Dallas, TX – April 24, 2018 – Use of energy is inevitable in the manufacturing industry. However, Dal-Tile Corporation has taken action to reduce the amount of energy used by their production facilities to make a positive impact not only in the towns where their factories are located, but also for the planet.

“To ensure our manufacturing is as energy-efficient as possible, we utilize internal and external experts to conduct intensive evaluations with the goal of finding areas of improvement in our facilities,” said Robert Hurt, director of environmental, health, and sustainability services for Dal-Tile Corporation. “By connecting with local suppliers, we organize ‘energy treasure hunts’ that seek out areas where we can bring change to our day-to-day activity that may be overlooked. These treasure hunts are a team effort from start to finish and require our employees, alongside energy professionals, to look for solutions that reduce our carbon footprint.”

In up to a four-day event, these treasure hunts consist of small groups of the company’s employees from different parts of the plant alongside energy professionals scouring a designated area, keeping their eyes peeled for air leaks, scrap sources, or equipment running without product, for example. These energy audits have produced significant results, such as the over one million dollars in annual savings that was realized at the company’s Sunnyvale, Texas facility.

“Projects from lighting improvement, compressed air work and other improvement plans are well underway because of this initiative,” added Hurt.  “We are proud to say this is just the beginning. Energy professionals now have ongoing scheduled visits to our plants to look for additional areas in need of improvement, as variables change from day-to-day.”

Energy treasure hunts are just one example of the company’s sustainability efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.


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PROFILITEC, Italian producer of state-of-the-art floor profiles and related installation solutions, will feature ​SHOWERTEC™, an innovative system encompass​ing all​ ​necessary elements to build or renovate an entirely waterproof, maintenance-free shower ​at Coverings 2018.

Showertec™ offers advantages that surpass current standards. These include vapor permeance levels that conform to industry requirements for steam showers​; high-density, pre-waterproofed foam elements ​saving significant installation time and contain recycled content to reinforce Profilitec’s commitment to always incorporate environment- friendly materials when possible.

The Showertec™ system is comprised of:

  • Shower Tray – pre-sloped incorporating the Foiltec™ Waterproof and Vapour Tight Membrane, which is pre-attached, assuring simple and quick installation while surpassing the requirements for steam showers
  • Shower Curb – made of high density EPS foam and pre-wrapped in Foiltec™ Waterproof Membrane on all sides. An opening along the curb allows for ​height adjustment if needed.
  • Foiltec™ Membrane – Waterproof and Vapor Tight with a 0​.033 perm rating (ASTM E96-E) rating.
  • Foiltec™ Sealing Strip
  • Square Drain Kit – composed of a bonding ​flange with vertical drain and integrated anchoring membrane, a Foiltec™ Circular Waterproof Membrane Ring, Foiltec™ Internal and External Corners and Square Drain which is composed of​ ​a ring for the vertical alignment of the drain, grid support, construction plug​, plus a grid and fasteners

“According to statistics, there are approximately 5 million showers installed every year in the US,​” stated Greg Gelston, president of Profilitec. “Sealed systems such as Showertec have made the process to build a shower less both labor intensive and skill dependent resulting in more reliable performance.”

Attendees of COVERINGS 2018 will be able to see all of Profilitec’s Showertec™ and many other innovative products, May 8-11, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, in Booth #7910.

Winning Design of Bostik Signature Spaces Competition To Be Unveiled as Permanent Centerpiece in Bellagio Lobby

 Bostik, Inc., a world leader in adhesives and installation systems for building construction, will soon be announcing the winning design for its most recent edition of Bostik Signature Spaces. Designers throughout North America were encouraged to submit their most creative realizations of a waterjet cut-and-fabricated, round marble medallion to be installed in the main lobby of Las Vegas’ iconic Bellagio Hotel & Casino. The focal location of this 13’ diameter flooring masterpiece will be walked on /seen by over 20,000 hotel visitors every single day!

This latest event, entitled “The Art of Stone Flooring Design Contest,” welcomed more than 200 design submissions from flooring installation contractors, artists, interior designers and architects with expertise in commercial spaces. Registration was free, and the soon- to-be-announced Grand Winner could win a trip for two to Paris!  The winning creative project will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be celebrated in grand fashion at a VIP award ceremony and industry-networking event at the Hyde Bellagio Nightclub on the evening of May 3rd.

