Benefits Box: NTCA Reference Manual Coming Soon

2016-ref-manual-coverAlthough we reported on the NTCA Reference Manual in our July TileLetter issue, the subject bears repeating.

Why?

Because this month, NTCA members will be receiving the 2016-2017 publication in the mail, and it will be available for others in the industry to purchase as well.

If you missed the July article, the NTCA Reference Manual is a compendium of knowledge, research and development, brought to you by the NTCA Technical Committee and its members. These members include leading experts from various industry sectors: tile and stone contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the tile industry.

This year’s edition has a different format that follows the flow of a job, and that makes it easier to find content pertinent to your job or challenge. Chapters will begin with General Requirements, Substrates, and flow all way through to Maintenance and Precautions.

The NTCA Reference Manual identifies recurring challenges to tile and stone installations and recognizes potential problems. Industry experts come together to achieve consensus on solutions, presented in a problem-prevention-cure format. Clarifying photographs are included, as well as letter templates that address common issues in documentation and negotiation on the jobsite, and can be customized to fit the needs of the contractor. A collection of general position statements about industry issues is also included.

Each year, NTCA Technical Committee subcommittee members review and revise the publication, since new technologies, methods and products all impact the experience, practice and outcome of tile and stone installations.

Because the information is so crucial to the industry, NTCA also makes the NTCA Reference Manual available on its website HERE to non-members or those who desire additional copies.

Familiarize yourself with this well-respected companion document to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and ANSI standards. Together these publications form a triumvirate of expertise and knowledge that creates a strong framework from which to conduct your business.

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.

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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

Benefits Box: NTCA Reference Manual

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A Tremendous Resource in the Field

The NTCA Reference Manual is a compendium of knowledge, research and development, brought to you by the NTCA Technical Committee and its members. These members include leading experts from various industry sectors: tile and stone contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the tile industry.

“This year’s edition will be an all new format with all chapters being edited for content,” said NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson. “The chapters will follow the flow of a job, making it easier to find the topic of choice. Chapters will begin with General Requirements, Substrates, and flow all way through to Maintenance and Precautions.”

The NTCA Reference Manual identifies recurring challenges to tile and stone installations and recognizes potential problems. Industry experts come together to achieve consensus on solutions, presented in a problem-prevention-cure format. Clarifying photographs are included, as well as letter templates that address common issues in documentation and negotiation on the jobsite, and can be customized to fit the needs of the contractor. A collection of general position statements about industry issues is also included.

Each year, NTCA Technical Committee subcommittee members review and revise the publication, since new technologies, methods and products all impact the experience, practice and outcome of tile and stone installations. This year, the new 2016-2017 NTCA Reference Manual will be published, printed and mailed free of charge to all NTCA members in July.

Because the information is so crucial to the industry, NTCA also makes the NTCA Reference Manual available on its website (enter NTCA Reference Manual in the search bar at the top of website www.tile-assn.com) to non-members or those who desire additional copies.

Familiarize yourself with this well-respected companion document to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and ANSI standards. Together these publications form a triumvirate of expertise and knowledge that creates a strong framework from which to conduct your business.

Benefits Box: NTCA Consensus Documents Library

NTCA Consensus Documents Library: Information At Your Fingertips

Last year, NTCA launched a new feature on its website: the NTCA Consensus Documents Library. To visit this excellent resource, click here.

This new resource puts critical documents at your fingertips, including position statements and white papers on a range of industry issues on underlayments and subfloors, tile assemblies and grout joints, and types of tile. More papers will be added as they become available.

Here’s the current listing of papers in our library, expanded from the 2015 launch:

Underlayments & Subflooring

  • Division 3 versus Division 9 Floor Flatness Tolerances Position Statement #6 from the American Society of Concrete Contractors
  • Membranes – Specifically Cleavage Membranes, Crack Isolation Membranes, Waterproof Membranes & Moisture Barriers, Uncoupling & Anti-Fracture Membranes, and Vapor Barriers – Citings from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A-2.1.8 and A118.10.
  • Use of Felt and Similar Products as Crack Isolation Membrane. Citings from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A118.12.

Tile Assemblies & Grout Joints

  • Movement Accommodation – An overview of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook Standard EJ-171.
  • Spot Bonding – Citings from ANSI Standards A108 .01 2.6.22, A108.5, and A118. Also cited TCNA Handbook Standard W260.

Types of Tiles:

  • Position Statement on Thin Porcelain Tiles, a collaboration of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA), International Masonry Institute (IMI), and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC).

Mold and Other Issues:

  • General Statement on Mold.

In the spirit of education and information sharing, NTCA offers this resource as a free service on its association website. This page also offers you the opportunity to add a document to the Consensus Document Library or ask NTCA a question directly. Also available on this page is the ability to order a TCNA Handbook or ANSI Standards Manual and to view the entire online installation standards and specification manual selection for purchase. Visit it today!

