President’s Letter – August 2013

dan welch imageI don’t know about your company, but August is typically an extremely busy month for our business. Work has to be done for the upcoming school season and many are finishing projects before the end of the summer. It just gets crazy!

This year is no exception. Our staff is pushing with everything we can to make this season’s rush.  This August is no exception for me either. Welch Tile tags January and July to finalize wages and benefits along with any profit sharing for staff. I just finalized a small incentive gift, and as always look through the list, check it twice, find out who was naughty and nice.

Calculating profit sharing can be challenging, since inevitably the bonus may not make everyone happy if staff gets to comparing incentives or judging who deserves what without having the whole story. But even with those disputes or confrontations, I feel privileged we are talking about profit sharing again after surviving the challenging economy of the last few years. I pray the bottom line is that we all are excited about the future.

2013 is a recovery year and – for all of you who are struggling – I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I see a number of changes in the overall construction climate that point to possible better times ahead.

2013 is the first year we have not dealt with an increase in health insurance rates. 2013 is the first year we believe we will hit and exceed our sales goals.  2013 is the first year we have a sizable backlog of work. 2013 is the first year we are short of craft workers. 2013 is the first year we are hiring multiple permanent employees. 2013 has gained many new customers and old ones calling for work to be completed because their staff or other installers are not keeping up.  Many subcontractors are pleased with the construction climate and  are discussing price increases with new bids.

This is all good news but you need to keep up with this change and be ready for more in the future. Welch Tile’s staff discussed our future workload with our supervisors in late June.  We were all optimistic about the future but not banking on it totally.  We still don’t see the big projects that sustain future employment needs and we still require out-of-town projects to keep our staff working steadily. Wage increases now may not be sustainable and we must be responsible as this economy teeters on our financial future.

The cost of living has sky-rocketed. Food, gas, hotel stays, goods, and services are all increasing prices. Company revenues are rising but are needed to pay for the past years’ losses or to keep up with depreciating equipment and vehicle needs.

Training and education are performance indicators that show me the shift has started; our superintendents are stretched out on smaller projects managing fewer people, requiring new future leaders. Along with new helpers, I believe training is the key to thriving in this new market.

2014? It’s anyone’s guess, but let’s train and educate to be prepared.

 

Dan Welch
Welch Tile & Marble
President NTCA

Editor’s Letter – August 2013

LesleyRecently, I did some painting. House painting, that is – getting my sweetie’s place ready for the arrival of his sister for the wedding of his son (which took place July 20!). Three of us were painting two bedrooms and a hallway on a hot July Saturday in the Southwest.

At one point I was holding a plastic cup filled with paint only a few inches from my face as I cut in around the ceilings and baseboards. I had the sarcastic thought, “Oh boy, these fumes are REALLY good for me.” Except, in the next breath, I realized I didn’t smell anything. Then my sweetie revealed that he chose zero-VOC paint since his sister is sensitive to chemical odors and emissions.

Wow, what a huge benefit that was! This personal encounter with a product designed to improve the environment, air quality and the planet brought to mind what the tile industry – and the building industry overall – is doing with the tremendous efforts being made through Green Squared®, GREENGUARD, LEED, and a range of other programs and certifications. I’m proud to be part of an industry that is investing in our personal health and the health of that spinning rock we call home. Read about some of those efforts in the pages of this Green issue of TileLetter and see how they apply to what you do and how you do it.

This has been a busy summer for many of us and maybe the busiest year I’ve ever lived through personally or professionally. On my way back from a visit with my family in New Jersey, I swung down to Kentucky to tour the Florida Tile corporate headquarters, manufacturing and distribution facility. Check out the chronicle of my experience at the tile producer in this issue – a tile producer, I might add, that is one of only 11 companies who currently have Green Squared Certified® products onboard.

One of the events that took place on July 18 was the birth of 7 lb., 2 oz. Jared Conner Sloan to NTCA trainer Gerald Sloan and his wife Connie. (Meet him on the Family Snapshot Page in this issue!) Want to congratulate Gerald? Contact him at [email protected]

Finally, I want to give credit where credit is due. In our April 2013 TileLetter On the Road story, we cited some information about water management that is presented in our 2013 Workshops by Michael Whistler and Gerald Sloan. That information is derived from the work of nationally-recognized shower expert Don Halvorson, CTA, CTC, CMRS, CRMI Forensic Tile Consultant. Don’s work is the basis for a lot of essential information on water management in our industry. To reach Don, contact him at [email protected]

You’ve picked the right publication to stay on top of what’s happening in our industry! Thanks for reading!

