Ask the Experts – June 2018

Ask the Experts Q&As are culled from member inquiries to NTCA’s Technical Support staff. To become a member and make use of personal, targeted answers from Technical Support staff to your installation questions, contact Jim Olson at [email protected].


QUESTION

I’ve got a new question for you all. What about homes with subfloors consisting of T&G boards, not plywood? They run diagonally. In this one specific case, there is actually 3/4” solid wood installed over the top of it. My thought is that it would require double 3/4” plywood, and I can’t find a single method in the book that identifies such a subfloor. 

ANSWER

Attached are pictures of different installed tile work examples incorporating movement accommodation joints. The first is a residential installation with porcelain plank tile where a change of pattern is in a doorway to allow for a nearly unnoticeable movement accommodation joint. The other two are from commercial jobs where large areas of tile happen quite frequently. 

In the TCNA Handbook from page 430 to 437 is section EJ171. It states under location and frequency of joints:

  • Interior – maximum of 25’ each direction; Exterior – 8’ to 12’ in each direction. 
  • Interior tile work exposed to direct sunlight (heat) or moisture – maximum of 12’ each direction. 
  • Above ground concrete slabs – maximum of 12’ each direction. 
  • Perimeter joints – movement joints are required where tilework abuts restraining surfaces such as perimeter walls.
  • Change of plane, exterior – movement joints are required in all inside and outside corners.
  • Change of plane interior – movement joint required at all inside corners.

Others and I believe this is the least used, most often misunderstood, and most important listing in our Handbook. Lack of correctly installed expansion joints is thought to be – by many – the leading cause of failures in tile industry.

With plank installations, special considerations to layout should be considered. Installing expansion joints on the long side is easier, and less noticeable.

For example, if you have an installation that is 20’ x 80’ you would need a minimum of at least three joints perpendicular to the long wall creating four separate sections. Running the long edge of the plank perpendicular to the long wall would help hide these expansion joints, and would appear similar to a grout joint. Borders and change of pattern can also help you succeed in installing less-noticeable expansion joints.

Whether they are noticeable or not, they are required by our standards. If you look closely, you can find expansion joints in almost every airport, shopping mall, car lot, etc. There are great installers implementing the standards found in EJ 171 all across the country. 

The TCNA Handbook says, “The design professional or engineer shall show the specific location and details of movement joints.” If they don’t, reach out to them for information. If it’s just you and a homeowner, show them what the industry says in our standard and create a plan for a successful installation. 

Robb Roderick,
NTCA Trainer/Presenter

Thin Tile – June 2018: Ponder prep before predicting price

By now, hopefully much of the tile industry has been hearing about gauged porcelain tile panels (GPTP) and realize that their installation requires specialized expertise and training as compared to typical large-format tile like 12” x 24” formats. But what’s really involved? 

Recently NTCA Training Director/Trainer/Presenter Mark Heinlein fielded a question about pricing for a 48” x 96” GPTP. While he couldn’t give a figure for such an installation, he did detail what’s involved in the installation and what’s needed as compared to traditional tile. Following is his response:

Installation of GPTP requires specific training on substrate prep, setting material selection and usage, specialty tool usage, material handling, teamwork and timing for successful installations. ANSI A118.19 is the installation standard for this material. It is the standard for every aspect of a successful installation.

Many manufacturers of GPTP team with setting material and tool companies to provide this specific training. NTCA is currently conducting GPTP training for our members in regional locations throughout the U.S. Our next program is coming up in the Chicago area in July. (Visit page 8 of this issue or this link for a calendar of upcoming regional training programs and workshops: https://bit.ly/2JjtEjr)

I strongly encourage any installers looking to work with GPTP to receive training based on ANSI A118.19 before attempting to perform an installation.

As far as pricing a job, items such as: substrate prep; proper mortar selection and use; appropriate specialty tool sets; lippage tuning systems and a well-trained, highly functioning team are required to set these tiles/panels. There is money to be made on these installations, but it takes some significant understanding of the process to determine appropriate pricing. Each job should be approached individually as each one will require very specific substrate preparation, etc.

