OSHA to delay enforcing crystalline silica standard in the construction industry

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.
The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017.
OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard’s other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

TileLetter and NTCA will keep you informed on developments regarding the standard.

Product Spotlight: NXT Level by LATICRETE

LATICRETEⓇ NXT™ Level is a cement-based underlayment for use in leveling interior substrates including concrete, vinyl tile, cement terrazzo, exterior glue plywood, cement mortar board, cement backer board, ceramic tile and stone. NXT Level produces a flat, smooth and hard surface for the installation of finished flooring. 

The NXT Level formula is a factory-prepared blend of cement, aggregate and other materials to produce a flowable, fast hardening underlayment that can be distributed via pour or pump. Common applications include interior thin bed floors and renovations.

NXT Level can be placed from 1/8 – 3″ (3 – 76 mm) in a single lift and applied directly over concrete testing at a relative humidity of 95 percent or less per ASTM F2170. Once cured, NXT Level is durable, fire- and heat-resistant, non-combustible, non-sensitive to moisture and maintenance-free. For more information, visit www.laticrete.com.

Tile Industry Launches Inspiration and Education Initiative; Why Tile Debuts Here at Coverings

  

  

 

The tile industry has united in a marketing and education initiative designed to inspire consumers and provide information on all of tile’s benefits. The campaign, called Why TileSM, is being introduced to the industry here at Coverings.

Why Tile is an industry effort with input sought from various industry organizations including the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), the Tile Contractors Association of America, and the Tile Heritage Foundation (THF), in addition to manufacturers worldwide. Why Tile is coordinated by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

“We’re so pleased to give Why Tile a ‘friends and family’ introduction here at Coverings,” says Eric Astrachan, Executive Director, TCNA. “In developing Why Tile, we’ve had the pleasure of reaffirming everything that’s so wonderful about tile. With Why Tile, we’ll be delivering this messaging to consumers and to the A&D community as never before and in new and impactful ways – most notably, through the website, WhyTile.Com.”

WhyTile.com provides extensive messaging on the benefits of tile, centering on four main tenets: Design, Easy Care, Healthy Spaces, and Heritage. The site features an Inspiration Gallery; downloadable Project Guide, schematics, and maintenance tips; and a Test Your Tile IQ feature where users can take a simple 10-question quiz for a chance to win a prize.

“As with any website, WhyTile.Com will constantly evolve and provide a means for our audiences to derive inspiration and access planning resources – we want this to be both engaging and a helpful tool,” says Kathy Meyer, Marketing Director, TCNA. “We’re excited to get out there with Why Tile, and this is just the beginning of what I know will be a long and colorful story.”

“Developing Why Tile even to this nascent stage has been very rewarding, in that it is the culmination of the vision of such a diverse group coming together – including competitors, and folks who would normally never be around a table together – in a cooperative manner I’ve never seen in nearly 30 years in marketing and advertising,” says Julie Peck, Creative Director, TCNA. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done to date, and look forward to refining and

expanding upon it with the further input of our partners and the industry as it is introduced here at Coverings.”

USG and Infinity Drain Partnership Blends Elegance with Smart Shower System Design

Complete waterproof system for tiled shower installations is a one-stop shop for designers and installers alike

USG Corporation (NYSE:USG), a leading building materials manufacturer, today announces a new partnership with Infinity Drain and unveils the USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower System. This completely waterproofed, linear drain shower system is easier and faster to install than traditional shower construction. Together, the USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower System pairs high-performance USG Durock™ Brand Shower System components with decorative linear drains from Infinity Drain. This innovative system offers architects, designers and contractors one complete waterproof shower installation made easy.

“Our partnership with Infinity Drain is a testament to USG’s commitment to delivering products that help our customers build faster, smarter and with peace of mind,” said Scott Crandall, senior manager, North American sales and product development, USG. “This new addition to the USG portfolio allows for a one-stop solution—architects, designers and contractors can turn to USG for all their tile and flooring needs.”

“USG brings expertise in delivering innovative solutions, which complement our drain offerings. This partnership is a natural fit,” said Jonathan Brill, president, Infinity Drain. “It’s an industry bench mark for installation that will allow professionals to install our products quickly, easily and confidently.”