2013 May Letter from the President

dan welch imageSpring is finally here and the Coverings show is being constructed by thousands of  trade workers for the April 29th start, and NTCA contractor and affiliate members are joining in the construction effort.

I am writing this in Atlanta, as I participate in installing our very first 5’x5’ tile floor at the heart of the TCNA’s North American Pavilion. NTCA Region 5 director  Dave Rogers, NTCA technical presenter Michael Whistler, TEC technical director Tom Plaskota and our crew are working together on this impressive-looking tile. We have spent the past month planning, ordering, and testing the best way to install these new reduced-thickness panels on a temporary 3,000-square foot floor. All of this planning will come to fruition before the show starts.

Coverings is the special show that allows local tile professionals the chance to interact with tile professionals from around the world. Despite the challenge of the language barrier, those of us working on this project could still share a few good tips with regard to large-format tile. Our friends from Italy were more than eager to show us their techniques when we started the TCNA floor.

Here are a few items I think may help you when you install your first reduced-thickness tile panels.

Remember to bring enough help. Minimum crew size is four; five is better.

Bring a table that is strong enough to stack several tiles on upside down. This helps offset the time to move tiles each time you need to back-butter one.

A drywall board cart is a very good tool to transport tiles from the crate to the table.

Mixing thin-set one bag at a time is a bottle neck. We invested in a Raimondi bucket mixer which turned out to be a big money saver.

Get into a rhythm with the crew. Once we determined the best method we all fell into a groove.

A mechanical edge-setting system is a must for this tile. Clamping the tiles into place while they dry is the only way to set tiles of this size without lippage.

Our install was not perfect but was more than acceptable. I am fortunate that this temporary floor installation only has to hold up for one week. The most critical item with this type of tile is the floor prep. For this temporary install, an unbound layer of 1/4” backer board served as a subfloor. We tested this installation to perfect our methods of installation for when it counts on a paying job.  We pulled up tile, checked for coverage, used several different trowels, mixes, and methods to determine the best method.

During this show, I will also be installing mud, large format tile, waterproofing, and showers in the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) test. This new evaluation for union and non-union tile installers certifies my ability and skills to install tile in advanced situations including large-format tile and subfloors, showers, membranes and mud-set applications. But that is another story!

Dan Welch
President NTCA

February 2013 Letter from the President

dan welch imageThis month, I want to talk about certification. On April 30, 2008, I became the first CTEF Certified Tile Installer (yes, my card reads: CTI #01). I am proud to have been involved in our industry when this monumental task was accomplished.

I remember executive director Scott Carothers stating, “I feel we are building the Model T from the ground up.” Over the years, certification has changed from the four-day class to a two-day evaluation, and eventually evolved into a very intense one-day certification with an online written exam. Many tough decisions were made to get this program streamlined without diluting the rigor of proper knowledge and skills testing. It also had to be marketed to our customers so they understand what it means to be a tile professional. Today, I feel that Scott and his crew have got it nailed.

Over four years later, we are now working (as an industry) with many new groups to bolster the program. Groups including the CTEF, IUBAC, IMI, NTCA, TCNA, and TCAA have banded together to offer advanced certification. From industry feedback, including our own, we know that basic certification does not necessarily mean an installer can confidently perform difficult installations like showers, mud-bed, wall mud, large-format tiles, and waterproofing. I am proud to say we can look forward to these advanced modules of certifications in the very near future. As a committee member working on the shower certification, I’m excited to be a part of this ground-breaking joint venture. My goal for advanced certification is not to make it difficult for tile setters to attain such certification, but to identify a standard for quality and build the confidence of our customers.

Welch Tile & Marble has succeeded in the tile industry by offering a professionally-installed tile job with quality, service and value in mind. Unfortunately, many of our projects are re-doing another contractor’s mistakes. Tile jobs are unique because they can initially be aesthetically pleasing, but soon reveal the installer’s lack of experience with loose (unbonded) tile, cracked tile, lippage, tenting, and leaking showers. This can happen in a few months, or it could take years. The unsuspecting consumer may hire a contractor who sells them on their ability, with few resources to verify his/her qualifications. The advanced certification program bridges this gap and helps protect the consumer. It also protects the qualified contractor who bids the job doing it right the first time.