NTCA Benefits Box – LegalShield

BB-legalshieldLast year, NTCA rolled out a new benefit for members: LegalShield.

In our often-litigious society, it’s important to have access to affordable legal services and identity theft protection. LegalShield gives NTCA members the power to access legal and identity theft advice and services you need them – no matter how large or small the issue – for one low monthly fee.

You may wonder why you need a legal plan. A legal service plan can help with all sorts of planned and unplanned legal issues such as traffic tickets, foreclosures, will preparation, warranty disputes and much more. As a LegalShield member, you can rest assured that whether you’re facing a legal issue that’s big, small or somewhere in between, you’ll have access to legal advice and services when you need them. That means advice on an unlimited number of legal issues, attorney letters or calls made on your behalf, contract and document review and much more – from a dedicated law firm in your area. There’s even 24/7 access for covered emergencies.

Identity theft: a costly problem

Victims of identity theft can face issues such as lost job opportunities, problems with securing a loan or harassment from debt collectors.

may-benefits-01NTCA member Steve Brace, of SB Flooring in Machesney Park, Ill., recently posted on the NTCA Members Facebook page, “I am not sure if others have signed up for the Legal Shield program through the NTCA. I just enrolled yesterday. What a great program! For this low monthly rate I now have access to a lawyer 24/7.

“One of my biggest flaws in my business is my legal aspect,” he added. “Now I have help with any contracts for my business and even personal contracts. Even my wife and kids have access to this program as a family package. I am totally impressed with what we get for such a low price. My wife and I are going to have our wills done with this program too!”

Brace said that he doesn’t need legal representation every month,  “but often enough to make the monthly payment cheaper than if I needed one and didn’t have one already.
I’m buying a house in a couple months; a lawyer can and will help then,” he said. “It’s also useful any time you buy a car, get a ticket, or have a bit of bad luck and need legal assistance. Life happens; I don’t want to be the one without legal representation.

“[There are] so many perks to being a NTCA member,” Brace concluded. “I just want to make sure others are aware of this awesome program.”

You can get the experts on your side with an identity theft protection plan. Services include access to your credit report (or consumer credit disclosure), consultations, expert restoration and more – a vast array of services from detection to resolution, as close as your phone.

Let LegalShield – provided as a NTCA member benefit – help you worry less and live more. Visit https://w3.legalshield.com/gs/howItWorks.jsp for more information.

NTCA University is now up and running

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The NTCA University is no longer a dream but reality! The site went live in January.

There are three separate sections to the University: Apprenticeship, Business, and Continuing Education. The online courses currently available for the apprentice program are introductory courses, such as safety orientation, tile safety awareness, electric tool orientation, and introduction to grout. These courses were developed to educate apprentices new to the tile industry, but they are also beneficial for any employees that are new to the industry such as sales reps.

The Apprentice Finisher program will be a two-year program. The first six months are all orientation courses designed as an introduction to everything one may see on the job, as well as products that may be used on a project. The next six months will be skill development courses. For example, the apprentice will learn about surface profile and prep and will gain more in-depth knowledge about the products introduced during orientation. At the start of year two, the apprentice will gain more detailed knowledge about the topics they’ve been studying. Towards the end of the second year, apprentices will learn how to be a setter helper, and study management skills that are useful in managing other finishers. Each course has a quiz associated with it; student apprentices must score at least 80% on the quiz to receive a completion certificate.

Once more courses are developed, information will be available for contractors to learn how to submit and register the apprentice program to their state Department of Labor.

NTCA has also added business courses for contractor members. Many NTCA contractor members are family-owned businesses, not big companies. They have spent their lives working in the tile industry, not necessarily running a business. There are many courses available to support their business success, such as basic marketing, basic accounting, employee recruitment, social media in the workplace, and workplace diversity.

Lastly, continuing education courses have been added to the site. These courses are registered with AIA and IDCEC to offer continuing education credits. All of the continuing education presentations created by the NTCA will be available online for architects, designers, contractors, and manufacturers. These courses include tile and stone water management, and backer boards for tile installations. Similar to the Apprentice Finisher program, each course has a quiz associated with it that requires a score of at least 80% to receive continuing education credits and a completion certificate.

All of the courses are available for purchase at the NTCA store. Once a course is purchased, the student will receive a link to the course to directly access the course via the link. NTCA members can also log on to their NTCA accounts to access all of the NTCA University courses in one’s account. Courses can be accessed from computers, tablets, or phones.

NTCA will continue to add new courses to all sections of the NTCA University as they are developed. Monthly updates are planned in a dedicated section of future issues of TileLetter. NTCA members can also visit the NTCA Store to find out what courses are currently available.

– Becky Serbin, NTCA Training and Education Coordinator

NTCA Benefits Box – PartnerShip

partnership-logoPartnerShip®, 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.

