NTCA Benefit Box

My Plan It Traveler:

Vacations at a deep discount

Getting valuable time away with family and friends — or even traveling to industry events to enrich your knowledge of the industry and network with likeminded people — can be costly, when you add up airfare, hotel, car rentals and more. But My Plan It Traveler is a new travel benefits partnership, offered free for all NTCA members (a $49/year value), that helps you trim your travel costs and keep more money in your pocket to enjoy on your time away.

MyPlanITraveler.com is a next-generation, travel membership site that provides wholesale pricing on hotel stays, vacation resorts, car rentals, cruises and travel activities.

As a member you will find insider deals not available to the public, on world-class brands like Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Wyndham, Disney, Hertz, Avis, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and much more. And, there are no blackout dates and no restrictions.

With advanced search technology, MyPlanItTraveler.com finds you the lowest public price on the web and displays it so you can see the amazing savings and value your exclusive membership has to offer. With your signature membership, you will find rates up to 35% lower than what’s available on popular travel sites.

Your free My Plan It Traveler membership entitles you to exclusive access to deep discounts on hotels, car rentals, cruises and tons of fun family activities!You can also earn rewards for shopping online.

My Plan It Traveler offers deals on over 400,000 hotels and resorts, 8,000 car rental locations, theme park and excursion activities, guaranteed lowest rates and a 100% money back guarantee policy!

You can also upgrade your free annual membership anytime after you register for only $69 (That’s $30 off the regular price). With your upgrade, you will be able to basically double your savings.

So, no more searching countless websites for the lowest price on travel. No more second-guessing your deal.  Join the club. The My Plan It Traveler benefit through NTCA will take good care of you.

For more information, visit www.myplanittraveler.com/ntca.

Business Tip – May 2017

NC changes tax requirements on installation labor

 

Labor may now be subject to state sales tax

By Paige W. Smith, Neuse Tile Service, NTCA Region 3 Director

This is an important development in tax laws that affect contractors that is taking place in North Carolina. Important in its own right, it holds even broader importance when one considers that once a single state passes this sort of law, other states will likely consider it or follow suit. Tile contractors should check with their tax accountants about any changes or revisions to laws in their own state related to sales and use tax. Forewarned is forearmed. – Ed.

Tile installation contractors who work in North Carolina should be aware that some of their labor may now be subject to state sales tax. Previous legislative changes had only applied to installers who were also retailers, but, on Jan. 1 of this year a new state law was enacted which requires the application of sales and use tax to all “real property contracts.”

The N.C. legislature has come up with its own statutory definitions of “real property,” “real property contract,” and “capital improvement” as well as a new tax form, E-595E. Tile contractors will most likely fall under the classification of “specialty contractor.” There have been several attempts to clarify which types of work are considered repair/ replacement/ reconstruction/ vs. remodeling, but the distinctions remain open to some interpretation.

The N.C. Department of Revenue Directive issued 11/15/2016 included 15 pages of definitions and “clarifications,” and on 3/17/2017 another 12-page Notice of “Additional Information” was issued. Accountants in the state have issued differing opinions on which aspects of tile work will be taxable, and contractors will definitely want to get in touch with their own tax advisor.

The new law is very confusing as evidenced by the continued “clarifications.” I’ve been to quite a few seminars on how we should interpret the new statute, and each time the answers seem to be slightly different.

Sales tax on repair work

Generally, for any repair work or replacement of existing tile, contractors should now be charging  — and paying to the state — sales tax on the total invoice amount (both material and labor). The sales tax is based on the rate for the county where the work is done. Most installers will want to become “tax exempt” for their purchases so that some material tax will be paid in as “use tax” and some as “sales tax.” It has been explained that those who work exclusively for general contractors will usually be exempt from the new tax on labor IF the tile installer gets the general contractor to complete the “blanket use” portion of the new tax form.

Repairs or replacements in which the tile contractor is including the work of other trade specialists (i.e. a plumber & glass door company) are not so clearly delineated as to whether they are “repairs” or “capital improvements” under the legislation’s definitions. I went to a forum in which even the head of the N.C. Sales and Use Tax Division said he was still trying to figure out how to answer many of the construction industry’s questions.