Bostik, the sole sponsor of this competition, is partnering with MGM Resorts International (the owner of the Bellagio), Creative Edge Master Shop (the waterjet firm producing the winning design), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and Superior Tile (The Five Star Contractor to be installing the winning medallion).

According to Jim Belilove, President/Founder of Creative Edge Master Shop, “ This medallion will provide an enduring focal signature space for the Bellagio…. showing off the elegance of marble, and its combination with other architectural metals. Right now, I’m not going to give away very much information on the actual design to be unveiled. But, I can state that the medallion marks the signature “B” as well as the construction dates of this Las Vegas landmark. We have already been told it is a masterpiece quality, true work of art!”

Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development stated, “This is the fourth competition we’ve staged with our partners at MGM Resorts International in the last two years. In all of these, we’ve arranged for a permanent installation to take place in one of their key properties. Everybody involved wins. But in particular, those enthusiastic designers and tile and stone professionals who submit their designs have great opportunities to showcase their creative talents… and subsequently, receive well-deserved notoriety. Bostik builds strong bonding situations with much more than just its state-of-the-art specialty adhesive systems. Through programs such as Bostik Signature Spaces, we bring people together, and they build relationships that last for many years. That’s really strong bonding!”


About Bostik, Inc. 
Bostik is a leading global adhesive specialist in industrial, construction and consumer markets. For more than a century, it has been developing innovative adhesive solutions that are smarter and more adaptive to the forces that shape daily lives. From cradle to grave, from home to office, Bostik’s smart adhesives can be found everywhere. With annual sales of €1.6 billion, the company employs 5,000 people and has a presence in more than 50 countries. Bostik is a company of Arkema. www.bostik.com/us




LATICRETE Launches LHT™ PLUS For Large and Heavy Tile Flooring Applications

The large and heavy tile mortar offers installers expert bonding properties and ease of use

April 23, 2018, Bethany, Conn. — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced LHT™ PLUS, a polymer-modified large-and-heavy-tile mortar specifically formulated to provide a one-step installation for large-format ceramic tile, porcelain tile and stone on floors. In addition to providing a superior bond that withstands the trials involved with installing large and heavy tile, LHT PLUS offers a smooth and creamy consistency for ease of use and can be built up to 3/4″ (19 mm) thick without shrinkage. LHT PLUS also exceeds ANSI A118.11 requirements and can be used over Exterior Glue Plywood (EGP) without the use of an additive.

“In recent years, we have witnessed the increasing popularity of large and heavy tiles, presenting new requirements and challenges to the tile and flooring industry,” said LATICRETE Senior Product Manager Jonathan Scott. “These larger materials demand a setting mortar like LHT PLUS that offers excellent adhesion for added support and reduced lippage.”

LHT PLUS offers a smooth, creamy consistency that is easy to trowel and assures proper coverage on both the substrate and the tile or stone. In addition to its ability to be used over exterior glue plywood without the use of an additive, other suitable substrates for LHT PLUS include concrete, mortar bed, ceramic tile and stone, cement terrazzo and concrete masonry.

“LATICRETE was founded on an innovative idea. Our engineers, scientists and product developers are always looking for new ways to help installers do their job easier,” added Scott.

LHT PLUS is designed for interior and exterior floor applications and exceeds ANSI A118.4 and 118.11 requirements.


AGC’s Data DIGest: D.C., 38 states add construction jobs; Dodge, Census, Beige Book, AIA report positive signs

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 38 states and the District of Columbia year-over-year (y/y) from March 2017 to March 2018, and declined in 12 states, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on Friday showed. The largest percentage gains again were in West Virginia (11%, 3,400 jobs) and Nevada (9.0%, 7,500), followed by Idaho (8.6%, 3,800), Massachusetts (7.7%, 11,500) and New Mexico (7.6%, 3,400). The most jobs again were added in California (54,400 jobs, 6.8%), Texas (34,000, 4.8%) and Florida (31,600, 6.3%). Over the year, North Dakota lost the highest total and percentage of construction jobs (-4,300 jobs, -15%), followed by Iowa (-3,900, -5.0%), Kansas (-2,500, -4.1%) and Nebraska (-2,000, -3.8%). For the month, employment rose in 29 states, fell in 19 and D.C., and was flat in Vermont and Wyoming. (AGC’s rankings are based on seasonally adjusted data, which in D.C., Nebraska and five other states is available only for construction, mining and logging combined.)

