“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” – Alan Cohen
Welcome to 2022. What a wild ride 2021 has been. Yet another year of wrangling with pandemic fallout, including shipping delays and shortages, loaded work schedules as home renovations skyrocketed, and the ever-present Zoom fatigue.
Who’s ready for a better year (raising hand!!!!)? At NTCA, we are poised to help you achieve an awesome 2022, with networking, support, knowledge, local training and testing, and technical tips that will give you a leg up on your competition.
Our cover story explores the renovation of the 102nd floor observatory in one of my favorite buildings – Manhattan’s Empire State Building. Read about the challenges of working in such tight quarters and transporting materials up through five different elevator banks – to create a stunning floor that befits this architectural marvel.
Ed Metcalf, former President of LATICRETE International – and current co-founder with wife Susan of Metcalf Advisory Services LLC – is now a contributing writer to TileLetter. In our business story, he offers an insightful and illuminating perspective of the state of the industry mid-pandemic, and stretching into 2022.
We have two technical features this issue – one on the “Pebble Shower Floors Precautionary Letter” recently approved by the NTCA Technical Committee for inclusion into the NTCA Reference Manual. The other technical story is an overview of the documents introduced and in progress at the NTCA Technical Committee. It gives you an idea of what this committee and its subcommittees are doing to work for you. And by the way, there’s another Technical Committee meeting on January 31 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nevada, so if you’re planning to attend The International Surfaces Exhibition there, come join us. It’s open to the public.
Enjoy a moving case history by Ken Ballin of New Jersey’s Skyro Floor, an interview with Russ Gaetano of ARDEX who talks about developments and direction for the company, and get to know NTCA member David Sandana of Dilligence Flooring better in this issue. Also check out the Training and Education story that highlights the benefits of local training, told from the point of view of training sponsor Sika Tile. This story talks about how NTCA has been helping tile setters and contractors hone their skills for decades, culminating in the opportunity for tile setters to attend one of 134 workshops and 39 regional trainings in 2022.
That leads right into something else important about 2022. It’s NTCA’s 75th anniversary! We have a couple of celebrations planned, from a bash at Coverings, to a special suite of workshops on July 28 – our actual anniversary – to a dedicated commemorative 75th anniversary book to trace the history of the association and the industry connections it’s built, and look to where the association – and the industry – are going in the future. Want to participate in any of these celebrations? Contact Bart Bettiga at [email protected].
Last but not least, our Tile Artistry coloring book has been getting a lot of attention over the holidays, and is racking up funds for the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and Tile Heritage Foundation. But we still have some in house and want to keep the fund-raising going. Look for details this month in our digital vehicles about a coloring contest where you can display your hue-filled masterpieces and have the chance to win a gift card! Haven’t purchased your book yet? Visit the NTCA Online Store at tile-assn.com or go to https://bit.ly/31P067q to order your copy.
The year stretches before us, as a 365-page blank book waiting to be filled. Plan to write a blockbuster!
Editorial Director and Senior Writer
Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN
Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor. Other interests include the soft, purring marvels known as cats, labyrinth walking, drumming and percussion, and a range of spiritual, musical and artistic pursuits.