TECH TIP TUESDAY: Q & A WITH NTCA TRAINING DIRECTOR MARK HEINLEIN

Consumer Question:

The concern that I have at this time is the installation of soft joints at the change of plane in the corners of the tub surround. The product is a 12″ x 24″ marble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tile pieces most definitely butt up against one another and it is my belief that the tile installer is going to place a bead of caulk up along the exposed surface of the two.
I am concerned this is not a soft joint to allow for movement of the tiles, but rather a bead of caulk to hide the connection (more aesthetic than functional).  Would this be a concern for you? If so, what types of issues may I have in the future if there is no soft joint?

 

Mark’s Reply:

Thank you for contacting the National Tile Contractors Association!

The Tile Council of North America Handbook and ANSI Standards require functioning open movement joints at changes in plane.  If those joints are tight butted there will be no room for them to properly function to absorb the natural flexing, movement, expansion and contraction that is inherent in all construction.  Without being there in person I am not able to comment definitively however, the joints in your photos do appear to be either tight-butted or have too tight of a joint.

Movement joints at changes in plane are required and are functional and should be filled with a flexible sealant appropriate for the area it is being used.  For a wet environment such as a shower, an ASTM C920 sealant such as a 100% silicone or urethane can be used. These sealants are manufactured to match as closely as possible the grout color.

Before applying the sealant in your marble installation, a test sample should be done along the edge of a scrap piece of marble.  Some colors of sealants have colorants that may absorb into the soft stone and may cause staining that can be visible along the edge of the tile. This is a common pre-installation test that should be done with all marble installations.  A phone call to the technical department of the sealant manufacturer may help determine which of their colors are best suited for soft stone.

The best way to find an NTCA Recognized Consultant in your area is to review our list at this link:  http://www.tile-assn.com/?page=recconsultants. These are highly regarded consultants that may travel regionally or nationally.  Feel free to let them know about the conversations we have been having.

I hope this helps.


Mark Heinlein, NTCA Training Director

NTCA AND DALTILE ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF FREE TRIPS TO TOTAL SOLUTIONS PLUS

 

 

 

 

 

The National Tile Contractors Association and Daltile are pleased to announce the winners of their special association membership promotion to have a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to Total Solutions Plus, the leading management and leadership conference, taking place November 4th-7th at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington D.C.

Seven winners were randomly chosen out of all new members who joined NTCA in 2017 through August 31. The winners include the following new members:

 

  • Chris Burch of Burch Construction in West Henrietta, New York,
  • Djaci Freitas of DJ Floors in Elk Ridge, Maryland,
  • Bryan Park of Footprints Floors in Highlands Ranch, Colorado,
  • Tom Habelt of Habelt Construction in Albany, Oregon,
  • Bradley Lemmon of Kasen Construction in Warr Acres, Oklahoma,
  • John Zamorano of Sunnyside Custom Tile & Granite in Fresno, California
  • Matthew Byars of Tiling Solutions, LLC in Gaffney, South Carolina

 

Trip benefits include roundtrip airfare for two, three nights at the Mariott Wardman Park hotel, full Total Solutions Plus conference and event registration fees, and a $500 gift card.  As a major sponsor of Total Solutions Plus, Daltile believes that contractors who attend the conference will find the experience to be highly valuable, and engaged NTCA to partner with them in this effort.

 

The purpose of Total Solutions Plus is to annually bring the ceramic tile industry together to network and learn from each other. Distributors, manufacturers, contractors and more will come together to listen to motivational, relevant speakers, participate in education sessions taught by the best of the best in the industry, network with decision makers and enjoy all Indian Wells has to offer.

 

Total Solutions Plus is jointly promoted by the NTCA, the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, the Tile Contractors Association of America, and the Tile Council of North America.  The actual conference and tabletop networking event takes place on November 7th and 8th, while association meetings and activities are held November 5th and 6th.  For more information about Total Solutions Plus, contact Jim Olson at [email protected]

Sponsor Product Spotlight: LATAPOXY® BIOGREEN™ 300

LATAPOXY® BIOGREEN 300, the industry’s first high-strength, chemical-resistant epoxy adhesive made with biobased material for installing tile and stone, is designed to provide an alternative to conventional non-renewable petroleum-derived products.

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. Additionally, 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 a component of the LATICRETE Lifetime System Warranty providing one source, one warranty from the substrate to the grout. For more information, visit www.laticrete.com.

