Editor’s Letter – April 2018

“The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently.”  Gary Zukav

By now, hopefully, weather has stabilized around the country, and the folks on the east coast who have been battling nor’easter after nor’easter are reaping the benefits of all that moisture in beautiful buds and blooming flowers and all of the glories of spring.

The tile industry is also reaping the benefits of budding ideas and emerging products. In this issue, you’ll read a summation of an in-depth paper on gauged porcelain tile panels that TCNA’s Bill Griese and Crossville’s Noah Chitty presented in Spain at the Qualicer 18 conference. This Tech Talk selection updates you on the evolution of GPTP and the standards that now guide successful manufacturing and installation of these products. 

Our product section in this issue presents a new crop of tile and accessory materials that blossomed at the TISE West/Surfaces show in Las Vegas in January. Many of these were shared on the TileLetter and National Tile Contractors Association Facebook pages during the show (so stay tuned to those social media outlets for the upcoming Coverings show), but we’ve gathered a sampling of them here, for the convenience of reading in print. 

In NTCA University Update, Becky Serbin has presented a number of testimonials from students who have taken the first wave of apprentice courses. Her article demonstrates how these courses are being used for personal enrichment and also for overall training within a company.

It’s no surprise that tile sizes are growing (and shrinking, but that’s a different story) and that large-format product is here to stay. In our Large-Format section, we present three case studies of challenging large-format installs and how the NTCA member contractors – all of whom are Certified Tile Installers or employ them in their crews – obtained high-quality, high-performance results. 

In Hot Topics, we again go to the field to present the follow-up to our February exploration of dealing with substandard tile. We explore suggestions for avoiding problems with tile that doesn’t comply with the manufacturing standards and that is sure to cause headaches if installed. 

We present information that makes your day to day operations successful, but what about when you are ready to retire? Read Vincent Mastrovito’s Business Tip story about wisely planning for your exit, and clearing the path of any obstacles that might interfere with you taking your leave.

Hopefully content this month will give you food for thought. Have opinions about what you are reading, or even suggestions for future articles? Feel free to pen a letter to the editor and send it to me at [email protected] We’re always willing to give respectful discussion a voice!

God bless,


[email protected]

Bosch GAS18V-02 18V Cordless Hand-held Vacuum is Lightweight, Convenient Jobsite Cleanup Option

Two-stage rotational airflow technology captures both debris and fine particulates

The Bosch GAS18V-02N 18V Cordless Hand-held Vacuum Cleaner provides a lightweight, convenient cleanup solution on any jobsite. With two-stage rotational airflow technology, this easy-to-maneuver vacuum keeps the filter clog-free longer for sustained suction. The filter is washable.

  • Click to Tweet: @BoschToolsNA Bosch GAS18V-02N 18V Cordless Hand-held Vacuum Cleaner provides a lightweight, convenient cleanup solution on any jobsite #Bosch #Powertools

The 18-volt cordless vacuum’s two-stage rotational airflow technology features a first stage that captures 90 percent of debris, while the second stage removes finer particles from the airflow to help keep the HEPA filter clog-free longer.

The vacuum weighs only 2.9 Lbs. (tool only, battery not included), but delivers great power and long runtime using the Bosch power system. The powerful motor provides up to 21.2 CFM of airflow and supplies up to seven minutes of runtime per battery amp hour (Ah).

The Bosch cordless hand-held vacuum transforms into a handy upright thanks to extension pipes and a floor nozzle. It comes with five attachments, including a crevice nozzle that allows the vacuum to reach into tight corners for thorough cleaning. There’s also a short hose for hard-to-reach areas.

The bagless dust cup on the Bosch GAS18V-02N cordless vacuum is easy to empty and has a transparent shell, so users can check the fill level at any time. It holds up to 61 cubic inches of debris.

The Bosch GAS18V-02N 18V Cordless Hand-held Vacuum Cleaner is 100 percent compatible with all Bosch 18V batteries. Battery and charger are sold separately. The vacuum will be available starting in the summer of 2018.

To learn more about the Bosch GAS18V-02 18V Cordless Hand-held Vacuum Cleaner or to find a local dealer, visit www.boschtools.com or call 877-BOSCH-99. Check out www.bethepro.com for additional tips and videos.