The value of new construction starts in March jumped 11% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, following decreases of 3% in February and 2% in January, construction data provider Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Friday. “The nonbuilding construction sector, comprised of public works and electric utilities/gas plants, soared 73% in March, boosted by the start of several very large projects. These included the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline expansion in West Virginia and Virginia, the $1.1 billion I-405 highway project in Orange County, California, the $855 million Grand Parkway highway project in Houston…and a $400 million wind farm in Kansas….both nonresidential building and residential building eased back slightly in March, with respective declines of 1% and 2%. During the first three months of 2018, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were…down 7% from last year (which included exceptionally strong amounts for airport terminals and natural gas pipelines). On a 12-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the 12 months ending March 2018 were up 1% from the [previous] 12 months.”

Housing starts in March increased 1.9% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from the February rate and 11% from the March 2017 rate, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. Single-family starts slumped 3.7% for the month but increased 5.2% y/y. Multifamily starts (in buildings with five or more units), which are often volatile, rebounded 16% for the month, following a 12% drop in February, and jumped 24% y/y. For the first three months of 2018 combined compared to the first quarter of 2017, starts increased 8.0% (7.0% for single-family and 9.5% for multifamily). Building permits, a fairly reliable indicator of near-term starts, rose by 2.5% for the month and 7.5% y/y. Single-family permits slid 5.5% for the month but rose 1.7% y/y. Multifamily permits soared 23% for the month and 19% y/y. For the first quarter, permits increased 6.2% (single-family, 5.3%; multifamily, 7.0%).

Economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across the 12 Federal Reserve districts in February and March,…with robust construction activity noted in three districts,” the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday in its latest “Beige Book.” The report is a compilation of informal soundings of business conditions in each of the districts, which are referenced by the name of their headquarters cities. The summary includes these comments relevant to construction: “Several districts reported continued worker shortages across most sectors, with contacts often mentioning shortages in the construction, information technology, and manufacturing sectors…Four districts saw a marked increase in steel prices, due in part to a decline in foreign competition. Price growth for building materials such as lumber picked up, stemming from an uptick in construction activity.” Short summaries for each district included these comments. Philadelphia district “construction and existing home sales changed little.” Cleveland district “construction activity remained buoyant.” Chicago district “construction and real estate activity grew slightly.” Minneapolis district “commercial construction grew strongly, but residential construction was mixed.”

The Architecture Billings Index slipped to a still-favorable seasonally adjusted score of 51.0 in March from 52.0 in February and 54.7 in January, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported on Wednesday. The index measures the percentage of surveyed architecture firms that reported higher billings than a month earlier, less the percentage reporting lower billings; any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. Scores (based on three-month moving averages) for the four practice specialties were mixed: residential (mainly multifamily), 53.4 (down from 54.5 in February); commercial/industrial, 53.1 (up from 52.7); mixed practice, 51.1 (down slightly from 51.2); and institutional, 49.7 (down from 51.8). The AIA also asked “responding architecture firm leaders about the potential impact of the planned US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and [24%] of respondents…indicated that they have already seen specific consequences from the proposed changes. Regardless of whether or not they’ve already seen specific consequences from the proposed tariffs, 91% of respondents indicated that they expect to see at least a minor impact from the tariffs on current and future projects at their firm, with 43% anticipating a moderate impact and 21% anticipating a major impact. Of the firms expecting an impact from the tariffs on their projects, more than half (53%) think that it is very likely that construction costs will rise for most projects.”

In the past week, steel makers Gerdau and Commercial Metals Company (CMC) announced immediate price increases of $20 per ton for reinforcing steel products. The reader who forwarded CMC’s notice reported, “3 increases this year totaling a 19% increase. And I don’t think we’re done yet. Plus supply is severely constricted. Rebar and wire mesh is very hard to come by.” Readers are invited to forward price announcements to [email protected].

The Data DIGest is a weekly summary of economic news; items most relevant to construction are in italics. All rights reserved. Sign up at http://store.agc.org.

Sign up here for May 10 webinar (2-3:30 pm EDT) on construction outlook with Ken Simonson, Kermit Baker (AIA) & Alex Carrick (ConstructConnect). Please note that the next issue of the Data DIGest will be on May 11.