For now, contractors should be sure to speak with their local tax advisor, set up a system for tracking county tax rates, and charge sales tax on their work when required. The link to the N.C. Department of Revenue’s March notice can be found at www.DORNC.com/taxes/sales/realpropertycontractors

 

President’s Letter – May 2017

It was great to see so many old friends and meet new ones at Coverings in Orlando. I was fortunate to have several opportunities to work in one of the two NTCA booths during the show. This afforded me the chance to meet and talk with many contractors from all over the country working in several different segments of the industry.

I know that we are all challenged to find enough time each day to run a business, finish an estimate, meet with a client, get our crews working in the right direction, meet the payroll and oh yes, everybody’s favorite task, collecting the money we’re owed!!!! Yet that is what we signed up for when we decided to scratch that entrepreneurial itch and start our companies.

So, back to what I learned from these conversations at Coverings: some of our members — and those who haven’t joined NTCA yet — don’t really understand all that we offer to the industry. Early on, I had several encounters where a contractor would say, “I’ve got two minutes before my next meeting, so tell me everything I get if I join NTCA”, while their sales resistance slammed closed like a bank vault.

I changed my strategy to answering their question with a question, “What is your biggest need that will make you more successful and profitable?” This seemed to open a dialog on a different level, and I could explain the education and training available to them through the association. Some chose to sign up and some said they’d think about it. Either way, I hope that I communicated that the NTCA is here to be a resource and advocate for tile contractors. But that’s not all we do.

The staff of NTCA works extremely hard to put together a framework of industry involvement that will represent the tile contractor’s interest. From membership on the TCNA Handbook Committee to the ANSI Committee, to all the groups working with the NTCA Board of Directors on numerous committees, these individuals are tile contractors who donate their time and expenses to participate for the good of the tile industry and specifically for the advancement and protection of the tile contractor — regardless if they are a member of NTCA or not.

Maybe this will help explain a little better. Here is a list of the number of tile contractors working on each of these committees on your behalf.

7 – Tile Council of North America Handbook Committee

6 + 6 Alternates – ANSI A108 Committee

7 – NTCA Executive Board

19 – NTCA Board of Directors

60 + State Ambassadors

27 – NTCA Training and Education Committee

22 – NTCA Membership Committee

11 – NTCA Standards and Methods Committee

19 – NTCA Technical Committee

3 – NTCA Convention Planning Committee

These contractor businesses range in size from two-employee companies to hundreds-of-employee companies, and they cover the residential and commercial markets. Each of them has chosen to give of their time and resources to make this industry better. Your voice is needed and welcome so let us know what’s on your mind and how we might be able to help you. Consider getting involved if you are member and consider joining if you aren’t a member.

Underlying all of this is our strategic objective, which is to see every member of NTCA be a Best in Class Tile Contractor –dedicated to continuing education, training, craftsmanship, integrity and customer service. We all have the choice to purse excellence or accept mediocrity. The NTCA stands for Excellence.

And for those contractors interested in what they get for being a NTCA member, check out the list of member benefits here: http://www.tile-assn.com/?page=Membership.

Keep on Tiling!

 

Martin Howard

President NTCA

Committee member, ANSI A108

[email protected]

 

 

Tech Talk – May 2017

New ANSI Gauged Porcelain/“Thin Tile” Standards debut at Coverings

More than four years of cross-disciplinary industry collaboration and 4,000-plus hours of research from the TCNA Laboratory Services team have culminated in the announcement at Coverings of two new standards: ANSI A137.3, the 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.

Currently known in industry parlance as the “thin tile” standards, the standards use the term“gauged” to cover a range of precise thicknesses that can carry different loads and be used in different ways, taking a similar approach to standardized wire gauges and gauged sheet metal. Two classes of gauged tile products are defined—those for wall applications from 3.5 to 4.9 mm and for floor and wall applications from 5.0 to 6.5 mm.

ANSI A137.3 standardizes the minimum required properties for the products themselves and ANSI A108.19 standardizes the methodologies for installing the products in interior installations by the thin-bed method with specific mortars.

These standards, developed for the benefit of all tile consumers, are the result of a multi-year consensus process of the ANSI Accredited A108 Standards Committee, which maintains a broad and diverse group of participants reflecting stakeholder interests in all aspects of the tile industry.

“Interest in gauged tiles has been growing exponentially the last few years,” says Eric Astrachan, executive director, Tile Council of North America (TCNA), which serves as secretariat of the committee. “Such growth encourages more products to enter the marketplace, but without standards tile consumers would have no way to know what to expect in terms of performance.

