Pepr Mason’s Mitre Trim is a worktop repair that could take the heat out of a common kitchen renovation job. Professional Builder’s Lee Jones talks to inventor, Paul Benham.
Almost every tradesman of any experience will come to the conclusion that, when it comes to a routine and regular repair job on site, there must be a better way.
For most of us this will rarely manifest itself as anything other than some cathartic muttering under our breath, but PB’s Inventors’ Corner showcases those individuals for whom that very frustration has been fuel for a demonstration of the resourcefulness and innovation of the great British builder.
In the 35 years that Paul Benham has practised as a chippie he has been perennially puzzled by the fact that a kitchen worktop trim that fits a mason’s mitre cut joint does not exist on the market, despite the fact that that joint is being used in the vast majority of new build properties.
“It’s a repair job that I’ve never seen a satisfactory solution for,” explains Paul, “despite the fact that, because the mason’s mitre interlinks each section, if it’s damaged it’s then necessary to rip out two to three worktops to effect a repair.”
“You can’t just take one piece out without disturbing the joint adjacent to it, and potentially even some tiling, so it becomes a very time-consuming and expensive process involving not just the carpenter but a number of trades – the plumbers in disconnecting the sink and an electrician for the cooker or hob, for instance.
“All this can be avoided with one simple cover trim that conceals the mitre joint. I would say that you could save up to £500 all for the sake of an £18 trim – just compare the labour costs of replacing the worktops with the trim alternative and the maths start to look quite attractive.”
To Paul the solution seemed so simple that he was convinced that it must already exist but, after extensive research, he realised that a trim that would enable the trades to remove only one piece of worktop was not available anywhere on the market – at which point the time-served tradesman turned inventor.
“What was to eventually emerge is a hard wearing repair that provides protection from further damage, with a fitting that requires nothing more than screwing in below and a waterproof sealant applied to the top. Kitchen fitters would be particularly aware of the problem that the Pepr Mason’s Mitre Trim seeks to address, but this would appeal to anyone from housing associations and local authorities to private homeowners.”
Like many entrepreneurial inventors it’s been a long process from idea to finished product, punctuated by patent applications and changes to design. “I actually came up with the idea four years ago,” continues Paul, “but just getting the registered designs that cover Europe is such a time-consuming process.
“When I embarked on this journey I certainly had no idea just what was involved, and it would be fair to say that I didn’t anticipate the time and cost implications of producing a product from scratch.
“When you overcome one obstacle there always seems to be another but we’re certainly at the final stages now and everything is in place. Having thoroughly tested the prototypes, and with a manufacturer in place to produce the product, we are in a position to sell it.”
In fact Paul, together with the marketing and technical expertise afforded by sons Dan and James, now has a product that can trim considerable time from a common kitchen fitters repair job.
Pepr Mason’s Mitre Trim is a simple method of repairing mason’s mitre joints in kitchen worktops. Below is a simple step-by-step guide:
1. Level any damaged or raised joint to ensure a flat surface, make sure the joint area is clean and dry.
2. Measure the length of the mitre joint, and cut the Pepr Mason’s Mitre trim to length using a hack saw.
3. Cover the joint thoroughly with a water proof silicon, making sure the whole length (including the curve under the worktop) is adequately covered.
4. Push the Pepr Mason Mitre joint into place, pressing the whole trim onto the siliconed joint firmly. Make sure that the end of the Mitre Joint, next to the wall, is also sealed with silicon.
5. Leave to dry. For drying times see the instruction’s on the water proof silicon.
For more information click here.