MAPEI has introduced MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro, a professional-grade, lightweight, single-component mortar that can be used for medium-bed and non-sag applications as well as for thin-set installations. This thixotropic mortar is geared to large-format tile installations on walls and floors. A green product that can contribute to LEED with more than 20% recycled content, the lightweight mortar with Ultralite Technology™ provides twice the coverage of a standard thin-set mortar per pound (0,45 kg), providing transportation savings and makes hauling it on the jobsite easier for installers. This polymer-modified mortar is formulated with Easy Glide Technology™ for ease of application. www.mapei.com
American Bullnose Company produces custom-fabricated bullnose and related trim tile for manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and contractors throughout North America, with seven locations serving all major U.S. markets. With American Bullnose, bullnose is available for every tile, whether it’s a few pieces for a special order or several thousand for stock. The company’s proprietary glazing and re-firing process results in a hard, long-lasting, high-quality finish that will not scratch, wear, or wash off. And because bullnose is fabricated from the customer’s field tile, back orders and dye-lot issues are virtually eliminated. www.AmericanBullnose.com.
wedi launches the brand-new, single-slope, 32” x 60” Riolito Shower Base within its Fundo Riolito family of linear drains. This traditional single slope base is perfect for installations atop plywood floors, and can be used with wedi curbs. It has a 32″ width, making it ideal for tub replacements or for use with wedi Full Foam Curb to create a 36” x 60” shower. Other Riolito Shower Base options offer a mild four-way slope which guarantees a level perimeter and seamless floor level entry installations into subfloors. Visit www.wedicorp.com for the complete line of factory-integrated linear drain shower designs.
Crossville launches Reclamation, the brand’s first digitally-produced porcelain tile collection. The look is inspired by urban renewal and reclaimed materials – the essence of “industrial chic” from aesthetics to textures, blending modern style with a hint of nostalgia for versatile applications in residential and commercial settings. It’s available in four colors derived from the evolution of industry in America, with 16 different facings that interpret the look of wood, metal and concrete with a contemporary twist. Available in 12”x24” and 24”x24” field tiles, along with a 6”x24” graffiti-inspired etching accent and a 4”x24” bullnose. www.crossvilleinc.com
Paris Ceramics offers medallions and designs in stone, tile and hard surfaces with laser-cut technology and in-house artisans in Virginia that allow you to design without limitations. Materials are new or antique, sourced from Europe and around the world. www.parisceramicsusa.com
Coverings ETC introduces Topaz Blue, the latest color in its Bio-Glass collection – and it’s made from 100% upcycled bottles taken from recycling centers, with no added colorants, epoxies or resins. Topaz Blue joins five other sustainable colors including White Diamond, Oriental Jade, Fossil Amber, Malachite, and Emerald Forest. Red Dot Design award winner Bio-Glass is stain proof and scratch resistant, making it ideal for kitchen counter-tops, backsplashes, vanities, and wall coverings. It is available in sheet sizes measuring 110″ x 49″ x 3/4″ thick. Bio-Glass is durable as granite and, being closed surface, is easily maintained. www.coveringsETC.com.
American Marazzi Tile introduces Perseo, which interprets classic marble with sumptuous color movements accented by natural veining, created by advanced digital print technology in a porcelain tile. Each of the five colors in the collection corresponds to a particular type of genuine marble from ancient buildings, available in 24″ x 24″ rectified formats. Perseo offers 45% recycled content, no VOC emissions, and low lifecycle costs. www.marazzitile.com.
The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has extended the renewal date of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification certificate, to two years. Tile installers must retake the updated course every two years in order to stay current with new industry standards. Formerly, installers were required to retake the course annually.
The renewal date extension was part of an agreement between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18, which placed a large order of tuitions for the ITS Verification course as part of its continuing education programs for its Journeyman Tile Layers One. In addition to the ITS Verification online course, Local 18 is offering the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program, which is a new set of certifications developed and administered by a consortium of tile industry organizations (www.tilecertifications.com).
Non-union contractors in the U.S. are also using UofCTS online training courses. And the Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) collaborated with UofCTS to create a Canadian version of the ITS course, which was released earlier this year. INTACO, a manufacturer of installation products in Costa Rica, recently purchased tuitions of the Spanish version of the ITS course for training their employees. TCNA Mexico trainers took the Spanish version of the ITS course; they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value-added course; and suggest it for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.
The ITS Verification course differs from the CTEF and ACT Certification Programs, which allow trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications that they meet the respective requirements. The ITS Verification course is intended to train new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and offers continuing education for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices. Distributors, architects and designers, and general contractors also benefit from the ITS Verification course.
For complete information on the ITS Verification course and other UofCTS courses, visit www.UofCTS.org. Local 18 members should visit www.tileunion.org; CTDA members can visit www.ctdahome.org and TTMAC members can visit www.ttmac.com. You can also obtain information on courses by calling 866-669-1550.
Daltile has launched its first ever Virtual Web Catalog. This online platform is an interactive version of the physical catalog customers have trusted for more than 15 years, now with exciting features to discover Daltile’s extensive range of on-trend products anytime, anywhere. The Virtual Catalog is the latest addition to the company’s expanding suite of digital tools, including the successful re-launch of the brand website, www.daltile.com, that provide savvy consumers with easily-accessible information and inspiration for tile and natural stone projects of any scale. The Virtual Catalog offers on-demand access, multiple catalog versions, online convenience for anytime access, customizable PDF conversion for downloading or printing, and social sharing tools to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. An app version compatible with Android and Apple devices is also available via Google Play or iTunes, respectively. From the Virtual Catalog, users can navigate directly to the newly re-launched Daltile website, with enhanced features that successfully achieved simplified navigation, easier access to information and even greater design inspiration for users.
2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now accepting entries. Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics comprised of over 150 Italian ceramic tile manufacturers, and the Italian Trade Commission sponsor the competition, now in its 21st year. North America-based architects and interior designers are invited to submit new or renovated, domestic and international projects completed between January 2009 and January 2014 using Italian ceramic tile in the institutional, residential, and commercial/hospitality categories. The jury will judge the projects based on their creativity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, selecting a winner in each category. The official criteria for the jury include: overall design of the project; aesthetic and technical quality of installation; degree to which tile enhances the setting; and the project’s sustainable attributes.
Winners will be announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference during Coverings in Las Vegas, Nev. from April 29 – May 2, 2014, where they will present their projects to the public. The winning architect/designer in each category will receive a cash prize of $4,000 and a 5-day trip to Bologna, Italy, to attend Cersaie 2014 – the world’s largest exhibition for ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the winning contractor/tile distributor team in each category. For details on the competition, which is free to enter, is online at www.tilecompetition. Deadline for entries is February 3, 2014.