NTCAU – Regional Training Event mid-year wrap up

Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

Members are always asking me about training opportunities. Well, this month I wanted to promote regional training. 

At the start of the year, NTCA announced that it would offer regional day-long events in each of its 12 regions throughout 2018. As we close in on the midway point of the year, NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein has been traveling the country training NTCA members on one of two topics. Depending on location, he could be leading a day-long training in Industry Standards/Substrate Prep/Large-Format Tile or Gauged Porcelain Tile/Panels. 

Industry Standards/Surface Prep Large-Format Tile

The Industry Standards/Surface Prep/Large-Format Tile session starts with classroom lessons on tile industry methods and standards using ANSI resources. From there, class members learn how to use and navigate the TCNA Handbook. The attendees spend the rest of the day in a physical, hands-on working setting. Heinlein works with the class to check substrate flatness on floors and walls, general examination of framing systems, and proper installation of cementitious backer units. He then reviews various surface prep methods before releasing the attendees to work with the prep materials. 

Attendees are teamed into small groups to explore proper materials and tools for patching and rendering a vertical substrate to meet industry tolerance for large-format tile. The small groups then experiment with and pour self-leveling underlayment (SLU). 

When all substrates have been properly prepared and flattened, the class advances to proper mortar selection, mixing, trowel selection, mortar coverage, and installation techniques for large-format tile. When this event was held in Portland, Ore., Dirk Sullivan, owner of Hawthorne Tile, sent 10 installers with various levels of knowledge. Sullivan stated, “Training and education are key to the success of my company, and more importantly, the industry as a whole. The regional training event that was held here in Portland this past March was a fantastic opportunity for our installers as well as community here in Portland to see firsthand the hands-on [demonstrations], standards, techniques and materials used for successful, by-the-book installations. More please!” 

Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels

The Gauged Porcelain Tile/Panels (GPTP) course begins with streamlined overview of industry standards, then delves into ANSI A137.3 and ANSI A108.19, which have recently been approved and are specific to this new product.

After the classroom work, attendees relocate to the work area to learn about the tools that they will use during the day. Every attendee will join a small team to set a full-sized panel on either on a floor or wall substrate. As the teams work through the process, Heinlein offers tips and tricks to lead to a successful installation.

Visalia Ceramic Tile, Inc., was one of the first locations to hold the GPTP course. Sam Bruce, president, stated, “As a company, a handful of our crews have installed GPTP, but this training gave us the opportunity to have every tile setter get a high level of education and instruction of what GPTP is and how different the installation can be. The training put Visalia Ceramic Tile in a position to confidently send any tile setter to a project where GPTPs would be installed.”

Testimonials

Still not convinced that you should consider attending or sending your team? Well, here is some feedback from others who have attended:

Woody Sanders, Owner, D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting: “The regional event was a tremendous opportunity that we took full advantage of. The efforts and preparation of the NTCA, along with the workshop sponsors could not go without being noticed and applauded. With the popularity of GPTP growing and the recent completed standards being published, this training focused on GPTP from start to finish. Furthermore, the event focused on proper techniques with hands-on training. This is why a few of my apprentice setters and I attended. Looking back, I should have brought my entire staff, but coming out of Coverings’ Tiny House [Installation Design Showcase] last week, we needed to get back to work.”

Rod Owen, Owner, C.C. Owen Tile, stated: “We had the opportunity to send a diverse group of our men for the Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels training. They ranged from master journeymen to first-year students in our Apprentice Training Program here at C.C. Owen Tile Co.

“The training gave the opportunity to discover new, exciting materials and methods of installation while emphasizing the absolute necessity for a strong core foundation of time proven methods,” Owen continued. “While our veterans were realizing the importance of staying in the know of their ever-changing industry, the apprentices were digesting the many aspects of an industry they have just begun a career in. 

“It’s great to see these guys the several days after the training session because there is a synergy that comes from these sessions: the guys learning something new, and the guys realizing the company cares about their professional growth and development as well,” Owen said. “It’s also intriguing when we tell the general contractor we are pulling guys off their jobsite for the day. As a specialty contractor, logic would tell you that the GC will have a fit but to our disbelief most are in support when you tell them it’s a training session.

