Editor’s Letter – February 2017

Lesley Goddin, Editor

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.”
– Alice Waters

I just returned home from Surfaces a.k.a The International Surface Event (TISE) West in Las Vegas. You’ll read more about the show in our March issue, since in the wonderful world of magazine publishing, the February issue is already designed and ready to be produced except for this letter. But here’s a little taste of what took place at the show.

What I noticed is a LOT of people – crowds seemed fuller from day one through the end this year. People were excited – about the products, about the conferences, about what they could find to enhance their businesses and take them to a higher level. For instance, there were standing-room-only crowds at presentations by NTCA presenters Mark Heinlein and Robb Roderick conducted at the installation stage.

This crush of people was echoed at the NTCA booth, where State Ambassadors, members and curious showgoers clustered to talk about tile, education, business and membership, and where member volunteers like Chris Dalene of Five Star Contractor Dalene Flooring, and staffers like Amber Fox, newly hired Five Star Contractor Program Director, signed up seven new members. 

Also percolating at the show was Certified Tile Installer testing, with nine installers taking a timed test to lay tile on the CTI modules.

The effort was supported by several of the new Regional Evaluators, which will allow more frequent CTI tests to take place with smaller class sizes across the country. Twelve new Regional Evaluators are on the job, led by Kevin Insalato of California Flooring. In the testing area were also workshops and testing conducted by other industry sectors like carpet and vinyl.

For NTCA, the whole show kicked off with an executive committee meeting, followed by a well-attended Training & Education Committee gathering, led by Training & Education Committee chair Dave Rogers of Welch Tile and Marble.

NTCA Training & Education Committee chairperson Dave Rogers (l.) with NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson.

That first evening, NTCA held a reception and dinner in appreciation of its members and State Ambassadors with an address by NTCA president Martin Howard, presentation by Eric Astrachan of TCNA and a video on the history of NTCA and its accomplishments in the last 15 years.

David Allen Company’s Martin Howard, NTCA president, addressed the State Ambassador and Member Appreciation Dinner.

Wish you had been there? Stay tuned to our March issue for more details on the show. For now, enjoy all the information in this issue, from the Bostik’s cover story on the stunning mosaic installation in a Utah lodge to LATICRETE’s Sean Boyle’s economic update, to an exploration of the confounding problem of discoloration of natural stone used in shower installations, to the list of installation track seminars at the Coverings show, coming to Orlando in April. We also have a bonus story on measuring wet film thickness from MAPEI, and voices from the field in our new Hot Topics section, focused this month on grout.

The new year is building momentum. Let’s make it a good one!

Be well, and God bless,
Lesley
[email protected]

Bostik Inc. – February 2017 Feature

To many, Snowbird, Utah is known as a multi-facility resort community. 150 years ago, it was known for its adjacent silver mines, but the shining draw today is top-shelf winter powder skiing and snowboarding.

One major magnet, The Cliff Lodge and Spa, not only enjoys an outstanding Snowbird location near loads of Utah’s finest ski resorts, golf clubs, and other attractions, it also boasts some of the most unique and progressive architectural and design treatments one could imagine. Featuring wall-to-wall windows with awe-inspiring mountain or canyon views, Cliff Lodge vistas are modern, spacious, and sumptuously well equipped. Cliff Lodge owners wanted some new indoor visuals, which resulted in two very large mosaic murals installed, designed by Edge ID.

Kari Bennett is principal/interior designer at Edge ID, a full-service hospitality design company, located in Salt Lake City. Bennett prides her firm on “researching, planning, designing, involving and orchestrating all projects to the last detail.” Such was the case for this highly innovative mosaic mural installation at The Cliff Lodge and Spa.

Close up of the individual vitreous glass mosaics used to create the aspen tree mural, incorporating Bostik’s Dimension® RapidCure™ Glass-Filled, Pre-Mixed, Urethane Grout. The custom mosaic was designed by Artaic Innovative Mosaic.

Creating an aspen tree “wow factor” for the interior

“We wanted in some way to bring the outdoors indoors,” declared Bennett. “There are so many beautiful vistas surrounding The Cliff Lodge. In particular, there are exquisite aspen trees indigenous to this part of the country, which look good year-round. So we made the collective decision to create an amazing aspen tree ‘wow factor’ motif on two large walls, one being in the ballroom lobby, and the other in the ballroom mezzanine. These were to be very large murals, each thirty feet wide by four feet high… 120 sq. ft.… each consisting of over 166,000 individual vitreous glass mosaic pieces.

