November 26, 2015

Case Study – ARDEX Cements


When Manhattan’s Herald Center building owner began renovations on the decades-old, historic structure for the H&M store opening, some serious floor issues were discovered. Uneven and cracked wood subfloors were unsuitable for tile installation. General contractor Schimenti Construction of Ridgefield, Conn., sub-contracted all tile work to L&L Stone and Tile, LLC of Hicksville, N.Y., because of their experience and pristine track record working with H&M for more than five years.

2-ardex-1115Phase one required the leveling of decrepit floors on three stories before new large-format porcelain tiles could be installed. Phase two was a 150’ high-profile, agglomerate tile wall feature that was attempted in another store but failed because a suitable setting mortar could not be found.

Installers raced against the clock to meet the required three-month installation time frame, and ARDEX rapid-performing products saved the day.

ARDEX sales professionals Dan Costanza, Kevin Manning and John Lutkowski, the ARDEX National Accounts team and ARDEX field technical representatives supported this high-profile installation at various stages. The building owner had previously installed six truckloads of ARDEX GS-4™ Self-Leveling Repair Underlayment for distressed gypsum and wood subfloors to address leveling concerns. ARDEX GS-4 can be installed up to 2” neat or 5” with aggregate. Three days later, the floors were dry and ready for tile installation.

3-ardex-1115ARDEX’s Costanza was then contacted by L&L Stone and Tile, LLC to suggest appropriate products that would qualify the project for a full ARDEX SystemOne™ warranty.

“Manufacturer warranties are crucial in commercial applications,” said Lenny Saftchick, vice-president, L&L Stone and Tile, LLC. “Recent advances in tile sizes, shapes, designs and heaviness require setting materials to be reliable and warranteed to avoid liability.”

The floor was primed with ARDEX P 51™ Primer, then ARDEX 8+9™ Rapid Waterproofing and Crack Isolation Compound was installed as an anti-fracture remediation measure. “ARDEX 8+9 was superior to all other anti-fracture membranes L&L Stone and Tile installers tried,” stated Saftchick.

Forty-six thousand square feet of variously-sized, large-format porcelain tiles were installed by as many as 40 union L&L Stone and Tile, LLC crew members using ARDEX X 77™ MICROTEC® Fiber Reinforced Mortar.

4-ardex-1115“My installation crews continue to request ARDEX X 77 for our commercial installation jobs,” said Saftchick. “The 60-minute extended open time and 30-minute adjustment time are supremely impressive.”

To finish the floor tile installation, ARDEX FL™ Rapid Set, Flexible, Sanded Grout in Silver Shimmer, Cast Iron and Irish Crème was applied.

Four thousand square feet of 24”x 24” x 1/2” agglomerate terrazzo tiles placed at a 45-degree angle in the escalator area of the store required a rapid-setting mortar that would not slump, stain or warp. L&L Stone and Tile, LLC sent the tile for testing to the ARDEX Technical Service Department. ARDEX N 23™ MICROTEC® Rapid Set Natural Stone and Tile Mortar was approved for the complex job because its proprietary self-drying formulation prevents warping, staining and discoloration of moisture-sensitive tile and stone.

5-ardex-1115“This product can hold heavy tiles, be built up to smooth uneven walls, and it dries quickly,” said Saftchick. “Most importantly, it did not curl or warp the agglomerate terrazzo tile.”

Instead of installing traditional grout, L&L Stone and Tile used a 3/16” stainless-steel U channel in all joints.

H&M received a full-replacement 10-year SystemOne™ warranty for this impressive installation. L&L Stone and Tile, LLC stated that ARDEX tiling products were exceptionally easy to use and the support from the ARDEX team made the job a success.

“I would definitely use ARDEX products in the future,” stated Saftchick. “We would use them on every jobsite.”

The new flagship H&M clothing store located at Herald Center in Manhattan, New York, is currently the largest in the world.


