Coverings 2017 Seeks Submissions for Conference Presentations

Coverings(ARLINGTON, VA—August 12, 2016) Coverings (, the largest international tile & stone show in North America, is inviting conference presenters and professional development leaders to submit proposals for the show’s 2017 programming. Returning to Orlando, FL, for 2017, Coverings will be held April 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center.

Praised for its educational programs, Coverings calls for cutting-edge content which generates discussion and finds solutions in the categories of interior design and architecture, building and remodeling, distribution, fabrication, installation, retail sales, green practices, and health and safety. Individuals and groups interested in helping the industry to grow and thrive are encouraged to submit proposals for one or more topics. Proposals can be submitted online here. The submission deadline is September 6, 2016.

“Coverings offers an all-encompassing conference program dedicated to educating and engaging all levels of the industry, “ said Michele Nebel Peake, VP, Conference Development of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “We focus on providing a variety of educational options and formats which creates an interactive learning experience, provides opportunities for discussion, and helps our attendees to generate solutions which will allow them to succeed both professionally and personally.”

All sessions are FREE to registered Coverings exhibitors and attendees. Coverings is a registered provider of AIA, NKBA and USGBC continuing education and applies for CEUs for ASID/IIDA through IDCEC.

The complete Coverings 2017 conference program will be revealed in January 2017 on


Coverings Social Media

Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2017
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About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC.

Coverings 2017 takes place April 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. For more information, visit or contact Taffy Events, Coverings Show Management, 703-539-5504.

5th Annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship Opens

Daltile  logo (2)asidThe 5th annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, presented by the ASID Foundation, is now open for submissions. The 2016 contest challenges students to redesign an existing hotel lobby using key biophilic design principles to address and enhance the guest experience.

Biophilia is the concept that people have an inherent desire to connect with nature and natural systems, highlighting the relationship between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment. The principles of biophilic design gives designers the guidance to design spaces that positively impact occupants’ health, productivity, creativity, and wellbeing.

Madrid-Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain

Madrid-Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain

Undergraduate interior design students from all over the country will enter this year’s contest, which will award $27,500 in scholarships. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 towards their education, and three runners-up with each receive $2,500. New this year, the school with the highest number of completed student submissions will be awarded a $10,000 grant.

Students can enter their submissions from now until Sept. 22, 2016. The winner will be announced on Nov.10, 2016, at the ASID Career Exchange at NeoCon East in Philadelphia. For more details, please visit

Alpha Hires New Representative in Southern California

richrolenOAKLAND, NJ, July 25, 2016–Alpha Professional Tools® is pleased to announce that we have hired Rich Rolen to represent us in the Southern California region effective July 18, 2016.

Rich is a Navy Veteran that comes to us from the Material Handling/General Contracting Industry. He brings over 15 years of Account Management and Customer Service experience. He values building solid relationships with customers as partners. When not on the road with Alpha®, he spends time with family, surfing and mountain biking around southern California.

If you have any questions or need additional information, he can be reached at the following:

Cell: (714) 853-3476
E-mail: [email protected]

About Alpha Professional Tools®:

Alpha Professional Tools® is a leading manufacturer of quality tools for professionals in the natural/engineered stone, porcelain, ceramic, glass, construction, marine and automotive industries. Alpha® provides the best products for cutting, drilling, shaping and polishing all types of materials. In addition to providing the best products in the industry, Alpha Professional Tools® offers a variety of services to support their products. More information is available at

August 2016 Feature: Achieving LEED Gold in Chicago


By Arthur Mintie CSI, CDT
LATICRETE Sr. Technical Services Director

Virgin Hotels launched its brand in the U.S. in 2010, and recently opened its first location – on the corner of Lake and Wabash in Chicago, the site of the Old Dearborn Bank Building in Chicago’s downtown area and business heartland. During the construction phase that lasted for several years, the original building was gutted and completely renovated into 250 rooms that occupy 45,000 sq. ft. (4,181 square meters) with a number of unique features and amenities. Common areas, which include event and meeting areas for groups of up to 150 people, were added and take up between 15,000 – 25,000 sq. ft. (1,394-2,323 square meters) of space.