Association Officials Urge Trump Administration, Congress to Fund Infrastructure Adequately as Better Way to Stimulate Demand than Tariffs That Impose Steep Costs on Contractors and Project Owners

Construction costs climbed again in March, with increases for a wide range of building materials, including many that are subject to proposed tariffs that could drive prices still higher and cause scarcities, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials warned that tariffs on some items might lead to project delays and cancellations if supplies become unobtainable or too expensive for current budgets.

“Prices increased for many items in March, even before tariffs announced for steel, aluminum and many items imported from China have taken effect,” said the association’s chief economist, Ken Simonson. “Steel service centers and other suppliers are warning there is not enough capacity at U.S. mills or in the trucking industry to deliver orders on a timely basis. Thus, contractors are likely to experience still higher prices as well as delivery delays in coming months.”

The producer price index for inputs to construction industries, goods—a measure of all materials used in construction projects including items consumed by contractors, such as diesel fuel—rose 0.8 percent in March alone and 5.8 percent over 12 months. The year-over-year increase was the steepest since 2011, the economist noted.

“Many items contributed to the latest round of increases,” Simonson observed. “Moreover, today’s report only reflects prices charged as of mid-March. Since then, some tariffs have taken effect, many others have been proposed, and producers of steel and concrete have implemented or announced substantial additional increases.”

From March 2017 to March 2018, the producer price index jumped by 13.7 percent for lumber and plywood, 11.4 percent for aluminum mill shapes, and 4.9 percent for steel mill products. The U.S. has been in a dispute with Canada over lumber imports, has imposed tariffs on several types of steel and has announced or recently imposed additional tariffs—not reflected in the March price index—on steel, aluminum and numerous Chinese construction products.

Other construction inputs that rose sharply in price from March 2017 to March 2018 include diesel fuel, 39.7 percent; copper and brass mill shapes, 11.2 percent; gypsum products, 8.4 percent; and plastic construction products, 5.8 percent. In addition, concrete and other suppliers announced significant price hikes that were due to take effect in April.

Construction officials said the tariffs that have been announced have already triggered a surge of orders that mills say they cannot fill on a timely basis, which will create budget problems, delays and possibly cancellations for infrastructure and other public projects. They said adequate funding of infrastructure would be a better way to foster demand for domestic steel and aluminum without harming contractors.

“Tariffs will harm contractors that are currently working on projects for which they have not bought materials and will disrupt budgets for future construction,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The best way to help the U.S. steel and aluminum sector is to continue pushing measures, like regulatory reform and new infrastructure funding, that will boost demand for their products as the economy expands.”

View producer price indexes for construction.

LATICRETEⓇ STONETECHⓇ Epoxy Grout Haze & Coating Stripper Solves Residue Issues in 10 Minutes or Less

The high-performance, water-based cleaner is fast-acting and safe to use on a variety of interior and exterior surfaces

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced STONETECHⓇ Epoxy Grout Haze & Coating Stripper for installers seeking a simple, high-performance cleaner that is safe for use on natural stone, masonry and tile. The fast-acting, non-runny gel solution is able to dissolve epoxy grout haze and coatings such as varnish, lacquer, sealer, wax, paint, polyurethane and acrylic in 10 minutes or less, even if the residue has been present for more than a week.

“Epoxy grout usage has grown in popularity due to superior benefits, such as its durability and stain proof qualities that make it a great choice for tile and stone projects. However, improper epoxy grout clean up can result in epoxy grout haze or residue issues that are extremely difficult to remove. STONETECH Epoxy Grout Haze & Coating Stripper is the solution,” said LATICRETE Product Manager Diane Phelan.

In comparison to other cleaners that can take up to two hours to dissolve residue, STONETECH Epoxy Grout Haze & Coating Stripper offers a significantly reduced dwell time.

This product is ideal for adhering to vertical and horizontal applications and does not contain any harsh solvents or chemicals such as Methylene Chloride, which is commonly found in cleaning solutions. Thanks to its water-based formula, STONETECH Epoxy Grout Haze & Coating Stripper is a safer and more environmentally-friendly alternative to other heavy-duty cleaners.

“Sustainability is an important factor LATICRETE scientists consider when developing new products. Our goal as a company is to continuously improve our products for our community and the world,” added Phelan.