Neolith Named 2018 Gold Edison Award Winner

Neolith SKYLINE + PURETi Sustainable Façade System Wins at New York Ceremony; Awards Celebrate 31 Years of Honoring Innovators and Innovation

 Castellón, Spain (April 23, 2018) – The Edison Awards™, celebrating 31 years of honoring the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services, announced that Neolith SKYLINE + PURETi was voted the Gold Collective Disruption Winner at the April 11th event at The Capitale in New York City.

The Neolith SKYLINE + PURETi treatment offers architects and designers a sustainable surface for residential and commercial building façades. The eco-friendly, photocatalytic PURETi surface treatment transforms Neolith sintered stone façades into self-cleaning air purifiers – consequently reversing pollution, dramatically improving air quality, and enabling the slabs to stay cleaner for even longer.

Travis Conrad, architectural consultant at Neolith by TheSize and Glen Finkel, cofounder and president of PURETi joined hundreds of senior executives from some of the world’s most recognized companies to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all of the 2018 Edison Award winners.

Being recognized with an Edison Award has become one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business. The awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) whose inventions, new product development methods and innovative achievements literally changed the world, garnered him 1,093 U.S. patents, and made him a household name around the world.

“Our judges recognized Neolith SKYLINE + PURETi as a true innovator out of the many products in its category,” said Frank Bonafilia, executive director of the Edison Awards.

The ballot of nominees for the Edison Awards™ was judged by a panel of more than 3,000 leading business executives including past award winners, academics and leaders in the fields of product development, design, engineering, science and medical.

“We are thrilled that joining forces with PURETi has enabled Neolith to take its sintered stone surfacing to the next level and become an Edison Awards Gold winner,” said Mar Esteve, director of marketing, TheSize Surfaces. “We pride ourselves on being a part of noteworthy design projects around the world, and now we are able to improve buildings with surfaces that heal the environment.”

Island Stone’s New Strip Cladding Plays with Light and Texture for a Striking Result

Precise-cut stone tiles offer easy installation and versatile arrangement options to create dramatic walls indoors and out

Hand-selected for texture and color, Island Stone natural stone Strip Cladding tiles combine an endless arrangement of options to create the beauty of a solid stone wall. Each perfectly rectangular tile is precision-cut with the utmost attention to detail, allowing for easy dry-stack application without a grout joint. Strip Cladding installations transform simple indoor or outdoor spaces into exotic, contemporary settings.“Each stone is simple in its own form—unique and handpicked, then hand-cut by our team of specialists,” explains Paul Sepulveda, National Sales Manager for Island Stone. “Strip Cladding’s true magic is revealed in combination, as the tiles form a wall of dimension and movement that changes subtly with the light, catches the eye, and immediately sets the home or hospitality environment apart.”

Strip Cladding comes in a Natural face or Marble Craftline, a chipped face that produces a rugged texture in linear form. The Natural face tiles are available in Himarchal White, Sandstone Mint, Golden Slate, Copper Quartzite, Silver Quartzite, Himarchal Black, and Volcano Grey Marble.  Meanwhile the Marble Craftline surface colors are comprised of Rice White, Bali Cream, and Exotic Sands. But whether in the natural or rugged texture, the tile surfaces reflect light, enriching the color of the raw material. Each tile measures 2” by 11 3/4”, with a depth of 3/8”.

Island Stone’s Quarried Stone Cladding includes 14 exotically colored and textured stone variations that open a new dimension to designing modern surfaces.

CTEF Focuses on Qualified Labor at Coverings 18: visit at Hall C, Booth #8401

Ceramic Tile Education Foundation

Installation Experience, CTI Challenge and CTEF Education Session Highlight Importance of Tile Installation Excellence and Qualified Labor

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) will focus on tile installation excellence and Qualified Labor demonstrations during Coverings’18, the Global Tile & Stone Experience taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia from May 8 through May 11, 2018. The primary venue for the demonstrations will be the new 3,900 square foot Installation Experience located in Hall C, Booth #8401. In the Construction Zone, CTEF will hold the CTI Challenge, and, on May 10, CTEF will also hold an education session about the Certified Tile Installer hands-on test.

What is the Installation Experience?