Installers especially were asking for standards to allow for installation practices to be developed based on consistent tile properties. Without such, it was feared that problems resulting from an undefined range of products could have hindered growth of this exciting market segment. We are very pleased to announce these standards today and congratulate and thank the many across our industry that worked for years on their development. We hope these standards, the first of their kind in the world, will help lead the way forward to international gauged tile standards.”

A free download of a preview copy is available from TCNA at www.tileusa.com, and a professional publication of both standards will be available for purchase from TCNA in July.

Qualified Labor – May 2017

The Tile Shop, Rubi Tools team up for CTI tests in Lombard, Ill.

Both companies provide perks, benefits to CTI candidates

By Terryn Rutford, Social Structure Marketing

In seven years, the number of Certified Tile Installers has grown from zero to over 1,308. With the establishment of Kevin Insalato as the Regional Evaluator coordinator and a team of 16 Regional Evaluators, the potential to certify many quality installers and elevate the quality of tilework around the country is growing.

Industry sponsors have kept the program going, providing locations for testing, materials, and catered meals and  snacks for CTI candidates. Back in March, The Tile Shop and Rubi Tools teamed up for one of many Certified Tile Installation (CTI) tests at The Tile Shop in Lombard, Ill.

Both companies are providing some great benefits to all CTI candidates. When you register with the Ceramic  Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) to take the CTI test and request to take the test at a Tile Shop location, registration will only cost $200. Once the CTI candidate passes the written test, the hands-on test will be scheduled at a Tile Shop location; if that is successfully passed,  The Tile Shop will pay the balance of the CTI test registration. The program is available nationwide.

Rubi Tools is also providing a bonus to all CTI candidates. Along with a trowel and spacers, Rubi will provide its new Rubi rubber bucket, which is designed to allow installers to hammer out dried mortar or grout without damaging the bucket. The bucket should not only save time, but money as well. In addition to the tool kit, Rubi will also be offering a $50.00 coupon as part of the CTI vouchers provided to every CTI candidate who successfully passes the test.

The CTI test in March was a success thanks to the Tile Shop regional sales manager, Dacy Corlee, and Rafael Rodriguez of Rubi Tools. The CTI candidates at this event were Nicholas Roth from All about Tile in Adrian, Mich., John Martin from John Martin Tile in Decatur, Ill., Greg Twarog from Surfaces 15 in Downers Grove, Ill., Omar Delacruz from Omar’s Custom Flooring in Chicago, Ill., Jamiel Sabir from California Flooring in Manteno, Ill., and Joe Voss from Voss Home in Frankfort, Ill.

For more information about taking the Certified Tile Installer exam, visit www.ceramictilefoundation.org/tile-certification-overview-ctef.

 

 

(l to r) Nicholas Roth, The Tile Shop regional salesmanager; Dacy Corlee, John Martin, Greg Twarog, Omar Delacruz, Jamiel Sabir, Joe Voss, and Regional Evaluator Rafael Lopez.

 

Rubi Tools provides a bonus to all CTI candidates. Along with a trowel and spacers, Rubi provides its new Rubi rubber bucket, which is designed to allow installers to hammer out dried mortar or grout without damaging the bucket, and a $50 coupon as part of the CTI vouchers for those who successfully pass the CTI exam

When CTI candidates request to take a CTI test at a Tile Shop location, registration will be only $200.Once the candidate successfully passes the exam, The Tile Shop will pay the balance of the CTI test registration.  The program is available nationwide

 

NTCA University Update

By Becky Serbin, NTCA training and education coordinator

We have had several members asking why they should purchase NTCA University.  Here are a couple of testimonials on how others are finding it valuable.  Both Mike, a business owner who has registered some of his employees on his site, and Dan – who is relatively new to the industry – are looking for education. Here’s what they have to say about NTCA University:

Mike Degiusti, Terra-Mar, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla., a NTCA Five Star Contractor

“For those of you who are looking for more knowledge of the tile trade and business, I encourage you to look at the NTCA University. After months of procrastinating I finally started the program…and was surprised at how much info there was. The program covers a lot of topics. I will say maybe every module is not for everyone but there are definitely some topics for everyone.

“The beauty is one cost for as many employees you have and you can do it as you have time. In fact while I was watching one of the modules yesterday two of my people came in saw what I was viewing and said they wanted to do it.