STONETECH Epoxy Grout Haze & Coating Stripper meets U.S. VOC limits set at the federal, state, and local level and is available in 1 gallon (3.79 liter) or 1 quart (.95 liter) bottles.

american olean enriches line with more design enhancing status as full-line supplier

American Olean (AO) has been enriching its line with more design during recent new product launches and has taken its appeal as a full-line supplier to a whole new level.

Enriching The Line

“Because American Olean started as a commercial brand years ago, we have naturally mastered the ability to offer great commodity designs throughout the years,” said Williams Pontel, commercial sales manager for American Olean. “However, during the last couple of years, we have been enriching our AO line with more design.  These new products are not only different from what was previously part of the AO line, but they are different from anything seen in the overall market.  Products such as American Olean’s Scene, Visual Impressions, and Union represent much more fashion-forward, interesting looks than ever before.”

Full-Line Supplier

“A key strength of American Olean is that we are a full-line supplier’,” said Hector Narvaez, vice president of distributor sales for American Olean. “Not only are we a trusted brand offering quality, on-trend products, but we provide the distributor with the full range of products to meet virtually any customer need.  AO’s offering includes commodity, mid-range, higher-end, and commercial tile products.”

To learn more about American Olean and its latest product launches, please visit www.americanolean.com

Tile of Spain Announces Schedule of Events for Coverings 2018

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER), announces its schedule for Coverings 2018. Coverings, North America’s largest tile and stone exhibition, will be held May 8-11, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Tile of Spain booth, #3718, located in the center of the Spanish Pavilion, will feature educational seminars and video presentations, including award-winning architectural and design projects and an overview of Tile of Spain manufacturers’ achievements.
Visitors to the Spanish Pavilion will witness some of the most advanced ceramic tile technology and breathtaking design choices the world has to offer from the 85 Spanish ceramic and stone manufacturers exhibiting at the show.
For a booth directory of Tile of Spain’s 85 exhibiting manufacturers’ visit:
Highlights of happenings at the Spanish Pavilion include:
Augmented Reality – Ceramic Trends 2018
Wednesday, May 9th at 12:45pm
Thursday, May 10th at 12:00pm
Join us at the Tile of Spain pavilion as we dig deep into the broad array of micro tools that creative directors can employ to create the most effective and layered looks the world of ceramics has ever seen. Purchasers, sales-people, specifiers and end-users alike should all find valuable take-aways from this session by learning to distinguish the multiple layers of modern design and production techniques in ceramics.
Optimal Approach to 2018 Ceramics – The Building System
Tuesday, May 8th at 12:00pm and 2:00pm
Thursday, May 10th at 2:00pm
Friday, May 11th at 12:00pm
Join us at the Tile of Spain pavilion in this session to reveal some key tips and tricks to getting the most out of tile in your buildings today. As a supplement to the conference session “Skin vs. System,” we will explore sales channels, specification practices & material selection models that can make the use of tile the single most important and impactful aspect of your next project.
Talk to the Expert Happy Hour
Tuesday, May 8th from 3:30pm-6:30pm
Join us for an extended happy hour and the opportunity to “Talk to the Expert” about tile specification, trends and more.
The 2018 Spanish Pavilion is organized and sponsored by ASCER, the Professional Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers from Spain, and ICEX Spain Trade and Investment. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit tileofspainusa.com.
Connect with Tile of Spain on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram at TileofSpainUSA; and on Twitter and Pinterest at TileofSpain.

Winner of Bostik Mexico’s Pixel Mural Competition Announced in Grand Fashion

Bostik, Inc., a world leader in specialty adhesives and installation systems for building construction, recently announced the winner of the Bostik Mexico Pixel Mural Competition (General Public Category). Not surprisingly, the unveiling of the Grand Prize Winning Design was staged with typical Bostik-sponsored panache.

Bostik’s Latin America National Sales Manager, Daniel Sanchez, presided over the glass mosaic mural’s debut as Master of Ceremonies to over 200 industry professionals attending. “Thiscompetition is an extension of Bostik´s Signature Spaces program, which started in the United States a few years ago,” commented Sanchez. “Overall, it’s an interactive, informative and really fun way to promote the many cogent solutions our firm offers the marketplace.

