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Master Tile Installer Kasey Harkin


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Kasey's Work:

About Kasey:

Kasey Harkin has been installing tile since she was three years old. Yes — helping her uncle at age three! Her gorgeous work speaks for itself—floors, showers, pools, backsplashes and more. She is also an expert in helping clients decide how to DESIGN their space. We’ve trusted Kasey for more than a decade and we’re excited to speak to her today about her process.

Kasey's Origin Story

Ken Fain - Owner, Island Carpet: I'm so excited to have our friend and master tile installer Kasey Harkin with us today. When did you start tiling and how did you help your father? Because I know that's how you got started.

Kasey Harkin - Master Tile Installer: The first time I had ever been on a tile job was actually with my uncle in Florida. And I was like 3 or 4. We packed a little lunch box and I went to work with him. I also worked for a couple of summers when I was 13 and 14. I went full-time at 17 and I've been tiling ever since.

Photo from 1998 of tile installer Kasey Harkin cutting tile

Kasey's Work & Choosing Tile

Ken Fain: What do you enjoy most about tiling?

Kasey Harkin: I like the fact that every job is different—doing anything from a pool to a kitchen backsplash or a full shower. No tile that I installed has ever been the same. It's always laid a little different or the design aspect is a little different.

Ken: I think that tile is a daunting process for customers. It's hard for them to envision what they want when they're starting from scratch. How do you approach that task?

Kasey: Some clients know what they want and some don't. Some will come to me and already have everything they want selected. Other times they'll show me pictures of work from my Pinterest or Instagram. Others have no idea. I pick their brain on what they like and see what the style in the rest of the home is like. I can also walk them through various tile patterns and textures and bring samples to their home.

Ken: Deciding on pattern can be particularly difficult.

Kasey: Tile is usually the last thing to go down. It's a finished product. So if the customer already has wallpaper that has design or a countertop with a lot of veining, we can build off of that. Or, let's say the existing design is very simple—gray walls and white trim. You can introduce some visual interest, perhaps with glass tile. Other times the space may already be very busy. In that situation, maybe you can choose something simple like a handmade subway tile. It has a little bit of texture but can be a neutral color.

Kasey Harkin shower tile installation with bold blue tile

What Makes Kasey Special

Ken Fain: One of the things that accounts for your success is patience and meticulousness. There are a lot of people out there with a bucket and trowel who say they do tile. Usually, it's bang, bang, bang—get it done quickly. I find both with your work and also with the work of a master carpet installer that we have on staff that it's patience and attention to detail which is key. What do you think?

Kasey Harkin: I do every job as if it was going to be done in my own home. From my first customer until now it's all been word of mouth. I get referrals from a customer's sister or cousin or a friend. It's been strictly word of mouth my whole career.

Wrap Up

Ken Fain: Kasey Harkin is a true superstar among tile installers. We are so proud to be associated with her. Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions about luxury vinyl floors or flooring installations in general, give us a call at 401-214-0285 or visit our showroom. We serve customers throughout Rhode Island and southeastern New England, including Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol and more.

Ken Fain smiling and wearing a green and yellow collared shirt

About Ken: Ken Fain is the co-owner of Island Carpet in Middletown, RI and a floorcovering veteran of more than 40 years. His popular 'Ask Ken' video series answers common flooring questions on a variety of topics. It has reached more than 100,000 viewers on both YouTube and Facebook.


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(401) 214-0285

695 West Main Road Middletown
Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm, Sat: 10am-3pm


Ken Fain wearing collared shirt and a Great Dane

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