Performance of CUSTOM Aqua Mix® products inspires protection for recent stone temple masterpieces

1-feature-1115Beautiful architecture requires protection from the elements – especially when the building has been created from hand-carved porous stone. In order to stand the test of time, CUSTOM’s Aqua Mix® sealing solutions were chosen to protect the carved stone treasures at two unique houses of worship. The stellar performance of Aqua Mix sealing on a stone temple in 2004 clinched the decision to use Aqua Mix products on recent temples.

Enrich ‘N’ Seal® – long-lasting enhancement

The Jain Center of Southern California in Buena Park, features an exterior of unusual carved yellow limestone. During construction in 2004, this temple’s builders sought the guidance of Kevin Breen, technical advisor at MS International, one of the largest stone importers in the United States. Since it is so susceptible to staining, the limestone needed a high-quality sealer for protection in an urban environment. Breen assessed the stone and recommended Aqua Mix Enrich ‘N’ Seal® from CUSTOM.

Enrich ‘N’ Seal was selected to deepen and bring out the rich color of the limestone as well as protect the temple from the effects of weather and vandals. Its formula penetrates the surface to enhance and highlight the beauty of natural stone. “Enrich ‘N’ Seal is simply the best enhancer on the planet,” said Breen.

2-feature-1015The original treatment has stood the test of time for more than a decade and still keeps the stone looking pristine. With the limestone’s natural variations, the expanses of tile provide a lively patchwork of color. “The stone looks exactly the same today as the first day we applied Enrich ‘N’ Seal,” said Breen. “Most sealers do not last eleven months – let alone eleven years.”

Enrich ‘N’ Seal is the only 100% solids polymer-based sealer and enhancer available. As a pure sealer, it offers unmatched performance in several key areas such as fade resistance, stain and chemical resistance and expected wear. Enrich ‘N’ Seal’s unique chemistry provides the deepest enhancement to stone with only half the number of applications, compared to competitive products. This translates into lower overall product costs plus significant savings in labor.

“Contractors tell us Enrich ‘N’ Seal is the highest-performing and longest-lasting enhancer on the market,” said Rod Sigman, business development manager at Custom Building Products. “That gives both them and their customers peace of mind.”

In addition to the Aqua Mix sealer, tile at the Jain Center was set and grouted with a full system of CUSTOM tile installation products. Limestone installed and sealed on the exterior consists of 18” square tiles, with blocks on pillars and panels featuring decorative carvings. The equally-inspiring interior includes inlaid granite tile in an array of patterns and colors, plus white glass tile in 12” x 12” and 18” x 18” sizes.

3-feature-1115Ultra-Solv® – protecting a masterpiece

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, Calif., is an exceptional architectural achievement. The exterior of the intricately carved Hindu temple is made of sandstone. It took 7,000 carvers over six years to prepare the intricate design – called “poetry in stone” – that includes over 400 statues. Construction and carving of mandirs (defined as Jain or Hindu temples) as places of worship and inspiration is a tradition going back over 8,000 years.

In 2013, this distinctive stone temple was nearing completion and needed sealing treatment to protect its beauty. The light-colored sandstone exterior contained many subtle variations and the builders wanted to retain this delicate character. Once again, contractors sought the advice of Kevin Breen of MSI. Based on the needs of the project, Aqua Mix Ultra-Solv® was chosen to seal the stone while staying true to the original color of the stone.

4-feature-1115Ultra-Solv is a professional-quality, no-sheen sealer that allows moisture vapor transmission. It provides a natural look while delivering maximum stain protection, and was applied to the extensive and elaborate sandstone exterior of the temple. Ultra-Solv is an advanced chemistry impregnator with 50% more actives than most comparable sealers. This provides the highest level of protection and superior stain resistance with fewer coats compared to typical sealers.

For an even newer carved mandir, located in the harsher climate of Chicago, Ultra-Solv was applied for weather protection. “Based on the performance and success of the treatment in Chino Hills, the Chicago builders decided to use Ultra-Solv to reseal and protect their own carved stone,” said Sigman.