NTCA’s day-long, member benefit regional training programs are currently training on GPTP, and Substrate Preparation and Large-Format Tile. They always incorporate Tile Industry Standards. In addition to installers, I have had project managers and designers attend these extensive training programs. The information and experience they gain has helped them better understand what their company is getting into on these projects. If you’d like to know more about these programs, contact me at
[email protected].

NTCA Announces Winners of the 2018 Five Star Contractor Project of the Year

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association announced the winners of its sixth annual NTCA Five Star Contractor Project of the Year Awards at Coverings 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

NTCA’s Five Star Contractor Awards were presented for both Commercial and Residential Tile Installations. Many submissions were received and judged via the following criteria: Scope (size of project), Complexity (challenges), Technical Soundness (resolution of challenges) and Design & Presentation (overall appearance, layout and artistic value). 

This year’s judges included: 

  • Kent Klaser of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Gregory Mowat of Forensic Tile Consultants, San Diego, CA
  • Richard P. Goldberg of Professional Consultants International, LLC, Avon, CT

Sponsored by Daltile, NTCA Five Star Contractor Grand Prize Award winners received a custom plaque and were awarded two round-trip airfare tickets and a two-nights hotel stay in Atlanta for the Coverings Show.

GRAND PRIZE – COMMERCIAL
By Christian Brothers Flooring & Interiors, Lakeside, Calif.

The Mesa Commons installation in Irvine, CA resulted in a striking visual appearance, design and layout, and the complex environmental challenges overcome during construction are those a NTCA Five Star Contractor could solve easily with its specialized training. To bring this spec to life, Christian Brothers had to overcome constraints caused by weather conditions up to 100 degrees and soaring exterior heights.  The project was also exemplary in the use of porcelain tile to integrate interior and exterior design with common palette of colors, textures and features.

GRAND PRIZE RESIDENTIAL
by Visalia Ceramic Tile, Visalia, Calif.

Workmanship and artistic qualities brought the Hoffman Residence in Fresno, CA to life. A challenging mixture of both natural stone and ceramic presented the opportunity for Visalia to showcase its Five Star Contractor skills. This residential project showcased new product and installation technologies, as well as the unique capability of tile assemblies to integrate other underlying building systems such as radiant heat and building envelope waterproofing.

 

GRAND PRIZE
COMMERCIAL ELITE
By David Allen Company

David Allen Company of Raleigh, NC was the recipient of the Five Star Grand Prize Award for Commercial Elite Project of the Year (over $1 million). Nearly 80,000 square feet of marble and tile were meticulously installed in the new Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Of the many complexities which presented themselves working in a metropolitan area, the narrow doorways offered a unique opportunity for this contractor to showcase its innovative thinking. The team built custom narrow crates and stocked all of the materials required for each guest room into a single crate; saving time and labor on the job.

A trusted Five Star Contractor was preferred and required to partner with the General Contractor to address these many challenges, because the technical challenges associated with this project would need the involvement of an industry-leading trained expert.

NTCA Five Star Contractor Residential and Commercial Project of the Year Achievement of Excellence Awards were also presented. These included:

Residential

  • Floorology for Nature-Made Bathroom
  • W. Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting for Classic Inspiration with Modern Luxury for Her Bathroom Remodel

Commercial

  • David Allen Company for Chancery of Morocco
  • J&R Tile for the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
  • Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co., for Arizona State University Memorial Union

Commercial Elite:

  • ProFast Commercial Flooring for Sagamore Hotel
  • California Tile Installers for Apple Campus 2 Gateway Tunnel

 “We would like to thank our contest judges and sponsor for their support and of course, all of the Five Star Contractor Members who submitted incredible projects.” stated Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the NTCA. “Each of these winning installations, as well as the other submitted projects, clearly demonstrates the value of engaging an NTCA Five Star Contractor in such complex arenas. Job site issues such as a confined urban site, mixed product media, material delivery and staging restrictions, new technologies, creative coordination with other trades, and solving problems quickly are exemplary traits of our Five Star Contractors.”

