Sponsor Product Spotlight: LATICRETE® STONETECH® Enhancer Pro™ Sealer

LATICRETE® STONETECH® Enhancer Pro Sealer is a heavy duty sealer that seals and enhances the surface to a deep rich color. Part of the STONETECH Professional line of tile and stone care and maintenance products, the innovative, easy-to-use solution is made up of a solvent-based formula that deepens color, provides heavy duty protection against most stains and deepens color.

Additionally, STONETECH Enhancer Pro Sealer is weather and UV-resistant making it the perfect transforming product for both interior and exterior use to help ensure the beauty of natural stone and tile countertops, floors, stair, ceilings and other installations. Suitable substrates include but are not limited to limestone, slate, flagstone and travertine.

STONETECH Enhancer Pro Sealer is available in a 1 pt (473 ml), 1 qt (946 ml), 1 gal (3.8 L), 5 gal (18.9 L) and 55 gal (208 L) containers. For more information visit, www.laticrete.com.


The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is proud to announce the acceptance of two of its members, The Stuart Company and D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting, as Five Star Contractors.

To obtain Five Star certification, contractors must be a member of NTCA, and complete an application process that includes submitting examples of work, reviews and recommendations from peers and customers and proven commitment to service, quality, safety and superior job performance. Five Star Contractors are also required to certify a minimum of 10 percent of their installers through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer program or ACT certification for installers.

The Stuart Company is a professional tile and flooring installation company based out of Macomb, Mich., installing mostly commercial projects, specializing in assisted living facilities, car dealerships, and large commercial, as well as some residential projects. “Joining the NTCA and becoming a Five Star Contractor has relit a fire in my passion for the industry,” said Phil Kozey, project manager at Stuart Tile Company. The company prides itself on its ability to complete projects with very difficult time schedules, but not compromising quality by cutting corners.

D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone, of Marietta, Ga., has been in business since 1994 and works by the motto, “Craftsmanship by the standards.” The company specializes in large residential stone and tile projects in both new and remodeling sectors, and specialty cladding projects. “We believe that by being a Five Star Contractor member, we have set a high standard for the company and the employees. For our employees to learn and work alongside other Five Star Contractors, will only make us a stronger and more profitable contractor,” said Woody Sanders, founder of D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone.

The tile industry believes strongly in the quality of workmanship offered by NTCA Five Star Contractors.  Many manufacturers recommend Five Star contractors to their customers on challenging projects, and in 2012, language recommending qualified labor and in particular NTCA Five Star Contractors, was approved and inserted into the Tile Council of North America Handbook for tile and stone specification and installation.

If you are an NTCA member and interested in gaining Five Star certification, contact Five Star Program Director Amber Fox at [email protected].


iQ Power Tools introduces New Line of Safety Gear

iQ Power Tools, manufacturer of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems, introduces a new line of protective eye and ear gear that is the perfect balance of comfort and safety.

Two sleek and stylish safety glasses deliver good looks, comfort and advanced vision protection required to take on any challenge.  They are durable enough to withstand the demands of the jobsite while the ultra lightweight design provides all day comfort. Features include scratch resistant coating, impact resistant and polycarbonate lenses.

iQ Powertool’s hearing protection gear, with a NNR29 rating, offers superior comfort and is designed to be a high noise reducing/protection earmuff. The adjustable headband and premium ear cushioning provide all day comfort and can be folded at the end of the day for storage.

“We are thrilled to be launching this new line of safety products as safety is our number one priority at iQ,” said Joel Guth, president of iQ Power Tools. “We’re focused on identifying and reducing risk from job sites with the development of professional tools and technology and of course, education.”

Artaic’s Grand Opening Soirée Draws Diverse, Influential Attendees

Artaic-Innovative Mosaic, designers and fabricators of custom, award-winning mosaic tile-work, recently relocated to the hub of New England’s Architectural & Design Community, The Boston Design Center. On June 1, the firm had its official Grand Opening celebration.

“We were overjoyed with the amount of support and acknowledgement from our local Architectural & Design (A&D) community, business leaders of Boston and the many technology frontrunners that came to celebrate with us,” declared Dr. Ted Acworth, CEO/Founder of Artaic. “We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout.”

“This facility is a beautiful statement of the combination of high-tech design and entrepreneurism,” stated guest Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “We work very closely with Artaic… and, are thrilled to see the gains the company continues to make.”

Artaic’s new facility includes the following departments: office (sales and design), production and research & development. The firm’s state-of-the-art gallery/showroom beautifully displays the firm’s cutting-edge, computer-driven/robotically-assembled mosaic creations from ceiling to floor in continuous, flowing designs.

Artaic’s new 6,200 square foot facility more than doubles the space Artaic previously occupied. “We like to think of it as a combination designer showroom, gallery, research & development lab and manufacturing facility, Acworth added.”

