Fire and Sound Rating for Wall Assemblies

QUESTION

I am a design consultant, working on existing nearly 100-year-old structures. We need to be in compliance with current code for fire separations one- and two-hour.

Due to the historical aspects of some of the structures we cannot do much to the exterior but can enhance fire safety when doing alterations that affect the interior walls and floors.

Since the Space Shuttle uses ceramic tiles on the outside of the hull to preserve the lives of the crew from the inferno re-entry heat, why can’t ceramic tile be a part of the fire-rated floor and possibly ceiling assembly?

The intrinsic value added is we may be able to make the assembly thickness narrower, thus keeping the first floor and existing ceiling at the 7’-6” minimum clear building code height. Net results could be no fire sprinklers required, in certain situations, greater fire safety, lower cost for the upgrade and possible new avenues for upgrading older existing structures using something with thousands of years of historical reliability that goes through several thousand degrees of heat, to get produced.

ANSWER

I can direct you to the 2018 edition of the Tile Council of North America Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation.

In the TCNA Handbook you will find method RW800-18 and associated descriptions and details for Fire and Sound Ratings for Wall Assemblies. This method begins on page 293 and includes a variety of details and information on materials and layers to design and construct fire rated tile assemblies.

Copies of the TCNA Handbook are available for purchase through the NTCA store at www.tile-assn.com. I hope this helps! 

Mark Heinlein, NTCA Training Director

Mark Heinlein

Mark Heinlein is Training Director for the National Tile Contractors Association. He is Certified Tile Installer #1112 and currently a Ceramic Tile Education Foundation evaluator for the Certified Tile Installer program. Heinlein was the owner of Mark Heinlein Surfaces of Negaunee, Michigan.