“We knew a bit about Artaic, and how the firm offered a unique, space-age service of creating mosaic murals using computer-driven robots,” she added. “Artaic provided us with its mosaic depiction of an aspen tree motif. We immediately liked it, but wanted to change the color of the trees from black-grey to more of a sepia tone, which was more relevant to the Snowbird landscape’s colors. Artaic had no trouble whatsoever accommodating our request. The people there were without question, very professional and a joy to work with.”

The Cliff Lodge and Spa, Snowbird, Utah, 30’ x 4’ mosaic utilizing 166,000 individual vitreous glass mosaic pieces creates an aspen tree motif in colors that more perfectly fit the sepia-toned interior design scheme.

Inventor and scientist, Artaic’s Dr. Ted Acworth, added, “When Artaic was asked to design a beautiful custom mosaic for the Cliff Lodge renovation, we learned the designer was looking for a custom mosaic that really reflected the beautiful natural environment of the Utah landscape. We were provided with a photograph of a stand of aspen trees… loaded that image into our proprietary design software, and subsequently designed a beautiful custom mural out of glass tile from that image. This was not hard to do, especially when working with clients who knew what they wanted and understood our process.”

NTCA member Katwyk Tile handles the installation

Bennett went on to say that the tile installation contractor, NTCA member Rod Katwyk, owner of Katwyk Tile, was quite stoked about using Bostik materials for this massive mural project. “We believe we were hired because of the ‘touch and finesse’ we offer,” he said. “The people at Artaic highly recommended, Bostik’s Dimension® RapidCure™ Grout, which we had used previously and were confident would be ideal for this project. To begin with, we used exterior grade plywood, perfectly fitting it on the walls. Once it was glued and screwed in, we used Bostik’s GoldPlus™ crack isolation product, (ready-to-use, roller-applied latex waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane for use beneath thinset ceramic tile installations) which also served as a good primer and bonding agent to the plywood. After applying two coats, we started installing the Artaic mosaic sheets from the center of each mural. To do so, the thinset we chose was Bostik’s Glass-Mate™, using it one bag at a time. We were very happy how the material ‘stayed active’ in the bucket, which gave us time to adjust each sheet if need be. By far, this is my favorite glass tile thinset!”

The installation crew from Katwyk Tile use Bostik’s Dimension® RapidCure™ Glass-Filled, Pre-Mixed, Urethane Grout to grout the glass mosaic mural.

Bostik Glass-Mate is a premium, polymer-modified, thin-set mortar that exhibits superior bond strength, durability, non-sag properties and workability. Its bright white color and high polymer content make it ideal for installations such as that at The Cliff Lodge and Spa.

Katwyk added that grouting was accomplished with Bostik’s Dimension RapidCure Grout, which his company knew well. “We reached out to Bostik for advice, and Bostik came through,” he said. “All their products are easy to use, their customer service is great!”

Bostik grout offers “another light source” to the project

Acworth added, “Our relationship with Bostik began when we started using Dimension RapidCure Grout – their unique formulation that contains 60% recycled glass content – in our productions. The product is easy to apply, highly durable and most of all, actually adds more luminosity to mosaic productions. For example, if a project contains glass mosaics, imagine another light source being incorporated: that’s what Dimension RapidCure offers.”

Designer Bennett remarked, “We believe great design should be simple, so our process is one of honesty and communication throughout. Not only do we think it’s the right way to do business, but it does wonders for keeping efficiency up and costs down. Working with great suppliers such as Bostik, Artaic and Katwyk Tile, we were able to once again implement our philosophy for the mosaic murals at The Cliff Lodge.”

Scott Banda, Bostik’s director of Marketing and Business Development, summed it all up. “Along with our strategic partner, Artaic, Bostik is on a mission to resurrect the ancient art of mosaic design,” he said. “We’re bringing it back worldwide. The two murals at The Cliff Lodge and Spa are perfect examples of how mosaic masterpieces can once again be specified by the architectural and design community. We are proud and pleased to be an active participant in this ongoing, successful global quest.”

A video has been produced of this world-class project by Bostik. You may view it by clicking on
bit.ly/SnowbirdVideo.

