try applying what you learn to your business through the exercises suggested. By the time you are done, you will know what to say about your business(and also HOW to say it) in your speech, and on any of your business marketing media such as business cards, signs, flyers, letterheads, website etc.

Question: How will you judge whether it's working or not?

Answer: (1). If more prospects make contact with you as a result of your re-vamped business marketing - which incorporates your re-designed business cards - THAT will be evidence that it's working. (2). When your newly acquired clients/customers continue to patronise you and DO NOT express any regrets for doing so(by way of product returns or unwillingness to give referrals/repeat business), THAT would reasonably suggest they are satisfied you deliver the value you "promise".

From Playing Card to Business Card

Without the development of the printing press in 1445 the Renaissance may never have happened, and Johann Gutenberg the inventor certainly did not know he was sowing the seeds of the business card entrepreneur's bonanza we have today. What civilisation gained from Gutenberg's invention is incalculable.

Visting Cards

Visiting cards (also known as calling cards) first appeared in China in the 15th century, and the earliest European form of visiting cards appeared in France in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV - "Le Roi Soleil". They were normal playing cards on which visitors wrote their signatures, promissory notes and other messages. The cards were just a little smaller than the size of a man's hand. As time went by, these visiting cards further developed into greeting and other cards.

The business card evolved from the Visiting card over time, but through it's evolution it's purpose remains the same.

Trade Cards

Trade cards, another early form of the Business card, existed in England around the same time. Trade cards were used as a form of advertising and sometimes contained a map directing potential customers to merchant stores, as there was no form of street numbering system at the time.

Other printing materials, such as newspapers, has not yet caught on as a vehicle for business marketing, so the earliest Trade cards were printed and issued using a letterpress method. However, copperplate engraving became the most popular method of producing the cards by the 18th century, and up to the 19th century, Trade cards were printed using a single colour (monotone). But as businesses thrived throughout the Industrial Revolution, so did the production and distribution of Trade cards.


Around 1830, lithography using several colours became an established method in Europe and was the primary method for printing cards. As printing techniques became increasingly advanced, Trade cards became more elaborate, with pictures and full colour designs. Since colour images were not widely available, these cards became collector's items, and as the hobby elevated, many tobacco companies put the sporting celebrities on one side and photos with text about their products on the reverse. This was the start of the modern day trading cards. Meanwhile, Visiting Cards arrived in Europe around the middle of the 1800's.

Calling Cards arrived

Visiting Cards, or "Calling Cards" as they became known, were essential to the 19th century middle classes.
The initial letters on personal Visiting "Calling Cards" denote French words:

p. f. - congratulations (pour feliciter)

p. r. - expressing one's thanks (pour remercier) - even if one is presented with flowers

p. c. - mourning expression (pour condolence)

p. f. N. A - Happy New Year (pour feliciter Nouvel An)

p. p. c. - meaning to take leave (pour prendre conge)

p. p. - if you want to be introduced to anybody, send your visiting card (pour presenter)

Soon, the Business card evolved from a fusion of traditional trade cards and visiting cards. A distinction between "business" and "visiting" cards quickly developed with the ornate Visiting card serving social obligations only, whilst Business cards on the other hand, were used solely for promoting business. It was considered to be in very poor taste to use a Business card when making a social call.

These days, the modern business card is used primarily for the purpose of promoting a business, but it also serves as a calling card.

First Salesman's Business card

Whilst Visiting Cards were at first the domain of the upper classes, and trade cards were made to advertise and promote particular firms, the salesman who did the footwork calling on prospective clients needed a means to exchange information in a simple, concise manner. To fill this void the Business card was introduced with address or telephone contact information in fancy printing and graphics.

Today, the salesman's Business card takes on many forms, including custom die cut shapes and sizes, with glossy coatings and top quality photo graphics.

Business Card Printers Turn to Plastic

Known for their durability, plastic business cards were manufactured using a variety of plastic substrates, including but not limited to: Polystyrene, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polycarbonate, Polyester and synthetic Papers.

20th century advances in printing technologies and synthetic materials made it possible to print liquid inks onto plastics. In addition to the wide range of commercial applications of this technology.

Today in the 21st century the more adventurous entrepreneur Business card printer has developed an array of sophisticated products. These include Silk art board, single and double sided Business cards, quality labels, complimentary slips, letterheads for all industries in superior quality papers, and laminated single and double sided Postcards for all occasions. All of which can be designed on line and uploaded to your personal computer. A boon to the busy firm requiring special needs.

For the rest of the world, the exchange of business cards has become common even for social introductions. Even today, some people still carry "personal" Business cards which contain only personal contact information and have no relation to their employer or business.

16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable

Every time you hear someone say "May I have one of your business cards?" you should get excited. I know I do. That's because I LOVE my cards. I spent thousands of dollars on printing, several hours on designing and went through 10 different layouts until I got them right.

And it was all worth it.

A business card is an entrepreneur's best friend, his most valuable marketing tool and an essential element to becoming UNFORGETTABLE. Unfortunately, too many people have business cards that simply blend into the multitude of cookie cutter crap. And that's a shame, because a business card is more powerful than you think.

Of course, it's impossible to know this unless you actually have a card that's really, really good. Therefore, this article will examine The Four Corners of Unforgettable Business Cards:

1. Stacking Up

2. Standing Out

3. Creative Enhancement

4. Implementation

CORNER #1: How Does Your Card Stack Up?

Think back to the last trade show, networking event, seminar, convention, social hour or association meeting you attended. How did people react to your business card? Did they compliment its design? Quickly shove it into their pocket? Show it to someone else? Rip it up?

Whatever the response was, your card made some type of impression. But only the most creative, unique and memorable business cards make UNFORGETTABLE impressions. And those types of cards elicit reactions like...

  • "I showed your card to everybody in my office!" says a hot prospect.

  • "Can I have another one? A friend of mine will LOVE this!" exclaims your tablemate.

  • "Oooh! I want one too!" begs the person in looking over your shoulder.

  • "Hey...can you show my friend Paul your business card!" asks a colleague of yours.

  • "You know, I've never thrown your card away!" says one of your customers.
  • If you've ever heard a compliment along those lines before, congrats! You're on the right track.

    That reminds me of Gus. He and I sat next to each other at a sales seminar a few years ago. During the program, the facilitator asked the audience members to exchange cards and get to know each other. Gus's card was amazing: thick, colorful, double sided, bold, shiny and best of all, simple. (That was no surprise - he was in advertising!) But it was one of the best I'd ever seen. So we introduced ourselves, exchanged cards and talked for a few minutes. And that was about it. Nice guy, I thought.