“Just a side note for those that don’t know me, I am not saying you have to do it to be a good tile setter. I just think you should check it out. I have been in the tile business in every aspect for over 50 years and I learn all the time. It takes a lot to impress me and this program does. Thank you for reading this and I hope everyone has a great year.”

Mike Diguisti

Dan Heinlein, apprentice for Kerber Tile, Marble and Stone, a NTCA Five Star Contractor in Shakopee, Minn.

Heinlein, who happens to be the son of Mark Heinlein, NTCA technical trainer and presenter, recently entered the tile industry after working in the culinary field. He’s been working as an apprentice since December 2016.

Heinlein explained, “I decided to go into tile setting because it’s a field of construction/measuring with decorative/artistic application. To me it seems like a reasonable balance of the two aspects. I decided to take the NTCA courses simply to have a credible background with working experience, and to keep the wheels churning off the clock.

“I’ve been studying NTCA University online, and these certificates are available at the end of each section for the apprentice stages (0-6 months),” he added. “I’ve taken the 0-6months courses, and the other part I’m getting ready to engage in. The first section of courses was really helpful when confronted with the application of grouting knowledge.”

    

 

Dan Heinlein proudly displays all the certificates he’s earned in NTCA University for the 0-6 month courses. 

Dan Heinlein (far right) with father Mark Heinlein (center right) during a recent visit. Also pictured at left are Dan’s sister Megan and her fiancee Colin Pugh.

No matter your skill level or number of years in the business, there is always something new to learn, something you may have for gotten, or you could just be looking for a refresher on a topic.

Interested in NTCA University? Click on NTCA University at the NTCA webpage, www.tile-assn.com, or contact me at [email protected]

Member Spotlight – Stuart Tile Company

New Five Star Contractor Phil Kozey and Stuart Tile Company in Macomb, Mich.

Family pride sets foundation for excellence and passion

The Kozey family has a long history in the tile industry – over 45 years, according to Phil Kozey, project manager at Stuart Tile Company (www.StuartTileCo.com), in Macomb, Mich. The company now installs mostly commercial projects, specializing in assisted living facilities, car dealerships, and large commercial, as well as some residential projects.

Phil Kozey, project manager, Stuart Tile Company

The company prides itself on its ability to complete projects with very difficult time schedules, but not compromising quality by cutting corners.

“The greatest feeling is when we have worked for weeks — sometimes months — on a job, and finish before the deadline,” Phil said. “I love seeing the happy faces of the owner/GC. It makes me feel accomplished when I see the finished project.”

Stuart Tile Company is composed of mostly family members. “This makes it unique and very personal to me,” he said. In addition to Phil himself, it includes his parents, Janet and John Kozey, as well as two uncles, and some cousins and other highly valued employees.

Kozey noted that Stuart Tile Co. is in fact owned by his mother, Janet Kozey, making the outfit a minority/women owned business.  “She is mostly in charge of the administration end of the business,” he said. “My father and I manage onsite day-to-day production.”

Phil started out watching his father in the industry since Phil was a toddler in the early 80’s. He even remembers his dad mixing up thin-set mortar with Portland cement, silica sand, and liquid latex.  “My father always took great pride in the quality of his work, and watching him over the past three decades has made me a perfectionist when it comes to the detail of our work,” Phil said.

Stuart Tile Company rejoined NTCA three years ago after a hiatus, and since then has been going strong in the association.

“Joining the NTCA and becoming a Five Star Contractor has relit a fire in my passion for the industry,” Phil said. “Tile has been a huge part of my life since I was a small child. I am a second-generation tile installer, but to be honest, I was starting to get burned out on the tile business entirely. Approximately three years ago I started researching NTCA, and it kind of helped me look at the whole industry in a new light. It taught me how and why the products work, and how they are made.  It offered great opportunities to talk with people with similar passion and interest. The NTCA has definitely opened a doorway to keeping me in the loop with ever-changing technology, products, and methods and standards. Since Joining the NTCA I have gained knowledge — and even confidence — in my methods, via the TCNA Handbook and NTCA Reference Manual. I have discovered a community of like-minded professionals that actually care about the installation, and this is something I plan on being a part of for as long as I am in the tile industry,” he said.

Stuart Tile has recently been awarded and now recognized as a NTCA Five Star Contractor. “It is a great honor to recognized by an organization that has such high standards,” he added.