feat-02feat-03Bourbon Tile and Marble of Buffalo Grove, Ill., a longtime MVP partner of LATICRETE and one of its top 10 tile contractors in the country, was contracted to install all the tiles for the project. Architects and designers worked diligently to preserve as much of the character of the original building as possible, and the new facility is now both Green Seal and LEED Gold certified. The company plans to have hotels in 20 U.S. locations by 2025.
Bourbon Tile and Marble faced three major challenges with this project:

Unproven materials – A number of stones and tiles used on this project had not been used on any previous project and it was not known how well they would perform once installed.

Warranty preservation – The installer needed to come up with a new, high-quality installation process to ensure that all work carried out did not void any warranties on the stone and tiles used in the project.

Sound dampening – Because Chicago is a busy city with lots of street noise and the building would be housing hundreds of guests at any given time, the hotel needed effective sound dampening that was compatible with the tile installation materials in all locations including common areas and guest rooms.

“This was an exciting project because of the new materials that were involved and the historical significance of the building,” said Eddie Bourbon of Bourbon Tile and Marble. “We’ve had such great experiences with LATICRETE® products so we had no doubt that the process would run smoothly and produce the results the customer wanted.”

feat-04LATICRETE solutions used in the Virgin Hotel Chicago project include:

NXT™ Level was used throughout all floor areas including the guest rooms, café and bar to level, flatten and make the floor areas smooth. NXT Level is a high-performance self leveler that allows tiling in as few as three to four hours and membranes in 72 hours. 9235 Waterproofing Membrane was used to waterproof all shower and bathroom floor areas. The 9235 Waterproofing Membrane is a thin, load-bearing waterproofing designed specifically for the special requirements of ceramic tile, stone and brick installations, which was perfect for the hotel. Bourbon Tile applied a self-curing liquid rubber polymer and a reinforcing fabric, which quickly formed a flexible, seamless waterproofing membrane that bonded to substrates in the bathroom.

254 Platinum was used to install 30” (76.2 cm) by 3/4” (1.9 cm) thick concrete tiles in the bar area and the 4” (10.2 cm) hex by 3/4” (1.9 cm) thick concrete hex tiles in the café. 254 Platinum is a high-performance, polymer-fortified adhesive mortar.

feat-05LATICRETE Glass Tile Adhesive was used to install the glass tile on backsplashes. Glass Tile Adhesive is a water-mixed, non-sag, polymer-fortified adhesive mortar that is specifically formulated for use in glass tile applications. Glass Tile Adhesive has great workability and produces an ultra-white finish that enhances the look of glass mosaics, glass tile, and most any translucent tile or stone. In addition to containing antimicrobial protection, Glass Tile Adhesive is GREENGUARD certified for low VOC. Glass Tile Adhesive Mortar can also be used with porcelain or ceramic tile.

253 Gold was used to install 1” (2.5 cm) penny round tiles as well as the 3” x 6” (7.6 cm x 15.2 cm) floor and wall tile. 253 Gold is a superior polymer-fortified, bagged, cementitious thin-set powder that Bourbon mixed with water to install ceramic tiles using the thin-set method of installation. It is designed for interior and exterior floor and wall installations of all types of ceramic tiles, porcelain tile and stone over concrete, exterior glue plywood and a variety of substrates. It proved perfect for the hotel.

feat-06Able to handle various sized grout joints and available in 40 colors, PERMACOLOR® Grout was used to grout all areas, tiles, and stone. PERMACOLOR Grout provided a high-performance joint between tiles that was fast-setting, dense and hard. It was color consistent with the tiles and contains an anti-microbial additive that inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. PERMACOLOR Grout can also be used in joint sizes ranging from 1/16” (1.6 mm) to 1/2” (13 mm).