With traditional mud bed shower construction, there are several steps needed to form a consistent pitch or perfectly flat substrate. From mixing and forming screeds to pulling the mortar, it can take up to three days to install a shower bed. The USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower System offers a bonded waterproofing system made for tiled shower installations that eliminates many traditional application challenges.

The USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower System is comprised of:

USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Linear Drain Kit

Decorative linear grates that are available in four finishes—satin stainless, polished stainless, satin bronze and oil-rubbed bronze—with adjustable feet to match tile thickness
Pitched channel, channel support, hair strainer and lift-out key included
Integrated waterproofing membrane
USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower Floor

For use with the USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Linear Drain Kit
High density foam that installs more easily than conventional shower bases made of dry pack mortar
Optimal two percent sloped design that is available in three sizes

USG Durock™ Brand UltraLight Foam Tile Backerboard (Wall)

Strong, lightweight, waterproof and vapor retardant
Rugged facer on extruded foam core
Cuts easily, is dust free and fastens without washers

USG Durock™ Brand Waterproofing Membrane and Accessories

Pliable and durable waterproofing membrane
Minimizes build up at seams
Resistant to tears and low permeability rating makes it ideal for wet areas, including continuous-use steam showers

The USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower System will be introduced in Orlando, Florida, at Coverings 2017 in booth 4222. Subsequent regional expansion will follow.

For more information about the USG Durock™ Brand Infinity Drain™ Shower System, visit usgid.com.

Product Spotlight: HYDRO BAN® Board by LATICRETE

HYDRO BAN® Board is lightweight, easy to install, ready to tile wall board designed for bonded tile or stone installations. It is made with a waterproof high-density extruded polystyrene core and a waterproof membrane on both sides to give triple protection from water and vapor intrusion. Available in thicknesses from ¼” to 2” HYDRO BAN Board can be used on walls, floors, ceilings and in many installations requiring dimensionally sound and stable substrates as well as in steam rooms and steam showers. HYDRO BAN Board does not contain cement, fiberglass or paper products and will not cause itching or create messy cement debris during installation. No tab washers are required for floor and wall installations when using HYDRO BAN Board Screws.

HYDRO BAN Board carries the LATICRETE Lifetime System Warranty and can be installed over wood or metal studded walls, masonry, brick and concrete. For more information, visit www.laticrete.com.

COVERINGS 2017 EXHIBITORS SERVING UP NEW TILE & STONE PRODUCTS

Coverings, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, will return to Orlando next month to showcase cutting-edge product innovations and emerging trends in the marketplace. When the industry gathers at the Orange County Convention Center, April 4-7, attendees will be impressed by the array of new product introductions presented by over 1,000 exhibitors representing more than 40 countries.

“While the industry continues to produce innovative new materials for architects, designers, builders, remodelers, distributors, retailers, installers, contractors and fabricators, Coverings remains the venue where everyone can find what they’re looking for,” said Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador. “In addition to seeing thousands of new products, the show offers incredible opportunities to further your education and grow your network. Coverings celebrates all segments of the industry, with important takeaways for each and every attendee.”
Here is a preview of the products Coverings’ exhibitors will display at the 2017 show. To learn more about these and other exhibitor introductions, and to register to attend Coverings for free, visit www.coverings.com.

 