    Now, here's the cool part: although Gus and I didn't really keep in touch, I've never thrown his card away. I show it to everyone! In fact, I even use it as a prop in some of my networking workshops! His card was just that good.

    Is yours that good? Keep that question in the back of your mind as you read on. Now let's move into the next section and find out why certain cards stand out more than others.

    CORNER # 2: Standing Out

    Recently I took 66 business cards I've collected over the years and spread them out on a table. I closed my eyes for 30 seconds, opened them and took note of which cards stood out the most. And here's what I noticed:

  • Red: every card that had red on it stood out.

  • Picture: only a few cards had pictures of the cardholder. This not only made them stand out, but helped me connect faces with names and companies.

  • Vertical: several cards were formatted vertically, which caught my eye.

  • Black Background: most cards have a white background, so the black ones REALLY stood out.

  • Image: cards with some sort of colorful image that took up at least one fourth of the total surface area captured my interest.
  • (To view a high quality image of this game of 66 Card Pick Up, go to

    This was a valuable exercise in understanding UNFORGETTABLE business cards, and I recommend it to everyone. Try it out! Gather dozens of accumulated cards from your desk and discover which ones stand out. Oh, and don't forget to put your OWN card in the pile. You'll be amazed at what you see.

    Or don't see.

    CORNER #3: Creative and Unique Ways to Enhance Your Card

    Now that you've analyzed your own card and have been exposed to a large quantity of other people cards, your mind should be swimming with new, creative ideas. This is the perfect time to brainstorm ways to enhance your card. So, grab a blank sheet of paper. Come up with as many ideas as possible. Let your creativity run wild! And to help you get started, here's a list of 16 creative ideas to make your business card UNFORGETTABLE:

    1. Size or Shape - Rectangle, schmectangle. I've seen squares, circles, ovals and triangles. Each shape made a connection to the brand, and each shape stood out amidst the endless regression of the same old rectangles.

    2. Chocolate Business Cards (yes, these DO exist) - Several companies have online catalogues for personalized chocolate cards. Expensive? Yes. Delicious? Probably. Memorable? You better believe it.

    3. Trading Cards - If your company is team oriented, get trading cards with your "players" pictures and stats. Then encourage your customers and prospects to "collect all 12!"

    4. Cartoons - Get a custom cartoon commissioned for the back of your card. It's cheap, royalty free and absolutely unique to your business.

    5. Table/Chart - Include a mortgage loan interest table or some staggering statistics on the back. These are helpful reminders for the mathematically challenged and effective methods to position yourself as a resource.

    6. Pop-Ups - Just like kid's books, some business cards can be printed as folded, pop-up cards. Talk about thinking three-dimensionally!

    7. Credibility - The smartest thing I ever did to my business card was add color images of my two books. Instant credibility. And, I noticed an immediate change in the reactions from the people to whom I gave cards. One lady even said, "Scott, this is the coolest business card I've ever seen!" Money well spent.

    8. Rubber Stamps - Buy 10 different customized rubber stamps for the backs of your cards. When someone asks for one just say "Pick a card, any card!"

    9. Die Cutting - My friend Lisa works for the Rock Island Fire Dept. Her business card has a charred hole burnt right through the middle of every card! It looks incredibly real. And most printers offer this feature for a nominal feel. You can also specify various shapes, bite marks or hole sizes.

    10. Recipe - If you work in an industry connected to food, kitchens or homes; include one of your favorite recipes on the back!

    11. Material - Use leather, blinking or brail business cards (yes, these actually exist too!)

    12. Language - If your business requires international travel, consider offering multiple languages, or print the phonetic spelling of a difficult to pronounce name.

    13. Motivation - If you're the motivational type, include a famous quotation, bible verse or movie line that connects to your brand. And be sure to read it aloud when you give someone your card, it might just make their day!

    14. Stickers - Print one side of your cards on adhesive label paper. This gives the recipient a peel off sticker for reminders, appointments or phone numbers.

    15. Non-Cards - Who says a card has to be a card? After all, the first rule of creativity is "break all the rules!" I've seen million dollar bill cards, coin cards, even a banker in Boston who uses business cards that are actually miniature checks he tears off of a pad each time he gives one out! The possibilities are endless.

    16. Double Up - Make your card "double" as something other than a card. For example, mine doubles as a business card AND a nametag. As a result, people stick it on their shirts all the time. Thanks for the free promotion!

    CORNER #4: Implementation

    Once you've come up with the layout for your new, creative, UNFORGETTABLE business card, there are only two things left to do: print 'em up and hand 'em out!

    First, as you approach you printer, remember a few rules:

  • It's OK to Spend Money - when I did my taxes this year I calculated that I reprinted my business cards 11 times and spent over $1,400 on printing costs. I also doubled my income from the previous year. Once again, money well spent.

  • Local is Better - by choosing a local printer you can work closely with the designers; touch, feel and smell your paper and even do a few test runs until you get the card perfect. Some businesspeople choose to use online sources, which is fine. The only problem with that approach is that most cards designed, created and ordered over the Internet look like they were designed, created and ordered over the Internet.
  • OK. Once you have your new cards in hand, keep a few final rules in mind:

  • Reminders - be sure to tell people you've got a new card. They'll be happy to accept it, even if they already have your old one. Highlight some of its newest, most unique attributes. Also, if you printed on both sides of your new card, remember to either tell people about the back of your card; or hand them the card back side up, so they know there's more to it.

  • Etiquette - don't "Deal the Deck" by inconsiderately throwing thousands of your cards to everyone in sight. If so, you will not only become a practitioner of Highly Horrible Networking(TM), but you will waste your money. Remember: people throw away business cards from those who failed to establish rapport or make a connection.

  • The Card Creedo: finally, when you're ready, reach into your pocket and grab one of your business cards. Look at it closely. Then say this affirmation out loud:
  • "This is my business card. There are many others out there, but none of them are like mine - because there's nobody else like me. My business card is not a formality. It's not a piece of paper containing my name and contact information. And it's not another annoying thing to keep in my pocket. My business card is the most important networking tool that I own. It's a reflection of my personal brand and a bite-sized morsel of the mission of my business. I LOVE my business card. And I can't wait until somebody asks me for one. Because when they do, I will find a way to give that person value."