“Artaic is a progressive company with a future-focused approach to mosaic tile that seamlessly balances technology and design in the unique service they provide,” declared Kristan McLaughlin, General Manager, Leasing & Partnerships, JAMESTOWN, L.P. (Management firm of The Boston Design Center) Their collaborative and innovative approach will be a perfect fit within our design community at The Boston Design Center.”

Clint Schramm Joins LATICRETEⓇ SUPERCAPⓇ as the Director of Marketing

LATICRETEⓇ SUPERCAPⓇ, a leading manufacturer of premium self-leveling underlayment products delivered through its patented pump truck technology, has hired Clint Schramm as the Director of Marketing. In his new role, Schramm will work closely with the LATICRETE marketing team to grow the SUPERCAP brand and business via direct development and management of creative marketing services on local, national and international levels.

“Clint has over 30 years of experience and relationships in the commercial flooring industry and is perfect to help communicate the unique advantages the SUPERCAP system has to offer. He’s got the marketing savvy to differentiate this innovative system and show the industry why they’ll never go back to traditional methods of buying and installing self-leveling underlayment. He will be a tremendous asset for LATICRETE,” said SUPERCAP President Douglas Metchick.

CTEF Tile Tip: Be Clear with Customer About Grout Joint Offsets

The beauty of and longtime satisfaction in ceramic and porcelain tile installations will many times depend on the creativity employed in the design process. Whether the pattern and layout suggestions are provided by the consumer, the architect, the designer, the retailer or even the installer, success comes only when the customer is happy with the final appearance.

With the very popular woodgrain pattern tiles available today, many choices must be made in regards to the tile pattern, color, grout joint offset and grout joint size. Most of these woodgrain tiles are planks that range from 3” up to 9” wide in lengths from 24” to 72”—and beyond.

To aid in determining the grout joint offset, ANSI Specification A108.02- offers assistance. It states: “For running bond/brick joint patterns utilizing tiles (square or rectangular) where the side being offset is greater than 18” (nominal dimension), the running bond offset will be a maximum of 33% unless otherwise specified by the tile manufacturer. If an offset greater than 33% is specified, specifier and owner must approve mock-up and lippage.”

This language is of great help to the installer by eliminating 50% offset and its possible lippage, but what about a random grout joint? Almost all wood flooring is installed using a random (no pattern) end joint. Likewise, these tile installations may look more natural if installed randomly rather than in a regimented joint layout.

However, this option presents two challenges. If the planks are running in a random pattern, it is possible that offsets between 33% and 50% could occur and cause excessive lippage. The installer needs to pay strict attention to this possibility and minimize joints in this area. In the accompanying photo, the installer was fortunate that lippage was not a factor. However, if lippage does occur, the installer may have to widen the grout joint to accommodate the resulting lippage.

The other challenge is to be certain the customer knows what pattern they have selected and how it will appear on the floor. Photos of past jobs or a manufacturer’s brochure or website can help them “see” the final look. Installers should never assume they know what the customer wants. Always ask and get the final decision in writing. Not doing so can be extremely costly, as evidenced by a call I received recently.

The installer provided a beautifully installed random joint plank floor. However, this professional installation was rejected by the customer because the random pattern did not meet her expectations—worse yet, her expectations had never been established.

There was nothing wrong with the random pattern installation except the customer (the person paying the bill) would not accept it. She did some research and found that the ANSI Specifications call for a maximum 33% offset, and said her floor needed to follow the standard. This whole mess could have been avoided with clear communication.

LATICRETE Introduces LATAPOXY® BIOGREEN™ 300, the Industry’s First Biobased Epoxy Adhesive

LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 Adhesive provides an alternative to conventional non-renewable materials, contributing to a cleaner environment and may contribute LEED V4 points

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced its new LATAPOXY® BIOGREEN 300 – the industry’s first high-strength, chemical-resistant epoxy adhesive made with biobased material for installing tile and stone. Designed to provide an alternative to conventional non-renewable petroleum-derived products, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 may contribute LEED V4 points and retains the same easy-to-trowel consistency of LATAPOXY 300 Adhesive, with the additional enhancement of a faster cure time.

“With sustainable construction increasingly becoming a standard practice, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 is providing dealers and installers with the first eco-friendly adhesive option in the expanding “green” products category. For interior designers, architects and contractors, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 can contribute to LEED V4 points, the world’s premier benchmark for high-performance green buildings,” said Product Development Manager Jonathan Scott. “LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 is another example of our commitment to developing advanced, forward-looking product formulations that result in both better products for our customers and a more sustainable world.”

Equipped for the most demanding installations of tile and stone, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 exceeds both ANSI A118.3 and ISO 13007 R2 requirements for epoxy adhesives and can be used in interior and exterior areas such as walls and floors, wet and dry areas.