LATICRETE Rides Closer to Free

LATICRETE is pleased to announce that a $250 match donation has been made to Ride Closer To Free, in honor of Mitch Hawkins, LATICRETE Technical Services Manager and ride participant, to support research and care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

Starting and ending at the historic Yale Bowl, yesterday’s Ride Closer to Free event featured four professionally-designed and fully-supported bike routes: 10 miles, 25 miles, 62.5 miles and the iconic CTF Century at 100 miles, which Hawkins participated in.

NEOCON EAST ANNOUNCES DIVERSE & TIMELY SEMINAR LINEUP

November 15-16, 2017 — Pennsylvania Convention Center

Education and professional development are fundamental components of NeoCon® East, the Northeast’s premier commercial interiors design expo and conference, held this November 15-16 in Philadelphia. Together with market-ready solutions from hundreds of top companies across sectors, plus valuable networking opportunities, this year’s conference program will round out a comprehensive NeoCon East experience. The rich multi-disciplinary lineup includes 25+ CEUs that offer insight into what’s next in workplace, healthcare, hospitality, government, education, and beyond.

Monica DeBartolo, Director of Programming, says, “Our aim for the NeoCon East educational offering is to inform, spark conversation, and provide professionals across disciplines a way to effectively and efficiently earn valuable CEU credits in just two days. The 2017 assortment caters to varying levels of practice and covers everything from the application of psychology to built projects and architecting ecosystems that inspire innovation, to exploring livable space efficiency and best practices in designing for the federal government. Anchoring this program will be our exceptional keynote speakers: Suzette Subance Ferrier, IIDA (Design Director, TPG Architecture), Zena Howard, AIA, LEED AP (Managing Director, Perkins+Will, North Carolina Practice), David Insinga, AIA (Chief Architect, General Services Administration’s Public Building Service), and Alex Gilliam (Founder, Public Workshop).”

A few of the seminars are highlighted below. The full list of seminars is available online. Seminars are $40 each when attendees register online before November 10. After November 10, all registration for seminars is on-site, subject to availability, at a fee of $50 each. Special discounts are available for students and government employees.  Check online for details.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15
WITH CREATIVITY IN MIND: APPLYING DESIGN PSYCHOLOGY TO INNOVATION-DRIVEN ENVIRONMENTS — 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Knowing designers have witnessed a telling upswing in one client value: many clients are now demanding creative and innovative environments across a wide range of for-profit and non-profit markets. To satisfy this new demand, designers have come to rely on a recent wealth of scientific data concerning the ways that the environment affects creative thinking and problem-solving. No matter the design discipline, employing this data will help build better client relationships. The discussion will also emphasize the importance of environmental psychology, particularly as it relates to color, lighting, sound, temperature, furniture and fixtures, wall and floor finishes, space planning, and plantscaping. This interactive seminar will focus on how to acknowledge the role of environmental psychology; how best to apply creative principles to a range of building environments; how to evaluate the effectiveness of environments in order to boost creativity; and how to select the strongest source materials for creativity.

❏      Donald Rattner, AIA, principal, Donald M. Rattner, AIA Architect, Cos Cob, CT

ARE HEADPHONES REALLY THE ANSWER?
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM  
As dynamic, open-plan office environments have become the norm, their one drawback has become clear – acoustic distraction and lack of acoustic privacy. The zeal for creating collaborative and innovation-driving workplaces has made it increasingly difficult for workers to focus and actually get work done! This seminar provides an overview of today’s workplace trends, together with space-planning and acoustic solutions that can mitigate distraction and increase both employee satisfaction and productivity.  Attendees will discover how to design a “soundscape” appropriate for a space; understand the science behind distraction, as well as how different generations and personality types respond and react; and leave with a variety of specific design solutions to address or avoid distraction in the workplace.

❏      Sarah Springer, IIDA, LEED AP, design principal, interiors, Jacobs, Cambridge, MA

THE SHOWCASE FIT-OUT: CREATING A HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE WORKPLACE
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  
This seminar provides answers to a crucial question many designers are asking: how reasonable it is to design a workplace that is both LEED and WELL certified? Attendees will uncover answers through a specific case study, one that addresses all the crucial phases of this project, including pre-planning charrettes, collaborative design strategies, product specifications and post-occupancy evaluation. By the end of the presentation, attendees will gain a firm understanding of the following: how critical the integrated design process is to achieving sustainability and wellness goals; the comparison between LEED and WELL certification requirements; an understanding of all phases of a LEED/WELL project, including material and product specifications; and comprehension of the quantifiable benefits of a completed LEED and WELL fit-out.