The Installation Experience consists of several sections:

  • A self-guided, designated pathway that takes attendees through a sequence of rooms with fully-interactive live installations where top representatives will answer questions. They will have the opportunity to speak with industry experts regarding key processes, learning new strategies and experiencing hands-on demonstrations of the most modern of technologies.
  • In the Hall of Failures and the Hall of Excellence, attendees will see firsthand through actual installations the difference between the right and wrong way to perform a tile installation.
  • In the Hall of Excellence, CTEF will demonstrate the important aspects of the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) hands-on test with a cut-away version of the CTI module. Regional Evaluators of the CTI program will be on hand to explain the parameters of the test and answer questions.
  • In the Hall of ACT (Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers), attendees will be able to talk with ACT Evaluators who will answer questions from installers and others interested in the promotion of Qualified Labor as described in the Tile Council of America (TCNA)
  • The Installation Experience concludes with “At Home, With Tile” an area with an expansive seating area and TV screen offering viewers a time-lapsed progress video, highlighting the various construction stages of the projects slated to take place.

The Installation Experience live, interactive installations will include a fully-functioning kitchen; a bathroom with heated tile floor and a fully-functioning stall shower, along with a transformed vintage fireplace. These state-of-the-art projects will involve glass tile, porcelain, gauged porcelain panels, natural stone and other cutting-edge tile products and breakthrough technology installation systems.

Most importantly, as part of the Installation Experience, all attendees will garner new insights on the attributes of Qualified Labor. Representatives will be onsite to define, discuss and demonstrate just what it takes to be a part of this elite group which includes the Certified Tile Installer program and the ultimate group of installers who have achieved the status of being ACT certified.

The CTI Challenge

The “CTI Challenge” is a live event designed by CTEF director Scott Carothers, which is slated to take place between rival teams who are both NTCA members and Certified Tile Installers. It takes place in the Construction Zone located in the Hall of Excellence.

The Challenge will begin Tuesday May 8th and conclude on Wednesday May 9th.  Upon completion, the winners will be chosen allowing attendees to view this excellent workmanship.

Education Session about the Certified Tile Installer hands-on test

On Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 3 pm to 4 pm, Scott Carothers and Kevin Insalato, CTEF CTI Coordinator, will conduct an educational session titled “How to Prepare Yourself or Your Installer for the CTEF Certified Tile Installer Exam.”

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Program

The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship. Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.

To qualify for the CTI Program, installers must have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.

“The CTI program is strictly a test of the installer’s skills and knowledge; it offers no instructional classes,” says Scott Carothers, director of training and education for CTEF.  “However, many installers who have completed the CTI tests say that studying the written materials was very valuable and assisted in the completion of the hands-on test and that the CTI Manual provided the correct methods for tile installation which may not have been the way they installed tile in the past.”

The CTI program includes two separate tests.

  • The first is an online open-book exam which is taken at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows prior to the hands-on test.
  • The second is a hands-on test which is conducted at regional locations across the United States. The hands-on portion of the test begins at 7:09 am and must be completed by 4:00 pm. Installers should arrive at 6:30 am in order to get their tools set up and be ready to start the test at 7:09 am.

Testing proficiency in installing thin porcelain tile is just one of the advanced installation skills that can be certified through the ACT program.

The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) Program

The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) include offers certifications in seven specific areas of tile installation.  An installer may choose to become ACT certified in one or more of these areas:

  • Grouts
  • Large Format Tile & Substrate Preparation
  • Membranes (both sheet and liquid)
  • Mortar (Mud) Floors
  • Mortar (Mud) Walls
  • Shower Receptors
  • Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs

Installers wishing to become ACT certified must be pre-qualified in one of two ways:

  • Be a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation; or
  • Be a journeyman tile setter who has successfully completed the apprenticeship program conducted by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

ACT certification in each area is granted upon successful completion of a written online test – designed to measure the installer’s understanding of applicable ANSI specifications and TCNA Handbook details – and a field provided hands-on test conducted by trained, third party evaluators who assess the installer’s skills under real life conditions.

CTEF: Supported by the Ceramic Tile Industry

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which sponsors the CTI and ACT programs is supported by all segments of the ceramic tile industry. CTEF is headquartered in Pendleton, South Carolina, near Clemson University and in close proximity to the offices of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. The CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry.

For information about Coverings and the Installation Experience, visit http://www.coverings.com/the-installation-experience.


Dallas, TX – April 20, 2018 – Dal-Tile Corporation is a founding member of the Dallas Cristo Rey High School and most recently hosted a luncheon to celebrate several of its students, who also work at Dal-Tile headquarters as part of an innovative corporate work-study program.