Both the Hindu mandir and Jain temples have become pilgrimage sites, their traditional carved stone architecture inspiring both spiritual and scholarly pursuits.

5-feature-1115“CUSTOM is proud to earn the trust of these faith communities by protecting the legacy of their unique and beautiful houses of worship,” said Sigman. “The performance of these sealers with this level of architectural detailing directly translates to the performance of Aqua Mix when used on natural stone on floors and walls, in interior and exterior applications.”

Other monumental projects have similarly used Enrich ’N’ Seal and Ultra-Solv to seal their installations for years to come. To provide the ultimate protection for the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, builders applied both of these Aqua Mix products on over half a million square feet of stone.

Testimonials like these are no surprise. Aqua Mix was named by Clear Seas Research as the most-preferred brand of sealers and cleaners by professional contractors according to the CLEAReport™, since 2007.

6-feature-1115 7-feature-1115 8-feature-1115

The Spieth Effect: when things get wonky, recommit and refocus

SponsoredbyMAPEIBusiness Tip – November 2015

By Wally Adamchik, president FireStarter Speaking and Consulting

wally_adamchikUnless you have been under a rock lately, you’ve probably heard about a guy named Jordan Spieth. He had a Hall of Fame golf season as a 21-year-old. He is the PGA Tour Player of the Year – but he actually had a tough time along the way. His record-breaking season and his struggles are an example for us all.

Spieth played in 25 events. He missed 4 cuts. That is a 16% failure rate! Nobody is talking about what went wrong for him. Nobody is criticizing him for missing the cut in two of the final four events, because he rallied and won the last event of the year. Along the way, he managed to win two major championships and contend in two others. But when everyone thought he would sweep the playoffs, he played some really bad golf. Really bad. How often are you on a roll at work, and then things go bad? What do you do? As a leader, do you rally the troops? Or do you point the finger? Do you realize you cannot perform at a peak level all the time? I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

Sportswriter Luke Kerr-Dineen offered some interesting insights when Spieth missed those cuts in the playoffs. Number one: he was tired. He had played more events (27) than Tiger Woods did in his prime (20). I can relate. I travel for my job. I like it, but after a point, it gets to be too much. Today, we are faced with too much to do in too little time. And we compound things by staying ever-connected to our smartphones. We all get tired, but we don’t all deal with it well. It’s simple: if you don’t give yourself time to recover and recharge, you will miss cuts, too. And when you miss cuts, it costs the company – and it might cost you.

Insight number two: late in the season, Spieth changed equipment. Pros are pretty particular about their equipment. Spieth replaced the set of irons he had been using all year with a fresh set (same make, model, specs, etc.). It was the same, but… it wasn’t. How often are we faced with a new technology or concept that frustrates us? Heck, just updating software on our devices can be a horror story. What about that new accounting or field productivity software?

My favorite insight regarding Spieth was number three: there was no reason. “Golf is hard. Golf is weird. Golf is maddening. Sometimes you play well for no reason and play badly for no reason. That is why golf is hard, weird and maddening.” No, you cannot go to your boss and say work is hard, but you can recognize that there are times that you have done all you can do, and that next time will be better. That doesn’t mean you don’t analyze what went wrong and work to make it better. But you do accept that things won’t always go perfectly.

Your daily goal is to do the best you can. It takes preparation and planning to execute well. Even with that prep and planning, the execution isn’t always optimal. Sometimes you drop the ball; sometimes you get a bad bounce. Be like Jordan Spieth. Recommit and refocus–and win the next time.

NTCA has partnered with Wally Adamchik to bring his interactive virtual training system at to NTCA members. Contact him at [email protected] to learn more about how the NTCA/FireStarterVT partnership can save you training dollars while improving your leaders at all levels.