❏      Mark Walsh-Cooke, PE, LEED AP BD+C, principal, Arup, Boston, MA
❏      Jen Taylor, LEED GA, senior project manager, Dyer Brown Associates, Boston, MA
❏      Rebecca Hatchadorian, LEED AP BD+C, associate – sustainability, Arup, Boston, MA

DESIGN STRATEGIES IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  
Today federal agencies are challenged in unprecedented ways to reduce their real estate portfolio. GSA supports their efforts in many ways by providing assistance and/or funding for design, furniture, and technology. GSA also provides consultation in portfolio planning, national engagements and change management. A group of design panelists from GSA and other agencies will share their experiences.

❏      Dianne Juba, Workplace Strategist, GSA HQ, Washington, DC

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16
CREATIVE DISRUPTION: DESIGNING ECOSYSTEMS THAT INSPIRE INNOVATION
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM  
Integration and competition have spurred the trio of collaboration, social interaction and experimentation. As a result, they’ve bred demand for designs that encourage creative disruption, both in academic and workplace environments. Yet creative disruption doesn’t happen in isolated spaces such as makerspaces and iLabs. It requires an ecosystem of diverse spaces tailored to a range of working and learning styles. While the culture of each company or institution helps determine such spaces, the crucial point is that such spaces demand variety for creative disruption and innovation to flourish. At the seminar’s conclusion, participants should be able to identify the experiential skills needed for success in education and employment, as they explore the space types that develop these skills; discover the diversity of space types and identify how combinations form holistic ecosystems and inspire creative disruption; evaluate how space design, furniture and technology impact the success of these ecosystems; and identify the measurable benefits of ecosystem design in diverse spaces, through post-occupancy evaluations and other metrics.

❏      Lois Goodell, IIDA, principal, CBT, Boston, MA
❏      Theodora Batchvarova, RID, LEED AP BD +C, GPRO CM, interior designer, CBT, Boston, MA

LIVABLE SPACE EFFICIENCY: HOW DENSE IS TOO DENSE?
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM  
As the limits for livable, useful office space are approached, at what point does an increasing density cause decline in user engagement and performance? What are the human factors to consider for fully effective and efficient space? This session addresses these questions and more through the presentation of environment-behavior research to highlight the psychological and social effects of office-space density and the implications for human health, performance, and organizational culture. Attendees will understand current design and space trends towards densification and the challenges for effective design, livability and space management. They’ll also learn how to use benchmarking metrics and discover how human factors affect organizational health and performance.

❏      Ellen Keable, Associate AIA, principal, Jacobs, Amherst, NY
❏      Amy Manley, IIDA, national  director, workplace strategy, Jacobs, Philadelphia, PA

MARRYING PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE: USING DESIGN, DETAILING, AND MATERIALS TO CREATE THE MODERN OFFICE IN A TAX-CREDIT PROJECT
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM  
Here was the designer’s challenge: turn a former boiler factory into an office, while preserving the former space’s history. This seminar will probe this transformational case study to demonstrate how to balance the client’s needs for an open and energetic workplace with historic preservation. The efficacy of pairing contemporary office trends, such as open bench seating and demountable glass systems, will be investigated in line with preservation goals. Design strategies that ensure both financial and aesthetic benefits will be evaluated. Complying with national tax credit programs helps promote these benefits, as well as providing designers the opportunity to make fine designs, while preserving historic fabric. At seminar’s end, attendees will understand the following vital concepts: how to identify key historic preservation features and develop strategies for conservation; how to create spaces that take advantage of natural light while lacking access to perimeter glass; how to minimize altering existing historic fabric, including designing new work that can be removed in the future; and how to understand client needs and adapting the program to complex conditions.

❏      Will Teass, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, principal, Teass/Warren Architects, Washington, DC
❏      Emily Eig, principal, EHT Traceries, Inc., Washington, DC

USE EVERY INCH IN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS!
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
By definition and nature, educational environments tend to be large. But if only such large, known spaces are allowed into our collective thinking, a design opportunity is overlooked. What about spaces beyond the classroom, and what about underused and neglected spaces? Wouldn’t these spaces allow for more student learning and creativity? Attendees will learn to identify underutilized spaces and to maximize the use of both existing and new environments. The talk will also investigate campus trends in classroom and beyond-classroom uses. In doing so, selecting furnishings appropriate for varying spaces will be covered.