If you are reading this article, you are the contractor we need. Your knowledge and experience is what sells. If you think low price is your only sales tool, think again. Consumers will pay more if they understand the value of peace of mind, and the cost of doing a job twice.

The CTEF is working very hard on your behalf to educate your customers. Tile should be a “life of the structure” choice. Certification is an easy way you can prove your value, provide peace of mind, and earn more work without sacrificing profit.

My advice: get involved, get certified, and provide knowledge and experience to support your ever-changing industry.

Sincerely,
Daniel Jay Welch
President NTCA,
Welch Tile & Marble Inc.

The Italian Connection

Cersaie generates new products; NTCA Five Star Contractors review the show

By Lesley Goddin

The 30th edition of the annual Cersaie show attracted a record number of international visitors to Bologna in late September. Some of those international attendees were four NTCA Five Star Contractors who traveled to Bologna to tour the Laminam plant and powwow with Crossville and Laminam personnel. These contractors gave jobsite perspectives on installation methods and approaches to the new Laminam by Crossville reduced-thickness/thin tile Crossville is importing exclusively into the U.S. (see related story in the January 2013 issue).

One couldn’t be in Bologna and miss the show, so our four contractors – Dan Welch, Welch Tile, James Woelfel, Artcraft Granite Marble & Tile Co., and Martin Howard and Chris Walker, with David Allen Company (DAC) –toured Cersaie, as well.

Contractors were thrilled with the opportunity to experience the international show, and to visit factories that produce innovative tile technology.

“I love going to Cersaie because I love Italian food, wine, cheese, cars, the countryside and history!” said DAC’s Martin Howard. “Oh yes, and then there are the beautiful tile, colors and design options that can turn one’s mind loose with creativity.

“Cersaie is definitely a buyers show, but the networking and contacts one can make are very beneficial,” Howard added. “It is possible to get an advance look at the next big look that’s coming or research new technologies like thin tile or ventilated façade systems.”

Another benefit of the show was the ability to compare construction similarities and differences as they relate to tile installation. DAC’s Chris Walker appreciated “the opportunity to view the work in progress modules being performed by skilled tile setters, which reinforced the difference between the U.S. methods and the European methods, since almost all substrates in Europe are mudbed.”

Dan Welch, a first-time visitor to Cersaie, was intrigued with lighted pre-manufactured expansion joints, as was James Woelfel, another first-timer, who said, “This could help in the U.S., as they add an architectural ingredient to necessary movement joints.” Of the show itself, Woelfel remarked, “I was very excited to go to Cersaie for the first time. The tile booths were more lavish than Coverings, as the show is much bigger.”

 

Trends

Seen on the Cersiae showroom floor were these major design trends, coming soon to a showroom near you:

  • Mix and match: patchwork tiles and varying color, size and material in one collection.
  • Antibacterial/self-cleaning and eco-friendly
  • Encaustic and majolica looks: bold solid colors and large sizes, patchwork effects and vintage encaustic looks, now created by high-tech printing
  • Planks: wood and cement looks dominate in this trend
  • Ceramic fabric and textile-derived aesthetics: plaid, silk, lace, tweed, damask and more can all be evoked by today’s tiles.
  • Installation made easy: new installation systems included clip systems for 2 cm thick porcelain tiles, quick-laying floors and monolithic porcelain slabs,  thick 20mm tiles which offer an incredibly high breakage load (up to 2,000 pounds) and can be dry-laid on grass, gravel, dirt, and cement without grout or adhesives.
  • Size matters: reduced-thickness/thin tiles and giant slabs are proliferating at an accelerated rate as acceptance of this new technology grows.
  • Digital printing: ink-jet technology continues to expand the possibilities for surface decoration.
  • Celebrity designers: artists, graphic designers and material architects are working with tile’s graphic potential and synergy with fixtures and accessories.

The next Cersaie show in Bologna will be September 24-28, 2013. Visit www.cersaie.it/eng/ for more information about the show.