    After you've face lifted your business card from unacceptable to unforgettable, I promise you will feel great. Your confidence will skyrocket. And from that moment on, every time someone asks, "May I have one of your business cards?" it will be like music to your ears.

    50 Surefire Business Card Tips

    Business cards are one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing tools you can use. Here are 50 surefire tips to make the most out of your business cards:

    • Your business card must communicate more than just your contact information. Make sure that your card includes a tag line that explains what you or your company do.
    • Order them in large numbers. By ordering 1000 your cost per card will be significantly lower than if you ordered 500.
    • Even if you can produce your business cards at home using an inkjet printer, have your business cards professionally made by a printing company. Your business card will be the first impression your prospects receive of your business, so let them convey the best possible one.
    • Avoid using standard clip art as your business logo. A logo brings credibility and brand awareness, so before you invest in business cards have a logo professionally made for your business. Nowadays, there are online companies that can produce a professional logo for as little as $25, so there is no excuse for not having one made.
    • Put up a website and use the URL in your business cards. If you don't have a website, people will notice the absence of a web address in your business card and, depending on the business you are in, it may make you lose credibility.
    • Keep all the information in your business card current. If you changed address or phone number, don't scratch the old number and write down the new one by hand; get new business cards.
    • Keep your business card simple. Don't use too many fonts or try to cram too much information in it. Try to use a pleasant layout and make sure that your main message (your tagline or your unique selling proposition) doesn't get lost.
    • If you live in the US, limit your business card size to 3.5" x 2". Anything bigger will not fit in standard card holders and your card may end up in the trash. Business cards in Europe tend to be larger, but so are the wallets and card holders.
    • Make sure that your business card reflects your image. If you are an artist or a graphic designer, it is OK to use trendy colors and fonts. If you are an investment banker, a sober layout and colors such as blue or gray work better.
    • Your business card is an integral part of your brand or corporate identity strategy. It should follow the same graphics standards as the rest of your communications material (stationary, brochures, letterheads, etc.).
    • Find a way to make your business cards stand out. I've seen business cards with one of its corners cut in an angle, or with an interesting texture, all of which makes your business card stand out of the crowd. The best one I've seen is from an interior designer, who used a hologram to show a room before and after a redesign.
    • Make your business card easy to read: use high contrast between the background and the type. Light background with dark type works better.
    • After your logo, your name should be the largest piece of information on your card.
    • Make sure that all the information on your card is printed in a large enough typeface to be easily readable.
    • Run your business card copy through a spell checker and double-check your contact information.
    • Keep your business cards with you at all times. Keep a stack in your car, in your house, in your office, and in your wallet.
    • Leave your business cards in billboards at supermarkets, schools, stores, libraries, etc.
    • When giving away your card, give two or three at a time, so that your contacts can in turn distribute them to other people. This will not only help you distribute them faster, but will generate a beneficial "endorsing effect".
    • Include a business card with all your correspondence. People may throw away the letter, but will usually keep the business card.
    • Make your business card go the extra mile: use the back of the card to print more information: special offers, checklists, schedules, etc.
    • Throw in a business card in every product you ship.
    • Send a business card with any gift you send, instead of just a card with your name.
    • Scan your card and use it as an attachment to emails.
    • Use your business cards as name tags. Get a transparent plastic cover with a pin, and attach it to your lapel. Wearing it on your right side tends to make it more noticeable.
    • Use your business card as a name tag on your briefcase. Make sure that your company logo and tagline are visible. This way, your business card will turn into a "conversation piece" during plane rides, which may help you meet interesting people and good business contacts.
    • Use your business card as an ad: many publications offer "business card size" classified ads. If you design your business card properly, it can double up as an ad in those publications.
    • Don't give your business card too quickly. It may be perceived as pushy. Try to establish a conversation with your prospect first. For example, ask them what do they do. That will usually prompt them to give you their card. That is the perfect moment to give them yours.
    • Don't try to give your card in situations where many people are giving them to your prospect. Wait for a moment when you can capture your prospect's attention span.
    • Another tactic you can try when your prospect is overwhelmed and can't pay you enough attention is to send your card by mail. Pretend you ran out of business cards and ask for theirs. Then, mail them your card and take the opportunity to drop a follow up note.
    • If you have a mobile phone number or a direct phone number that is not listed in your business card, write it at the back of your card before handing it out, and tell your prospect that you are giving them your direct number. This will make your card more important, and less likely to be lost or thrown out.
    • Another way of increasing the chances that your prospect will keep your card is by printing valuable information on the back, for example important phone numbers (local police, hospitals, etc), a calendar, or a football schedule.
    • Offer to hand out cards of complementary (non-competitive) business people in exchange for them distributing yours. An example of non-competitive businesses is real estate brokers and mortgage brokers.
    • If somebody gives you their business card, you should give them yours in return.
    • Always give your business card face up.
    • Take a cue from Far East business people, who hand out business cards with both hands. It helps give the impression that your business card is something very important.
    • If you conduct business internationally, use the back of your card to print a translated version of your business card in your customers' language. Even if they have no problem reading English, it will be a classy touch and they will appreciate it.
    • If you sell different product brands and want to put their logos on your business card, print them in only one color. Using each logo's brand colors could make your business card look chaotic and busy.
    • Create a business card in magnet form. Magnets are widely used, to hold important papers on the refrigerator door at home and on file cabinets at work. They are always visible and always get read.
    • When receiving somebody else's business card, don't put it away immediately. Instead, keep it in your hand for a while you talk to your prospect, or place it neatly over the table, and try to develop a conversation based on the information on the card.
    • Use the back of the cards you receive to write down important facts about the persons who handed them to you. It will help you enormously when you follow up with them.
    • If you are in a profession where relationship selling is important, it may be a good idea to include your picture in your business card (i.e. real estate brokers).
    • Even if your business is a sole proprietorship, you can still use "account manager" as your title instead of "owner" or "president". If you do sales (and we all do) "account manager" is a perfectly appropriate title, and it will give the impression that you work for a larger company.
    • Use logos of organizations that you or your business belong to in your business cards. They are an easy way to provide instant credibility to your business. For example, if you operate a repair shop you can display the logo of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the Triple A (AAA). (Check with them first about the terms of use).
    • If you participate in affiliate programs online, you can still use business cards to promote your affiliate links. Use the name of the affiliate company as the company name, use 'partner' or 'associate' as your title, and the URL of the directory or web page where you have placed your affiliate links as your web address. Just because affiliate programs are online doesn't mean that you can't use off-line marketing methods to promote them.
    • If you need to give cards to different kinds of prospects (for example if you are a student looking for work), make business cards with just your name and contact information, and attach custom made self-adhesive labels at the back with information of interest to each specific prospect.
    • Include an information email address (for example: that is set in autoresponder mode, that automatically triggers an email message with full information about your product, service or company. This will increase the effectiveness of your business card since you will give your prospect much more information that you can fit in a card.
    • Take good care of your business cards. Keep them clean and crisp in a cardholder. Don't give away cards that are bent or damaged.
    • Try to get a cardholder with two pockets. That way, you can use one for your business cards and the other one for the business cards you receive.
    • Keep all the business cards you receive neatly organized in a rolodex. It will save you time and will provide you with a database of contacts with whom to build positive business relationships.
    • Collect all the business cards you can find, even if you don't need them. Together, they will act as an "idea file" that will provide you with valuable tips that you can use to design your business cards.

