One of our Project Manager’s, Kevin Shuker, was contacted by Christ The King Church in Kansas City, KS, to come in and assess a baptismal font that was constructed nearly nine years ago that was plagued with problems from the start where the font was leaking from day one. CTK reached out to Kevin mainly because they were made aware that he is a PM in the commercial tile industry. In addition to that, he is also a long- time parishioner of the church and attended grade school there as well.
Several attempts were made by the original constructor of the font to remedy the leak by installing several layers of plaster over the tiled basin floor that resulted in the entire floor cracking out. Other significant issues that were apparent was the plumbing was all exposed, there was no proper drain system installed resulting in a pump being used to drain the water out of the basin as if it were a swimming pool. Also, the church had to use detachable steps that belongs to an above ground swimming pool to get in and out of the font.
After review of the original font, the only remedy that made sense was to demo the existing one out and replace with a newly constructed font by Turner Ceramic Tile. The problem with starting from scratch on this project, is that the font was donated by a parishioner, and really there wasn’t the funds available to replace the font. Turner Ceramic Tile decided to perform the work at cost forgoing any overhead and profit markups to give something back to the church that they can use and be proud of in the end.
Turner Ceramic Tile performed all work on this project from demolition, to framing, plumbing, electrical, waterproofing, and then finally the tile work. Kevin Shuker was involved every step of the way by designing the overall look of the font, materials to be used, coordinating fabrication of font, granite tops, a pump to recirculate the water in the basin through the waterfall, and finally tile installation. A treaded tile stair, was created in the front of the font that truly gives it a one of a kind look and gives the church easy access in and out of the font. The last neat aesthetic to the font was that we placed a complete tiled door that was placed in the back of the font for easy access to all the plumbing and electrical wheelhouse and it easily removable for convenience. Probably the most challenging part of the project, per Kevin Shuker, was getting all the plumbing, electrical and waterfall spout to all fit within the framed walls.
One last item to mention pertaining to design and construction was that the original font was only six sided. Through the input of the pastor at Christ the King church, and Kevin Shuker performing additional research, an octagonal font was constructed on the basis of that on the eighth day begins eternal life and coincides with the practices and beliefs of all Christian denominations.
After several weeks of having to perform this work piece by piece, Turner tile has now turned this beautiful font over to the church in which they can enjoy for the upcoming Easter Season and the years to come.