FEATURE COVER STORY – Tiling entryways and foyers

How to successfully install tiles in high-traffic areas prone to water, dirt, and movement stresses

By Sean Gerolimatos, Schluter Systems LP

Entryways and foyers vary in size, use, and style, depending on the type of building. Despite their inherent differences, there remain various requirements that apply to virtually every case. Much of the building traffic will enter via the entryway or foyer, making these spaces ideal for creating positive first impressions.

Ceramic tiles are durable, hygienic, and offer a wide range of design palettes, making them a perfect fit for these applications. A comprehensive installation system will ensure a successful tile application, thereby creating an entryway and foyer that is both attractive and durable, and sets the tone for the rest of the building. 

Mitigating movement stresses

Virtually all substrates present significant challenges for ceramic tile coverings. For example, all wood materials, including plywood, OSB, and framing members, are subject to expansion, contraction, bending, and deflection due to changes in moisture content and loading. Concrete, often considered a “good” substrate for tile, moves at a different rate than tile with changes in temperature, shrinks during the initial drying process as excess moisture is lost, and often cracks. This results in stresses in the tile covering and risks of cracking and delamination when tiles are bonded directly to the substrate using the thin-bed method.

Uncoupling membranes provide lateral flexibility and independent movement between the tile and substrate, limiting the transfer of movement stresses. This protects the tiles from damage, thereby improving the performance of thin-bed assemblies. This method is based on a configured membrane with an anchoring fleece laminated to the underside. The membrane is bonded to the substrate by embedding the anchoring fleece in thin-set mortar. The top of the membrane features a grid of cavities that provide a mechanical lock for the thin-set mortar used to set the tiles. Support for the tiles is ensured by the column-like mortar structures formed in these cavities, which carry the loads from the tiles to the structural base.

Because all tile coverings expand and contract with changes in moisture, temperature, and loading, movement joints are an essential component in any tile assembly. Prefabricated movement-joint profiles can replace sealant joints in tile fields and at restraining surfaces. These profiles provide a maintenance-free alternative to sealant joints that typically require periodic replacement. They also protect tile edges and improve the integrity of the tile assembly as a whole.

Waterproofing protects moisture-sensitive substrates

Inhabitants or visitors often track dirt, dust and water on their shoes when they enter the building. Uncoupling membranes are typically waterproof and offer essential protection for moisture-sensitive substrates. For complete waterproofing, seams and floor-to-wall transitions can be sealed with bonded waterproofing membranes. Waterproofing floor-to-wall transitions ensure that moisture from the outdoors and from cleaning solutions will not penetrate and damage the base of gypsum board walls.

Profiles enhance and finish tile bases

While wood bases are very popular and can be installed over bonded waterproofing membranes, tiled bases or wainscotings are more durable and hygienic in the long run. Poorly-designed floor-to-wall transitions, however, can collect dust and dirt and are difficult to keep clean. Cove base is a ceramic base that provides a rounded transition between the floor and wall, thus making cleaning easier. When tile lines don’t include cove base or other ceramic trim pieces, cove-shaped profiles provide a solution. They can be integrated with field tile to create a smooth, easy-to-clean transition that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the application.

The availability of ceramic tile trim supply can be spotty, depending on the manufacturer. In fact, imported European tile lines may not provide trim at all, since ceramic trim has limited use overseas. Wall profiles are an alternative to ceramic trim, which can be used instead of surface bullnose or to finish and protect tile edges at outside wall corners and at the top of tile bases and wainscotings.  A variety of accessories, including inside and outside corners, are available for most wall profiles.

Profiles are effective at floor-covering transitions

While most of us in the tile industry would prefer to see tiles used on floors throughout the building, in reality there is a need for clean transitions from tiled entryways and foyers to adjacent floor coverings, such as hardwood or carpet, particularly in residences.  Floor profiles are used to finish and protect tile edges at these transitions, with sloped profiles available to address height differences between tile coverings and adjacent floor coverings. In fact, many of these profiles provide slopes that comply with the guidelines in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Entrances that combine beauty with durability

Ceramic tiles are durable, hygienic, and offer a wide range of design options, making them the ideal covering for entryways and foyers. A comprehensive system approach as presented above will help ensure an attractive entrance into a home or public building that successfully combines beauty and utility with long-term durability.

Marazzi Architectural Ventilated Wall System creates sustainable rainscreen

When the Evanston, Ill.-based professional design partnership BEHLES + BEHLES wanted a sustainable facade as part of the green design strategy for the branch banking facility of First Bank &Trust, the firm turned to Marazzi Architectural.