Kari Bennett, principal/interior designer at Edge ID, a full-service Salt Lake City hospitality design firm wanted to bring the outdoors indoors, drawing on the beauty of the stunning vistas surrounding the lodge. The indigenous aspen trees in the area inspired the “wow factor” mosaic.

NTCA Benefits Box – January 2017

benefitsboxNTCA offers two “partner” programs in its package for members: PartnerShip® and Partnering for Success

PartnerShip

partnershipPartnerShip, the endorsed shipping management provider of NTCA, offers shipping discounts to all NTCA members on select FedEx® services, as well as savings on less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipments arranged through PartnerShip. This program is FREE to all NTCA members, with no minimums required.

Members can request a no-obligation free quote for standard or guaranteed LTL (less-than-truckload) services from PartnerShip freight broker. The service works with the reputable LTL carriers, including: AAA Cooper, Estes Express, FedEx Freight, Dayton Freight, Old Dominion, New Penn, Pitt Ohio, R+L Carriers, Reddaway, Southeastern, UPS Freight, YRC Freight and many more!

Services also include full or partial truckload (dry van, flat bed, step deck, refrigerated, etc.). PartnerShip employs a stringent carrier review process and has access to thousands of the top truckload freight carriers across North America.

If you need to ship to a trade show, PartnerShip can help with this as well, as it can arrange great shipping rates with leading exhibit freight carriers. The company has a relationship with UPS Freight and YRC Freight and, if needed, can secure other carrier options as well.

Interested in learning more about PartnerShip or becoming a NTCA member? Contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at 612-788-4726 or email [email protected]

Partnering for Success

NTCA’s Partnering for Success benefit virtually pays you to be a member! Leading installation material manufacturers have invested in NTCA members by offering same-as-cash vouchers for valuable products you use every day – $1,800 worth of vouchers to be exact. This enables contractor members to experience all NTCA has to offer and actually MAKE money as an NTCA member when using Partnering for Success vouchers.

Participating manufacturers authorize NTCA to provide vouchers for their products that can be redeemed by NTCA contractor members, directly from the manufacturer or through any participating distributors. A total of $1,800 in vouchers is provided in contractor membership packets in these product categories: backer board, setting and grouting materials, membranes, cleaning and sealing materials, tools, floor heating systems, and ceramic tile.

In 2017, Home Depot will accept vouchers from QEP, Custom, and James Hardie.

Participating manufacturers for 2017 include: Alpha Professional Tools, American Olean, Aqua Mix, ARDEX, ATR Leveling, Bellota, Blanke, Ceramic Tool, Composeal, Contractors Direct, Custom Building Products, Daltile, Dependable Bagging, Emser, Flextherm, Florida Tile, LATICRETE, MAPEI, MAPEI Ultracare, Marazzi Tile, Mark E. Industries, Metropolitan Ceramics, MLT, NAC Products, National Gypsum/Permabase, Noble Company, NTCA Store, NTCA University, Nuheat, Oceancare, Porcelain Plus Speed Bit, Proflex, QEP, Rubi Tools, Schluter, Sun Touch, TEC Specialty, Texrite, The Home Depot, Trending Accessiblity, Trimaco, USG, VanHearron, Warmly Yours and wedi. Select the vouchers you want for the products you use or have been meaning to try. Vouchers are either used as cash, good for discounts or provide rebates on purchased products, depending on the manufacturer. For information, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at 612-788-4726 or [email protected]

MAPEI Corporation – January 2017 Feature

1-featureA small building has accomplished a monumental goal. The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre (FSEC), located in the regional municipality of York, Ontario, was built to meet the Living Building Challenge.

The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certification program created in 2006 by the non-profit International Living Future Institute (LFI). LFI describes the Living Building Challenge as “the built environment‘s most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature‘s architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy.”

The Living Building Challenge is comprised of seven performance areas, called ‘Petals.’ The petals are:

  • Place – relationship to natural environment
  • Water – respecting a natural resource
  • Energy – renewable and pollution-free
  • Health & Happiness – environments that optimize well-being
  • Materials – non-toxic, ecologically restorative, transparent, and socially equitable construction
  • Equity – supporting a just, equitable world
  • Beauty – design that uplifts the human spirit
A small building has accomplished a monumental goal. The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Center (FSEC), located in the regional municipality of York, Ontario, was built to meet the Living Building Challenge.

