December 2013 Letter from the President

I’ve been your NTCA president for 12 months now. After a year where I have much to be thankful for, I’d like to reflect on why I am an NTCA member, dan welch imageand why I am thankful to be involved with the NTCA.

Have you ever sat through an advertising presentation for your local Yellow Pages or an online directory wondering how this will bring me business? Me too, and far too many times. So, I finally started asking the sales rep, “What do you do, specifically, for my business, or other tile contractors?” The response is either a blank face, or hip-shot talking points about metrics, viewership, or whatever.  That’s when I  realize how valuable my NTCA membership really is.

I joined the association over 12 years ago because my company (and I) needed craft training and education. Although we have brought training “in-house,” the manuals offered by NTCA are still used for our apprentice training today. The continuing education we receive from the association is worth the price of admission for any and all tile contractors.  However, for Welch Tile, I can confidently say, the NTCA is the #1 marketing and advertising tool we use – but only valuable if we stay involved.

So, you could spend your profits advertising with companies who want to sell you ads, or you can spend your time involved with the NTCA which gives you credibility in front of:

Architects / designers

Home builders associations

Manufacturers / distributors

Prime contractors and building owners

Other tile contractors

Getting in front of these groups can definitely lead you to revenue opportunities. Don’t believe me? Here are 2,000,000 reasons why Welch Tile values our NTCA membership:

NTCA Member Partnering:
Food Processing Project
An opportunity for a food processing plant in the southwestern region of the United States presented itself in August of 2013, during a time when we were unable to provide staff. I contacted an NTCA Five Star Contractor member in the region, and it turned out that their business had a hole in their schedule large enough to accommodate this project. I was able to provide our client the service they needed and two NTCA members were able to make a nice profit: $323,000.00 in gross sales.

NTCA Member Partnering:
Large Hospital Project
Three NTCA Five Star Contractor companies were able to team on a large hospital project on the East Coast to sell a total flooring bid with tile, terrazzo, stone and carpet. This project came about during the worst of the economic downturn, and we were out of local work. The joint venture was able to provide work for our staff and partner along with other NTCA tile contractors who also needed the project to weather the economic storm: $830,000.00 in gross sales.

NTCA Knowledge:
Large Local Hotel Shower Renovation
Currently, we are starting a large hotel renovation with 270 rooms. This project bid in mid-2011, then again in early-2013. Initially, we were severely under-bid by a competitor using entry-level products with subcontracted labor. We battled the price-versus-value war, and provided substantial information with regard to peace-of-mind, product performance, and TCNA guidelines. Our ability to specify product and knowledge acquired through many years of listening and contributing to the NTCA Technical Committee gave us just what we needed to close this job: $879,000.00 in gross sales.

These case studies, totaling $2,032,000, are just a fraction of the reasons why Welch Tile is an active member of the NTCA. We joined the NTCA to learn; we stay a member for the return.

The NTCA is a unique group that I hold in strong regard. Our membership in the NTCA yields the largest return on investment each year, leaving all other advertising (combined) a very distant second place. In fact, all ad salesmen now get sent to voicemail. I’d rather spend that time involved with the NTCA. I challenge you all to invest, get involved, and tell others.

Thank you,
Dan Welch

MAPEI introduces MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro

ultralite-mortar-proMAPEI has introduced MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro, a professional-grade, lightweight, single-component mortar that can be used for medium-bed and non-sag applications as well as for thin-set installations. This thixotropic mortar is geared to large-format tile installations on walls and floors. A green product that can contribute to LEED with more than 20% recycled content, the lightweight mortar with Ultralite Technology™ provides twice the coverage of a standard thin-set mortar per pound (0,45 kg), providing transportation savings and makes hauling it on the jobsite easier for installers. This polymer-modified mortar is formulated with Easy Glide Technology™ for ease of application.


American Bullnose Company

American Bullnose Company produces custom-fabricated bullnose and related trim tile for manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and contractors throughout North America, with seven locations serving all major U.S. markets. With American Bullnose, bullnose is available for every tile, whether it’s a few pieces for a special order or several thousand for stock. The company’s proprietary glazing and re-firing process results in a hard, long-lasting, high-quality finish that will not scratch, wear, or wash off. And because bullnose is fabricated from the customer’s field tile, back orders and dye-lot issues are virtually eliminated.


wedi launches new Riolito Shower Base

wedi launches the brand-new, single-slope, 32” x 60” Riolito Shower Base within its Fundo Riolito family of linear drains. This traditional single slope base  is perfect for installations atop plywood floors, and can be used with wedi curbs. It has a 32″ width, making it ideal for tub replacements or for use with wedi Full Foam Curb to create a 36” x 60” shower. Other Riolito Shower Base options offer a mild four-way slope which guarantees a level perimeter and seamless floor level entry installations into subfloors. Visit for the complete line of factory-integrated linear drain shower designs.