Ask the Experts – November 2015


I have a 1929 Washington, D.C., house with 6” diagonal boards as a subfloor that is over joists 12” on center. I was going to glue and screw 3/4” AC grade Douglas fir over top of the 6” diagonal boards and screw through to joists. This would be to support 24”x24” x 3/4” marble tile. Is there a better way?


You are definitely going in the correct direction. To make your installation better, you should use some type of tile substrate as your next layer. While some cementitious mortars will stick to EGP, it is not really a GOOD way to go. There are many, many options for your tile substrate layer. After that, be sure to use a large-format mortar for your large-format tiles. Use plenty of mortar for sufficient coverage (95% minimum) and back butter all tiles. Be careful if you are using green, black or red marbles as many are highly water sensitive, and require alternate methods or mortars.

Michael Whistler, NTCA presenter


I am not in the tile business, but I do have a tile/ grout question. We have a slow water leak that appears to be originating in our shower enclosure. It appeared as a dark stain along with warping of the manufactured flooring in the adjoining room.

The shower floor is below grade. Our single-family house is built on a concrete pad with no basement level. A professional leak detector thinks the water is coming through what may or may not be tiny cracks in the tile grout. The house is 10 years old and we never had the grout sealed. Now we’ve told by a grout sealing service that we should have the old grout taken out and replaced and sealed. He ran his fingernail down a random grout line and showed us how the grout is getting powdery which wouldn’t have happened had we sealed the grout from the beginning.

I wouldn’t hesitate but we’ve been quoted $675 to do this. That will also include caulking the seams where the shower floor meets the walls. I do notice a long hairline crack in the one long vertical seam. After he finishes, we’ll take up the damaged floor boards and see if we can detect any further moisture for a few weeks before repairing the floor.

Is it reasonable to conclude that daily showering in our two-person household can cause moisture to slowly get into the wall and then under the flooring of the adjacent room? Also, is sealing grout in shower enclosures in order to prevent this kind of deterioration really effective and highly recommended?


Unfortunately your problem is not uncommon. Grout is not waterproof, and a sealer will not make it waterproof. Waterproofing of a shower is done by an entirely separate process from the tile installation. It sounds like you may have a minor leak in your shower pan liner or waterproofing. Regrouting, caulking, and sealing may slow it down but it will not resolve the problem.

Grout sealer will not prevent grout from getting powdery. Soft grout joints are normally an installation issue. At 10 years it could be a shower usage issue due to soap and body oil that induced breakdown of your grout if you don’t clean it on a regular basis. Religious reapplication of a sealer is not likely to change that either. Mine is 22 years old and sees similar use with no sealer and it looks like the day it was installed. I am not particularly dutiful on the cleaning either.

David M. Gobis CTC CSI,
Ceramic Tile Consultant

President’s Letter – November 2015

JWoelfel_headshot“What is your company doing to promote qualified labor to their customers?” As chairman of the NTCA Technical Committee, that was the first question I posed to the dozens of committee members who represent tile and setting manufacturers, contractors and technical consultants seated around the table at our bi-annual meeting held at Total Solutions Plus (TSP) in Savannah during the last week of October.

You need to know that the responses to that question were fantastic. A lot of our setting and tile manufacturers are starting to put qualified labor in their specifications and are referring qualified labor recommendations to owners and end users. Manufacturers are sending their representatives into the architectural and design communities and are getting the TCNA Handbook’s qualified labor language into specifications as well.

Neuse Tile’s Nyle Wadford and I did a presentation titled, “How Qualified Labor Can Add To Your Bottom Line.” We had a full house and the dialogue with distributors was frank and honest. What pleasantly surprised both of us was that a lot of local tile distributors are vetting the installers that they recommend. The distributors themselves are tired of call backs because of poor installation. Nyle and I put into real numbers the cost to distributors that non-qualified labor was costing them; it is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars.