BEHLES + BEHLES closely collaborated with Marazzi Architectural representatives on the new LEED-Gold recognized facility, located within the Village of Skokie, Ill. Marazzi Architectural’s Ventilated Wall System was selected as one of the most visible elements of the sustainable design strategies implemented for the project.

DTI of Illinois, based in Aurora, Ill., installed approximately 5,200 square feet of Marazzi Architectural’s white and gray Monolith porcelain stoneware in rectified, large-format 12”x24” and 24”x48” modules on the specially-engineered, site-specific aluminum framework by Jurij Podolak, architectural engineer, CSI, ASCE, AAWE, associate AIA, and founder of VF Engineering (ventedfacades.com). The Monolith series, supplied by Great Lakes Distribution in Madison, Wis., boasts 40% recycled content.

“The Marazzi rep – Jerry Joyce – was absolutely terrific to work with on our initial rainscreen facade project, First Bank & Trust in Skokie, Ill.,” said Brian Castro, president of DTI of Illinois.

“We would NOT have been able to get the project done without his help. There were plenty of challenges, but Jerry was readily accessible at each and every one. He made himself present at the site on numerous occasions. “

Castro said the biggest challenge in this job was the bracket attachment to the building. But Marazzi’s help gave DTI the support needed to handle the situation. “Jerry worked around the clock to provide a solution that was compatible with American construction methods,” Castro added. “Once solved, the actual installation was a learning curve that was quickly absorbed by our union-trained professional installers.”

In Marazzi Architectural’s Ventilated Wall System, continuous external insulation provides uniformity in thermal protection, while the cladding material stops direct sun radiation. Together, they reduce unbalanced temperature distribution (thermal bridges that promote condensation and mold formation) and enhance the energy efficiency of the building.

To maximize these benefits, BEHLES + BEHLES super-sized the layers of insulation both within the building and on the exterior wrap to increase energy efficiencies as well as comfort levels inside the structure.

Other LEED/sustainable design highlights of the project include:

• A geo-thermal heat pump which extracts energy embedded in the earth, allowing for a 25% reduction in energy from non-renewable resources.
• A green roof covering 66% of the roof area of the building, reducing the urban heat island effect of conventional roofing systems.
• An underground site retention system that collects storm water run-off and returns better quantity and quality of run-off water to storm sewer.
• A building site that is a brown field redevelopment, with good access to public transportation and special allowances made for bicycles and low-emitting vehicles.
• A highly-insulated tile rainscreen exterior wall made from 40% recycled material that provides better thermal and moisture conditions for the interior spaces.
• Large floor-to-ceiling windows and high clerestory windows that bring ample daylight into the building, providing a better work environment for building employees.
• Energy efficient LED light fixtures that are used throughout the building.
• Use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures throughout the building that allow for a 42% reduction in overall use of potable water.
• 20% of all building materials obtained from recycled sources.
• 20% of all building materials obtained from regional sources (within 500 miles), decreasing energy use for materials transportation.
• Recycling of 90% of all construction waste, diverting that material away from landfills.
• Low-emitting paints, coatings, sealants, and floorings, creating a healthier work environment for building occupants.

Although the bank has only recently opened and comparative energy savings statistics are not yet available, typical results obtained with Marazzi Architectural’s Ventilated Wall System are up to 1/3 savings on energy usage. The large-format porcelain tile also offers excellent performance, both technical and aesthetic. Abrasion, freeze-thaw, fading, graffiti and harsh weather conditions become non-issues.

The ventilated façade overcomes all of the mechanical phenomena encountered during its lifetime, such as its own weight, suspended loads, external ambient shock, wind loading, deformation in the support structure, temperature or humidity variation, solar radiation, chemical and atmospheric agents.

All the sustainable design objectives were employed to demonstrate the client’s commitment to both the local Village community and the larger environmental community.

“It was so much fun, we’re presently in negotiations for two more larger similar projects,” said DTI’s Castro. “We’re very much looking forward to our next adventure.”

