CTEF Tile Tip: Be Clear with Customer about Grout Joint Offsets

The beauty of and longtime satisfaction in ceramic and porcelain tile installations will many times depend on the creativity employed in the design process. Whether the pattern and layout suggestions are provided by the consumer, the architect, the designer, the retailer or even the installer, success comes only when the customer is happy with the final appearance.

With the very popular woodgrain pattern tiles available today, many choices must be made in regards to the tile pattern, color, grout joint offset and grout joint size. Most of these woodgrain tiles are planks that range from 3” up to 9” wide in lengths from 24” to 72”—and beyond.

To aid in determining the grout joint offset, ANSI Specification A108.02-4.3.8.2 offers assistance. It states: “For running bond/brick joint patterns utilizing tiles (square or rectangular) where the side being offset is greater than 18” (nominal dimension), the running bond offset will be a maximum of 33% unless otherwise specified by the tile manufacturer. If an offset greater than 33% is specified, specifier and owner must approve mock-up and lippage.”

This language is of great help to the installer by eliminating 50% offset and its possible lippage, but what about a random grout joint? Almost all wood flooring is installed using a random (no pattern) end joint. Likewise, these tile installations may look more natural if installed randomly rather than in a regimented joint layout.

However, this option presents two challenges. If the planks are running in a random pattern, it is possible that offsets between 33% and 50% could occur and cause excessive lippage. The installer needs to pay strict attention to this possibility and minimize joints in this area. In the accompanying photo, the installer was fortunate that lippage was not a factor. However, if lippage does occur, the installer may have to widen the grout joint to accommodate the resulting lippage.

The other challenge is to be certain the customer knows what pattern they have selected and how it will appear on the floor. Photos of past jobs or a manufacturer’s brochure or website can help them “see” the final look. Installers should never assume they know what the customer wants. Always ask and get the final decision in writing. Not doing so can be extremely costly, as evidenced by a call I received recently.

The installer provided a beautifully installed random joint plank floor. However, this professional installation was rejected by the customer because the random pattern did not meet her expectations—worse yet, her expectations had never been established.

There was nothing wrong with the random pattern installation except the customer (the person paying the bill) would not accept it. She did some research and found that the ANSI Specifications call for a maximum 33% offset, and said her floor needed to follow the standard. This whole mess could have been avoided with clear communication.

LATICRETE Introduces LATAPOXY® BIOGREEN™ 300, the Industry’s First Biobased Epoxy Adhesive

LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 Adhesive provides an alternative to conventional non-renewable materials, contributing to a cleaner environment and may contribute LEED V4 points

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced its new LATAPOXY® BIOGREEN 300 – the industry’s first high-strength, chemical-resistant epoxy adhesive made with biobased material for installing tile and stone. Designed to provide an alternative to conventional non-renewable petroleum-derived products, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 may contribute LEED V4 points and retains the same easy-to-trowel consistency of LATAPOXY 300 Adhesive, with the additional enhancement of a faster cure time.

“With sustainable construction increasingly becoming a standard practice, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 is providing dealers and installers with the first eco-friendly adhesive option in the expanding “green” products category. For interior designers, architects and contractors, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 can contribute to LEED V4 points, the world’s premier benchmark for high-performance green buildings,” said Product Development Manager Jonathan Scott. “LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 is another example of our commitment to developing advanced, forward-looking product formulations that result in both better products for our customers and a more sustainable world.”

Equipped for the most demanding installations of tile and stone, LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 exceeds both ANSI A118.3 and ISO 13007 R2 requirements for epoxy adhesives and can be used in interior and exterior areas such as walls and floors, wet and dry areas.

“With a faster cure time, contractors gain increased productivity and time savings on the jobsite, with a faster time-to-grout and heavy traffic permitted in just 12 hours,” added Scott.

The biobased epoxy adhesive can be used to install a variety of ceramic tile, marble and natural stone, and will bond to most sound, clean surfaces, spreads easily and can be cleaned with water while fresh.

LATAPOXY BIOGREEN 300 is offered in the same packaging configuration as LATAPOXY 300 Adhesive, which will continue to be available.  Coverage for both products is the same and both are components of the LATICRETE Lifetime System Warranty providing one source, one warranty from the substrate to the grout.

MIA+BSI Continues Support of Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program

MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute continues to support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program by providing natural stone materials, fabrication, and installation for specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and their families nationwide.

“What better cause could our organization be involved with that allows the participation of our members in distribution, fabrication, and installation?” said Jon Lancto (Big Fish Consulting), 2017 MIA president.

Tania Kalentzos (MARVA Marble and Granite), whose company donated material for a recent project, added, “We are honored to participate in the R.I.S.E. program, to support and honor our nation’s veterans. We believe that it is our duty, as American citizens, to remember our nation’s defenders. Honoring the sacrifice of our veterans is particularly near to our hearts, since our CEO, Chris Kalentzos, spent a number of years in the 82nd Airborne. It is our pleasure and privilege to play a role in helping the Hedrick family to thrive, in their new specially-adapted smart home.”

MIA+BSI would like to thank the following companies that have supported this initiative: MARVA Marble and Granite, Trindco, Pyramid Marble and Granite, AGandM, Rugo Stone, Delta Granite and Marble, M S International, Dee Brown, Inc., Daltile, ROCKin’teriors, Marble Line, Arizona Tile, Pental Surfaces, Floform, Marjan Stone, Big Creek Granite, Granite Group, Florida Bath and Surfaces, Inc., Mont Granite, Distinctive Marble and Granite, Global Granite and Marble, Murphy Marble, Acorn Granite and Marble, Duracite, and TexaStone Quarries.

For more information, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org or www.garysinisefoundation.org.

LATICRETE Selects Lauren Albrecht as a Strategic Account Specialist for Retail

Albrecht to build business relationships between top retailers and LATICRETE

LATICRETE, a manufacturer of globally-proven construction solutions for the building industry, has enlisted Lauren Albrecht as a Strategic Account Specialist for Retail, enhancing its Strategic Account Group. With five years of previous experience working with large retailers to build strong supplier relationships and assist in the development of designs and materials to implement into new stores, Albrecht joins LATICRETE as the company aims to strengthen and expand its retail market.

“Lauren will play a key role in growing the corporation by developing new retail relationships for LATICRETE while working with existing business affiliations to help guide companies through the domestic and international LATICRETE product lines,” said Susan Dolata, Strategic Account Group Director.

The Strategic Account Group focuses on growing national accounts across a wide-range of industry verticals including retail, hospitality, medical and food service industries.