NTCA announces highlights for February board meetings

Each month, the NTCA board meets to report on initiatives made in the individual subcommittees for the association and industry overall. Here’s a brief summary of works and developments in progress.

TileLetter Weekly: Allison Morris is NTCA’s new advertising and communications specialist. Allison is working with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin and freelance journalist support person Terryn Rutford in developing TileLetter Weekly content. The new TileLetter Weekly newsletter has been very well received, and NTCA has sold out the sponsorship of the email blast.

Membership:  NTCA has set its goal on reaching 1,400 members for 2017.  The association should be able to realistically assess this goal by the end of March, after the renewal campaign is completed.

FUSE Alliance:  NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson and CTEF director of training and certification Scott Carothers will attend the FUSE Alliance meeting in Austin, Texas on March 5th-8th.  NTCA Five Star Contractor Mike Castelli of Christian Brothers is a FUSE Alliance Member and will introduce NTCA at this session.  FUSE Alliance is a strong commercial flooring contractor buying group.

TISE West/Surfaces: NTCA had a successful TISE Show in Las Vegas in January, signing up new members, with over 75 board, committee members, and State Ambassadors in attendance.  The tile exposition area at TISE is growing steadily, and NTCA hopes to take advantage of this with increased membership.

NTCA trainers Mark Heinlein and Robb Roderick performed multiple live demonstrations on the Installation Showcase stage.  CTEF director of training and eductation Scott Carothers hosted a CTI certification and CTI Regional Evaluator coordinator Kevin Insalato and Scott trained many regional evaluators here, in efforts to prepare them to be certification testing instructors.

Business Training Programs: The two-day seminar in Dallas Texas took place in Dallas, Texas February 23 and 24 (press time) . Michael Stone of CPR Company offered a program on financial management and profit strategies.  NTCA’s assistant executive director Jim Olson and executive director Bart Bettiga attended, along with board advisor John Cox, who was instrumental in getting Michael Stone and NTCA together to develop this program.  Approximately 20 members participated.

Tom Ade Scholarship: If you are a contractor member, don’t forget that a family member of yours or any of your employees is eligible for up to $5,000 in scholarship funds from NTCA, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Tom Ade.  Last year, NTCA awarded $7,500 in financial aid to two deserving recipients.  Email bart at [email protected] or pay attention to the NTCA E Newsletter which will contain the application form. It is also on our website at tile-assn.com.  MARCH 1 is the absolute drop dead date to get this scholarship application in.

Coverings: NTCA will be a key sponsor of the NASCAR event taking place at Coverings. This is a new and dynamic sponsorship, creating a simulated NASCAR experience on the show floor. NTCA is seeking sponsor partners to participate in the program. The NASCAR vehicle will be by the NTCA booth near the Installation Stage.  NTCA  is  into full planning for Coverings in Orlando, working on installer and contractor conference programming, NTCA Awards Night, Contractor Days, Live Demonstrations and more.  Coverings is April 4th-7th in Orlando, Florida.  If you have a high quality tile installation, please consider submitting it for CID Awards at Coverings. If you are a Five Star Contractor, send it to Jim Olson at [email protected] for consideration for Five Star Contractor Commercial or Residential Installation Recognition.

CTEF: NTCA is proud to continue to support CTEF through fundraising and program assistance.  NTCA’s voluntary postage and CTEF support campaign has already begun, and is paying dividends.  NTCA also helped CTEF to secure additional funding from Coverings for marketing and promotional efforts. Congratulations to Scott Carothers and Christine Whittemore of CTEF for their efforts to further grow certification.  Kevin Insalato is helping to grow the CTI program through regional evaluator training.

Skills USA: Rod Owen, NTCA Five Star Contractor in Atlanta, is working with Georgia Construction Industry professionals to promote a SKILLS USA competition for tile installation.  NTCA training and education coordinator Becky Serbin has been assigned to support Rod in this effort, and NTCA hopes to build on this by encouraging other members to take this initiative in their respective markets.  Helping create awareness in the tile industry for career opportunity is a strategic objective of the association.

NTCA University: NTCA is still on track to complete Year One of Apprenticeship by Coverings, and will begin to work on Year Two Content.  NTCA is also actively working on adding additional sessions.

For more information, visit www.tile-assn.com.


NTCA Reference Manual: Use of Felt and Similar Products as Crack Isolation Membrane

The NTCA Reference Manual is a compilation of documents generated by the NTCA Technical Committee, designed to identify recurring challenges to successful installations of tile and stone, recognize potential problems and gain consensus from industry experts on offering solutions. The NTCA Reference Manual is a companion publication that compliments other essential industry tools such as the TCNA Handbook and ANSI Standards. Annually, subcommittees review and revise each section as needed, as well as add new documents, making the NTCA Reference Manual a living document.

Presented here is an exploration of the use of felt and similar materials as crack isolation membranes and the issues that can result. This can be found in Chapter 10, page 256 of the 2016-2017 NTCA Reference Manual.

Various types of paper or sheet vinyl are occasionally used in certain geographical areas of the country and promoted as a crack isolation membrane. Use of roofing felt, sheet vinyl, scribing paper, or scrim reinforced kraft paper glued or unglued to both concrete slabs and over wood construction have a long history of failure. None of the testing done thus far on roofing felt, scribing paper, sheet vinyl or scrim reinforced kraft paper and similar products has met all the requirements of the ANSI A118.12 Crack Isolation Membranes for Thin-set Ceramic Tile and Dimension Stone products. Additionally, there is currently no product or applications of this type recommended for such use under current ASTM standards. As such, representation for suitability of use and installation would then lie solely with the individual manufacturer or installer. These products typically lack the performance features and criteria that would allow effective control of fractures without transmission through the finished tile surface. Despite their shortcomings these products continue to be used in a guise of being beneficial to the consumer while having a long history of poor performance. The initial financial savings realized by using such an inferior method or product often results in a huge replacement cost to the unsuspecting end user at a later date well after any warranty period.

There are numerous membrane systems available, which meet the current industry standards listed under ANSI A118.12 Crack Isolation Membranes for Thin-Set Ceramic Tile and Dimension Stone products. Products meeting these strict performance requirements provide warranted crack isolation.

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]