A small building has accomplished a monumental goal. The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Center (FSEC), located in the regional municipality of York, Ontario, was built to meet the Living Building Challenge.

Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on prescriptive or performance-based goals that contribute to the overarching goals of sustainability, equity and regeneration.

Dialog, the architecture and design firm selected to design the Bill Fisch FSEC recognized that “Many common building materials have some toxicity and none can be present in a Full Petal LBC building. As a result of extensive research, huge commitment and exceptional collaboration from the entire team to meet the LBC criteria, the new centre not only looks beautiful, but feels healthier.”

To meet the Materials Petal requirements, Dialog and the regional municipality of York asked for sustainability and transparency in the products that were used to construct the building. According to one

A trio of MAPEI products was used to infill the slight depression in the floor necessary to accommodate the floor to ceiling windows. All three products met the environmental requirements for the Living Building Challenge.

A trio of MAPEI products was used to infill the slight depression in the floor necessary to accommodate the floor to ceiling windows. All three products met the environmental requirements for the Living Building Challenge.

of the engineers on the projects, “…one of the biggest challenges of the project was working with the ‘Red List,’ trying to get particular information from suppliers about the materials’ ingredients and find alternatives to the materials/products that were not permitted under LBC guidelines.”

MAPEI was able to provide Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and/or Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for each of its products that were selected for use in the centre.

MAPEI products at work on the jobsite

MAPEI’s Technical Services Department has been proactive in developing HPDs and EPDs for its flooring installation products and surface preparation materials. Rigorous testing and results analysis have produced reliable results that MAPEI has been able to publish along with its Technical Data Sheets on the MAPEI web site.

MAPEI Ultralite Mortar was then used to install 12” x 24” custom concrete tiles on the walls in the bathrooms. The tiles were manufactured locally by Mondo Pietra Ltd. of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON.

MAPEI Ultralite Mortar was then used to install 12” x 24” custom concrete tiles on the walls in the bathrooms. The tiles were manufactured locally by Mondo Pietra Ltd. of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON.

For the Bill Fisch FSEC project, MAPEI products were used in a number of areas:

As part of the surface preparation before the installation of tiles in the bathroom areas, Mapelastic, an all-climate, flexible, cementitious membrane was used for waterproofing. The membrane waterproofs and protects concrete and masonry. Mapelastic can also be used for applications on new concrete structures with hairline cracks, as well as any cementitious surface that may be subject to vibrations and subsequent cracking.

MAPEI Ultralite Mortar was then used to install 12” x 24” custom concrete tiles on the walls in the bathrooms. The tiles were manufactured locally by Mondo Pietra Ltd. of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON. In addition to its HPD pedigree and certification by the Tile Council of North America’s Green Squared program, Ultralite has many qualities that recommend it for use by installers. These include its light-weight technology, excellent vertical application with large-format tiles, and a creamy consistency that promotes ease of use.

Ultracolor Plus grout was used to fill the joints between the concrete tiles. Ultracolor Plus demonstrated that it met the environmental requirements of the designers, and its ease of use was a real benefit to the installers.

Ultracolor Plus grout was used to fill the joints between the concrete tiles. Ultracolor Plus demonstrated that it met the environmental requirements of the designers, and its ease of use was a real benefit to the installers.

Ultracolor Plus grout was used to fill the joints between the concrete tiles. Ultracolor Plus with DropEffect™ technology is a fast-setting, color-consistent, grout that eliminates the efflorescence often seen in Portland cement grouts. DropEffect technology reduces surface absorption to help repel water, dirt and grime from penetrating grout joints. Ultracolor Plus demonstrated that it met the environmental requirements of the designers, and its ease of use was a real benefit to the installers.

In order to accommodate the floor-to-ceiling windows in the center, the contractor poured the floor with a slight depressed area where the windows were installed. This necessarily created a trough between the window area and the rest of the floor. The contractor needed a product to infill that area, and he wanted something that had the look of natural concrete to flow with the rest of the area. MAPEI’s Ultratop was the solution. Plainbond EBA was used as the bonding agent between the concrete and the

MAPEI was able to provide Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and/or Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for each of its products that were selected for use in the center, meeting its material requirements.