    Wedding Shower Questions

    Who may organise the bride her Wedding Shower?

    Any of her friends, often a member of her bridal party, cousins, sister-in-law, aunts, friends of her mother or of the groom's mother, frequently, if she works, staff members of the organization where she is employed. Because gifts are the sole object of a shower, good taste forbids members of either the bride's or the groom's immediate family to give the shower. Note: It is a good plan for friends to consult one another before arranging a shower in order to avoid four or five affairs with the same guests. It is much better to join forces in one or two showers. If a joint shower for the bride and the groom is planned, it should be given jointly by friends of each.

    Who is invited to the Wedding Shower?

    The bride's friends (those who are close enough to her to want to be included in giving her a present); always all members of the bridal party. The hostess of the shower may invite friends of the bride even though she herself does not know them well, but she does not ask her own friends who do not know the bride well because they would have no reason to bring a gift, but could not very well come without one. Also, the hostess invites the bride's and the groom's mothers and sisters (but they are not expected to bring gifts). If only women are invited to a shower (usually daytime parties), the groom does not participate. Sometimes men are invited to join the shower party after the gifts are opened. On such occasions, the men do not bring gifts. If the shower is a joint one, both the bride's and the groom's friends are invited, including members of the bridal party, the best man and ushers, and the parents of the bride and the groom.

    Invitations to showers are not limited to any particular age group. Both the bride's and the groom's friends are likely to be of various ages. If the bride is employed and her office or school gives her a shower, it is not customary to invite those not employed in the organization in which she works.

    When is a Wedding Shower given?

    Usually six weeks to one month before the wedding. They are planned for any time of the day or evening, according to the kind of party the hostess would like to give.

    How are invitations extended to a shower?

    They may be telephoned: 'I'm having a linen shower for Mary Smith on Saturday. Come for brunch at one o'clock' or Written on a visiting card:

    Everything goes really, except Formal engraved 'fill-in' invitations are never correct.

    What should those invited to wedding showers know about gifts?

    Everyone invited to a wedding shower gives a present whether able to attend or not. The only exception is when a person happens to be invited who does not know the bride well enough to be interested, in which case the invitation may be declined with a reasonable excuse and a present is not sent. Guests either bring the gifts to the wedding shower personally or send them in advance to the hostess' home. If an invited guest does not attend the shower, he sends the gift to the hostess' home. Bring or send the gift wrapped, although the hostess may re-wrap in uniform gift paper. Enclose the donor's card in every case. Wedding Shower gifts are sometimes given in place of wedding gifts, especially when a shower is given by a bride's co-workers in an organization. Usually, however, the shower gift is in addition to the wedding gift. It is good taste to keep wedding shower gifts small. They should never cause financial strain. Remember that there may be a number of wedding showers. Guests should consult the hostess in advance of the wedding shower date to avoid duplication of gifts. If the hostess suggests the services of a shower consultant in a local department store, gifts may be purchased through her to avoid duplication. Guests should always give the kind of gifts indicated on the invitation and suggested by the hostess. If the gifts are to be any kind of wearing apparel, exact sizes should be learned. Guests do not individually present the gifts to the bride at the shower-the gifts are presented all together, and are opened while the friends watch.

    At a joint shower, the women guests give presents to the bride and the men to the groom. Note: Guests never give lingerie at a joint shower.

    What does a hostess consider when she decides to give a shower?

    She decides whether to give a 'bride's shower,' a 'groom's shower' (although more frequently this kind is given by a host), a 'joint shower,' or one of the 'special' showers.

    She consults with the bride's mother about what the bride will need or would like. Also, in order to avoid duplication, she checks with her about the kind of shower some other group of friends may have planned.

    She considers especially the advantages o£ the 'important gift' shower. This shower (usually a 'joint' shower but not exclusively so, if one prefers to make it one of the others) is becoming increasingly popular since it costs the individual guests no more than the smaller presents they would ordinarily bring, but gives the bride and groom something they very much want but which they might not be able to afford for years. The invited guests each contribute a small amount of money and the total is used to buy one good gift-an electrical appliance, a piece of furniture, a rug, a fine painting, or a special piece of silver.The hostess also decides whether the shower is to be a surprise and if so, how to make sure it will be.

    What kind of party should be the setting for a wedding shower?

    A wedding shower may be any kind o£ a party-a breakfast or brunch, luncheon, bridge, afternoon tea, cocktail party, dinner, dance, supper, or evening party.

    What kind of refreshments are served, and when?

    Wedding Shower refreshments usually are light. The kind, of course, depends upon the type of party-brunch, luncheon, tea, or after dinner. Whatever the refreshments, they are usually served after the gifts are unwrapped.

    What are some general ideas for wedding shower decorations and the presentation of gifts?

    First plan a color scheme related to the kind of shower to be given. A kitchen shower might be red and white checks; lingerie shower, blush pink and ice blue; wines and liquors, brown and beige.

    Decide in what part of the room the gifts are to be arranged, and where the bride will sit to open them. Have a supply of gift wrapping paper in the color scheme to re-wrap all gifts uniformly. Guests may be asked to send their gifts to the hostess' home in advance of the shower day. The new wrapping is put over the original wrapping. Note: If all guests are ordering gifts through the shower consultant of a department store, this consultant will have them wrapped uniformly according to the color theme specified. For decoration and for the refreshment table, be sure to order fresh cut flowers to tie in with the color scheme.

    Have a huge laundry bag in the color scheme in which the presents may be carried home.

    What about entertainment at wedding showers?