1-pres-1015The networking at this year’s conference was awesome, as decision makers from companies like Dal-Tile, Crossville, MAPEI, LATICRETE, CUSTOM, TEC, MLT, Crest and Schluter and so many more were there to talk face-to-face with tile contractors. TSP gives tile contractors the opportunity to learn about new products, and to discuss and solve any issues they may be having with a particular product.

One of the things I enjoy most about TSP is that I get to talk to fellow tile contractors and learn new things. At Artcraft, we have rarely used tile leveling systems, but after talking to so many contractors that use them on every single job, we are going to see if adding them to our arsenal of tools for large-format tile installations makes sense.

In my opinion, Total Solutions Plus 2015 was the most successful conference we have had to date; the seminars were educational and informative, old friendships were re-established, union and non-union contractors agree that non-qualified labor is the biggest problem in our industry, and finally the conference shows how healthy our industry is and will be for the foreseeable future.

Don’t get me wrong, we have issues that continue to challenge us, but meetings like this help us work together toward total solutions – and that is the biggest plus.


James Woelfel


Editor’s Letter – November 2015

Lesley psf head shotIt’s Friday, October 23, and I am getting ready to fly to Savannah, Ga., in a couple of days for the Total Solutions Plus industry conference.

I’ve been on the wing a lot since the end of September – spending the last weekend of that month in Richmond with the fine folks from MAPEI, who hosted customers and press for the UCI Road World Championships (read the recap on that event in this issue!).

Then I flew to my home state of New Jersey for a slew of reunions – with family, with friends, with beautiful fall foliage, and with my 1975 Pascack Valley High School class from Hillsdale, N.J.!

I returned to Albuquerque on October 19th in time for the outdoor Jimmy Buffett concert (my first!) on the 20th amidst chilly temperatures (six layers of clothes, earflap hat and mittens kept me relatively warm, but it was far from the balmy Margaritaville weather), watching the Mets win the pennant at a sports bar on the 22nd, a graduation ceremony for a family member on the 23rd, and on the 25th I leave for another reunion with industry friends at TSP. Oh yes, and I finished the content for the November issue of Tileletter this week too.

I know I’ve referred to industry conferences in the past as reunions and indeed they are. I look forward to the relatively intimate scale of TSP, which generally offers ample time to visit, network, and chat with old industry friends and make some new ones too – amidst an atmosphere of education, innovation and collaboration. Be prepared for a full report in future issues.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the important stories in this issue of TileLetter. New developments are being advanced in the process of setting standards for thin porcelain tile installation. Be sure to read Bart Bettiga’s article on the most recent strides made by the industry on this subject.

Also read the Tech Talk story on the new NTCA position paper on the sin of spot bonding. As I was researching this article, I was struck by what a horrible practice this is, both in terms of quality and endurance of the installation and the potential for injury and disaster it holds when used on walls, especially external walls. There’s only one recommended method for spot bonding – read the article and the paper to learn what it is and then – as Bob Newhart would say – Just stop it! – when it comes to spot bonding with thin-set mortar.

And since it IS the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, let me take a moment to let you know that I am grateful for each and every TileLetter reader, as well as this dynamic association that seeks to continually better the industry, and gives me a fantastic team of staff and volunteers with whom to work. God bless you, every one, as we come fully into the holiday season.

[email protected]

Coverings 2016 seeks nominations for Rock Stars

Coverings, the largest global tile and stone exhibition in North America, is on the hunt for nominations for its next iteration of “Coverings’ Rock Stars – An Emerging Leaders Program,” which honors the best and the brightest young professionals in the tile and stone industry. A panel of industry professionals will determine the 2016 cohort—each winner is selected based on the individual’s contributions to the tile and stone industry, as well as previous industry recognition. Now in its second year, the Show will celebrate 2016 Coverings’ Rock Stars will be celebrated during a series of special events at Coverings 2016, which will be held April 18-21 in Chicago.

“The tile and stone industry is brimming with extraordinary talent in every professional segment—these are the young visionaries and vanguards that are continually raising the bar with innovative ideas, developments and practices,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “It’s important that we take the time to celebrate the achievements from the industry’s most impressive and promising young leaders.”

