Europe-based waterproof membrane supplier seeks opportunity for expansion
April 2/9, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 21
By Mara Bollettieri
Guru USA knows a thing or two about waterproof membranes for ceramic tile flooring and wall installations. The Spain-based company brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of waterproofing membranes, shower drain systems and other accessories designed to advance installation performance and increase sales opportunities for its customers.
Derick Cooper, national sales and marketing manager of Guru USA, North America, stands behind its products as well as its focus on high-quality manufacturing. “We actually manufacture our own products. A lot of people in the waterproof membrane industry don’t. We are proud to be a company that’s supportive, approachable and collaborative with our customers.”
Already a household name in countries like Spain, Italy and France, to name a few, Guru USA wants to share its expertise with the North American market. The company’s goal, according to Cooper, is to penetrate new territories by reaching out to wholesale distributors, dealers and contractors. Another potential avenue to market is through private-label manufacturing agreements with other suppliers.
In many cases, Guru USA is willing to take that extra step to keep customers happy by offering a variety of colors, different packaging and sizes of waterproof membranes—all at a competitive price, according to Cooper. “We can sell to anybody because we make it, so that makes us different. We can customize our products.”
Guru’s Water-Stop waterproofing membrane, which touts both strength and flexibility, can be used with polymer-modified thinsets in steam showers and as a crack isolation membrane. How it works: The membrane is applied to both the walls and floors using thinset, and the tile is joined directly to the membrane. According to Cooper, these products surpass the ANSI 118.12 and the ANSI 118.10 specifications for crack isolation and load bearing, respectively.
Cooper identified a few standout products such as Guru’s Evolux Linear and square drains, which are made with marine-grade 316 stainless steel and known for its high-quality properties. The manufacturer’s innovative open set drain flashing system also allows the contractor to install the drain over remaining floor tile, which helps cut demolition costs.
“Our open set drain system is patented; it has an up-and-down movement, so it can adjust to any height over any shower floor,” Cooper explained.
Guru’s high-performance membranes not only exceed specifications, according to Cooper, but they are also priced competitively. This allows retailers to earn higher margins on their installation projects. “When I look at all the other membranes out there, our performance and quality is on the top level. But our pricing is not; it’s more on the mid-level. So that is something we bring to the table.”