    Entertainment may be planned or unplanned. Many people think immediately of games. These should be planned and included only if the group is one that enjoys games. Or, they may be planned, one or two started, but given up if they do not seem to be going over well. It is better to have planned entertainment than to have everyone sitting around stiffly, or to have one or two people doing all the talking. A shower should last about two hours and should consist of the greeting to everyone, a game or general conversation for awhile, unwrapping the gifts, and refreshments. There are a number of good books on this subject which give a wide variety of games, many planned especially for showers.

    Should the Bride send any thank-you notes?

    The bride thanks each one as she opens her gifts. She may write individual thank-you notes in addition if she wants to, but this is not usually expected. She should write a thank-you note or telephone anyone who sent a gift but did not attend. She should by all means write a thank-you note to the hostess.

    Testing a Shower Pan for Leaks

    There are many ways a shower can leak and a shower pan leak is
    probably the most costly. It makes good sense then to determine if
    the leak you are getting from your shower stall is actually your pan.

    In the 30 years that I have been repairing leaking shower pans in
    Dallas and Collin counties, I have been asked to determine if a
    shower pan was actually leaking or not after a homeowner had
    another contractor or home inspector look at it and concluded it was
    the pan that was leaking. Many times they were correct and many
    times they were wrong.

    Before you hire a contractor to repair your leaking shower pan, why
    not test it to be sure! It doesn't take much time or effort, but you must
    do it on a day when you will be home all day. See warning below!
    Here are the materials you will need;

    a) a large bucket

    b) duct tape

    c) tape measure

    d) flashlight

    A plumber would use a 2" inflatable test ball for this test, but I don't
    recommend it for the homeowner since you are probably only going
    to test once or twice in your lifetime anyway. Duct tape will do the job
    cheaply and effectively.

    WARNING: Do this shower pan test ONLY on a day when you can be
    there for the entire duration of the test. Otherwise, you risk a
    discharge of water that could ruin adjacient flooring etc. Stop the test
    as soon as you see water outside of your shower!

    Make sure your shower floor is dry around the drain and place duct
    tape over the drain. Much larger than the diameter of the drain,
    about the size of a paper plate. Press it down firmly to make it as
    watertight as possible. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT use water from
    your shower faucet for this test. Use water from an adjacient bathtub,
    a kitchen sink, or another bathroom. We want to exclude the
    possibility that your shower faucets are the problem or cracks in the
    shower walls.

    Once you have a bucket of water(1/2 to 2/3rds full is best), gently
    pour it into the bottom of your shower floor until the floor is covered
    to a water depth of no more than 1 inch. That's right! I said one inch,
    and that wasn't a misprint. Many people will tell you to fill the water up
    1 inch below the top of the curb and this is wrong. The shower pan
    doesn't come up that high in 99% of the showers. The real height of
    the pan on the top of the curb is 4.5 inches. That is measured from
    the floor outside the shower next to the curb up the outside of the
    curb tile. A standard curb is made from three 2" x 4" studs(3 x 1.5" =
    4.5"). The pan is laid over the studs, then a layer of concrete is
    floated on top of it. So, a finished curb maybe 6- 7 inches tall but the
    pan height is much lower and you must not fill the water over that
    level. One inch of water will do fine for this test. Measure the height
    of the water near the curb where you can easily read it.

    What you are going to look for is a discharge of water around the
    perimeter of your shower. If you are on a pier & beam foundation,
    you will need to look for the discharge of water under the shower
    area. Find your access door that leads under your house(for those
    without a basement). Using your flashlight, looks for signs of water
    dripping under your shower. On a slab foundation the water will
    spread in the path of least resistance. If you have ceramic tile next to
    your shower curb, the water may go around to an adjacient closet or
    room. You may need to pull back any carpet that's next to your
    shower and look under it for leaks. So, look at all sections of floor
    next to shower for water leaks.

    You will need to test your shower pan for at least 8 hours. Some
    leaks like nail holes take a long time to show up on a test. Your job is
    to check for leaks around your shower every now and then. If the
    water level goes down, and it may, then add more water to the
    shower floor until you are back to the original water test level of 1

    If you see a water discharge(or leak), then pull the duct tape off of
    the drain. The test is over! Your shower pan is positively leaking!
    The leak may be in the bottom of the pan, or at the seal between the
    pan and drain. Either way the pan must be replaced in my opinion.

    If you don't see a water leak from this test, it doesn't mean your
    shower pan isn't leaking. This test ONLY tests the shower pan in the
    bottom of your shower. It doesn't test your shower pan where it
    covers your shower curb or seat. It is very common for a shower pan
    to leak in these areas, especially where the curb meets the wall.

    Until a few years ago, curbs were constructed without pan corners at
    each end. If your shower curb doesn't have pan corners, you will see
    water damage or water leaks at both ends of the curb. Sheetrock
    may be wet or stained. Paint on base moulding will turn moldy or
    discolored. Linoleum floor next to your shower may be discolored
    near the ends of the shower curb and no where else! So look for
    these common signs.

    The shower pan could be leaking on your shower seat if the pan was
    installed improperly and your shower pan test proved negative. It
    may be possible to tear out this area only to repair the leak. In some
    cases, you may need to replace the whole shower pan.

    Some other possibilities as the cause for a shower leak other than
    your shower pan is your shower door or door system. Shower doors
    aren't submarine doors. They don't positively keep water from
    escaping the shower. Check the door seal at the bottom of the door
    for leaks. Have someone take a shower and direct the water over to
    your door to see if it is containing the water. Look also underneath
    your shower door to see if there is an open door track( on a sliding
    door system) or a closed track. Either one should be caulked at the
    ends of the track so water doesn't discharge out the ends of the
    track. Both of these are fairly common sources of shower leaks.

    Another possibility for a shower leak is your shower faucet. The
    faucet could be leaking behind the wall at either a pipe connection or
    solder joint. This can easily be tested by removing the shower head
    on the shower neck and screwing on a galvanized 1/2" pipe cap
    sealed with teflon tape or pipe joint compound. Once this is in place,
    no water can come out of the shower neck obviously.This puts water
    pressure on the faucet connections and joints behind the wall. Look
    for a leak on the floor adjacient to the shower faucet wall. Do the test
    for at least 30 minutes.

    Water can also leak behind your shower faucet handle escucheons
    where they meet the wall. Water can hit your body and deflect back
    against your faucet wall, thus dripping behind the metal handle plate
    covers. Why not just seal around these covers with clear silicon to
    remove this possibility of a leak. The out of pocket cost for this repair
    is hardly anything, so do it!