“More importantly, the NTCA regional event was an opportunity for our tile setters to experience the tile industry in a different way than they are used to,” Owen concluded. “Meeting Mark, Robb and David Gillespie of Crossville and other superstars in the industry who have a passion for tile was a little astonishing. Receiving the high level of training and event type atmosphere was in a way a version of Total Solutions Plus or Coverings. Our tile setters left this event motivated, refreshed and eager to enhance their skills in the trade, the same way that the national events do for me.”

Due to the magnitude of hands-on work and training by Heinlein, class sizes are limited to the first 20 registrants. In many cases, we are also unable to accept attendees without a registration and don’t have room in the training area to allow people to just stay and watch. If you decide to register, no matter which training event you attend, you are going to learn something even if you think you are an expert already. The next regional training event is in Elk Grove, Ill., on July 13th. To learn more about regional events available in your area, visit  https://bit.ly/2Lccbq6.

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

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

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

This year’s judges included: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

GRAND PRIZE
COMMERCIAL ELITE
By David Allen Company

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

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

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

Residential

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

Commercial

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

Commercial Elite:

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

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

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

Clean the World volunteers at Coverings assemble hygiene kits for homeless veterans

NTCA, MAPEI and Florida Tile sponsor initiative

An industry outreach to the local community at Coverings 18 in Atlanta this year took the form of four teams of volunteers meeting Monday afternoon, May 7 in a friendly competition to assemble 800 kits of hygiene and toiletry products to be delivered to area homeless veterans.

Four volunteer teams of 8-10 people each compiled 200 hygiene kits to be delivered to area homeless veterans by Clean the World.

Friendly competition between teams resulted all 800 kits being assembled in less than 20 minutes! Much laughter ensued! Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 10-person team from NTCA, MAPEI, Florida Tile and industry press each enjoyed camaraderie and fun for a worthy cause as they put soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste combs, razors, socks, and a card with a personal message into a plastic bag that Clean the World Atlanta (https://cleantheworld.org) distributed to area homeless veterans.

The MAPEI Team. Gerald Sloan and Martin Brookes jumped ship to fill in some spots on the NTCA team once things were underway. Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video

 

The Florida Tile Team.
Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Press Team (missing: Terri Sparks).

The winning NTCA Team!
Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Tile’s Ashley Donaldson and MAPEI’s Dan Marvin coordinated the overall effort, with Becky Serbin and Jim Olson overseeing the NTCA team, and TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin organizing the press team.

“Other trade shows have done a good job with community outreach programs,” said MAPEI’s Marvin. “This year will be the starting point for larger efforts in the years to come.”

Each team assembled 200 kits in about 20 minutes, with the NTCA Team coming in first. All members of this winning team received a gift certificate from show management company Taffy Event Strategies.

“It was a lot of fun to work with peers and colleagues to kick the show off with friendly competition for a good cause,” TileLetter’s Goddin said. “Thanks to everyone who took part!”

 

The jubilant volunteers.
Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video

 

Contractors visit a dozen installation products exhibitors in 65 minutes with NTCA tour

Contractors visiting Coverings ‘18 May 8-11 in Atlanta had the opportunity to partake in a full schedule of educational conference sessions, special features on the show floor like the Installation Experience, Installation Design Showcase, demos on the Installation Demonstration Stage, Quickfire sessions on a variety of topics and of course the amazing array of tile and stone products and setting materials, tools and associated products.

One great way to get a crash course of what’s available for contractors was to take part in a NTCA Tour, given Wednesday and Thursday of the show. This tour, led by NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson with assistance from member volunteers and Ally Jenkins from show management company Taffy Event Strategies, originated from the Contractor Lounge and led participants on a journey through 12 exhibitors in a little over an hour.

Here are the highlights:

Raimondi/Donnelly Distribution : Lindsey Madrid introduced tour participants to the Italian-made RLS leveling system, Buzon pedestals and a range of cutters and blades. A new product is the Roboslab, a hydraulic-operated mobile lifter for gauged porcelain tile panels.

European Tile Masters: Ben Szell showed a range of products and tables for handling, moving and working with gauged porcelain tile panels.