Crossville launches Reclamation

reclamationCrossville launches Reclamation, the brand’s first digitally-produced porcelain tile collection. The look is inspired by urban renewal and reclaimed materials – the essence of “industrial chic” from aesthetics to textures, blending modern style with a hint of nostalgia for versatile applications in residential and commercial settings. It’s available in four colors derived from the evolution of industry in America, with 16 different facings that interpret the look of wood, metal and concrete with a contemporary twist. Available in 12”x24” and 24”x24” field tiles, along with a 6”x24” graffiti-inspired etching accent and a 4”x24” bullnose.

Coverings ETC introduces Topaz Blue

Coverings ETC introduces Topaz Blue, the latest color in its Bio-Glass collection – and it’s made from 100% upcycled bottles taken from recycling centers, with no added colorants, epoxies or resins. Topaz Blue joins five other sustainable colors including White Diamond, Oriental Jade, Fossil Amber, Malachite, and Emerald Forest. Red Dot Design award winner Bio-Glass is stain proof and scratch resistant, making it ideal for kitchen counter-tops, backsplashes, vanities, and wall coverings. It is available in sheet sizes measuring 110″ x 49″ x 3/4″ thick. Bio-Glass is durable as granite and, being closed surface, is easily maintained.

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American Marazzi Tile introduces Perseo

American Marazzi Tile introduces Perseo, which interprets classic marble with sumptuous color movements accented by natural veining, created by advanced digital print technology in a porcelain tile. Each of the five colors in the collection corresponds to a particular type of genuine marble from ancient buildings, available in 24″ x 24″ rectified formats. Perseo offers 45% recycled content, no VOC emissions, and low lifecycle costs.



UofCTS extends date of Tile Installer Thin-set Standards Verification certificate

uofcts logoThe University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has extended the renewal date of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification certificate, to two years. Tile installers must retake the updated course every two years in order to stay current with new industry standards. Formerly, installers were required to retake the course annually.

The renewal date extension  was part of an agreement between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18, which placed a large order of tuitions for the ITS Verification course as part of its continuing education programs for its Journeyman Tile Layers One. In addition to the ITS Verification online course, Local 18 is offering the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program, which is a new set of certifications developed and administered by a consortium of tile industry organizations (

Non-union contractors in the U.S. are also using UofCTS online training courses. And the Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) collaborated with UofCTS to create a Canadian version of the ITS course, which was released earlier this year.  INTACO, a manufacturer of installation products in Costa Rica, recently purchased tuitions of the Spanish version of the ITS course for training their employees. TCNA Mexico trainers took the Spanish version of the ITS course; they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value-added course; and suggest it for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.

The ITS Verification course differs from the CTEF and ACT Certification Programs, which allow trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications that they meet the respective requirements. The ITS Verification course is intended to train new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and offers continuing education for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices. Distributors, architects and designers, and general contractors also benefit from the ITS Verification course.

For complete information on the ITS Verification course and other UofCTS courses, visit Local 18 members should visit; CTDA members can visit and  TTMAC members can visit You can also obtain information on courses by calling 866-669-1550.

Daltile launches first ever Virtual Web Catalog

Daltile has launched its first ever  Virtual Web Catalog. This online platform is an interactive version of the physical catalog customers have trusted for more than 15 years, now with exciting features to discover Daltile’s extensive range of on-trend products anytime, anywhere. The Virtual Catalog is the latest addition to the company’s expanding suite of digital tools, including the successful re-launch of the brand website,, that provide savvy consumers with easily-accessible information and inspiration for tile and natural stone projects of any scale. The Virtual Catalog offers on-demand access, multiple catalog versions, online convenience for anytime access, customizable PDF conversion for downloading or printing, and social sharing tools to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. An app version compatible with Android and Apple devices is also available via Google Play or iTunes, respectively. From the Virtual Catalog, users can navigate directly to the newly re-launched Daltile website, with enhanced features that successfully achieved simplified navigation, easier access to information and even greater design inspiration for users.

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