    Another quite common cause of shower stall leaks are cracks in the
    major corners of your shower, primarily the vertical corners. Caulk
    these corners with a high grade silicon. I always start the caulk line at
    the top of the corner and gun the silicon out at a slow but even line,
    approximately 3/16"-1/4" wide, then stop the caulk halfway. I then
    move the caulk gun tip to the bottom of the corner and caulk up to
    the halfway point where I left off. To assure a great seal that also
    looks nice, I press my middle finger tip against the caulk at an angle
    of approximately 30 degrees using the same method I used when I
    gunned the caulk. Top to middle, then bottom to middle. Any
    mistakes can be corrected with denatured alcohol and a handful of

    Cracks in the corners of shower stalls can allow water to flow through
    and drip down the backside of your shower pan, so, caulk all major
    shower corners.

    A shower leak of any kind is a serious problem. It's not something
    you want to put off. Water leaks can cause mildew, wood rot and
    attract insects like termites. So, the sooner you address the problem
    the cheaper will be your solution.

    Fiberglass shower pan: Some showers are constructed with fiber-
    glass one-piece floors. These act as both your floor and your shower
    pan. This type of pan can develop cracks in them over time. Some
    of which you can see. Test this shower pan exactly the same way with
    duct tape covering the shower drain and look for a water discharge
    somewhere around the perimeter of the floor.

    Since there are no weep holes on this type of pan you can also
    measure the height of the water inside the shower pan and look for
    any changes in depth during the test.

    This is a very simple test that almost anyone can do and it will save
    you some money. Good luck!

    Bathroom Showers - Your Options Explained

    If you are thinking about changing your shower you may well have looked around a few bathroom shops and been surprised by the number of choices you have. Even choosing a shower valve can be a confusing business so here's a guide to tell you what is what when it comes to showers.

    Manual Shower Valves

    This is the most basic type of shower. Most manual showers have a single lever control that you use to control the flow of the water and the temperature. They are very simple to use and usually are not expensive.

    Thermostatic Shower Valves

    The great advantage of a thermostatic shower valve is that it can provide a constant, even temperature and cope with fluctuations in the flow and temperature of the hot and cold water feeds. Most thermostatic valves have extra anti-scald safety features and will cut off the flow of water if the cold water supply fails.

    Concealed and Exposed Valves

    Concealed / Exposed refers to the way the shower valve is mounted on the wall. A concealed shower valve is built into the shower wall so that most of the valve is hidden and only the control levers are visible. An exposed valve is mounted onto the shower wall so that the whole mechanism is visible. Many shower valves can be mounted either exposed or concealed.

    Twin Shower Valves

    Unlike a single lever valve, a twin valve has two controls, one control for the rate of water flow and a second control for the water temperature.

    Triple Shower Valves

    A triple valve has three controls; one for the water flow, one for the temperature and a third which is usually a diverter. The diverter is useful if you have two shower heads. It's becoming more common to have a fixed shower head above the shower and a hand-held shower head as well. The diverter on a triple shower valve allows you to select which shower head water is fed to.

    Sequential Shower Valves

    This is one we get a lot of questions about. A sequential valve has a single lever that works rather like the knob on your cooker. When the lever is fully anti-clockwise the shower is off. As you rotate the lever it turns the shower turns on. With a sequential valve "on" means fully on so you have full pressure straight away. As you rotate the lever further you increase the temperature of the water.

    Shower Panels

    A recent newcomer is the shower panel or shower tower. This is a single unit that contains everything you need for a sensational shower. Specifications vary but usually include a shower valve (often thermostatic), a diverter, a fixed shower head, a hand held shower and several body jets. Shower panels are easy to install but can require quite high water pressure to work well so you may want to install a shower pump as well.

    Customized Showers

    These days, shower components are standardized enough that you can pretty much pick and choose the parts you want to create the shower of your dreams. You can choose from hundreds of shower valves, diverters and stop valves, have multiple heads, ceiling mounted heads, riser rails, rigid risers or body jets to build exactly the shower you want, individual and customized to your own needs. After all, how else will you get a shower with 16 jets and a 12 inch shower heads?

    Electric Showers

    Electric showers heat the water as it passes through the shower so they only need a cold water supply so you have simpler plumbing and don't need any hot water to run them. Electric showers are particularly popular in en-suites.

    Power Showers

    A power shower is basically a shower with a built in pump. A power shower needs both hot and cold water supplies. A power shower does not heat the water; it pumps water through and increased water pressure, giving you a stronger shower. Power showers are ideal where you have low water pressure, perhaps in a bungalow.

    So there you have it. Not quite everything you need to know about showers, but a good start!

    In Less Than One Hour - Eliminate Shower Leaks by Installing a Solid Surface Shower Pan

    INSTALLING A COMPOSITE SHOWER PAN IS FAST AND EASY. Before discussing the simple steps to install a composite shower pan, I felt that some clarification and definitions are necessary because not all shower pans are alike.

    WHAT IS IN A NAME? A roof is a roof, although there are many different roofing systems and roofing materials. Not true with "shower pans." They are often interchangeably called a shower pan, shower pan liner, shower pan membrane liner, waterproof barrier, shower base, shower tray, or shower receptor. Yet, each has a different meaning depending on context and each are available in a variety of materials.

    Bob Vila's web site defines a SHOWER PAN as "The base, containing a water drain, of the shower enclosure." And a SHOWER RECEPTOR as "A one-piece base (floor) unit used as a shower, for example, to catch water and direct it to a center drain."

    For the sake of clarity, I offer the following definitions.

    SHOWER PAN & SHOWER BASE - A finished area that is capable of retaining and directing water to the drain plus it doesn't require tiling once installed. The shower pan or base has a drain hole, sloped floor to properly direct water to the drain hole, sidewalls, and a threshold (entrance to the shower that forms a curb to keep water from running out onto the bathroom floor). A shower pan is synonymous with a shower base.

    SHOWER PAN LINER, MEMBRANE LINER, & WATERPROOF BARRIER - A barrier, usually a plastic sheet or membrane, that is intended to trap water that penetrates the shower floor tile, grout, and mortar under the tile and force the water to flow to the drain. As long as it doesn't leak, it prevents water from reaching the sub-floor and surrounding wall enclosure. The liner is a component within a constructed shower pan. A shower pan liner is synonymous with a shower pan membrane liner and a waterproof barrier.