The company has two Certified Tile Installers, but aims to have all its setters be certified. “I can see that our Certified Tile Installers are proud of their certification, and they should be — it’s an accomplishment,” he said.

Not immune to occupational hazards of working in the industry, late in 2015, Phil started having respiratory issues and was diagnosed with a form of COPD. “I believe this is from all the silica/cement dust I was breathing through all the years of mixing, grinding without proper dust mask protection,” he said. “This is why I feel so strongly about proper dust containment/equipment. I will not even prep a floor without a mask now.”

Phil considers it an honor to represent NTCA as a Michigan State Ambassador since 2015. “It has been because of the NTCA I have formed lifelong relationships and friendships with individuals at some of our top suppliers,” he said. “I am very grateful to the NTCA for the different educational and social events I have been able to attend all over the nation.”

Stuart Tile Company installed colorful tile in the brand new Madison Elementary school, the first new school in the district in nearly 40 years. The bright colors on walls and floors of this technology-centered school keeps kids alert and engaged. Stuart Tile Company installed two radius mosaic walls, 15 bathrooms and hallway tile. For more information, visit www.fox2detroit.com/news/184579-story

 

 

Phil Kozey, speaking at his first NTCA Workshop with Mark Heinlein at Daltile in Farmington Hills, Mich. 

Phil Kozey uses the Mechanical Lippage Tuning System (MLTS) to reduce lippage on this gauged porcelain Laminam wall tile installation. 

 

At the NTCA Workshop at the Farmington Hills Daltile, Phil Kozey (front right) poses with Mark Heinlein (front left), and other Daltile associates in front of the NTCA van. 

 

Phil Kozey preps the floor at the Palace of Auburn Hills

 

Work done at Elevation Burger restaurant. 

Large Format Tile

Addressing challenges with large porcelain and glass-bodied tiles, through the NTCA Reference Manual

The NTCA Reference Manual is an important industry document that approaches challenges in the field from a problem/cause/cure format. It is free with NTCA membership or can be purchased at the NTCA store at www.tile-assn.com. The comprehensive culmination of knowledge, research, development and publication of the efforts of the NTCA Technical Committee addresses many problems that arise in the field, how to prevent them or address them when they occur.

Today we look at the chapter on Large Porcelain and Glass Bondied Tiles, appearing in Chapter 6, page 124 in the 2016-2017 version.

Problem

Loss of bond between bond coat and large porcelain tiles or tiles containing high percentage of glass in the body. Tiles may come off mortar bond coat clean,even with full coverage on backs of tiles.

Cause

Any of the following may prevent problems with large porcelain and glass-bodied tiles.

  • Inadequate contact between mortar bond coat and backs of tiles which may be caused by improper beat-in and using inadequate amounts of mortar, or worn or improper trowels.
  • Use of pure cement bond coat over plastic mortar beds.
  • Use of dry-set mortar without latex additives.
  • Presence of excessive white powder (manufacturer’srelease agent) on back of tile.
  • Bending or deflection of substrates.
  • Differential expansion between tile and setting material.
  • Working on or too early traffic on newly laid tile floors.
  • Shrinkage or setting of substrates due to changes of moisture in structure or movements in the structure after construction is complete.
  • Improperly engineered structure for the installation put into place.

Cure

Any of the following may be a cure to problems with large porcelain and glass-bodied tiles.