“Cristo Rey self-describes as the only network of high schools in the country that integrates four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through their Corporate Work Study Program,” said Tena Boyd, HR support services manager, Dal-Tile.  “The Cristo Rey Network delivers a powerful and innovative approach to inner-city education that equips students from economically-disadvantaged families with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives. Dal-Tile is so pleased to get to be a part of this program.”

Students generally work one day per week at Dal-Tile and the company pays the school for the student worker’s time, to help fund their tuition.  During the celebratory luncheon, each of Dal-Tile’s student workers presented the key things they have learned during their year on the job with Dal-Tile.


NTCA Five Star Contractors showcase creativity at Coverings’ Installation Design Showcase

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, will have its Five Star Contractors participating in the Installation Design Showcase – featuring “tiny houses,” during Coverings 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  The showcase will be located at booth 8804, Hall C.











The Installation Design Showcase is a must-see at Coverings. The Showcase will feature three tiny houses each highlighting a different design aesthetic. Three NTCA Five Star Contractors will collaborate with top designers, exhibiting synergy between beautiful design and exceptional installation.

This year’s three tiny houses will have tile installed by the following NTCA Five Star Contractors:

CG Villa – Installation by J&R Tile of San Antonio, TX.

“We are proud to feature our staff of professional certified and advanced certified installers for the second year in a row,” stated Erin Albrecht, chief operations officer of J&R. “Being a part of this Showcase allows us to demonstrate industry-standard techniques via qualified labor installations. We look forward to show how crucial experience, attention to detail, and being centered and balanced is imperative on such a complex project.  Substrate prep and movement joints are so essential for a moving small space, such as a Tiny Home. We at J&R pride ourselves on our field personnel having the ability to communicate and educate owners and architects. Problems solve themselves when you pride yourself on execution of design intent with a highly skilled, educated staff that shares the same vision and core values.”

J&R’s Erin Albrecht (l.) with Coverings Industry Ambassador Alena Capra during the reveal of the 2017 IDS Tiny House project.

Luxe Cottage – Installation by Visalia Ceramic Tile of Visalia, CA

Sam Bruce, president of Visalia (also participating for a second year) commented, “There are many aspects to the tile industry, starting from manufacturing, distribution, sales, design, products and tools.  Each leads to the final installation process. The Installation Design Showcase covers each step of this procedure. In particular, it allows us to exhibit the importance of creating a relationship with the designer. As an installer, our job is to bring a designer’s vision to reality through a quality tile installation using the right methods and standards. Clearly, we need to listen in order to best understand what the designer is trying to achieve. At times, we must educate designers so they understand these methods and standards, as well.  When this sort of teamwork happens, solutions are created which lead to successful projects.”

During the 2017 IDS Tiny House reveal, Alena Capra (c) interviews designer Kim Lewis (l) and Visalia Ceramic Tile’s Sam Bruce.













Smart Modern Living – Installation by DW Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting Inc. of Marietta, GA

Woody Sanders, founder of D.W. Sanders commented, “The Installation Design Showcase offers the construction industry as a whole and the tile industry, in particular, to witness newly developed methods of installation and techniques now entering the market. This sparks discussion to interface with peers of how the products would be used in their markets. Furthermore, it places a spotlight on qualified tile contractors to showcase their talented employees.”

Each of these installation companies has successfully completed the NTCA Five Star Contractor recognition program and employs installers certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. “Without question, we love the opportunity to showcase the technical as well as artistic capabilities of our Five Star Contractors,” said NTCA Five Star Program Director Amber Fox.

“The tile industry believes strongly in the quality of workmanship offered by NTCA Five Star Contractors,” continued Bart Bettiga, executive director of the NTCA. “Many manufacturers recommend Five Star contractors to their customers on extremely challenging projects. This Showcase brings these type of complex projects to real world scenarios; giving attendees the opportunity to interact with the contractors and observe the installations from beginning to end.”

To obtain Five Star status, contractors must be a member of NTCA, and complete an application process that includes submitting examples of work, reviews and recommendations from peers and customers and proven commitment to service, quality, safety and superior job performance. Five Star Contractors are also required to certify a minimum of 10 percent of their installers through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer program or have completed a three-year apprenticeship program approved by the Department of Labor.

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