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TECH 2019 – explore emerging trends in technology that meet the demands of today’s tiles, and the contractors that install them

Every fall, as the leaves start to change and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING starts to appear in all the stores, it’s also time for the TECH issue of TileLetter. It’s hard to believe we are in the fifth year for this annual issue, bringing you news of technological trends in setting materials, tools, accessories and related products. 

The backbone of this issue is our product sections that explore emerging trends in technology from industry experts and present products that meet the demands of today’s tiles, and the contractors that install them. Interspersed in these sections are perspectives from contractors who work in the trenches with these products every day – Ashley Andrews, Pavlo Starkov and Tom Cravillion. 

In addition, we offer several stories for your consideration. NTCA Technical Director Stephanie Samulski gives you a guided tour through what’s involved in developing a product or installation standard. Do you ever wonder how a standard gets proposed, debated, and adopted? Samulski gives you the lowdown on this process and suggests ways you can get involved to have your voice heard and influence the outcome. Then NTCA President Chris Walker adds his perspective on the rise of technology, as well as the standards process, in his President’s Letter. 

NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga issues a “Call to Arms” concerning the growth of plastic-based materials (PBM) such as luxury vinyl tile (LVT) in the hard surface market. He posits the fact that customers are often choosing these products due to misperceptions about performance and longevity they believe these products offer, but which manufacturers don’t stand behind. Take a look at this story and arm yourself with knowledge as this battle heats up in the marketplace.

Yours truly offers an article about the effect tariffs – mostly against China – are having on our industry from the perspective of some of our top distributors. With tile from China comprising increasing amounts of imports in recent years, how are distributors dealing with the monthly increase in tariffs and what is their strategy going into 2020? Read and find out!

Lou Iannoco

Once again, a big shout out to Contributing Editor Lou Iannoco, who gathered much of the trend and product information in the materials categories. It’s a monumental job to compile all this data into a coherent, cohesive format for your reading pleasure and edification, and we would be hard-pressed to do it without him. 

So, pull up a comfy chair, grab a pumpkin spice latte, curl up with this issue of TECH, and arm yourself with knowledge for the year ahead. 

God bless,
Lesley Goddin
[email protected]

Editor for TileLetter, TileLetter Coverings, TREND and TECH publications.

Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11, and drawing and sketching since she could hold a pencil. Her penchant for observation led to her becoming a paid professional as a trade journalist, publicist and is editor for TileLetter. She has also written for Guideposts, Walls, Windows and Floors, Floor Covering Weekly, and Low Carb Energy.