The hotel opened in early 2015 to rave reviews and is proving to be an excellent launch for the Virgin Hotel brand in the United States. Guests love the many features that were preserved from the original building, including a 1920s cigar bar that serves as the hotel’s front desk and the restored brass elevator doors.

The entire project was a success for a number of reasons. Bourbon Tile and Marble, a Trowel of Excellence award winner, completed the installation to meet the high-quality demands of the Virgin brand while also finishing the project well within an aggressively scheduled grand opening finish date. It also provided an excellent opportunity to get American products into the international mix and show how they could not only compete with the best, but also exceed expectations.

New Products – August 2016


prod-01-crossCrossville’s Oceanaire porcelain tile collection captures the look of sea- and sand-swept natural stone. The line is noted for its multidirectional striations interpreted in five gradient colors in 24” x 24”, 12” x 24”, 18” x 36”, and 6” x 36” field sizes plus 4” x 24” bullnose and 2” x 6” mesh-mounted mosaics.

Oceanaire’s five color options come in both unpolished and honed finishes. Oceanaire is suitable for commercial and residential interior floors, walls, countertops, and exterior walls in both residential and commercial applications. It is made using third-party certified, sustainable processes, is Green Squared certified, and contains a minimum 4% recycled content.

prod-02-enduroEnduroShield offers more than traditional sealers, since it creates a breathable, semi-permeable membrane, and changes the properties of the surface to make it hydrophobic and oleophobic, repelling water and oil. The easy-clean surfaces behave like a non-stick frying pan – water and contaminants bead up, dramatically reducing cleaning time. A single application will remain easy-clean for three to five years, backed by a true performance warranty. Tangible green benefits for the homeowner include elimination of harsh cleaners on treated surfaces: in most cases just a mild dish soap or vinegar is sufficient for cleaning. EnduroShield for Tile & Grout works on all porcelain, ceramic, and glazed tiles, as well as grout lines. It’s available as both consumer DIY kits for retailers, and in commercial quantities and formulation for professional applications.

prod-03-florFlorida Tile introduces Span HDP, one of over 25 Green Squared Certified Products manufactured at Florida Tile’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in Lawrenceburg, Ky. It’s made from 100% raw materials and sourced within 500 miles of the production plant. During the manufacturing process, waste is almost eliminated in Florida Tile’s closed-loop system where dust, unfired tile, and water are recycled back to raw materials, to be reused and reformed, allowing for 40% pre-consumer recycled content. This product is also Greenguard Gold certified by UL Environmental to not contain or emit any VOCs. As a PTCA-certified porcelain tile, Span HDP‘s water absorption rate is half of 1%, making it inhospitable to mold and mildew formation; it will not absorb allergens or other contaminants. Maintenance can be accomplished without toxic chemicals, but rather simply cleaned with low-VOC, neutral pH cleansers and water. Porcelain tile from Florida Tile can remain in service up to four times longer than other floor coverings with an average lifespan of 50+ years, protecting the environment for future generations.

prod-04-interInterceramic offers San Giulio, a High Density ceramic tile. It was inspired by Italian Silver Rainbow Travertine’s texture and the earthy hues of a classic cream with dark highlights of ochre, silver and dark graphite. San Giulio offers four rich colors: Bianco Valetta, Isola Beige, Borgo Brown and Via Grey, all available in 12” x 24” or 16” x 16,” complemented with a 12” x 12” (2” x 2”) mesh-mounted mosaic. LumenFX® inks, the latest-generation digital technology, highlight the shine and texture for an unmatched natural look and feel. This special process replicates the infinite beauty found in nature by adding distinct and specific highlights to each individual tile. The unique ink adds depth to the space by adding the right touch of reflectivity to the tile’s design. High Density ceramic tiles by Interceramic® are produced using advanced technology that allows ceramic products, such as San Giulio, to perform at the high standards of porcelain tile. San Giulio is a Green Squared Certified product that is in accordance with the certifications’ rigorous sustainability criteria. Interceramic extracts the raw materials from company-owned mines, produces molds and punches in company-owned factories, and manufactures products with state-of-the-art machinery designed to achieve the most efficient manufacturing process possible.