What’s new in tile and stone…

  • ABK Group (Booth 1211) will showcase their Alpes porcelain tile collection, which combines the decorative quality of various stones from the south of France to create an elegant and original look.
  • American Wonder Porcelain (Booth 2605) will feature Fabric Folio, their new sophisticated interpretation of a fabric-cement blended look.
  • Aparici’s (Booth 4619) Bondi Collection revives encaustic, Mediterranean tiles with a new smoother finish and anti-slip rating.
  • Azulev Grupo (Booth 4800) will reveal its SLIMRECT product, an innovative 25×65 format, slim tile available in a rectified finish.
  • Ceramiche Piemme (Booth 1207) will tout its Bits & Pieces collection in which Gordon Gordon Guillaumier reinterprets terrazzo flooring with square and irregular polygonal shapes.
  • Cir (Booth 828) will highlight the Mat collection, a group of minimalist matte porcelain tiles in a variety of shapes from hexagonal, square to rectangular.
  • Crossville’s (Booth 2600) Nest offers a soothing, neutral color palette, all with the sophisticated clean graining of premium wood species like Olive and American Oak.
  • Equipe Ceramicas (Booth 4600) will showcase its URBAN collection, an aged cement finish of porcelain stoneware available in five distinct colors.
  • Firenze (Booth 3122) will highlight Oxide, porcelain tile that dresses modern projects by accentuating walls with a metallic touch, giving personality to the space by following the industrial design trend.
  • Florida Tile’s (Booth 3717) Glamour creates an allure and sophistication of timeless Hollywood with porcelain floor and ceramic wall tiles that add an element of drama to any space.
  • Fondovalle (Booth 1732) will take the wraps off of the Dream collection, inspired by the natural weft of linen, providing a natural and refined look that draws connections to traditional textiles.
  • GAYAFORES (Booth 4602) will feature Osaka, inspired by Japanese minimalism with soft, pure and minimal lines that enhance the neutrality of cold tones.
  • Grespania (Booth 5222) will showcase new products in the Coverlam range, innovative products made from natural raw materials with exceptional mechanical and aesthetic properties that surpass conventional tiling materials.
  • Ironrock/Metropolitan Ceramics (Booth 3022) will feature Royal Thin Brick, which is kiln fired and tumbled thin brick made from locally sourced and recycled clay and shale.
  • Italgraniti Group (Booth 811) will tout Mega, a collection of rectified porcelain tile, available in large format slabs that allow unbroken tiled surfaces.
  • Lunada Bay Tile (Booth 3700) will launch Namibia, a series of sculptural, three-dimensional Japanese ceramics that emulate the rise and fall of the desert namesake.
  • Marca Corona (Booth 2003) introduces 4D, which brings thickness, movement, dynamism and richness to wall tiles, available in wood, stone and marble looks to create infinite possibilities.
  • Natucer (Booth 5220) will feature DYNAMIC, a collection of 3D wall tiles that offer innovative solutions in design and architecture by creating constant movement in the wall that changes according to perspective and light.
  • NOVOGRES (Booth 5427) will reveal its HABITAT SERIES, a white body wall tile reminiscent of aged brick.
  • Peronda (Booth 5208) will showcase Museum, a collection of luxurious tiles that emulate the sophistication and elegance of the most exotic marbles.
  • Saloni’s (Booth 5215) Eternal Collection is based on a fresh approach on marble, with finishes and textures that reproduce the natural beauty of stone.
  • Sicis (Booth 1203) will showcase Vetrite, a unique collection in which the company’s iconic fabrics are sandwiched between large format glass tiles to create lustrous and reflective tiles suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • StonePeak Ceramics, Inc. (Booth 2610) will introduce it’s Classic 2.0 collection, one of three stylish new series that StonePeak will be introducing this Spring.
  • Supergres (Booth 2108) will highlight Purity of Marble, a collection of porcelain stoneware floor and white body tiles that reflect its namesake. The tile will be available in three color schemes – Statuario, Lasa and Calacatta.
  • Unica (Booth 1441) will tout Woodlines, a unique take on wood, inspired by offcuts and the cross graining of plywood, creating graphic patterns that transform porcelain tile.

 

What’s new in tools and installation materials…

  • Bostik (Booth 4422) will reveal Hydroment Vivid, a cement-based grout that offers consistent color technology with enhanced stain protection.
  • Lackmond Products (Booth 4319) will feature its B+BTec Tile Cutters, manual models engineered with a hardened lightweight aluminum base plate that offers the operator a direct view of the scoring wheel and cutting line.
  • LATICRETE (Booth 3131) will showcase its HYDRO BAN BOARD, a lightweight construction panel designed for use in bonded tile or stone installations.
  • Prova by MD Pro (Booth 3832) unveils its PROVA LINEAR system for tiled showers, which features a unique modular pan and extension system that allows for complete versatility when building out any desired shower base size and drain placements.
  • Schlüter Systems (Booth 2822) will introduce DITRA-HEAT-DUO, which combines sound control and a thermal break that optimizes electric floor heating over concrete substrates.
  • Tile Redi (Booth 4025) will highlight its Redi Trench Barrier Free Shower Pan, a one-piece, pre-pitched shower pan with an integrated roll-in entrance, built in splash walls and an integrated trench drain.

View the complete list of Coverings exhibitors at coverings.com/exhibitorlist. Register to attend Coverings for free at coverings.com/register.

NTCA Technical Trainer Robb Roderick on Tile Installation in Elevators

There is no method for installation of tile on an elevator floor in our industry guidelines.