MAPEI was able to provide Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and/or Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for each of its products that were selected for use in the center, meeting its material requirements.

Ultratop. Planiseal HG, solvent-free, moisture-tolerant, 100%-solids, clear, high-gloss epoxy sealer was used over the Ultratop. All three products met the environmental requirements for the Living Building Challenge.

The regional municipality of York has made great strides in restoring the York Regional Forest, and the construction of the Bill Fisch FSEC adds that exemplary environmental effort. The building shows the world how construction should be for the future, and MAPEI is proud to have had a part in the project.

 

The regional municipality of York has made great strides in restoring the York Regional Forest, and the construction of the Bill Fisch FSEC adds that that exemplary environmental effort.

The regional municipality of York has made great strides in restoring the York Regional Forest, and the construction of the Bill Fisch FSEC adds that that exemplary environmental effort.

Faces in the News – December 2016

marco_roma2MAPEI – Marco Roma has been appointed general manager of MAPEI Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of the global chemical products manufacturer. Roma will join the MAPEI Americas leadership team and will report directly to MAPEI Americas president and CEO Luigi Di Geso. His global experiences in Italy, China, France and the UK with Mapei S.p.A., MAPEI, and the Materis Group have prepared him to step into his new role easily, and his fluency in French and English will be an important asset to working with the bilingual communities in Canada.

 

 

LATICRETE – Two new members have joined the LATICRETE Board of Directors, replacing directors Ron Shawn and Dr. Bernard Gustin, who are retiring after 25 years.

laticrete-sl-portrait-smlDr. Stephan Liozu brings more than 23 years of experience with several multinational building product companies. An author and presenter, he has expertise in the manufacturing and distribution practices of the industry. His forte is customer value management, and recent accomplishments include coaching, consulting and training for large global industrial companies.

Dr. Volker Weidmann joins LATICRETE with 28 years of experience, including being the managing director of Hermann Otto GmbH in Fridolfing, Germany, for the last 20 years. Having worked extensively in sales, R & D, application support, marketing and branding, Dr. Weidmann brings a laticrete-volker-jpegcomprehensive knowledge of construction industry practices and materials. He has been elected chairman of the German Industry Association of Sealant Manufacturers (IVD).

 

 

Q.E.P named a Master Distributor for Bissell Commercial 

Q.E.P. Co., Inc. entered into a strategic partnership with Bissell Commercial to become a Master Distributor of the full Bissell BigGreen Commercial® line of vacuums, cleaning machines and supplies throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the northern countries of South America.

To support this new strategic partnership, Q.E.P. has appointed Nathan Mincey as QEP’s senior director of Specialty Markets. Mincey will be the point of contact with Bissell Commercial and will develop the sales and marketing strategy to expand their offering into existing markets as well as identifying new areas of opportunity.

Lewis Gould, Chairman & CEO of Q.E.P. Co., Inc., said “This strategic alignment with Bissell Commercial will allow us to further penetrate our distributor marketplace where there is a need for professional products for remediation, floor cleaning, installations, etc. In addition, with Bissell Commercial and QEP products, QEP will place emphasis behind new areas of focus such as the maintenance, repairs and operations (MRO) community.”

NTCA Preview for December 2016

A job description has been developed for a Five Star Program Coordinator and has been posted on tile-assn.com. NTCA has already received resumes and phone calls about the position.

NTCA has just reached its 1300th member! (See New Member section of this issue to see who it is.)

Chris Dalene, new Membership Committee chair, will work with Jim Olson on committee iniatives. Meetings and appointments took place at TSP.

NTCA and CTEF had a presence at the Starnet Annual Fall Meeting. Les Lippert of Five Star Contractor Lippert Tile introduced NTCA’s Jim Olson to their shareholders; Daltile and NTCA sponsored a lunch and members toured the new Daltile manufacturing plant in Dickson, Tenn. Board member Jesse Deason was instrumental in getting NTCA objectives to help raise tile education for Starnet members.