“In Mexico, what is different from the US version, is that we choose public spaces to install the winning murals. The highly imaginative, challenging and beautifully designed permanent projects not only beautify the landscape; they also serve as instant reference for architects, designers, specifiers and other customers, magnifying public exposure to our brand,” continued Sanchez. “Additionally, this competition has allowed us to give back to the community, helping to further beautify Mexican cities. Clearly, Bostik contests offer a great way for young, talented design professionals to stand out and have the chance to be recognized within their fields.”

The mural was installed at the “Paseo Santa Lucia” (Santa Lucia River Walk) in Monterrey, a manmade, 1.5 mile-long river created in the exact location the city of Monterrey was founded, 421 years ago. The park receives over 8 million visitors annually, coming from all over the world. Invitations to the winning mural’s unveiling were extended to Bostik customers and many high-ranking officials, as well. These included Jose Manuel Blanco of the French Embassy in Monterrey, who declared, “Very often, urban art illustrates and links to the people and place where it is displayed. This is clearly the case regarding “Pixel Mural Competition” orchestrated by Bostik, a French-based company. Contestants were asked to present proposals showing Monterrey not only as a well-known industrial city… but, as a creative, innovative, cultural, and artistic city.

“We congratulate the winner of this first edition of “Pixel Mural Competition by Bostik,” added Mr. Blanco, “And, we will vote for Bostik to keep supporting urban art in the long term, further contributing to the organization of an International Conference, as urban art represents a powerful driver in the implementation of any city´s cultural policy.”

Along the river walk, people will find different expressions of public art, including several murals,” stated Sanchez. “However, this is the park’s only back-lit glass mosaic tile mural, and it also happens to be the largest one to be seen. The size of the mural is 13.3 meters (43.6 feet) wide and 3 meters (9.8 feet) tall. And, its total weight is 600 kilograms.”

Created by graphic designer/illustrator, Mario Alberto Lopez Melendez, the winning design proudly showcases Monterrey´s iconic mountains including “El Cerro de la Silla,” the symbol of the city, located at the center of the mural under a star-lit mosaic sky. The design showcases seven hands, each with a different instrument / tool used to create various forms of art. From left to right, one can see a paintbrush, an aerosol can, a stiletto, a guitar pick, a pen, a ballerina’s hand… and finally, a sculptor’s spatula. Of 90 highly creative submissions, Lopez’ mural design was selected as Grand Prize Winner by an esteemed panel of judges. He graciously accepted his award, an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris, France for two, courtesy of Bostik.

The mural, produced by event co-sponsor, Artaic-Innovative Mosaic, was made with almost 90,000 Venetian glass tiles bonded to acrylic sheets using Den Braven´s clear MS adhesives (Den Braven, a company specializing in manufacturing high-performance adhesives and sealants, was recently acquired by Bostik). The sheets were then adhered to an aluminum framing (which resembled a ventilated façade) using Bostik´s Panel Tack HM and Foam Tape. Finally, everything was grouted using Bostik´s Dimension RapidCure Glass-filled, Pre-Mixed Grout in the color, “Diamond.”Expansion joints were also sealed with Den Braven´s translucent neutral cure silicones.

“We were thrilled to participate in Bostik’s Pixel Mural Competition,” stated Ted Acworth, co-founder of Artaic. “The competition’s mission aligns with Artaic’s company ethos to modernize and revitalize this traditional art form. We congratulate Mario Alberto Lopez Melendez on his leading design and are honored to have brought his vision to life.”

“Bostik Signature Spaces is all for the support of local talent,” declared Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. “For this particular competition, we encouraged the Monterrey artistic community to learn how our products could be implemented to create one-of-a-kind, permanent public works of art. The response was solid. And, the results speak for themselves.”


As an organization, Dal-Tile is committed to identifying ways to improve processes and implement sustainable initiatives that will reduce their impact on the environment. This past year, the company furthered their sustainability efforts by developing and implementing the first-ever “mobile tile crusher” for use at three of their production facilities.

“While 97 percent of our manufactured floor tile meets our high quality standards, three percent does not, leading to waste,” said Robert Hurt, director of environmental, health, and sustainability services for Dal-Tile Corporation.  “A team was engaged to determine a way to efficiently crush and recycle scrap tile, without which a facility would never be able to achieve our Zero Landfill initiative. To limit the environmental impact of this waste, we developed the mobile tile crusher – a crusher that travels to three of our locations on a routine schedule.”