“With a faster cure time, contractors gain increased productivity and time savings on the jobsite, with a faster time-to-grout and heavy traffic permitted in just 12 hours,” added Scott.

The biobased epoxy adhesive can be used to install a variety of ceramic tile, marble and natural stone, and will bond to most sound, clean surfaces, spreads easily and can be cleaned with water while fresh.

LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 is offered in the same packaging configuration as LATAPOXY 300 Adhesive, which will continue to be available.  Coverage for both products is the same and both are components of the LATICRETE Lifetime System Warranty providing one source, one warranty from the substrate to the grout.

MIA+BSI Continues Support of Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program

MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute continues to support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program by providing natural stone materials, fabrication, and installation for specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and their families nationwide.

“What better cause could our organization be involved with that allows the participation of our members in distribution, fabrication, and installation?” said Jon Lancto (Big Fish Consulting), 2017 MIA president.

Tania Kalentzos (MARVA Marble and Granite), whose company donated material for a recent project, added, “We are honored to participate in the R.I.S.E. program, to support and honor our nation’s veterans. We believe that it is our duty, as American citizens, to remember our nation’s defenders. Honoring the sacrifice of our veterans is particularly near to our hearts, since our CEO, Chris Kalentzos, spent a number of years in the 82nd Airborne. It is our pleasure and privilege to play a role in helping the Hedrick family to thrive, in their new specially-adapted smart home.”

MIA+BSI would like to thank the following companies that have supported this initiative: MARVA Marble and Granite, Trindco, Pyramid Marble and Granite, AGandM, Rugo Stone, Delta Granite and Marble, M S International, Dee Brown, Inc., Daltile, ROCKin’teriors, Marble Line, Arizona Tile, Pental Surfaces, Floform, Marjan Stone, Big Creek Granite, Granite Group, Florida Bath and Surfaces, Inc., Mont Granite, Distinctive Marble and Granite, Global Granite and Marble, Murphy Marble, Acorn Granite and Marble, Duracite, and TexaStone Quarries.

For more information, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org or www.garysinisefoundation.org.

LATICRETE Selects Lauren Albrecht as a Strategic Account Specialist for Retail

Albrecht to build business relationships between top retailers and LATICRETE

LATICRETE, a manufacturer of globally-proven construction solutions for the building industry, has enlisted Lauren Albrecht as a Strategic Account Specialist for Retail, enhancing its Strategic Account Group. With five years of previous experience working with large retailers to build strong supplier relationships and assist in the development of designs and materials to implement into new stores, Albrecht joins LATICRETE as the company aims to strengthen and expand its retail market.

“Lauren will play a key role in growing the corporation by developing new retail relationships for LATICRETE while working with existing business affiliations to help guide companies through the domestic and international LATICRETE product lines,” said Susan Dolata, Strategic Account Group Director.

The Strategic Account Group focuses on growing national accounts across a wide-range of industry verticals including retail, hospitality, medical and food service industries.


MAPEI offers certified, sustainable tile mortars and grouts






An important issue that manufacturers must address in today’s marketplace is the ability to balance product performance with environmentally sustainable formulations and manufacturing processes. The clarity with which the manufacturer reports on both of these products aspects is a measure of the company’s transparency to its customers and end users.  Third-party certification of products and their manufacturing processes is one method of displaying transparency.

MAPEI is a champion of the Tile Council of North America’s Green Squared program for third-party-certified green products for the installation of tile and stone. MAPEI has a select set of mortars and grouts that are SCS third-party certified to the TCNA’s Green Squared standard (ANSI A138.1), making them eligible for a special LEED v4 pilot credit.

The TCNA reported in a recent news release, “Specifically, Green Squared Certified products now qualify to contribute toward a new LEED Pilot Credit offered for using ‘Certified Multi-attribute Products and Materials.’ The credit requires that certification details, including which Green Squared electives were satisfied, are disclosed, and that a product lifecycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also added Green Squared Certified products to its current recommendations made to all U.S. government purchasing officials to aid in identifying and procuring environmentally sustainable products and services.

The MAPEI products that have been Green Squared Certified include MAPEI Ultralite Mortar, MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro, MAPEI Ultralite S2 mortar, MAPEI Ultralite S1 Quick mortar Ultracolor® Plus FA premium grout and new MAPEI Flexcolor 3D ready-to-use grout with translucent/iridescent effects. These products can be specified by architects as a sustainable tile installation system.

MAPEI also has TCNA industry-average Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and VOC emission certifications (CA-DPH 01350) for these products and many others, which can contribute to LEED v4 as well as to sustainability programs such as the Living Building Challenge (LBC) and the Well Building Standard.

“TCNA has been a leader in providing sustainable tile system initiatives with both Green Squared certification and EPDs that have benefited both the industry and MAPEI in offering our customers a complete system, from tile to mortar to grout,” said Cris Bierschank, Technical Services Sustainability Manager for MAPEI Americas.


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