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]