This customized solution not only pushed the boundaries of tile production, but also significantly cut costs for disposing of scrap tile wastes. The company conducted extensive research to ensure that the mobile system complied with environmental regulations and that the crushed material could be safely incorporated back into the manufacturing process.

“The development of the mobile tile crusher meant that each of the plants could keep tons of scrap material from reaching landfills,” added Hurt.  “Even though waste fired tile is inert and does not cause contamination, keeping this material out of a landfill makes more room for other wastes that cannot be recycled and extends the life of the landfill.  By this process, we have proven how scrap tile, once deemed “unsellable”, can be ground into consistent recyclable particles and safely go back into our new products.”

Crossville Recognized with Multiple ADEX Awards

Six Tile Collections Receive Honors, including Nest with a Platinum Award

CROSSVILLE, Tennessee – Crossville Inc. recently announced the recognition of six porcelain tile collections receiving ADEX Awards. The following tile collections received the ADEX Awards:
—Crossville’s Handwritten collection received Platinum recognition. This wall tile collection is inspired by artisanal craftsmanship. With its range of creative shapes, sizes, and colors, this line empowers designers to create truly custom installations for commercial and residential interior walls. 
—Crossville’s Notorious collection received Gold recognition. Notorious porcelain tile collection offers big city style in the distinct look of concrete, with the technical performance Crossville products are known for. 
—-Crossville’s Seta collection also received Gold recognition. Seta, inspired by the luxurious fabric of silk, is one of Crossville’s gauged porcelain tile panel collections. The surface visual of these impressive, large format tiles reveals the replication of delicate silk strands woven throughout the nuanced appearance of the line’s four color options. 
—Crossville’s Nest collection received Silver recognition. Nest porcelain tile is a beautiful alternative to wood for floors and walls, and it supports cleaner, healthier interiors while standing up to high traffic wear and tear. The collection authentically captures the sophisticated, clean graining of both Olive and American Oak species in a durable, versatile porcelain body. 
—Crossville’s Calce collection also received Silver recognition. Neutral colors and delicate nuances mark the face of Calce, a large format porcelain tile line inspired by wet plaster and concrete. The combination results in a soft, chalky visual that is both sophisticated and thoroughly contemporary. 
—Crossville’s Cava collection received finalist recognition. With looks as good as natural stone delivered straight from the quarry, Cava offers all the style with unsurpassable performance. Utilizing state of the art technology, Crossville created each vein of the line’s four colors to be rendered with remarkably authentic effect on each 1m x 3m panel.

All products are viewable at  crossvilleinc.com.


Tech Talk – April 2018

Thin gauged porcelain tile – North American research, collaboration, and standardization

By Bill Griese, Director of Standards Development, Tile Council of North America and Noah Chitty, Director of Technical Services, Crossville Inc.

In February, TCNA’s Bill Griese and Crossville’s Noah Chitty traveled to Castellón, Spain, to lecture to the Congress of Qualicer 2018 on research and standardization of thin gauged porcelain tiles and tile panels (GPTP) in North America. Following are highlights of their white paper on this subject, which was presented at Qualicer 2018. The paper, in its entirety with works cited, is available online at tileletter.com.

ANSI A 137.3 and ANSI A108.19


In 2017, the North American tile industry released two new standards: ANSI A137.3, American National Standard Specifications for Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs, and its companion, ANSI A108.19, Interior Installation of Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs by the Thin-Bed Method bonded with Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar or Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar. These standards, developed for the benefit of all tile consumers, are the result of a multi-year research and consensus process of the ANSI Accredited A108 Standards Committee, which includes participants from all industry sectors. 

These efforts aimed to establish a framework for specifications of products that are intentionally “gauged” to a specific thickness. Currently two classes of gauged tile products are defined by the standards: 

Those for wall applications from 3.5mm to 4.9mm and 

Those for floor and wall applications, from 5.0mm to 6.5mm. 

Other products, which either fall outside of these ranges or for which the manufacturer has not specifically provided a gauged-thickness designation, continue to be standardized under traditional tile specifications.