prod-05-mapeiMAPEI employs the use of a fine aggregate in its new rapid-setting Ultracolor Plus FA grout, making it an all-in-one grout replacement for both sanded and unsanded grout. It can be used for joint widths from 1/16” to 3/4” (1,5 to 19 mm).Ultracolor Plus FA is specially formulated with MAPEI’s High-Hydrated Cement Technology (HCT™) to eliminate the common problems related to portland-cement grout, such as color consistency and efflorescence. This new grout also has the added benefit of DropEffect™ technology, which reduces surface absorption to help repel water, dirt and grime from penetrating grout joints. In addition, Ultracolor Plus FA is formulated with 10% recycled content, meeting the ANSI A138.1 specification for Green Squared certification by TCNA, joining MAPEI’s portfolio of Green Squared products. It carries the ISO 13007 classification CG2WAF – a cementitious grout (CG) that is improved (2), has reduced water absorption (W), exhibits high abrasion resistance (A) and is rapid-setting (F). Ultracolor Plus FA grout is easy to install and stain-resistant, does not require a sealer and is available in all 40 colors of the new MAPEI color palette.

Green Squared Certified product Down to Earth #350 Red Paver by Metropolitan Ceramics

Green Squared Certified product Down to Earth #350 Red Paver by Metropolitan Ceramics

Metropolitan Ceramics® by Ironrock has 15 of its ceramic quarry tile colors Green Squared Certified, which all meet the certification’s multi-attribute sustainability standard for product characteristics, manufacturing, product life management, progressive corporate governance, and

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is made from locally sourced raw materials combined with both fired and unfired production waste material for an unglazed, extruded product that is fired at temperatures over 2,000° Fahrenheit. These quarry tiles are inert materials that will not promote mold or bacteria growth and when properly installed and maintained, will help contribute to a healthy work and living environment. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tiles are 1/2” thick for added durability, have a 60+ year lifespan, and can be re-used or re-purposed (as road bed material for example) at demolition or removal. These low absorption, vitreous tiles can be used as tile pavers for outdoor hardscapes. Indoors, the thermal mass of the tiles allows them to aid in creating a more consistent environment.

prod-07-neolithNeolith, manufactured by TheSize Surfaces, is a high-performance surfacing material that is virtually indestructible, as well as being both sustainable and hygienic. Neolith is 100% natural, all of the collections are 100% recyclable, and up to 52% of ANY slab is comprised of recycled raw materials. It has less than .08% porosity, and holds Greenguard, Greenguard Gold, and CE certifications; and is a LEED Point Earner. Neolith is suitable for both commercial and residential projects and is applicable for a variety of applications from façades, flooring, wall cladding, kitchen and bathroom countertops and more.

prod-08-usgUSG Fiberock® Brand Tile Backerboard and Underlayment panels are made from 97% recycled content. Ideal under tile, stone, vinyl, hardwood flooring, laminate flooring and carpeting, the products’ uniform composition provides strength and water resistance. The superior tile bond is three times the industry standard. These products are free of resins, adhesives and solvents that might stain a vinyl floor. The panels provide a smooth, flat, paintable surface for wall applications and are easy to cut, fasten and install.

prod-09-vitroVitromex offers Bossa Nova, a modern and beautiful design, inspired from music playing in the background. It’s a different type of porcelain wood product, giving you the sensation of being in an beautiful place like Copacabana.  It combines a mix of subtle experience and melodies that blend the exotic and tropical atmosphere with the modern and sexy.  This product is Green Squared Certified and has a positive impact on the environment and society with its sustainable attributes such as recycled content.