The elevator cabs chosen for some construction projects are not designed for tile or stone floor finishes. The manufacturer of these elevator cabs will list acceptable floor finishes that usually only include soft goods such as vinyl, carpet, and wood products. In order to be considered for tile or stone the substructure should be constructed in such a way as to not to deflect or “bend” more than a small amount under a concentrated heavy load. There are elevator cabs that are designed to meet these minimum requirements but they are usually much more expensive so they are not chosen in most construction budgets.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for installing tile in these most common elevator cabs that are not designed for such, it is risky and not recommended.

There are products available that may reduce the risk of cracking tile and grout joints such as epoxies, but the warranties come strictly from the manufacturers.

Metropolitan Ceramics Features Quarry Tile and Thin Brick at Coverings 2017

At Coverings 2017 – Orlando, Florida April 4-7, Metropolitan Ceramics will present their large selection of quarry tile and thin brick products at their booth #3022. This year’s booth will exhibit framed sample displays and installation graphics showing an assortment of featured products for both the Metropolitan Ceramics® and Royal Thin Brick® product lines.

Metropolitan Ceramics® manufactures high quality, unglazed ceramic quarry tile for demanding indoor and outdoor use like commercial kitchens. Their extruded ½ inch thick tiles are offered in a variety of natural earth tone colors and feature a slip resisting surface.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is used in a significant number of national account chains and is installed throughout the world. Metropolitan Ceramics products are low absorption, extremely durable, and suitable for the toughest commercial and residential applications indoors and out.

Royal Thin Brick® is a brick veneer product that installs like ceramic tile. After firing, Royal Thin Brick is tumbled to capture the essence of reclaimed brick. The Royal Thin Brick color palette consists of single tones and blends that are reminiscent of the character of worn brick from a bygone era – from rich reds and earthy browns to soft grays and charcoal. All colors are kiln fired and rugged enough to stand up to the harshest environments.

To learn more visit the Metropolitan Ceramics website at www.metroceramics.com or stop by the Coverings booth #3022.

OSHA RECORD KEEPING RULE OVERTURNED BY HOUSE AND SENATE

Compliance Guidelines Regulations Concept

On March 23, the Senate joined with the House vote of March 1 to reverse the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) recent recordkeeping rule that would extend a six-month statute of limitations on recordkeeping violations to a period of five years.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established that employers must keep accurate records of employee injuries and illnesses for five years and that OSHA has six months to cite an employer for a violation. The new five-year recordkeeping rule was enacted among concerns that employers may underreport workplace injuries to suppress worker compensation insurance costs, maintain eligibility for government contracts or lower the possibility of OSHA inspections.  Detractors held that the recordkeeping required burdensome recordkeeping practices and would open businesses up to fines. OSHA’s five-year term went into effect on January 18, but has now been overturned by both the House and the Senate.

When this legislation is signed into law, OSHA will still be able to issue a citation for recordkeeping paperwork violations up to six months after they occurred and employers will still be obligated to record injuries as before. But OSHA will no longer be able to issue a citation five years after the occurrence. 

 

NTCA INCREASES EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP NUMBERS IN 70TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) will celebrate 70 successful years as a leading trade association in 2017. Each year, the NTCA reaches over 4,000 industry professionals through a variety of educational programs including hands-on workshops, through which it provides training for installers and tile industry professionals on industry standards and how to prevent and address problems on the job. These educational programs are fundamental to the continued success of the association.

Utilizing four trainers, over 140 educational workshops and training sessions are scheduled for 2017, the most training seminars in NTCA history. In addition to record-breaking workshop numbers, for the first time ever, the association will perform training programs in Spanish, to be held in ten locations across the country, where the language is spoken commonly in the construction industry.

A major sponsor of the workshop program in 2017 is Daltile, who will host over 120 programs alone. Additional sessions will be supported by independent distributors including The Tile Shop and Louisville Tile, who are set to host 14 and eight educational events, respectively. “The success of the educational workshops in the first quarter has been so strong, that several independent distributors are working with NTCA to add more events in more locations this year, making it possible that the number of seminars will increase to more than 150 by the end of 2017,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director.

In addition to workshops and educational seminars, trainers also perform custom-sponsored programs and will complete several this year. To learn more about hosting an NTCA workshop, please contact NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson at [email protected], via telephone at (612) 788-4726, or visit www.tile-assn.com.

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