  • To secure good contact between tiles and ribs of latex-Portland cement mortar, tiles must be pushed and slid into the mortar using NTCA recommendations for bedding tiles. Backbuttering tiles with a thin, flat coat of latex-Portland cement mortar helps develop a better bond to the tile.
  • On large format tile, a box screed has proven to be an excellent means of controlling the amount of mortar applied to the back side of large tiles. Latex-Portland cement mortar applied to the substrate should be troweled out evenly in one direction – not swirled – with notched trowels. Ribbed mortar on only one surface helps reduce voids and air pockets. This method also produces a smoother, more even surface than conventional backbuttering, which often leaves tiles with excessive lippage.
  • Successful installations of large porcelain and glass bodied tiles require the use of a manufacturer’s recommended latex-Portland cement mortar which meets or exceeds ANSI specifications. Use latex-Portland cement mortars that are more flexible, in addition to having superior bonding capability. Latex-Portland cement mortars bond large porcelain tiles and tiles containing glass in the body, better than more conventional mortars. Mortar fl exibility helps bridge stresses created between substrates and large, unforgiving tiles, reducing possibility of tiles shearing off. Check with manufacturer for exact products recommended.
  • Press or slide tiles into position using NTCA recommendations for bedding tiles. Check to see that uniform contact is being achieved at corners, edges, and the back of the tiles by pulling tile up for examination. Beating-in only of larger tiles generally is not effective. Average contact area shall not be less than 80% except on exterior or wet area installations (see TCNA Handbook for wet area definition) where contact area shall be 95% when not less than three tiles or tile assemblies are removed for inspection.
  • Check tiles for presence of excessive white powder (manufacturer’s release agent) on back of tile. If necessary, brush or remove white powder before attempting to bond tile.
  • Porcelain tiles have extremely low water absorption rates. As a result, the setting time of many latex-Portland cement mortars may be extended. Therefore, working on or exposing the installation to traffic prior to a good bond forming may result in poor performance of the completed job.
  • Proceed with caution when installing large porcelain tiles over substrates subject to bending or deflection. When installing materials with special or unique properties, the code minimum may not be sufficient to provide satisfactory performance. Each project presents its own conditions; consult with owner or builder to determine if any modifications to the structure can be done prior to the installation when you suspect problems or have concerns.
  • Web floor trusses and engineered I-joists are used in ways which weren’t possible with traditionally sawn lumber. Be aware of the conditions you face prior to installation so adjustments can be made if necessary. See NTCA’s document on Installations over Engineered Wood Products for additional information.
  • Require architect or construction manager to locate movement joints in tile work as recommended in the TCNA Handbook. Design, locations, spacing, and actual installation must conform with requirements in the TCNA Handbook and ANSI Standards. Movement joint recommendations apply to residential construction as well as commercial and industrial construction.
  • When faced with installation of large porcelain tiles or tiles with glass in the body, insist on using latex-modified Portland cement mortars when they are not specified. Also, require mortar manufacturers to furnish test results showing bonding and flexural capabilities of mortars and bondability of tiles from tile manufacturers.

 

Images:

 

FEELWOOD, from Ege Seramic is a satin-finished, glazed porcelain with a look of naturally aged and weathered wood. Vintage wood-look 8” x 48” plank tiles are available in three colors (white, grey and brown) floors and/or walls in residential and commercial settings. www.egeseramik.com 

 

Fiandre recently introduced the U.S.-made West Loop, named for the emerging Chicago neighborhood and resembling textured industrial concrete. It features high color variance including 35 shading patterns, with metal undertones. In four colors in 24” x 48”, 24” x 24”, 12” x 24”, 8” x 48”, 12” x 12” mosaic and 4” x 12” diamond.www.granitifiandre.com

 

PreciousHDP from Florida Tile authentically captures the essence and beauty of Calacatta marble, including the stone’s intense and random grey and brown veins that stand out from a crystalline white background, endowing it with a depth and movement that enlivens spaces. Rectified, porcelain floor tiles in a natural finish are available in 12” x 24”, 24” x 24” and 18” x 36”, with rectified ceramic wall tiles in a polished finish, two mosaic offerings, a ceramic wall deco and full package of trims. PreciousHDP is made in the USA of 40% pre-consumer recycled content, is GREENGUARD® and Porcelain Tile certified. www.floridatile.com

Crossville has created a sophisticated, clean concrete look in the porcelain stone Notorious, in the same six colors as the wood-grained plank Nest. Modular sizes include 3” x 15”, 12” x 12”, 12” x 12” mosaic parquet, 12” x 24”, in unpolished and 24” x 24” and 24” x 36” in unpolished/honed. The package includes cove base and bullnose, perfect for healthcare and restaurant applications. Notorious is made in the USA with recycled content and is Green Squared Certified®. www.crossvilleinc.com

Cevisama Review and Trends

Tile of Spain showcases spring tile trends and CEVISAMA 2017 introductions

Tile of Spain (www.tileofspain.com), the association of Spanish ceramic tile manufacturers, recently debuted new product collections at CEVISAMA 2017, the International Ceramic Tile Fair, in Valencia, Spain. From graphic patterns and scalloped shapes, to oxidized metal and distressed wood look effects, the new tile collections bring design to a whole other level.