Industry News – August 2016

Brian Newman, Lackmond Products

Brian Newman, Lackmond Products

Lackmond Products has appointed Brian Newman as Northeast territory manager, overseeing the company’s sales strategies and business development in the Northeast. Prior to joining Lackmond Products, Inc., Newman worked as a property/construction manager for a commercial real estate company in Massachusetts. Newman also spent over eight years working with AH Harris & Sons, in inside sales, outside sales and as a branch manager. He has two bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology from the University of Connecticut and the other in construction management from New England Institute of Technology. Newman enjoys golf and spending time with his wife Erin, and their three sons.

Andy Larson, Compotite

Andy Larson, Compotite

Compotite Corporation (, a pioneer in the shower waterproofing industry since 1938, has added two regional sales representatives. Andy Larson and Brad Reed Nelson will now be handling Compotite sales in their respective territories, working with the firm’s line of waterproofing and crack isolation membranes and selling the firm’s new line of Frank Lloyd Wright Linear Shower Drains. Larson, who is based just outside of Indianapolis, is stepping up into the position of Compotite’s east coast region sales manager. Nelson, an accomplished furniture designer based in Carbondale, Colorado, will be covering Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. President and CEO Alan Hutchins added, “We have strong growth plans. And we know that with the addition of professional people such as Andy and Brad, our plans to achieve this growth are looking very attainable. Compotite is in the process of recruiting more sales reps to assist with our current growth goals in many areas of the country.”

Fuse Alliance endorses UofCTS online courses

news-03-fuseFuse Alliance has endorsed The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS)’s core curriculum. Fuse Alliance is a member-owned organization of professional commercial flooring contractors.  Fuse members will be able to purchase the UofCTS Online courses through the Fuse member website at a special membership discount.

Fuse Alliance has more than 84 companies in 150 locations across the United States and Canada, and the organization’s member businesses represent approximately $1.2 billion in sales and services. Fuse Alliance’s goal is to have Fuse members differentiate themselves from their competition by having all their tile installers go through the four-hour Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course that is taught in both English and Spanish, which will help members avoid installation problems.

In addition, Fuse member project managers and sales employees are taking the UofCTS Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile course and Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone course, which offer a comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industries. For details on the UofCTS online course content, visit

Tile of Spain factory wins Architizer award

news-03Tile of Spain manufacturer Rosa Gres recently was honored in May at the international Architizer A+Awards for its porcelain solutions for overflow pools. Rosa Gres focuses its strategy on specialization and concentrates on developing outdoor paving, industrial paving and cladding for swimming pools. The winning product is the fruit of more than 40 years devoted to researching and developing solutions for the design and construction of swimming pools. There are two 100% porcelain stoneware grid models called Compact and Flex, for overflow pools. Their design is based on a single but highly demanding idea: to create the perfect grid. Their innovative design improves both the aesthetics and the water drainage and collection capacity of overflow swimming pools.

Rosa Gres refers to the Compact grid model as the “invisible grid” because once it is fitted, it is totally integrated into the edge of the swimming pool: such “invisibility” accounts for the “lake effect” that makes overflow pools so special.

The Flex grid model is the perfect solution for curved-edge pools because it facilitates fitting and enhances the finish. The two products are made in more than 30 colors, a potentially useful feature that helps architects customize the aesthetics of their projects.

For more information about Rosa Gres, visit or

Emser to stock full line of LATICRETE products

LATICRETE recently announced that Emser Tile will distribute LATICRETE products through its nationwide service and distribution network. The partnership of these two family-owned companies provides Emser Tile customers access to LATICRETE premium adhesives, grouts, shower systems, uncoupling products, sealers and cleaners. In turn, LATICRETE gains greater access and exposure to Emser Tile’s significant customer base.

“This year LATICRETE celebrates its 60th year of building a chemistry of trust with its customers and partners, and we are delighted to celebrate this anniversary by announcing a relationship with our newest partner, Emser Tile,” said LATICRETE vice president of North America Sales Ron Nash. “Two factors drive our business, the development of innovative products and access to valued customers. LATICRETE provides the former and Emser Tile provides the latter.”