To be eligible, Rock Star nominees must be 35 or younger, and be currently employed as an architect, designer, distributor, retailer, contractor/installer, fabricator, specifier or manufacturer in the tile or stone industry.

The selected Rock Stars will each receive a one-night hotel stay in Chicago to attend Coverings, and will be recognized at the CID Awards & Opening Night Celebration on Monday, April 18. Along with their nominators, the Rock Stars will also be honored at the Awards Breakfast at the show on Tuesday, April 19, where they can network, share insight from their experiences and discuss their shared passion of the tile and stone industry. Nominators should be an active professional also working in the industry.

To nominate a qualified individual, or to nominate yourself, complete a submission form at All nominations must be received by Monday, January 18, 2016.


NTCA establishes Tom Ade Ceramic Tile Scholarship

The NTCA “Tom Ade” Ceramic Tile Scholarship has been established by the National Tile Contractors Association to provide educational opportunities in college or trade for children or grandchildren of NTCA contractor members. It’s named after Tom Ade, a former NTCA regional director and a previous recipient of NTCA’s Ring Of Honor and Tile Person of the Year Awards. Through his generosity and support of training and education, funds have been earmarked to launch this scholarship.

Through the scholarship, a one-time $5,000 contribution will be made to the applicant’s educational institution of choice. In addition, the NTCA will provide travel and registration costs to attend Coverings, the tile industry’s premier annual exhibition and educational event, held April 18-21, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The scholarship recipient will be recognized at the NTCA Awards reception on April 20th. It is mandatory for the recipient to be present at the awards ceremony. If the scholarship winner is not able to attend, an alternate recipient will be named.

Funds are made possible through the generous donations of NTCA members: total donations will determine the number of scholarship recipients each year. Additional $2,500 scholarships may be awarded based on association donations. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of the NTCA Board of Directors and members of the NTCA staff. Application deadline is February 15, 2016.

Scholarship selection criteria includes:

  1. Applicant must be a child or grandchild of an NTCA Contractor member or their employee and be in good standing with the association.
  2. Applicant must submit an application form and essay detailing their career goals and what they will do with the scholarship funds, along with a letter of recommendation from an individual not in the applicant’s immediate family.
  3. Funds can be used for college, apprenticeship, vocational school, technical school, etc.
  4. Funds will be allocated to the school or institution named in the application, and not to the individual.
  5. The scholarship is a one-time award and will be paid in one allocation of funds.

Those interested in becoming a sponsor of this scholarship program, can get more details and donate at


MAPEI supplies Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program with flooring-installation products for wounded hero’s smart home

Deerfield Beach, Florida – In support of a continuing series of specially-adapted custom smart homes that are being constructed for wounded heroes by the Gary Sinise Foundation ( through its R.I.S.E. program, MAPEI has supplied mortars, grouts and adhesives for installing tile and stone, wood, carpet and vinyl flooring in the home of U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Jason Ross of Fallbrook, California.

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Through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program, MAPEI has supplied mortars, grouts and adhesives for installing tile and stone, wood, carpet and vinyl flooring in the home of U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Jason Ross of Fallbrook, Calif.

“It is a privilege for us to work with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help soldiers like Jason return to a secure and rewarding life after their service in protection of our country,” said Jeff Johnson, Business manager for MAPEI’s Floor Covering Installation Systems.

MAPEI first became aware of R.I.S.E. (which stands for “Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment”) through the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) efforts to “play it forward” at the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo earlier this year. MAPEI has worked with NWFA for many years to promote the installation of wood flooring in homes and commercial projects, and welcomed the opportunity to support the association and local communities through R.I.S.E.

“We couldn’t be more proud to stand with NWFA members like MAPEI in honoring Staff Sergeant Jason Ross,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “Our partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program is about honoring veterans like Jason, who have sacrificed so much. NWFA members like MAPEI are in a unique position to provide products that can help make life for our wounded heroes more comfortable and functional.”