Roboslab hydraulic-powered GPTP panel lifter at Raimondi/Donnelly Distribution

European Tile Master’s (ETM) Ben Szell talked to the group about the company’s line of tables and handling devices for GPTP panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USG: USG’s Leo Pena displayed USG’s Shower System featuring Durock with EdgeGuard. This improved edge protects again blowouts. USG also offers the ability to custom configure a shower project, with materials easily sent to the site or contractor via UPS.

RUBI: Albert Mendez demonstrated the company’s TZ Cutter, as well as a vacuum attachment that eliminates dust from cutting tile and stone products.

 

USG’s Leo Pena talks about USG’s custom shower program, standing in front of a display of Durock with EdgeGuard.

At RUBI, Albert Mendez shows a vacuum tool that eliminates dust when cutting holes in tile or stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schluter: Bobby Linam talked about DITRA-HEAT, which combines an uncoupling mat with a thermal break with customizable heating cables for electric heat installs. He also talked about the range of Schluter’s edge protection profiles, in metallic or textured powder coat styles, as well as movement joint products.

MAPEI: Brian Pistulka talked about the company’s Planitop 330 Fast quick-setting, polymer-modified, fiber-reinforced, cementitious rendering, patching and leveling mortar for interior and exterior walls, floors and submerged areas as well as Mapeguard UM uncoupling membrane, Flexcolor 3D translucent, iridescent ready-to-use grout, and mortars that conform to ANSI 118.5 for gauged porcelain tile installations.

Bobby Linam discussing DITRA-HEAT at Schluter.

At MAPEI, Brian Pistulka tells the group about Planitop 330 Fast Patching and Rendering Mortar, Flexcolor 3D translucent and iridescent grout and other MAPEI products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tile Eze: Niels Mierendorff discussed the company’s Keil concealed anchoring system for ventilated facades which is proven in extreme weather conditions and offers a simple three-step process that allows for panels to be hung as easily as a picture. In addition, Tile Eze demonstrated its automatic grout cleanup machine, which cleans 1,000 sq.ft./hour residentially and 1,500 sq.ft./hour commercially.

Lackmond: Justin Thomas demonstrated the Beast 10” saw and the Beast B-BTEC Rail Saw.

Neils Mierendorff at Tile Eze presented information about the KEIL concealed anchoring system for ventilated facades.

At Lackmond, Justin Thomas talked about the BEAST line of saws and cutters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CUSTOM: Russell Brown discussed the benefits of SpeedSlope Rapid Setting Sloping Mortar and RedGard SpeedCoat for speeding waterproofing and tile setting in shower installations.

LATICRETE: Spencer Maheu conveyed the benefits of STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack, which is the first heat diffusion additive designed exclusively for the STRATA_HEAT electric floor heating system. The STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack eliminates cold spots between wires, reduces energy cost by 15%, and ensures heat from the STRATA_HEAT wire is distributed evenly throughout the adhesive.

LATICRETE’s Spencer Maheu explaining the STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack technology and the STRATA_HEAT radiant heating system.

CUSTOM’s Russell Brown told contractors about the SpeedSlope Rapid Setting Mortar and RedGard SpeedCoat waterproofing for fast shower installations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEC: Loren Doppelt told the group that with TEC’s Ultimate 6 Plus Mortar (TEC 487), projects can be grouted in as little as six hours. The product has a two-to-three hour pot life and 60 minute working time.

Loren Doppelt at TEC talked about Ultimate 6 Plus Mortar, for set to grout in six hours.

 

Exhibitors handed out information, cards and giveaways, with contractors returning after the tour to discuss products individually with suppliers.

TILE PERSON OF THE YEAR AND JOE A. TARVER AWARD BESTOWED BY NTCA AT COVERINGS 2018

 

 The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, recognized industry leaders at its Annual Awards Ceremony, during Coverings 2018 on May 10, 2018. Over 200 guests were present to see the NTCA honor two exceptional individuals for their unsurpassed dedication and leadership with​in the tile industry.