Highlights of the spring tile trends and new Tile of Spain products showcased at CEVISAMA 2017 include:

Bestile’s Elegance in Cala Dark  is inspired by marble from ancient Greek and Roman times. This classical pattern in 60 x 120 porcelain tile offers the purity and refinement of a white marble in a durable tile.

CAS Ceramica presents a new collection styled by American graphic designer David Carson. Inspired by Carson’s home in the Caribbean – the sun, surf, ocean, moon and stars –the collection of 20 x 20 cm tiles combines graphic illustrations with glossy, intense blues and whites.

Equipe’s Coralstone incorporates irregularities evident in natural stone, right down to the matte and non-slip finishes. Coralstone porcelain stoneware imitates natural stone with great graphic variation and inserts of corals and fossils.  Available in 8”x 8”square and 11 1/2”x 10” hexagon formats in gray and black.

Gayafores introduced the Olson series in soft neutral tones of white, grey and honey. This Nordic style wood-look tile offers the appearance of untreated wood with water damage, but in a beautiful, natural way. The 15 x 90 cm board format can be installed in a variety of ways, including in herringbone patterns.

Grespania rolled out Coverlam products with rich metallic texture in the new Industrial series. The Corten and Iron colors closely recall the look of metal sheets that have been exposed to the elements. Available in 3.5 mm and 5.6 mm thicknesses, and 100 x 300 cm and 120 x 260 cm formats.

Metropol’s Track line was also inspired by metal, this time by the fusion of metals. Track large format tiles are in synch with the latest urban trends, for interiors and exteriors. The line brings all of the unique characteristics of metal into ceramic tile.

Natucer’s unique extruded tiles shine in scallop shapes in the Art Escama collection. The series evokes the movement of waves in drop-shaped ceramics with different surfaces with tridimensional effect. Also from Natucer is the hexagon-shaped Dual collection featuring two different finishes — a flat hexagon tile and a 3D double hexagon tile with an interior crackle effect.

       

Peronda presents Foresta Sawncut, original wood-effect porcelain tile collection, inspired directly by the work of British artist Tom Raffield, a trendsetter in the use of wood for lighting and furniture collections.

Tau Ceramica welcomes more formats, shapes and trendsetting ideas in three collections: Concept, Ascale and Atelier, which allow for creativity and push the boundaries in any design.

VIVES was inspired by fifteenth century artisan Venetian techniques to produce its Portofino porcelain tile collection, which mimics a stracciato effect. Available in a variety of colors, sizes and finishes the Portfino collection is perfect for both floors and walls.

First Spanish tile-setting Standard announced

During the CEVISAMA fair on February 23, 2017, the first Spanish ceramic tile-setting standard was announced. “UNE 138002 General rules for laying bonded ceramic tiles” was officially published earlier in the month, February 2, and is a nationwide standard.

The standard was developed by CTN 128, the Spanish ceramic tile standardization committee, whose secretaryship is held by ASCER, the association of Spanish tile manufacturers.

The standard defines the quality of tiled surfaces and its aim is to establish a set of general rules and associated procedures relating to the design, materials specification, preparation, installation, handover, and care of such surfaces in order to guarantee their quality, durability, technical performance and appearance.

This standard applies generally to all surfaces covered in ceramic tiles of all kinds when bonded onto any type of appropriate substrate.

This is the first nationwide ceramic tile-laying standard and it will act as a very beneficial tool for all the sector’s different stakeholders. The standard addresses the tile-laying process from all viewpoints, outlining the requirements needed to guarantee the quality and durability of these ceramic surfaces.

The Spanish ceramic tile sector has undergone major advances in recent years, leading to its increased complexity and to a growth in types of tile products, installation materials and related construction systems.

In all the sector’s strategic plans, one of the main threats that has been described is the impact of possible claims due to flaws and failures in tiled surfaces. These flaws and failures can have numerous different causes which, in most cases, could be avoided.

Ongoing improvements to the quality of tile-laying processes has been hindered by the lack of a reference standard, drawn up by consensus, that can help to reduce the pathologies that handicap the sector and improve the performance of tiled surfaces.

The standard’s technical guidelines are based on the UNE-CEN/TR 13548 IN report, drafted in accordance with a European consensus, and on other well-proven standards and legislation in the field. It is founded on solid technical knowhow regarding tile-laying procedures, drawn up in a coordinated way by different members of the sector to complement current legislation on tile-laying products.