Coverings

Sustainability was celebrated and recognized for the third year running with the PROJECT:Green competition, held at Coverings 2012 in Orlando this spring. Three projects walked away as winners, and three other submissions were also deemed noteworthy in their use of sustainable materials. Winners were represented in the new Coverings Central social media hub. All three winners are defining achievements in design and architecture where sustainability was a core mission and tile and stone were integral to that end. The editors of Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C) magazine joined with Coverings to sponsor and judge the initiative.

Schlüter Systems
Reno distribution and training center

Schlüter Systems’ newly-built 90,000-square-foot distribution and training center in Reno, Nevada was honored with the “Best in Show” Award for Commercial/New Construction (see the cover story of TileLetter, September 2011 for full details of this project – visit http://tinyurl.com/cldnsgg online). More than 41,000 square feet of tile were installed throughout the facility on floors, interior walls and the exterior façade, with 24”x24” porcelain tile applied over a combination of Schlüter®-KERDI-BOARD and Schluter-DITRA-DRAIN.

The washroom sinks demonstrate one of the unique applications of tile. Using Kerdi-Board panels to build the structure and the sloped surface for the sink basin and the Kerdi-Line linear drain for drainage, the vanity and sink are covered entirely in tile.

In an atrium, porcelain tile provided the backing for a “living wall” where the plants that thrive on this vertical surface add oxygen and humidity and act as a bio-filter for the air inside the building. Even the warehouse features 8,000 square feet of tiles, innovatively applied to walls over a radiant cooling system. Schlüter – BEKOTEC modular screened panel formed the platform for the system and integrates with the tile covering to produce a system that reacts very quickly to changes in temperature, and consumes 70% to 80% less energy than traditional systems.

Judges remarked that the project is “a living laboratory, research center and museum for what is possible with ceramic tile and how it can contribute to a healthy, sustainable and lifelong design.”

Crossville
San Francisco Airport

Taking the Commercial/Remodel “Best in Show” Award was San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two, where Crossville’s Color Blox EC tiles – with a minimum of 20% recycled content – were extensively incorporated into the design. This renovation of the airport’s circa 1950s terminal by Gensler earned a LEED Gold rating, the first air terminal in the U.S. to achieve this certification level. Tile, installed by De Anza Tile using setting materials from Custom Building Products, was the featured flooring and wall surface in each of 16 public restrooms, four post-security and four pre-security areas in the terminal. All together, more than 36,160 square feet of the material were used.

The Color Blox EC porcelain tile – supplied by Butler-Johnson Corporation – made up 95% of the tile used in the project, with a band of glass mosaic tile running along the ceiling edge above the vanity/mirror areas comprising the other 5% of tile used. The recycled content in Color Blox EC comes from varying percentages of Crossville’s own waste and from its Tile Take-BackTM Program, which recycles reclaimed, previously-installed tile.

The terminal’s design uses 15% less energy than California’s stringent building code and the reuse of the existing building’s structure saved approximately 12,300 tons of CO2. Low-flow fixtures with a dual plumbing system  take advantage of reclaimed water, and use of daylight reduces the need for electric light in many areas. Aggressive recycling policies for all tenants reduce the airport’s waste generation and carbon footprint.

Crossville
Chicago Federal Building

Named “Best in Show” for Institutional/Remodel was the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago. Crossville again was the lead resource for tile featured in all 78 renovated bathrooms in this Mies van der Rohe-designed architectural landmark. The 57,000 square feet of new tiles installed in the project by Trostud incorporated recycled tiles, toilets, sinks, urinals and drinking fountains that were removed from the building as part of the renovation, then subsequently crushed and made into new, custom porcelain tile. An estimated 102,000 pounds of end-of-use porcelain material were diverted from this building and recycled by Crossville for this closed-loop project. There was 13,750 square feet of white 12”x24” tile with 50% pre-consumer recycled content and 43,464 square feet  of grey 24”x24” tile with approximately 48% post-consumer recycled content. The project was the inspiration for the new line of Shades by Crossville porcelain tile, launched this year. Crossville is the first tile manufacturer to be certified by SCS for its waste recycling processes for fired and filtrate waste.

No-VOC and low-VOC MAPEI setting materials were used; tile was supplied via Virginia Tile.