“The addition of LATICRETE to our offerings is consistent with our strategic plans of partnering with the industry’s best-in-class suppliers and will be an important part of our program moving forward,” said Emser Tile chief marketing officer Bob Baldocchi. “Easy and local access to LATICRETE products throughout our distribution network is a major win for our customers, who are always looking for high-quality products designed for their business. By carrying a full line of LATICRETE products and offering access to the company’s training programs, we can offer new options to meet their every need.”

Established in 1968 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Emser Tile offers a high level of service and a dynamic selection of tile, natural stone, decorative and setting material products designed for both residential and commercial projects and applications. The company has a nationwide service and distribution network that combines the strengths of a national presence with the benefits of local service to quickly respond to changing trends and technologies.

Emser began rolling out the full line of LATICRETE products July 1, 2016.

Benefits Box: NTCA Voice of the Contractor at TCNA Handbook Committee Meetings

More than 120 guests attended the TCNA Handbook Committee meeting in Atlanta, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF.

by Lesley Goddin

Usually in this section, we explore the different business benefits membership in NTCA affords in terms of programs NTCA offers, educational opportunities, discounts and the like.

TCNA-logoBut this month, we want to bring to your attention the advocacy for tile contractors and installers of which NTCA is a part. Hopefully, by now, you are well acquainted with the industry “Bible” of approved methods and standards for installing ceramic tile, stone, and glass – the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation. Every two years, the Handbook Committee meets to adopt changes to the Handbook, refine discussions and explore methods and standards that would make the industry better and that would improve tile performance and reduce failures, which makes tile contractors’ lives a whole lot better.

At the time of writing (June), the Handbook Committee meetings have just wrapped up in Atlanta. More than 120 guests attended, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF. NTCA guests include Rod Owen, and NTCA training and education coordinator Becky Serbin. Other NTCA members in attendance included Methods & Standards chairman Kevin Fox, and his head estimator Kyle Maichel – and those who represented union tile associations: NTCA board member Rich Galliani of the Tile and Stone Council of Northern California; Lupe Ortiz of BAC in San Francisco; NTCA Five Star Contractor Rich Papapietro of De Anza Tile, San Francisco, representing TCAA; Earl Anderson of NTCA Five Star Contractor Grazzini Brothers of Eagan, Minn.; Mike Hawthorne of IUBAC; Kurt Von Voss and Jerry Chioni of Great Lakes Ceramic Tile Council and NTCA member Brad Trostrud of Trostrud Mosaic & Tile, Wood Dale, Ill.


Eric Astrachan, TCNA executive director, presided over the Handbook Committee meetings.

This large number of NTCA members attending this event brought the Voice of the Contractor to bear upon decisions being made and standards being developed. Currently, the thin porcelain tile product and installation standards are still in discussion as we work towards developing these standards.

Voices from NTCA

NTCA president James Woelfel said of the meeting results, “We have new language on coverage and tile inspection standards. Tile installations are to be inspected on the wall at 36” and on the floor at 60” away. This prevents people from crawling on their hands and knees and using a magnifying glass to find imperfections in the tile installation. Thirty-six inches is in ANSI 137.1 Inspection for Manufacturing Standards for Imperfections. A lot of hard work from the NTCA!”

He added that “Kevin Fox, Martin Brookes, Chris Walker did a fantastic job with the NTCA submissions. The new language inserted into the Handbook will save tile contractors money. Uncoupling membranes were allowed to stay in the book but we were promised that standards for uncoupling will be ready for the next Handbook meeting. Make sure if you use an uncoupling underlayment you follow the manufacturer’s directions.”

Concerning the inspection language section, Kevin Fox, head of the Methods & Standards Committee, commented that “our original inspection section got divided up into mainly three areas:

  1. New section under Finished Tilework called ‘Visual Inspection of Tilework’
  2. Two new sections under Grout Joint Size and Patterns Considerations called ‘System Modularity’ and ‘Tile Layout’
  3. New section under Using the TCNA Handbook for Specification Writing called ‘Design Considerations when Specifying Tile’

“There was also language added to the Mortar and Mortar Coverage section noting 100% mortar coverage is not practical and should not be specified,” Fox added. He added that language was inserted under the Membrane Selection Guide that indicates that it’s normal for tile installed over membranes to sound hollow.