Many NTCA members are benefiting from the PartnerShip service, including James Woelfel, NTCA president. “We used PartnerShip for a project in another state,” Woelfel said. “Their service was perfect and the shipment was fast, at a fair price. All of my future shipping will be done with PartnerShip. This is a fantastic membership benefit.”

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

TileTV

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NTCA proudly presents TileTV, an association-partnered internet broadcast that is distributed twice monthly to association members across the country. Our internet broadcasts provide practical news and technical information for today’s professional installer.

In addition to tackling industry issues in each twice-monthly issue, TileTV is often on the floor at industry events, including Surfaces/TISE, Coverings and Total Solutions Plus. TileTV will bring you information about the Installation Design Showcase and pertinent information and events unfolding at Coverings.

More recently – and as a support to this issue’s print story about Total Solutions Plus 2015 – you can visit the site to see scenes from the industry conference that took place in October in the historic city of Savannah, Ga. Tune in to Tile-TV now as we to take a look back at some of the highlights of the event and showcase the 2015 Ring of Honor recipient John Cox. Information about a very important contractors’ forum discussion that took place at TSP is also presented on TileTV. This forum addressed the disparity between concrete flatness tolerances and tile-industry recommendations for large-format tile. There’s a bonus update on the spot-bonding issue NTCA has been addressing in TileTV since July. This is a TileTV episode you don’t want to miss!

As a member, you’ll be notified twice a month and given a quick-click link to the latest TileTV episode, keeping you up-to-date on industry developments in less than five minutes! Visit
www.tile-assn.com and enter TileTV in the search bar to view the latest TileTV episode or choose from archived programs as well.

NTCA introduces new Member Rewards program

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NTCA introduces a new benefit for members only! The program, known as Member Rewards, offers a range of discounts from restaurants, movie tickets, general admission to national attractions, hotels, cell phone services, popular retail stores, select automobile dealers, florists, cable services, airfare, apparel purchases and more.

These fantastic benefits can only be accessed through the member portal at www.tile-assn.com

A sampling of benefits include:

  • Discounted gift card bundles at popular restaurants in your community like Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Chili’s, Maggiano’s, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, On the Border Mexican Grill and Red Lobster
  • 15% off monthly services from Sprint; 10% off monthly services from T-Mobile
  • 15% off oil changes, tires, maintenance and repair at your local Firestone
  • Up to 35% off movie tickets at AMC, Regal Entertainment, Cinemark and more
  • Discount off general admission pricing at over 150 national attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags and Sea World
  • Savings of up to $25 at Sam’s Club, free products from Costco and up to 10% off on Target.com
  • Member discounts at over 63,000 hotels within the Abenity Travel Center, like Marriott, Hilton, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn
  • Up to $500 off new and pre-owned cars from over 10,000 participating dealers like Nissan, Acura, Toyota and Ford
  • 20% off flowers from over 9,000 participating florists like 1-800-flowers.com
  • $25 gift certificates for $10 or less from over 18,000 participating restaurants at Restaurant.com
  • Savings of up to $60 on annual memberships at more than 300 Bally Fitness locations
  • Up to $75 off cable services plus free upgrades for Dish Network and DirecTV
  • 15% – 25% off men’s and women’s apparel purchases at Macy’s, Jos. A. Bank, Brooks Brothers and Pacsun
  • Corporate discounts on laptops, monitors and consumer electronics from makers like Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and HP
  • 5% off airfare and hotel reservations from Southwest Vacations

Enter through the members only portal on www.tile-assn.com and click on Member Rewards for complete information and to sign up. Membership in this program is only $19.99 per year, with the potential to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on everyday purchases.

Not yet a member and want to join? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or phone 601-939-2071.

NTCA Reference Manual: published and available this month

C1-2015_RM_cover

C1-2015_RM_coverThe NTCA Reference Manual is a compendium of knowledge, research and development, brought to you by the NTCA Technical Committee and its members. These members include leading experts from various industry sectors: tile and stone contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the tile industry.

The NTCA Reference Manual identifies recurring challenges to tile and stone installations and recognizes potential problems. Industry experts come together to achieve consensus on solutions, presented here. The problem-prevention-cure format presented for many issues in the book is complemented by clarifying photographs as well as letter templates that address common issues in documentation and negotiation on the jobsite, and can be customized to fit the needs of the contractor. A collection of general position statements about industry issues is also included.

Each year Technical Committee subcommittee members review and revise the publication, since new technologies, methods and products all impact the experience, practice and outcome of tile and stone installations. In fact, this month the new 2015-2016 NTCA Reference Manual is being published, printed and mailed free of charge to all NTCA members.

Because the information is so crucial to the industry, NTCA also makes the NTCA Reference Manual available on its website (enter NTCA Reference Manual in the search bar at the top of website www.tile-assn.com) to non-members or those who desire additional copies.

Familiarize yourself with this well-respected companion document to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and ANSI standards. Together these publications form a triumvirate of expertise and knowledge that creates a strong framework from which to conduct your business. Additional copies can be purchased at
www.tile-assn.com.

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