    SHOWER TRAY & SHOWER RECEPTOR - A shower tray is synonymous with a shower receptor. Both are used in place of a liner. They serve the same function as the liner, but are pre-formed to eliminate some of the installation steps necessary when using a liner.

    Shower pan liners, shower trays, and shower receptors are all used in conjunction with the construction of a shower pan that has a tiled floor as well as a tiled wall enclosure.

    Commercially available shower pans are complete, ready-to-install units. They eliminate the need to create a mud sloped floor, a shower liner or tray, and tiling of the shower floor.

    COMPOSITE SHOWER PANS. As composite shower pans are made from a number of different materials and constructed differently. I wanted to touch on each of the most common types. Composite shower pans fall into several material groups; cultured marble, fiberglass, acrylic, and solid surface. Generally all are made by fabrication of flat sheets, thermal-formed from a single piece of material, or molded or cast to form a one piece unit. The one-piece construction eliminates seams, which in turn eliminates potential leaks. Each has their pluses and minuses. Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I will not comment on appearance. All composite shower pans install on a flat, level floor and do not require the creation of a sloped mud base. Also, the cast or molded pans generally do not require the use of a plastic membrane.

    Cultured marble and dressier versions, like cultured onyx and granite, tend to be the least costly. Cultured marble is made by spraying a 'gel-coat' onto a mold. This coating is about 1/64" or less in thickness. The gel-coat is covered with pigmentation and then backed with calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate gives the finished part its strength. Also, in the casting process it is infused with air pockets to lower its density and weight.

    The cultured marble floor is cast separately from the sidewalls. Thus, the incorporation of a shower pan liner is essential to insure a watertight, leak free installation. Although widely used, the down side of cultured marble is that other than the gel-coat layer, the calcium carbonate is highly porous. Any crack or scratch through the gel-coat will allow water penetration. Other gel-coat characteristics include; yellowing, even without UV exposure; clouding from hot tap water; staining; crazing (fine hairline cracks); and it is not reparable when cracked or chipped.

    Fiberglass is widely used as well. Fiberglass is strong, light weight and inexpensive. Many fiberglass manufacturers make one-piece shower pans and enclosures and one-piece combination tubs and showers with the wall enclosures. Similar to cultured marble, fiberglass is made with a gel-coat, then backed with pigment and chopped strands of fiberglass in a resin mixture. Generally the finished product is about 1/8" to 1/4" in thickness. The underside of the shower pan floor has webbing added to provide support to the floor. As the floor is not solid, the unsupported space between the webbing can flex. This flexing is especially noticeable with heavy loading or where one is standing between to the webbing. Over time, the flexing can cause material fatigue and cracking. Once a crack develops, the pan has failed.

    Acrylic sheets are used to vacuum form shower pans, bathtubs, spas and many other items. The vacuum forming process begins with a 1/4" sheet of pigmented acrylic that is heated to a temperature that makes the acrylic ductile. The sheet is placed on a mold and stretched over the form to create the finished shape. The heating and stretching of the sheet causes a reduction in wall thickness. The reduction is directly proportional to the amount of stretching that occurs. With shower pans there is far less material reduction than with creating a tub or spa. The heating, stretching, and cooling of the material could also introduce stresses to the finished pan.

    Like fiberglass pans, acrylic pans need support elements under the pan floor. A commonly used support element is polyurethane foam. The foam fills the void and eliminated the flexing of the pan floor. Acrylic sheet material is susceptible to crazing, minute surface cracking, and cracking when cleaned with many common cleaning chemicals. Should crazing occur, over time these cracks can lead to a pan failure.

    Acrylic sheets have very different physical and chemical properties than acrylic solid surface materials. In addition to the acrylic resin used in solid surface, the solid surface material receives additional physical and chemical characteristics from the addition of alumina-tri-hydrate, or ATH. The ATH causes cleaners that adversely affect acrylic to have no affect on solid surface.

    Solid surface shower pans are the top-of-the-line in physical and chemical characteristics as well as performance, reparability and a myriad of other features and benefits. The primary features of solid surface are it is non-porous, will not support the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria, is available in a large variety of looks (some like natural granite) and colors, and is 100% repairable should chipping, scratching, or even cracking occur. Health departments throughout the country have approved solid surface materials for use in hospitals and food preparation areas for its resistance to bacterial growth, ease of cleaning and maintenance, and resistance to staining and contamination.

    Some solid surface shower pan manufacturers fabricate their pans from sheet goods in a similar fashion as the acrylic shower pans. That is, they thermal form the pan floors by heating and stretching the material and then bond sidewalls and a threshold to the floor.

    The Royal Stone brand of solid surface shower pans are the pans that I manufacture and will use to illustrate the simplicity and ease of installation that can be had when installing a composite shower pan. Unlike fabricated solid surface shower pans, the Royal Stone shower pans are a cast one-piece solid surface product. By casting the pan as a one-piece unit, there are no stresses introduced in the pan, and there are many other features engineered and designed into this pan.

    The most obvious features are the large radius transition between the pan floor and its sidewalls. Secondly, the flange (also called a weep edge) is 1-1/2" tall. I have seen pans that do not incorporate an integral flange or have flanges 1/2" to 1" tall. The added height is designed to minimize, if not eliminate, any water being drawn up behind the wall surround panels that could cause water damage to the shower sub-structure.

    Royal Stone's pans have a minimum wall thickness of 1/2" and the webbing elements have a wide foot with large stress relieving radius corners between the pan floor and the webbing. All shower pans are engineered to support the weight of 3/4" thick (2 cm) granite slabs as well as all other commonly used wall materials like tile, fiberglass, acrylic, and solid surface panels. Finally, regardless of floor loading, the Royal Stone pan floor is so solid that it feels like one is standing on a rigid concrete floor. There is no perceptible flexing or oil-canning of the pan floor. Thus, there is no possibility of floor fatigue and cracking over time and the potential for pan failure is eliminated.

    INSTALLATION IS FAST AND EASY. As I have already stated, composite pans install on a flat sub-floor. The following installation information may not apply to all types of composite shower pans. Specifically, I have direct knowledge of installing the cast one-piece solid surface shower pans that Royal Stone manufactures. Thus, the following directly applies to Royal Stone's standard and custom shower pans. The same steps should also apply to other types of composite pans and other materials, however, follow the manufacturers recommended installation instructions.