❏      Daniela Voith, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, principal, Voith & Mactavish Architects, Philadelphia, PA
❏      Sennah Loftus, LEED AP, senior associate, Voith & Mactavish Architects, Philadelphia, PA

Media can visit the show’s online pressroom at www.neoconeast.com to download press releases and announcements, and register for press credentials. The site also features an image gallery and fast facts. For exhibitor news, images and real-time information, follow NeoCon Shows on the following social media channels: Facebook (@NeoCon Shows), Twitter (@NeoCon_Shows), and Instagram (@NeoCon_Shows).

CUSTOM® REPACKAGES POPULAR PRISM® ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE CEMENT GROUT

New Box Highlights Versatility for Tile and Stone Installations

Custom® Building Products, the leading provider of flooring preparation products and tile and stone installation systems, recently repackaged its Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout to reinforce the key attributes preferred by architects, designers, specifiers, contractors and installers. Designed to deliver attractive, high-quality tile surfaces while preventing costly and time-consuming call-backs, Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout is now available in an eye-catching, multi-colored 17-pound box.  The front and side panels of the new box highlight the benefits of this versatile grout.

·         Uniform, consistent color

·         No efflorescence

·         Stain resistant

·         Lightweight for superior handling

·         Same coverage area as 25-pounds of traditional sanded grout

·         Ideal for all grout joint sizes up to 1/2″ including submerged grout

A proven, go-to option for a wide variety of tile installation projects, Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout meets ANSI A118.7 and is formulated for higher strength, more resistance to cracking and less water absorption to reduce the likelihood of staining.  Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout will not mottle or shade in the grout joint regardless of tile type, temperature or humidity, and does not contribute to efflorescence. The density of Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout provides greater stain resistance while its rapid-setting formula speeds project completion.

Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout is a lightweight material giving installers unmatched handling and workability. More than 30 percent lighter than standard grouts and made of 15 percent post-consumer recycled content (by weight), Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout also contributes to LEED certification credits. Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout is available in a comprehensive palette of 40 colors to accommodate the look of any floor, countertop, wall, ceiling, shower, fountain, pool or other tile project.

What Contractors Say

“Prism is more colorfast than other cement grouts and we do not see any mottling, which makes everyone happy,” said Mark McCandless from Charles McCandless Tile of Santa Ana, Calif.

“We love Prism’s color consistency and it is super easy to use,” said Jeff Blanchard of American Tile and Marble of Shreveport, La.

“Prism has great colorfastness, which is huge, and it has excellent handling, making it very easy to work with,” said Dan Harrison from J. Colavin and Son of Los Angeles.

View the video highlighting the versatility of Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout at http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/reference-library/videos/prism%C2%AE-ultimate-performance-cement-grout-the-versatile-go-to-grout.aspx.

 

TECH TIP TUESDAY: Q & A WITH NTCA TRAINING DIRECTOR MARK HEINLEIN

Contractor Question:

Mark,
I am thinking about putting a heating TapeMat in the floor of my bathroom.  The manufacturer’s literature suggests a modified thin-set mortar.  I am using a large format tile (12” x 24”).  I am placing the tile on a 3/4 inch plywood subfloor with a 1/4 inch Hardy board backer.  The floor is supported by 2”x12” floor joists spaced at 16” on center.  The bathroom is L shaped and is  8’x4’ with a 3’ L.  The 8’ wall is an exterior wall. Would an unmodified mortar work as well? Is it even advisable to use a modified mortar with a large format tile?

Mark’s Reply:

Thanks for the info.

Assuming ceramic/porcelain tile is being installed, the industry recognized method found in TCNA Handbook is RH135-16.  The method describes the details for an electric radiant heat system encapsulated in mortar over backer board on a plywood subfloor with joists 16” on center, which is the installation you have described.

It sounds like you are not installing a waterproofing membrane in the system.  In that case, the required thinset mortar for the cementitious bond coat is an ANSI A118.15.  In other words, an Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar is required.

The mortar you select should have the words “Meets ANSI A118.15” stamped on the package.  Be certain to carefully follow the mortar manufacturer’s instructions for the proper amount of water, mixing instructions, slaking time, open time, etc.

You asked whether it is advisable to use a modified mortar with a large format tile.  It is.  In fact, many manufacturers are now producing highly modified mortars specifically designed for Large and Heavy Tile.  You may find mortars labeled as “LHT” for this reason.  These mortars have specific properties to support the installation of large and heavy tiles on floors and walls.  Some allow for a thicker bond coat.  This is the type of mortar I would look for when installing an electrical heating tape mat system in the bond coat layer.

If you are using a membrane in the system, it may be advisable to use a less highly modified mortar (such as an A118.4) or even an unmodified thinset mortar (A118.1).  Check with the manufacturer of the membrane for their specific mortar recommendation.