Terminology and strength criteria

One of the earliest topics on which the North American industry debated was terminology. These products were called “thin” tile, but since the same technologies are also used to create thick tiles – and end-users had increasingly prioritized tile thickness as a key characteristic – a new moniker was needed. Hence, the term “gauged” was born, basing the term on one used for other construction products – such as electrical wire and sheet metal – which carry different load capabilities and usage parameters across a variety of gauges. The group agreed to further differentiate gauged products based on their size, with gauged tiles being less than a square meter and gauged tile panels/slabs being greater than or equal to one square meter. 

In developing product performance criteria, the first key concern was breaking strength, as the North American requirement for traditional tiles was 250 lbf. Initially, very few – if any – thin gauged products met the requirement. Therefore, installed strength became the key to achieving performance levels comparable to those of traditional tiles whose exceedingly high breaking strength could often make up for flaws in mortar coverage or quality. With thin gauged tiles, though, the group chose to scrutinize how lower breaking strength may be offset by installation rigidity and increased mortar coverage.

Key provisions of the installation standard

To develop ANSI A108.19 Interior Installation of Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs by the Thin-Bed Method bonded with Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar or Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar, a group of installers, architects, and manufacturers conducted countless experiments to discover application and embedding techniques that make possible maximum mortar coverage, particularly for tile panels/slabs. Through these experiments, standard setting procedures for gauged porcelain tiles and tile panels/slabs were developed that facilitate optimal workmanship and system integrity. 

Mortar application: It was determined that applying a layer of mortar to both the back of the panel/slab and the substrate would result in the necessary bond coat thickness of 3/16” (4.8mm) and would allow for full encapsulation of lippage control systems. Anything less than this method would result in an embedded mortar layer thickness that was insufficient to achieve the agreed-upon substrate tolerance of a maximum deviation of 1/8” in 10 horizontal feet (3mm in 3m) from the required plane when measured from the high points in the surface for floors.

Mortar properties: Mortar properties such as extended open time, flow to achieve coverage, and curing parameters appropriate to the application, as well as a requirement for suitable mortar identification through consultation with the tile and setting material manufacturer are specified in the standard. 

Trowels: Only Euro-trowel, Flow-Ridge trowel, and Superior notch trowel can facilitate ridge collapse without the need to press and slide the tile. The group agreed to standardize the use of such trowels.

Embedding procedures: For floors, physically walking on the surface in the following pattern produces the greatest supporting mortar coverage: 

1) walk down the centerline of the tile; 

2) take small shuffling steps left and right from center to push air toward the edges.

This standardized procedure is listed in ANSI A108.19 for embedding tile panels/slabs on floors. For walls, a vibration tool and weighted beat-in paddle are specified in order to achieve optimal coverage.

For walls and floors, a vibrational tool used at the perimeter, achieved full coverage on the edge, critical for overall durability in flooring applications, and also facilitated full encapsulation of lippage control systems. For these reasons, edge coverage achieved through vibration is a provision of ANSI A108.19. The standard minimum required coverage is 80% for walls and 85% for floors. Additionally, maximum void size was established as 2 square inches (1290 square mm).

Coverage calculation: A standardized evaluation to calculate coverage was developed. ANSI A108.19 states, “In any single square foot under the embedded tile, coverage… is calculated by measuring the voids and the marked off square foot and dividing by 144 square inches (929 square cm) where the dry set mortar is not in full contact from the back of the tile to the substrate.”

Substrates: Standardized suitable substrates for the installation of gauged porcelain tiles and tile panels/slabs are mostly consistent with those of traditional tile, with the exception of direct bonding to plywood floors, which requires the use of a mortar bed or specified backer board and referencing floor rigidity requirements established by building codes and other widespread industry specifications. 

Applicable to all substrates, ANSI A108.19 details required flatness as maximum deviation of 1/8” over 10’ (3mm in 3m) from the required plane when measured from the high points in the surface.

Material handling: Qualified labor and other provisions also taken into account through discussion and A108.19 standardization were adequate jobsite storage, space to maneuver panels, prevention of damage while handling and time for mortar curing. Another critical aspect of ANSI A108.19 involves usage of properly qualified installers who are equipped with proper tools and have acquired sufficient product knowledge and installation experience. 

There are several other key provisions contained within ANSI A108.19, including grouting, workmanship, movement accommodation, and maintenance, completing a very comprehensive specification for how to install products defined by ANSI A137.3. 

See link here for the full paper, including footnotes. 


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