The standard offers an efficient response to the new reality and complexity of the tile sector, so that its specifications become a mandatory reference in the planning of building projects.

The standard is addressed to all stakeholders involved in the ceramic tile-laying process: tile manufacturers and distributors, tile layers, suppliers of tile-laying equipment and materials, materials specifiers, architects, building developers, contractors, and end consumers.

It was drafted in participatory style,based on a general consensus by the sector’s main stakeholders through AEN/CTN 138, the Spanish ceramic tile standardization committee. Its experts included tile and adhesive manufacturers, tile layers, distributors, suppliers of tile-laying equipment and materials, laboratories, representatives of architects’ associations, and Spain’ s leading associations: ASCER, PROALSO, ANFAPA and ANDIMAC.

Award Winners announced

Tile of Spain Award winners include:

  • Architecture category winner is Two Homes in Oropesa (Toledo) by Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos. A special mention goes to to MM House, Palma de Mallorca by Ohlab, a home designed in accordance with the Passivhaus standard in order to guarantee optimum energy efficiency.

Architecture winner: Two Homes in Oropesa by Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos

  • First prize in the Interior Design category went to  TABA Espazioa by Ibon Salaberria, a space that includes a coffee shop, pizza restaurant and wine bar situated on the ground floor of  Tabakalera, San Sebastian’s new International Centre for Contemporary Culture. A special mention goes to Casa#77 by Raúl Montero Martínez and Emilio Pardo Rivacoba, a project to renovate an apartment measuring just 51 m2  situated in the loft of a housing block in Pamplona’s historic quarter.

Interior Design Winner: TABA Espaziosa by Ibon Salaberria

  • The Final Degree Project Category (FDP)  was awarded to In-Situ: Tools and Technology in Traditional Architecture by M Wesam Al Asali, a student at the University of Cambridge.  This category honors projects undertaken by students at Schools of Architecture in which the ceramic tiles play a central role. A special mention was given to the ‘Como agua de mayo’ project by Belén Collado González, a student at the San Pablo CEU University in Madrid.

Final Degree Project Winner: In-Situ: Tools and Technology in Traditional Architecture by M Wesam Al Asali.

TCNA: By the Book – May 2017

Changes to the 2017 TCNA Handbook address a wide spectrum of issues

Now in its 54th year of continuous publication and slated for release this month, the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation, a compilation of guidelines widely-used in specifying, selling, and installing tile and related installation materials, will include this year many noteworthy changes to existing language as well as wholly new sections. All are aimed at providing more guidance, and improving understanding and problem solving with regard to tile installations.

Referring to the revisions: “They run the gamut,” said Stephanie Samulski, the Handbook technical content manager and secretary of the Handbook Committee for Tile Council of North America (TCNA), which publishes the Handbook. “Anyone specifying, selling, designing, installing, superintending, or otherwise involved with tile should update their technical library with the new edition,” she said. “With the range of new content ratified by the Handbook Committee, there’s something relevant to essentially anyone and everyone working with tile.”

TCNA executive director and Handbook Committee chairman Eric Astrachan gives as examples the new sections “Tile Layout Considerations” and “System Modularity,” which are geared more toward those involved in tile selection and design. As an example of the various revisions to Handbook existing language, he noted the further explanation this year of substrate flatness requirements, which Astrachan calls “essential but too-often ignored.”

Astrachan explained that the Handbook is a vehicle for providing industry consensus, but it’s not a standard and therefore not set up like one, enabling the committee to provide information in non-mandatory language when needed. It’s a particularly useful means of addressing conflicting recommendations or specifications, as can easily occur when a producer or another trade makes a major shift in product or practice in a way that impacts tile installations.

A prime example is the new Handbook section to address the newer type of steel studs commonly referred to as “equivalent gauge” or “EQ” studs. The new Handbook language helps people understand the most important considerations for avoiding tile problems when these thinner studs are used. Samulski noted that “the specific design criteria that are ultimately needed will likely get hashed out in ANSI.”

Other noteworthy changes that 2017 Handbook users will see include significantly more information on how to avoid the undesirable effects of wall-wash lighting on tile installations, new “Visual Inspection of Tilework” and “Design Considerations When Specifying Tile” sections, significant changes to the EJ171 movement joint guidelines, and a new method for tiling an exterior deck or balcony over unoccupied space (tile and stone versions).

To purchase the 2017 TCNA Handbook, visit www.TCNAtile.com.

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