    As a manufacturer, I do not install pans. The photos included within this article were provided by a local installer. They were supplemented by photos of a different pan, for clarity of the installation process. Thus the different pan color and shape. Further, most of the photos were from a unique plumbing situation. The home had all of the plumbing above ground. Thus, a particleboard platform was built above the plumbing for the shower. The following installation information applies to concrete, plywood, particleboard, wood, etc. sub-floors at, above, or below grade.

    Step #1 - SUB-FLOOR PREPARATION: Using the template provided with the shower pan, place template on the floor and verify that the drain is in the correct location. If the drain is NOT properly located, relocate the drain. NOTE: Relocating the drain is usually far less expensive than having a custom pan cast to accommodate your existing drain location.

    The hole in the sub-floor needs to be larger than the drain pipe. About a 6" round or square hole (about the size of a coffee can) is recommended. This larger opening allows room for the drain assembly that extends below the bottom of the pan. Most drain pipes are 2" PVC. The PVC pipe allows for some flexing within the 6" opening in the sub-floor. This flexing is desired and makes the pan installation easier. The PVC pipe should extend above the finished sub-floor by a minimum of 1/2" to about 3" to 4".

    The sub-floor can be wood, plywood, concrete or any other rigid or well supported surface. The sub-floor must be level and free from debris. To assure a level floor, check the floor with a long level as shown in Fig. 1. The longer the level, the more likely that the sub-floor will be level at its greatest dimensions. Check front to back at the left and right sides and at the center. Do the same from side to side. Finally, check the diagonals. Fig. 2 indicates the location of the 8 readings that should be taken.

    Depending on the results of the level measurements, some additional prep may be necessary. If the sub-floor is relatively flat, shims may be used to make the shower pan level. If the floor is uneven and out of level, pouring self leveling thin-set material may be necessary.

    Once the sub-floor is level and the opening for the drain is correct, the setting of the shower pan is next.

    Step #2 - ATTACH DRAIN ASSEMBLY TO PAN: A standard 2 part Brass Drain Assembly is recommended, as shown in Fig. 3. This type of assembly should be readily available at any plumbing supply store or home improvement store. Royal Stone also sells this drain assembly. Disassemble the drain assembly. Keeping the components in order makes reassembly faster and easier.

    Place the pan on saw horses or any raised platform that allows access to the top and bottom of the pan. Spray the drain opening with rubbing alcohol, Fig. 4. With a clean rag, wipe the surface and interior edge of the pre-cut drain opening, to remove any dust or other contaminants from the pan's drain area. Around the drain opening apply a generous bead of 100% silicone, Fig. 5.

    Insert Brass Drain Body, Part #5 of the Brass Drain Assembly into the drain hole, Fig. 6, and press firmly into place, Fig. 7.

    Step #3 - REMOVE EXCESS SILICONE: Remove the excess silicone from the Drain Body, Part #5. Spray an alcohol mist over the drain area and the silicone, Fig. 8. With a Dap-Cap, scoop away the excess silicone, Fig. 9. This step may have to be repeated several times to completely remove the silicone. Last, spray a mist of alcohol and wipe remaining film away from the Drain Body, Part #5, with a soft cloth.

    Step #4 - MOUNT DRAIN LOCKING RING: Attach the Drain Strainer, Part #1, to assure that the Drain Body, Part #5, is centered within the drain hole, Fig. 10. From the bottom side of the shower pan, attach Parts #6, 7, & 8 to Part #5. Tighten the Locking Ring, Part #8 until snug. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. Over tightening may crack the shower pan. Remove the Drain Strainer, Part #1, and set aside.

    If any additional silicone has been squeezed out from between the shower pan drain and the Drain Body, Part #5, repeat Step #3 until all excess silicone has been removed.

    HANDLING TIP: Using a set of glazer's grips allows for easier handling and moving the pan into the proper location. If these are not available, brute force also works.

    Step #5 - DRY FIT THE SHOWER PAN: Lower the shower pan into place. Make sure that about 1/8" space exists between the shower pan flange and the studs. With the level, confirm that the pan is sitting flat on the floor as shown in Fig. 11 & 12. If additional shimming is required, lift pan and place shimming material where required. Lower the pan into place and check for level. Repeat until the pan is level.

    CAUTION: When leaning and handling the shower pan, handle carefully to prevent damage to the shower pan's flange.


    Step #6 - SILICONE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN: Lift pan and lean against one of the studded walls. Apply 100% silicone caulking to the webbing, Fig. 13, on the underside of the shower pan . Also, apply a thick silicone ring around the drain opening in the sub-floor, Fig. 14. If shims were used, silicone all shims into position on sub floor as required.

    Step #7 - SET SHOWER PAN: Lower shower pan into place. Check the pan for level. Press down as necessary to re-level the shower pan. Apply a silicone bead along the front edge of the threshold to seal the threshold of the pan to the sub-floor.

    Step #8 - CONNECT DRAIN PIPE TO DRAIN ASSEMBLY: Inject silicone completely around and between the drain pipe and the Brass Drain Body, Part #5, as shown in Fig. 15. Place the Rubber Gasket, Part #4 of the Drain Assembly, over the PVC pipe and slide down until the top of the Rubber Gasket, Part #4, is completely seated and is below the top of the Drain Assemble, Fig. 16. Screw the Locking Ring, Part #3 of the Drain Assembly onto the Drain Body, Part #5. Tighten the Locking Ring, Part #3, with the Tightening Tool, Part #2 until the Rubber Gasket, Part #4, is seated and tightly in place.

    Step #9 - TRIMMING THE PVC: The top of the PVC drain pipe MUST NOT extend above the Brass Drain Body, Part #5. If it is at the top of the Brass Drain Body, Part #5, or extends above the top, trim the PVC so that it is about 1/4" lower than the top of the Brass Drain Body, Part #5 but is taller than the top of the Rubber Gasket, Part #4. Cut the PVC pipe with a Dremel and a cut-off wheel.

    If the Tightening Tool, Part #2 has not already been removed, remove it and press the Drain Strainer, Part #1, into place. The installation is complete. Excluding any sub-floor preparation, the installation should take about one hour or less.

    Step #10 - CURING: Let the shower pan set for 24 to 48 hours to allow the silicone to properly cure. Once cured, the wallboard and wall panels can be installed.

    CAUTION: When attaching solid surface shower pans and wall panels, ONLY use 100% SILICONE. Other adhesives or caulks may harden. The loss of the elastic bond between the solid surface and other materials can cause stresses in the solid surface. In turn, these stresses may cause fractures of the part and void the manufacturer's warranty.