Call for Entries for the 2019 Five Star Contractor Awards will begin January 15, 2019.

Artaic Welcomes New Design Team Member

Alexandra Thayer Joins as Residential Design Consultant

Artaic, designer and fabricator of architecturally compelling mosaics, is excited to welcome Alexandra Thayer as its new Residential Design Consultant. Joining Artaic’s Boston design studio, Thayer will consult and assist on the design and creation of the company’s residential mosaic projects.
Thayer brings three years of communications and interior design experience to Artaic, with a strong background both personally and professionally in the residential market. Her combined focus on the development of creative design solutions and technical knowledge of interiors will allow her to seamlessly fit Artaic’s stunning mosaics into projects being slated for renovation or those that are new construction.
“Alexandra’s pulse on both the design industry and her experience in communications make her an asset to our growing team,” says Ted Acworth, Founder of Artaic. “We look forward to integrating her insights and expertise into our rapidly expanding residential design business.”
At Artaic, Thayer will be working hand-in-hand with homeowners, as well as residential interior designers and architects. Thayer will also work alongside the company’s lead mosaic designer to produce renderings of designs utilizing the brand’s proprietary Tylist™ software. She will play a dynamic role in supporting the company’s ongoing expansion into the residential market, facilitating and managing projects, while also also forging relationships with the local design community in New England, as well as across the U.S.
“I’m excited to join such a talented and passionate team,” says Thayer. “Artaic’s company mission—to make mosaics more accessible to all who appreciate the craft—is inspiring and motivating. It’s a privilege to be able to use my skills as an interior designer to help bring this artform into the homes of families who will cherish the installations for years to come.”
To learn more about Artaic, please visit www.artaic.com.

Crossville Announces Shelby Ferriter as Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest Winner

Scarves In Production Now, Proceeds from Sales to Support Common Thread for the Cure

Crossville, Tennessee – Crossville Inc. has announced Shelby Ferriter as creator of the winning design for the company’s biennial Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest. Ferriter’s scarf concept, one of five designs that made it to the final round of online voting, garnered the most votes to earn the honored recognition. Her original pattern is being used to produce scarves that will be made available for purchase later this year, with proceeds going to fund Helping Hands grants through Common Thread for the Cure Foundation.

Ferriter is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and will soon begin her career at Looney Ricks Kiss, an architecture and interior design firm in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to seeing her design produced on this year’s scarf, she will receive a Crossville prize pack valued at $200, and a $3,500 tax deductible donation to Common Thread for the Cure foundation will be made in her name.

In describing the inspiration behind her scarf design, Ferriter explains that she focused on empowering individuals battling breast cancer. Each element in her original pattern supports the idea of empowerment.

“The mountains are not only part of Crossville’s logo, but also a symbol of the climb that individuals with breast cancer are going to face. With each step, with each day, with each dollar raised, we get closer to the top of the mountain and closer to finding a cure,” Ferriter shares. “The mountains are wrapped in a pink ribbon, which is an international symbol for breast cancer awareness. My hope is that when those battling cancer wear this scarf they are reminded of the strength they hold and are encouraged to keep fighting, everyday, because slowly but surely, we will climb to a cure.”

“We’re excited for Shelby and for the chance to see her winning design come to life on this year’s scarves,” says Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “As she launches her professional career in interior design, we hope she shares the message of Common Thread for the Cure with her colleagues and leads the next generation of designers to join in supporting this worthwhile cause.”

In addition to the biennial scarf contest and annual programs to raise awareness during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Crossville contributes a portion of the proceeds from the sale of select glass mosaic collections to support Common Thread for the Cure’s Helping Hands grants. For more information, visit crossvilleinc.com.

Vitromex USA Relaunch; Lakes, City Soul, States and Brooklyn!