David Allen Company’s Chris Walker (l), NTCA’s Tile Person of the Year, with NTCA President Martin Howard

The NTCA’S 2017 Tile Person of the Year​ ​award was presented to Christopher Walker, Vice President of the David Allen Company (DAC). ​To date, Chris has logged more than 32 years as ​both a manager and installer within the tile industry. ​In addition to his time spent at DAC, he concurrently serves as 1st Vice President of the National Tile Contractors Association, Chairman of the American National Standards Institute A-108 Committee, Chairman of the US Technical Advisory Group for ISO T-189​ and is on the Board of Directors – Associated Builders &​ ​Contractor (ABC) of Virginia​. ​Chris has also been a voting member of the NTCA Methods and Standards and Technical Committee and TCNA Handbook Committee for many years.

“Chris is a recognized industry leader and expert; serving our industry and the NTCA for his entire career,” stated NTCA’s President, Martin Howard.  “A true professional, he is most definitely deserving of this distinguish​ed recognition.”

Daltile’s John Cousins (center with plaque) winner of the Joe A. Tarver Lifetime Achievement Award, with (l to r) NTCA’s Jim Olson, Bart Bettiga, Joe Tarver and NTCA President Martin Howard.

John Cousins, Vice President of  Daltile, received the Joe A. Tarver Lifetime Achievement Award, offered to a leader in the tile and stone industry who dedicates his/her career to advancing ​the trade. John joined Dal-Tile in 1979 after a brief time as an accountant with Ernst & Ernst. ​He spent several years managing the Chicago area Daltile Sales Service Centers. When Daltile merged with American Olean, he assumed the role of Regional Manager of the​ firm’s​ Home Center business. In 1997, John was named Daltile’s Midwest Region General Manager and in 2004, John accepted the additional responsibility of​becoming General Manager for Canada. ​He assumed his current role, Vice President of Sales, in September 2008. ​John Cousins believes strongly in listening to customers and building a company team to exceed customer expectations.

​”Throughout his distinguished career, John has dedicated himself to moving our industry forward,”  ​declared Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the NTCA. “He is known for his tireless efforts and contributions to the tile industry and our association.”

 

NTCA Announces Recipients of the Tom Ade Scholarship Award at Coverings 2018

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, announced recipients of its Tom Ade Scholarship Award at Coverings 2018.

Tom Ade Scholarship Award recipients (l. to r.): Heather Sinclair; Olivia Owen; Nicholas Certeza; Madison Walker: and Hannah Stovall.

This program was established by the NTCA to provide educational opportunities at the ​college or trade​ level​ for children or grandchildren of NTCA contractor members. It was respectfully named after Tom Ade of Filling Marble & Tile in New Jersey, a former NTCA regional director and a previous recipient of the NTCA’s Ring of Honor and Tile Person of the Year Awards. Through his generosity and selfless support of NTCA ​training and education, this scholarship program continues to thrive.

S​cholarships were presented by Bart Bettiga, NTCA’s Executive Director, during the Association’s Awards Night on May 10th to five students, selected out of 37 nominees.  ​Bettiga commenced the presentation by declaring​,​ “This year, the NTCA is giving $20,000 to highly deserving students. Due to such outstanding entries, the NTCA decided to award $4,000 each to five individual students.”

The winners are as follows:

  • Madison Walker, freshman at Northern Virginia Community College, majoring in biology with a minor in organic chemistry. Madison aspires to continue her studies, work on the Medical College Admissions Test and attend medical school. ​She is the daughter of NTCA’s First Vice President, Chris Walker and his wife Elena​.
  • Olivia Owen, recently accepted into the University of Georgia with plans to major in criminal justice. She carries a 4.25 GPA and balances academics with other extracurricular activities both on campus and at her church. ​Olivia is the daughter of Rod and Melinda Owen, owners of the Five Star Contractor Company, CC Owen Tile of Jonesboro, Georgia.
  • Nicholas Certeza — nominated by his​ former​ ​captain, Nicholas recently completed active duty in the US Army and is a member of the Texas Army National Guard. This scholarship will help offset costs not covered by ​the​ GI Bill for his continued higher education studies. ​Nicholas is the son of Elizabeth Lambert and stepfather Dan Lambert, NTCA Five Star Contractors Lambert Tile & Stone in Colorado.
  • Heather Sinclair, full​-​time wife, mother, employee and student, pursuing a business degree at University of Phoenix. She overseas six Goodwill stores throughout Central Iowa. Heather is the daughter of NTCA contractor member John Walker, with whom she worked side​-​by​-​side throughout her childhood,​ in his tile business.
  • Hannah Stovall​, ​​a dance major and member of the Dean​’​s List at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Hannah aspires to earn her MBA and further her dance career getting involved in choreography, production and eventually, ​becoming ​a dance professor. She is the daughter of BJ and Gerri Stovall of Mr. David’s flooring in Frankland, Illinois.