“These were all topics covered in our original inspection submittal that was moved to more appropriate sections in the Handbook,” he said. “This will be, in my opinion, the most impactful new language.”

More than 120 guests attended the TCNA Handbook Committee meeting in Atlanta, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF.

More than 120 guests attended the TCNA Handbook Committee meeting in Atlanta, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF.

NTCA past president Nyle Wadford of Neuse Tile Company, observed that “The NTCA, along with all elements of tile contracting labor, was tremendously influential in the 2016 TCNA Handbook Committee meeting and its outcomes. Our leadership for the tile industry was recognized and even sought on most all the issues presented. The professionalism and passion for the industry demonstrated by the NTCA members present was evident as numerous changes to Handbook language should add protections for tile contractors along with needed installation revisions to our craft. The entire membership should be proud of what was accomplished in Atlanta this year.”

Christopher Walker, chairman of the ANSI A108 Committee, said, “In the past decade, the NTCA in particular has achieved success in elevating the profile and recognition of the installation contractor’s voice in the various committees and agencies associated with the tile community. This was never more apparent…as multiple submissions proposed by NTCA members were easily incorporated into the TCNA document. Special recognition should be extended to Kevin Fox. His background as an engineer and his passion for the industry were on full display as evidenced by the high level of collaboration received from multiple manufacturers, testing agencies and industry experts. The submissions coordinated by Kevin as current chairman of the NTCA Methods & Standards committee received great support among the TCNA Handbook Committee.”

What’s essential – in addition to changes in the 2017 Handbook – is this role NTCA members play in shaping the industry and vying for the importance of the installer. Want to be a force and a voice in this industry? Consider joining NTCA – contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at [email protected] for details

NTCA University Update – August 2016

NTCA_UniversityFinisher Apprentice, Sales and Installation curricula offer basics in how to use/install sustainable products

By Becky Serbin,  Training and Education Coordinator

By Becky Serbin, Training and Education Coordinator

I realize that this issue is all about green products and sustainability. While we don’t have courses dedicated to these subjects right now, there are plenty of courses teaching people why these products are used and how to install green/sustainable products. There are two different avenues of curricula  that could be viewed depending on your role in the company. These are Finisher Apprentice curriculum and Sales and Installation curriculum.

The Finisher Apprenticeship curriculum currently has the first six months available for purchase. This curriculum is for anyone that is new to the job who will be working on residential, commercial, or remodel construction sites with others to install tile. Since the first six months of this person’s career will be learning about many new products that they have not seen before as well as assisting others, these courses cover many different topics from safety, to introduction to products or tools seen on the job and how to use these tools, to how to install different types of grout. The idea behind these courses is that they can either be used on their own with on-the-job training to educate the apprentice, or in conjunction with classroom and on-the-job learning if the company has a Department of Labor-approved apprentice program.

The Sales and Installation curriculum is for people who are new to the industry but may work in a showroom, or for a manufacturer who is not actually installing products. It also is perfect for those who have been in the industry for a while and are looking for continuing education. While we have been focusing on the introductory courses, we will eventually have more advanced courses available to view either individually or in monthly continuing education courses. The current courses include introduction to waterproof membranes, primers, crack isolation membranes, mortars, grouts, sealants, and the history of tile.

The NTCA office has started to receive questions about the courses that are appropriate for your employees to take or to discuss during a group meeting. If you are at this point, please get in touch with me so that we can discuss your needs. Each company is different and may require courses to be developed based on their level of experience.

Visit the NTCA store to see courses that are currently available. If there is a course that you would like to see offered or if you are unsure of the types of courses available, please send me an e-mail at [email protected] or call me at 770-366-2566.

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