TCNA: By the Book – May 2017

Changes to the 2017 TCNA Handbook address a wide spectrum of issues

Now in its 54th year of continuous publication and slated for release this month, the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation, a compilation of guidelines widely-used in specifying, selling, and installing tile and related installation materials, will include this year many noteworthy changes to existing language as well as wholly new sections. All are aimed at providing more guidance, and improving understanding and problem solving with regard to tile installations.

Referring to the revisions: “They run the gamut,” said Stephanie Samulski, the Handbook technical content manager and secretary of the Handbook Committee for Tile Council of North America (TCNA), which publishes the Handbook. “Anyone specifying, selling, designing, installing, superintending, or otherwise involved with tile should update their technical library with the new edition,” she said. “With the range of new content ratified by the Handbook Committee, there’s something relevant to essentially anyone and everyone working with tile.”

TCNA executive director and Handbook Committee chairman Eric Astrachan gives as examples the new sections “Tile Layout Considerations” and “System Modularity,” which are geared more toward those involved in tile selection and design. As an example of the various revisions to Handbook existing language, he noted the further explanation this year of substrate flatness requirements, which Astrachan calls “essential but too-often ignored.”

Astrachan explained that the Handbook is a vehicle for providing industry consensus, but it’s not a standard and therefore not set up like one, enabling the committee to provide information in non-mandatory language when needed. It’s a particularly useful means of addressing conflicting recommendations or specifications, as can easily occur when a producer or another trade makes a major shift in product or practice in a way that impacts tile installations.

A prime example is the new Handbook section to address the newer type of steel studs commonly referred to as “equivalent gauge” or “EQ” studs. The new Handbook language helps people understand the most important considerations for avoiding tile problems when these thinner studs are used. Samulski noted that “the specific design criteria that are ultimately needed will likely get hashed out in ANSI.”

Other noteworthy changes that 2017 Handbook users will see include significantly more information on how to avoid the undesirable effects of wall-wash lighting on tile installations, new “Visual Inspection of Tilework” and “Design Considerations When Specifying Tile” sections, significant changes to the EJ171 movement joint guidelines, and a new method for tiling an exterior deck or balcony over unoccupied space (tile and stone versions).

To purchase the 2017 TCNA Handbook, visit