NTCA Five Star Contractors showcase creativity at Coverings’ Installation Design Showcase

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, will have its Five Star Contractors participating in the Installation Design Showcase – featuring “tiny houses,” during Coverings 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  The showcase will be located at booth 8804, Hall C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Installation Design Showcase is a must-see at Coverings. The Showcase will feature three tiny houses each highlighting a different design aesthetic. Three NTCA Five Star Contractors will collaborate with top designers, exhibiting synergy between beautiful design and exceptional installation.

This year’s three tiny houses will have tile installed by the following NTCA Five Star Contractors:

CG Villa – Installation by J&R Tile of San Antonio, TX.

“We are proud to feature our staff of professional certified and advanced certified installers for the second year in a row,” stated Erin Albrecht, chief operations officer of J&R. “Being a part of this Showcase allows us to demonstrate industry-standard techniques via qualified labor installations. We look forward to show how crucial experience, attention to detail, and being centered and balanced is imperative on such a complex project.  Substrate prep and movement joints are so essential for a moving small space, such as a Tiny Home. We at J&R pride ourselves on our field personnel having the ability to communicate and educate owners and architects. Problems solve themselves when you pride yourself on execution of design intent with a highly skilled, educated staff that shares the same vision and core values.”

J&R’s Erin Albrecht (l.) with Coverings Industry Ambassador Alena Capra during the reveal of the 2017 IDS Tiny House project.

Luxe Cottage – Installation by Visalia Ceramic Tile of Visalia, CA

Sam Bruce, president of Visalia (also participating for a second year) commented, “There are many aspects to the tile industry, starting from manufacturing, distribution, sales, design, products and tools.  Each leads to the final installation process. The Installation Design Showcase covers each step of this procedure. In particular, it allows us to exhibit the importance of creating a relationship with the designer. As an installer, our job is to bring a designer’s vision to reality through a quality tile installation using the right methods and standards. Clearly, we need to listen in order to best understand what the designer is trying to achieve. At times, we must educate designers so they understand these methods and standards, as well.  When this sort of teamwork happens, solutions are created which lead to successful projects.”

During the 2017 IDS Tiny House reveal, Alena Capra (c) interviews designer Kim Lewis (l) and Visalia Ceramic Tile’s Sam Bruce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Modern Living – Installation by DW Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting Inc. of Marietta, GA

Woody Sanders, founder of D.W. Sanders commented, “The Installation Design Showcase offers the construction industry as a whole and the tile industry, in particular, to witness newly developed methods of installation and techniques now entering the market. This sparks discussion to interface with peers of how the products would be used in their markets. Furthermore, it places a spotlight on qualified tile contractors to showcase their talented employees.”

Each of these installation companies has successfully completed the NTCA Five Star Contractor recognition program and employs installers certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. “Without question, we love the opportunity to showcase the technical as well as artistic capabilities of our Five Star Contractors,” said NTCA Five Star Program Director Amber Fox.

“The tile industry believes strongly in the quality of workmanship offered by NTCA Five Star Contractors,” continued Bart Bettiga, executive director of the NTCA. “Many manufacturers recommend Five Star contractors to their customers on extremely challenging projects. This Showcase brings these type of complex projects to real world scenarios; giving attendees the opportunity to interact with the contractors and observe the installations from beginning to end.”