Please make certain the surface of your plywood subfloor is flat to meet the industry standard tolerance of 1/8” in 10’ as required by ANSI A108 before you install the backer board.  This will ensure you have a flat finished tile surface on your large format tile installation.  Use a rapid setting patch material to fill low spots and a belt sander on the high spots of the plywood.  Do not use more or less thinset to help you flatten your installation while you set tile.  Doing so will prove problematic for you and your installation.

Membership in the National Tile Contractors Association is a valuable resource for any professional tile contractor or any contractor who installs tile.  NTCA is committed to improving installations and performance of contractors throughout the tile industry.  Our primary mission is training based on the tile industry standards I have described above.  Every installer should own and be familiar with the standards, methods and details that guide the tile industry.  I would be happy to discuss with you and your tile installation contractors the many benefits of membership in NTCA.  Please feel free to contact me, or Jim Olson at [email protected] for more information.  Also please visit our website at www.tile-assn.com.

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) supports education and training in the tile industry.  The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is a highly sought after certification for tile installers who wish to achieve a higher level of professionalism and recognition in the tile industry.  Please visit the CTEF website at https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org to locate a Certified Tile Installer or contact Kevin Insalato at [email protected] for more information on how a contractor can become a CTI.

I hope this helps.

Mark Heinlein, NTCA Training Director

 

LATICRETE Supports Hurricane Harvey Relief

Robert Chambers, Contractor Sales Representative, LATICRETE International, Inc. helping prepare meals for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

LATICRETE is happy to announce that a $5,000 corporate donation has been made to Operation BBQ Relief, an organization that leverages its expertise in cooking and catering meals to those whose lives have been affected by disasters across the United States.

In support of the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief, LATICRETE Contractor Sales Representative Robert Chambers has been working with the organization the last several days to provide meals for first responders and any displaced Houston, Texas residents in need.

Left to right: Robert Chambers, Contractor Sales Representative, LATICRETE International, Inc. and Craig Sharry, owner of Texas Pepper Jelly and President of IBCA, International BBQ Cookers Association

NEOCON 2018 CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

Seeking Inspiring Program Submissions for Milestone 50th Edition

From leading designers and architects to scientists, entrepreneurs, and emerging talents, the presenters who have headlined the NeoCon conference program over the past 49 years, are among an influential and diverse group. With the 50th edition around the corner, June 11-13, NeoCon is once again seeking innovative thought leaders for its prestigious conference program. The official Call For Presentations application is now available online at www.neoconcfp.com (due October 30, 2017). Regarded as an authoritative educational resource, NeoCon programming has become known for its diverse assortment of dynamic and timely seminars across leading tracks and categories. The 2018 offering will build on this legacy and include a special new programming designation on the “Future of Design.”

Now is the chance to join thousands of industry experts who have shaped the educational conferences of NeoCon. Selected speakers will gain visibility in the industry and contribute to the advancement of their profession at the momentous NeoCon 50.  Submission guidelines and specifics can be found at neoconcfp.com or www.neocon.com.

NeoCon 2018, the 50th anniversary event, will be held from June 11-13 at the Mart. NeoCon East returns to Philadelphia for the 15th annual edition, November 15-16, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  More details are available at www.neoconeast.com

Coverings Returns to Atlanta May 8-11, 2018

Coverings, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, is returning to Atlanta for the first time since 2013. Coverings will be held May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The show features nearly 1,100 exhibitors from more than 40 countries and attracts thousands of architects, designers, builders, remodelers, fabricators, installers, retailers, and distributors.

Registration for Coverings is free and will open in late September. For more information please visit www.coverings.com/register. FOR YOUR CALENDAR

WHAT: Coverings is the largest global tile & stone exposition in North America, providing a stage for the most innovative products, tools, and machinery on the market. The show features nearly 1,100 exhibitors from more than 40 countries and attracts thousands of architects, designers, builders, remodelers, fabricators, installers, retailers, and distributors. The show is a resource for dynamic continuing education along with unparalleled networking opportunities, all for free.

WHEN: May 8-11, 2018

WHERE: Georgia World Congress Center — Atlanta, GA USA

REGISTRATION: Registration is free and will open in late September. For more information please visit www.coverings.com/register.

SPONSORS: The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association  (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies.

PRESS CONTACTS: Sharp Communications, 212-829-0002

Kate Henderson, [email protected]

Austin Durling, [email protected]m

 

 

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