Tech Talk – May 2017

New ANSI Gauged Porcelain/“Thin Tile” Standards debut at Coverings

More than four years of cross-disciplinary industry collaboration and 4,000-plus hours of research from the TCNA Laboratory Services team have culminated in the announcement at Coverings of two new standards: ANSI A137.3, the American National Standard Specifications for Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs, and its companion, ANSI A108.19, Interior Installation of Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs by the Thin-Bed Method bonded with Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar or Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar.

Currently known in industry parlance as the “thin tile” standards, the standards use the term“gauged” to cover a range of precise thicknesses that can carry different loads and be used in different ways, taking a similar approach to standardized wire gauges and gauged sheet metal. Two classes of gauged tile products are defined—those for wall applications from 3.5 to 4.9 mm and for floor and wall applications from 5.0 to 6.5 mm.

ANSI A137.3 standardizes the minimum required properties for the products themselves and ANSI A108.19 standardizes the methodologies for installing the products in interior installations by the thin-bed method with specific mortars.

These standards, developed for the benefit of all tile consumers, are the result of a multi-year consensus process of the ANSI Accredited A108 Standards Committee, which maintains a broad and diverse group of participants reflecting stakeholder interests in all aspects of the tile industry.

“Interest in gauged tiles has been growing exponentially the last few years,” says Eric Astrachan, executive director, Tile Council of North America (TCNA), which serves as secretariat of the committee. “Such growth encourages more products to enter the marketplace, but without standards tile consumers would have no way to know what to expect in terms of performance.

Installers especially were asking for standards to allow for installation practices to be developed based on consistent tile properties. Without such, it was feared that problems resulting from an undefined range of products could have hindered growth of this exciting market segment. We are very pleased to announce these standards today and congratulate and thank the many across our industry that worked for years on their development. We hope these standards, the first of their kind in the world, will help lead the way forward to international gauged tile standards.”

A free download of a preview copy is available from TCNA at www.tileusa.com, and a professional publication of both standards will be available for purchase from TCNA in July.