Inspiration and Ideas 

Three additional project submissions were acknowledged for offering inspiration on sustainability via use of tile or stone. These noteworthy projects celebrated in the PROJECT: Green Ideas Center include:

Subway Restaurant, Kokomo Town Center, Kokomo, IN.
Idea 1: Use recycled/reclaimed materials

Reclaimed/recycled limestone salvaged from a central Indiana school and church and other former projects was used for both interior and exterior surfaces, providing a distinctive aesthetic while eliminating need for newly quarried stone.

Floor & Décor, Norwood, NJ
Idea 2: Consider manufacturers you are sourcing from and their sustainable practices

This 2011 PROJECT: Green Honorable Mention was cited this time around for a residential bathroom renovation where the utmost consideration was given to the manufacturers who were sourced as much for their sustainable practices as for their sustainable products. Eco-friendly Porcelanosa 12”x25” tile products from the Lino Blanco line were used for surface finishes. Porcelanosa has been an ISO 14001 certified organization since 2004 and employs a range of sustainable practices in its operations, from recycling cardboard packaging, recycling plastic wrap, converting heat from its kilns to electricity and using filters to reduce dust emissions.

Matt Kline Associates, Alexandria, Va.
Idea 3: Be sensitive to the environment of the space

This distributor of tile, stone and other surfaces renovated the family’s own kitchen, cleaning and reusing bricks from the back wall in the project. There was very little demolition waste in the project due to its reuse or recycling back into the project. In addition, highly sustainable products were selected such as hand-painted tiles surrounding the brick oven and backsplashes from a California studio employing low-tech processes and excellent environmental practices. Long-wearing, eternally fashionable, practical, and easily-recycled Blue Eyes granite was used on the counter work surfaces and a special cut of Calacatta Gold marble was used on the islands.

For full  details, visit www.coverings.com and click on Attendees & Press, then on Special Programs  or enter http://tinyurl.com/6necdtw into your browser.

NTCA Benefits Box – August 2012

The NTCA Executive Committee is currently revising the Association Strategic Plan for 2013/2014. It will be presented to the Board of Directors at Total Solutions Plus, taking place October 27th-30th in Palm Springs, Calif.

One of the main objectives identified for the NTCA is to continue to save our members money and find them work. Our mission is simple: eliminate any confusion or objections about why a tile contractor or business would NOT be a member of the NTCA. Here is a quick snapshot for those who are not yet members of the NTCA to consider:

Total NTCA Membership
Cost Per Year: $500
(Monthly billing of $45 on credit card or direct draft available)
Benefits of your membership: saving you $$$$$$$$

• Partnering For Success: $1,500 of free Product Vouchers (You get to pick the vendors with which you wish to partner. This benefit alone offsets your membership and allows you to actually MAKE money!)
• Free subscriptions to TileLetter and TADA magazines
• Free technical advice from association staff (over 150 years of industry installation, sales and technical experience)
• Strong voice on the development of industry standards (our members fight for the tile contractor)
• Free access to the NTCA Reference Manual (used in both customer and supplier correspondence)
• Discounted registration for  the Certified Tile Installer Program offered by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF)
• Discounted freight on Freightquote.com and Partnership
• Discounted insurance programs in liability, auto, property, workers’ compensation
• A complete low-cost program to assist the tile contractor in developing a marketing plan

These are just a few examples of programs NTCA has established to save you money. We are exploring new programs for 2013 in the health field, discounts on purchases of vehicles for your business, and more. Our staff will continue to strive to find programs that will offset expenses to your bottom line. It does not take a lot of time for you to do the math. Being a member of the NTCA is an easy decision!

NTCA: Dedicated to finding you work

New language in the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and MasterSpec recognizes approved company recognition efforts like the NTCA Five Star Contractor Program and the CTEF Certified Tile Installer Program as viable resources for designers and specifiers to consider. At a minimum, we strongly recommend that those individuals involved in specifying or hiring installers request proven performance of successful projects of similar size and scope. This effort will only protect all NTCA members who are dedicated to the successful installation of ceramic tile and natural stone. Our staff is working on future partnerships with companies that sell ceramic tile and natural stone to consumers and project owners to be  resources for installation referrals and recommendations. We expect several announcements in 2013 that will result in unique opportunities for you and your business. In addition, we will continue to explore developing national account specifications for Certified Tile Installers and NTCA Five Star Contractors.

To obtain more information on NTCA membership, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at [email protected] or call us at 601-939-2071.

Join the hundreds of new NTCA members now and see why your association makes perfect sense for your business!

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