Over 650 attendees came to Total Solutions Plus in Palm Springs. This was probably the best event to date since NTCA partnered with CTDA, TCNA and TCAA. Next TSP is November 4-7, 2017 at the Marriott Washington Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Plans are in the works for TISE West/ \The International Surfaces Exhibition in Las Vegas, January 18-20, 2017. NTCA and CTEF will share a large booth and will conduct live demonstrations on the show floor. NTCA meetings will also be held these dates:

Monday, January 16: Committee Meetings

Tuesday, January 17: Board of Directors/State Ambassador Meeting; reception follows

A new business training seminar is scheduled for February 23 – 24 in Dallas, for Five Star, Board Members and State Ambassadors, and open to the first 30 people to who sign up. Michael Stone will present this class called Making the Numbers Work. Info coming soon on details. A near-airport location will be established, and NTCA will offset some travel costs.

Training and Education trailer sponsorships for all three vehicles have been sold out. Dave Rogers of Welch Tile and Marble is the chair of the Training and Education Committee, working with Jim Olson to reorganize the committee and subcommittees to reach goals.

The first six months of the Apprenticeship Program are complete. Year one should be complete by Coverings. Becky Serbin is exploring how to incorporate this program into technical and trade school curricula.

Planning for Coverings in Orlando, Fla., April 4-7, 2017 is in full swing. On tap are installer and contractor conference programing, NTCA Awards Night, Contractor Days, Live Demonstrations and more. Consider submitting high-quality tile or stone tile installations to the Coverings Installation Design (CID) Awards at www.coverings.com/content/CID-Awards. Five Star Contractors can submit projects for Five Star Commercial or Residential Awards to Jim Olson at [email protected]

NTCA Benefits Box – December

Each month, we select a specific benefit of NTCA membership and present it in detail to give you an idea of how joining NTCA can enhance and support your business.

As a year-end recap, we present the whole range of benefits – and counting – that come with NTCA. We say “and counting” because NTCA staff are constantly working to add even MORE benefits and enhancements to NTCA membership.

If you’re more video oriented, visit http://www.tile-assn.com/?page =Membership to see our NTCA Membership Video, debuted in January 2016, that gives you a fast-paced view of all NTCA has to offer. That same page has board advisor Dan Welch’s testimonial on how NTCA has helped his business and that of other NTCA members.

There’s a whirlwind tour through the benefits membership in NTCA offers you. Want to learn more? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or visit the association website at www.tile-assn.com

Educationbb-rm


NTCA Reference Manual: A comprehensive culmination of knowledge and research and development of the Technical Committee members, ceramic tile contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the ceramic tile industry.

bb-pubsTileLetter Magazine: This publication is geared toward the contractor’s business, including installation advice, new technology and products, and best business practices. Published 15 times a year – 12 monthly issues, a Coverings issue and a TRENDS and TECH issue.

TCNA Handbook – The TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation is a guide to assist in clarifying and standardizing installation specifications for tile. Each installation recommendation, or method, requires a properly designed, constructed, and prepared substructure using materials and construction techniques that meet nationally recognized material and construction standards. All members receive a copy.

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News & Views eNewsletter: Twice monthly, our News & Views eNewsletter is emailed to all members to keep you informed of all industry and association activities.

NTCA Workshops and Webinars and CTEF Educational Programs: We travel throughout the country providing free educational workshops to those in the tile industry, made possible by generous host sites. NTCA also offers free monthly online webinars presented by industry experts, easily accessible via computer at home or office. bb-robb

Installation Videos/Tile TV: Available on DVD, NTCA continues to pave the way in technical education with instructional videos for you and your employees. View additional “Tile Tips” and bi-monthly dedicated tile broadcasts at www.iwantmytiletv.com.

bb-university-logoNTCA University Discount – NTCA University offers classes in Management, Marketing and Finance to bridge the gap between a successful tile job and a successful tile business. The current introductory price for NTCA Contractor Members only is $99/year which gets you full, unlimited access to all NTCAU courses for all of your employees!

Tom Ade Scholarship – The NTCA “Tom Ade” Ceramic Tile Scholarship has been established by the National Tile Contractors Association to provide educational opportunities for children or grandchildren of NTCA Contractor Members.bb-ade-scholar

Live Technical Advice – We research your problem and answer your tough questions on a timely basis. If we don’t have the answer, we find someone who does. Just email [email protected]

Networking

bb-tspTotal Solutions Plus: This annual leadership conference focuses on technical and business education. TSP brings together the industry’s leading manufacturers, distributors, and contractors all under one roof for a unique experience.

NTCA Membership Directory: As a member, your listing in the directory is an indispensable tool for referrals to the very best manufacturers, distributors, contractors, architects, designers, and builders.