Vitromex USA proudly re-introduces Lakes, a slate inspired collection available within our complete full-line of ceramic offerings. Lakes is a classic, elegant yet rustic design with modern surface clefts. As Lakes is offered in multiple formats, this allows easy-to-pair designs and installations of today’s transitional to traditional living spaces. Lakes’ natural, dimensional graphic accentuates a color palette to be specified with any interior decor. Its matte finish coordinates beautifully to relate to continuous design themes throughout a broad range of spaces. Lakes glazed ceramic floor and wall tile is appropriate for all residential and commercial wall, countertop and backsplash applications as well as all residential and most commercial floor applications. This entire series is manufactured in a GreenSquared certified facility, which utilizes pre-consumer recycled content. Vitromex USA continues to be a participating member of the TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Vitromex USA relaunches City Soul, a porcelain collection that takes its cues from finished concrete, replicating the distinctions with a subtle linear glaze. Its smooth natural surface creates its unique, organic characteristics. In a soft palette, City Soul includes four options; Gray, Black, Taupe, and Brown. This collection has a natural, flat structure with the strength and durability that continues to make porcelain a savy choice for commercial and residential installations.

City Soul glazed porcelain floor and wall tile is appropriate for countertop and backsplash applications as well as all residential and most commercial floor applications. This entire series is manufactured in a GreenSquared certified facility, which utilizes pre-consumer recycled content. Vitromex USA continues to be a participating member of the TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Vitromex USA relaunches States, a travertine stone fashion designed on a porcelain body. The inspiration comes from stone which is often visibly porous, giving it a more natural, textured look. Natural travertine is smooth and suitable for flooring or as shower tiles and is relatively soft and absorbent. Although naturally beautiful, typically this stone requires several coats of sealant to prevent debris from penetrating through the body. States porcelain emulates a classic travertine stone thus removing all the labor intensive costs from maintenance. States’ colors are warm and range from the lightest white or cream to beige, and gold to brown. Slight color and pattern variations between tiles assure a natural tone-on-tone fashion. States glazed porcelain floor and wall tile is appropriate for countertop and backsplash applications as well as all residential and most commercial floor applications. This entire collection is manufactured in a GreenSquared certified facility, which utilizes pre-consumer recycled content. Vitromex USA continues to be a participating member of the TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Vitromex USA pushes the capacity of its popular Brooklyn ceramic wall tile series with the best features of glossy subway tiles in a 3” x 10” format. And don’t forget the 3” x 10” surface bullnose offered in each color to complete the installation.

A true classic that is anything but ordinary, Brooklyn subway tiles are a building block for endless patterns, arrangements, and design choices. Uniquely iconic, each piece within Brooklyn is manufactured using an undulated punch, giving it unmatched depth, variation, and subtle texture, as well as a high gloss glaze finish.

This tile can be used for various install projects in bathrooms, kitchens and other residential or commercial wallcoverings. Brooklyn tiles make it easy to add a splash of traditional styling to your interior décor and is offered in multiple color options; Bianco (classic all-time white), Hueso (off white), Gris (timeless gray), Moka (light brown), Carmin (a whole-hearted red), Olivo (a natural green), Mostaza (an earnest yellow), and Azul (an archetypal blue). Mix together or individually to style your space and take your upcoming projects to the next level.

 

USG CORPORATION SEEKS TO GROW ITS LEADERSHIP IN POURED FLOORING BY FURTHER BOLSTERING ITS SALES FORCE

USG Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with Alcorp Marketing through which Alcorp employees will join USG as full-time USG sales representatives as of July 1, 2018.

USG and Alcorp have worked as strategic partners since the release of Levelrock, and together they have grown the business into a leader in the performance flooring market. The decision to bring Alcorp employees to USG full-time underscores USG’s commitment to the Performance Flooring market and its belief in the future potential of the business. USG fully expects that all of the employees currently with Alcorp will transition seamlessly to USG and continue to support our customers.

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