MAPEI will continue to support R.I.S.E. through the donation of installation materials for additional smart homes planned for construction in 2015 and 2016. The homes will be spread across the United States, including locations in Tennessee, Iowa, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and California.

Because MAPEI is a single-source supplier for the installation of all types of flooring, the company has volunteered to donate the installation materials for all of the floors in the smart homes. In addition to adhesives, finishes and care/maintenance products for wood, MAPEI produces surface-preparation products, mortars and grouts for tile and stone, as well as adhesives and installation accessories for carpet and vinyl flooring. MAPEI also has products that can be used to provide the basis for decorative concrete floors.

“We believe we have chosen a sound and effective way to support a very worthwhile cause,” Johnson said. “Due to our worldwide reputation for durable, sustainable products, we can provide a lasting contribution to homes for our returned heroes. The opportunity to work with the NWFA and the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. program has made it possible for us to ‘pay it back’ and ‘play it forward’.”

NTCA recently pledged to support R.I.S.E program of the Gary Sinise Foundation to give back to the community. Donor companies will supply tile and installation materials for wounded heroes’ smart homes and member contractors will step up to supply the labor for these specially-designed abodes.





Gov Beshear: Florida Tile Inc. Set to Expand in Lawrenceburg

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2015) – Florida Tile Inc., a manufacturer of porcelain tile, will expand its Lawrenceburg operation, adding 61 jobs through a $25.2 million investment, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.

“This expansion further cements Florida Tile’s presence in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “The company located its headquarters in Lexington five years ago because its leaders recognized the opportunities available to businesses in the Commonwealth. This expansion of its manufacturing and distribution operation in Lawrenceburg confirms the company made the right decision moving to Kentucky.”

The project will allow Florida Tile to add manufacturing lines and equipment at its existing manufacturing plant and a 215,200-square-foot expansion of its distribution center.

Florida Tile, founded in 1954 in Florida, is a subsidiary of Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.P.A., an Italy-based manufacturer and marketer of flooring tiles. Florida Tile is a major producer of glazed and unglazed porcelain wall and floor tile. The company also imports and distributes these products, as well as ceramic, natural stone, glass and metal tiles. Florida Tile has been headquartered in Lexington since 2010.

In the past five years, more than 80 percent of Kentucky’s announced new investment and 70 percent of new jobs have come from expansion of existing businesses. Over that time, 80 percent of those announcements and 55 percent of new jobs are in the manufacturing sector.

“Florida Tile’s proposed expansion is welcome news that speaks highly of our area’s dedicated, skilled workforce,” said Sen. Julian Carroll, of Frankfort. “We will benefit from the good jobs and even greater investment in our industrial base. This company has proven to be a good corporate neighbor in Anderson County and in Kentucky. I wish them continued success.”

“While the name of the company may be Florida Tile, they are firmly entrenched in the Bluegrass State with their manufacturing facility based in Lawrenceburg and their corporate headquarters in Lexington,” said Rep. James A. Tipton, of Taylorsville. “It’s because of that relationship and confidence in our workforce to produce quality products as the reasons why I believe Florida Tile is expanding in our region, and I applaud them for their decision.”

“The expansion of Florida Tile is a very positive testimony to the strong working relationship between the company and the community for many years,” said Sandy Goodlett, mayor of Lawrenceburg. “Florida Tile will benefit by continuing and expanding their production in a stable environment, and the community will benefit from the 60-plus well-paying jobs and the financial investment of Florida Tile. As mayor I look forward to working with Florida Tile in completing this expansion.”

“When a valued business partner like Florida Tile chooses to expand their operations right here in Anderson County, it is a testament of their commitment to the hard working families of our community,” said Anderson County Judge-Executive Orbrey Gritton.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $450,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Florida Tile is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.

For more information on Florida Tile, visit