In our rapidly progressing, unpredictable world, it can be hard to keep up with the pace of change without constantly having to tweak and adapt. We’ve come to expect that progress can’t happen when things remain static, so we constantly try to improve and evolve.
This kind of constant evolution is certainly the case for Trim-Tex, where innovation is always on our minds — in the last few years alone, for instance, we've introduced our first paper-covered corner bead and a whole family of code compliance solutions, the first of their kind in the industry.
Still, in our 52-year history, no matter how many other things change about our business, no matter what our logo looks like, there’s always one thing at Trim-Tex's core that will stand the test of time — our passion for listening to drywall finishers’ problems and doing our damnedest to solve them. We’re always introducing new products, but at the core, we are still the same company we've been since day one.
Where we started
The problem that prompted Joseph Koenig, Sr., to start Trim-Tex was the tendency of metal corner beads to rust. Before Trim-Tex extruded the first vinyl J Bead, the only choice for protecting the frail edges of drywall was the metal corner bead. But opportunities for improvement started arising when cold weather resulted in the rusting of the material. (To this day, the only way to remove rust, once it forms, is to sand it off or completely replace the affected part)
Joseph Koenig, Sr., had a different idea. He wanted to know how he could utilize vinyl — a material he became familiar with while extruding vinyl siding for his original company, Vinyl-Tex — to stop the rusting problem from happening in the first place.
The solution was a vinyl corner bead, a product designed to protect drywall edges from impact and rust while providing a clean finish that would last long without the need for replacement.
‘Fingers on the pulse’
To start a company is one thing. But then you’ve got to keep that dedication to the “new” going — not always an easy task. Trim-Tex came out of the gate providing solutions by looking at the existing landscape of drywall accessories as problems to be solved.
“We would look at the product, find ways to make it better, and extrude it from PVC,” says Trim-Tex Owner Joe Koenig, Jr., pictured above. “It would have more durability, better impact resistance … Probably over 90 percent of what we've invented, developed, innovated in 52 years, has been solving a problem or providing a solution.”
Eventually, the folks at Trim-Tex evolved their ways of finding opportunities for innovation by also looking at the needs of the people who were actually using the products. This human-centered approach to designing new solutions allowed Trim-Tex to keep developing new products that turned the drywall industry upside down.
Joe quickly found that the key to success wasn’t about saying the right words, but more often about listening.
“I would spend a lot of time going out here in the Midwest and going on jobsites and talking to contractors, asking them questions, really just being the eyes and ears,” said Joe. “Keeping your eyes open, keeping your ears open for opportunity. Eyes and ears.
“I always had a firm belief in keeping my fingers on the pulse of my industry. This is me. I'm always going to be paying attention to what's going on in my industry, and all of my coworkers felt the same way. We had a company mindset. It wasn't just me — it was everybody around me and my dad. We would talk to people and just be out there in the field, which means that the field is your field. Be out there in the field and just keep your eyes and ears open and be there to answer questions for people and provide solutions.
“Many of our innovations were a derivative of a conversation about a problem. ‘Can you come up with a solution?’ We would say, ‘We sure are going to try. Let's go back and put our thinking caps on and we'll get back to you.’”
For example, when Joe found that contractors had an issue with keeping mud from spilling onto walls and windows during corner bead installations, the Trim-Tex team designed the Tear Away Bead. And more recently, to save contractors time and money, our team of experts came up with Fast Edge®, a product that significantly reduced the amount of mud required to finish a drywall corner.
While searching for functional solutions, the Trim-Tex team also found the opportunity to make products that enhance the aesthetic qualities of their customers’ construction projects. Joe points to the 350 Bull and the 350 Chamfer Bead as the company’s effort to offer “architects, builders, and homeowners a different look for their interior space.” He adds that “trying things with plastic that other people haven’t tried, thinking outside the box, and being better is what drives us.”
‘We’re still the same company we’ve always been’
Throughout the past 52 years, Trim-Tex has grown its line of products from one to more than 200 different profiles. Here are just a few of the solutions we’ve come up with that we’re proud of:
But no matter how large our catalog has gotten, one thing has never changed — since day one, when Joseph Koenig, Sr. agreed to produce the first vinyl J Bead, we’ve been a solution-based company driven by the everchanging needs of our customers. Just selling products was never our bag; our stock and trade is coming up with solutions. This is why we recently realigned our name from Trim-Tex Drywall Products to Trim-Tex Drywall Solutions.
We are proud to continuously evolve our product line and the way we approach problems. But our biggest accomplishment to this day is our ability to uphold the legacy of Joseph Koenig, Sr., who built Trim-Tex from the ground up knowing that, to earn the respect within the drywall community, he would have to always seize an opportunity, learn from those around him, care for them, and get the job done well.
The determination to solve construction problems was the building block of what is now Trim-Tex Drywall Solutions. The curiosity and eagerness to ask, “What’s next?” is what keeps the wheels turning. Looking ahead, the younger Koenig tells us, “We’re still the same company we’ve always been. We’re ready to talk to people about their problems, and hopefully, we can come up with solutions for them.”
To check out all the solutions we’ve dreamed up to help solve finishers’ problems, hit the button below to download a copy of our latest catalog.