Working smarter

Partnering for Success Voucher Program: Our manufacturing sponsors feel so strongly about the value the NTCA provides its members that they will more than offset your investment with product vouchersto the tune of $1,800 a year.

Marketing Program: Professional marketing tools have been designed and written to make it easy, quick and affordable for you to promote your services, whether you are focused on commercial contracts or residential customers.

NTCA Contractors Safety Program: The NTCA Contractor Safety Program is different from other safety programs because it was created to meet the specific needs of tile contractors, and is available only to NTCA members. 

bb-5starFive Star Contractor Program: Add the NTCA Five Star logo to your already strong list of credentials, heralding your high level of professionalism. Take advantage too of sneak peeks of new technologies and special Five Star Contractor summit meetings to get a leg up on the competition.

Discount for CTI Program – The Certified Tile Installer (CTI ) Program is a National Standard for Tile Installation to ensure that ceramic tile gets installed correctly the first time. NTCA members receive $50 off CTI testing.

Bid RX Prescription Program: BidRx is a secure, internet website that links members with pharmacies, manufacturers, prescribers and payers so all can make better decisions when purchasing prescription medications. Choose among pharmacies that are competing for prescription medication business and get the best price.

PartnerShip® shipping discount program: PartnerShip®, the endorsed shipping management provider of NTCA, offers shipping discounts to all NTCA members on select FedEx® services, as well as savings on less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipments arranged through PartnerShip. Free, with no minimums required.

Property and Liability Insurance: For NTCA members only, this program covers all aspects of insurance needs for the tile contractor.

bb-legal-shieldLegalShield – IDT Plans/Legal Plans: Everyone deserves affordable legal and identity theft protection.  With LegalShield on your side, you have the power to access legal and identity theft advice and services when you need them, all for one low monthly fee.

NTCA University Update

Skill level courses for every type of employee

By Becky Serbin,  Training and Education Coordinator

By Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

Last month I was happy to announce that the first six months of the Finisher Apprentice program had been completed. The functional wheel diagram shows that people can enter and leave training at various points in their career. If someone does want career development, there will be courses available based on their certain skill level. The wheel shows the job function for each type of employee.

  • Task – Finisher Apprentice
  • Skill – Setter Apprentice
  • Knowledge – Journey Setter
  • Value Asset – Master Setter
  • Lead – Foreman
  • Manage – Field Superintendent
  • Leading – Estimator or Project Manager
  • Succession – Upper Management

ntca-uAs we get ready for the holidays and the start of a new year, I wanted to take some time to tell you about the changes in the Training and Education Committee. Our goal has always been to have courses available for all skill sets but all of my time has been devoted to apprenticeship. In order to get the advanced courses created, two new subcommittees have been created to help determine courses that are needed and to write the scripts for the courses. These two subcommittees were developed to ensure that we have continuing education available for everyone that would like to advance beyond a journey setter. The two subcommittees are CEU Technical and CEU Management.

CEU Technical subcommittee

The CEU Technical subcommittee is chaired by Rod Owen, of C.C. Owen Co. This group will be focused on creating courses for the journey setter, master setter, and foreman. Some of the categories will include new product training, documentation, soft skills, and field risk management.

CEU Management subcommittee

The CEU Management subcommittee is chaired by Dirk Sullivan of Hawthorne Tile. This group will be focused on creating courses for field supervisors, estimators, project managers, and upper management. Some of the categories will include estimating, project management, and running a tile business. Depending on the size of your tile contractor business you could be wearing one hat or several. These courses will take into consideration all company sizes.

It does not matter if you leave your current company and go elsewhere or start your own business, because all of these courses will be designed so that you can continue your education when you are ready to learn. Or if you are content with your current position and do not want to pursue advancement, you are not required to keep moving along the wheel until you are a business owner.

The changes that were made to the Training and Education committee will add value in the long run to all of our contractors’ businesses. As with the apprenticeship courses, these will take a little while to develop but I am looking forward to working with both of the subcommittees in 2017 to create courses that can be used by everyone.

Remember, you can purchase your all-subscription access by visiting the NTCA store. Make sure that you are logged in to get your introductory pricing. If you purchase this subscription, you will have access to all of the learning content, including anything new that is created, through December 31, 2017.

Happy Holidays!
Becky  –  [email protected]

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