To obtain Five Star status, contractors must be a member of NTCA, and complete an application process that includes submitting examples of work, reviews and recommendations from peers and customers and proven commitment to service, quality, safety and superior job performance. Five Star Contractors are also required to certify a minimum of 10 percent of their installers through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer program or have completed a three-year apprenticeship program approved by the Department of Labor.

New Facebook group established for Spanish-speaking tile installers/Se ha establecido una nueva página en Facebook para instaladores de habla hispana.

Luis Bautista

In NTCA’s continuing effort to promote information, education, camaraderie and networking among tile installers, NTCA’s Technical Trainer Luis Bautista recently established a Facebook page dedicated specifically to Spanish-speaking tile installers.  The Latin Tile Masters page is a closed group that can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1631338940290425/.

“Our purpose for creating this group is to help every installer be a master professional who installs with excellence, and to provide a place to share andlearn together to implement best practices and standards in the industry as set forth by TCNA, NTCA, CTEF and others,” Bautista said. “If you are an installer or involved in the tile industry we invite you to join us in developing mastery in our field and having a good time while we do it.”

Visit the page to join, or if you have questions, contact Luis at [email protected].

 


 

El esfuerzo continuo de NTCA es de promover información, educación y conexiones entre los instaladores, y Luis Bautista, entrenador técnico de NTCA,  recientemente estableció una página en FaceBook dedicada especialmente a instaladores de habla hispana.
Latín Tile Masters es un grupo privado al que se puede acceder por aquí: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1631338940290425/.

“El propósito de crear este grupo es para ayudar a cada instalador a ser un maestro profesional con excelencia y para proveer un lugar para compartir nuestras experiencias y aprender juntos a implementar los estándares de la industria establecidas por TCNA, NTCA, CTEF y otros,” Batuista dice. “Si usted es un instalador de baldosas/azulejos de habla hispana o está involucrado en la industria de cerámicas le invitamos a que se una con nosotros a adiestrarnos y al mismo tiempo divertirnos por este medio.”

Entre a la página para hacerse miembro, o si tiene preguntas , contacte a Luis en [email protected].

 

 

Ringing in the new year with new educational opportunities

By Becky Serbin, Training and Education coordinator

As we start a new year, each of us typically reflects on the previous year and then decides to make resolutions that hopefully we will keep through the month of January.

Well, I wanted to do something similar to start the year.

We completed one full year of offering an online system for training. Within that time, we created several new introductory courses for new hires, moved to a new learning management system to house NTCA University, and created a pricing structure going forward so that all members – no matter the size – could afford to sign up and take courses.

In case you haven’t heard, NTCA University is a member benefit so we wanted to make sure that it was affordable for all members. You can have users come together in a meeting, so only one login is required for your company – or you could have a login for each user. It is up to you.

Here’s the current pricing structure:

1 Person – $50

2 People – $99

3-15 People – $149

16-50 People – $199

51-100 People – $299

101-150 People – $399

151-200 People – $499

Keep in mind that NTCA’s Partnering for Success program now has a $50 voucher for the NTCA store that contractors can choose as one of their vouchers. That means that if you are a one- person shop and choose to use the $50 voucher for access to NTCA University, you would have access for free to the site for the whole year.

To purchase your subscription, you can visit the NTCA store at https://tile-assn.site-ym.com/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=490398 to make your purchase (or enter http://bit.ly/2taYmOO in your browser).

So what are our resolutions for the year? As I said, many of us break our resolutions early in the year so I don’t plan to make any resolutions that will be quickly broken, but here are some items that NTCA will be working on this year.

We will continue to develop online training for new hires. So if you have apprentices, this means that we will start working on a three-year setter program.  For all others, you can use these courses to train your new hire on how to plan and set tile.

We will also be working on courses from the Training and Education sub-committees.  The CEU Technical sub-committee is working on courses explaining the necessity of documentation and how to properly document and the CEU Management sub-committee is developing introductory courses to estimating.

We will also be assisting Scott Carothers of CTEF with developing courses for people to take prior to completing the hands-on Certified Tile Installer Test.

Again, it looks like it will be a busy year again in 2018.  If you have any questions or have ideas about courses that you’d like to see us pursue, please give me a call or send me an e-mail. 770-366-2566 or [email protected].

Happy New Year!

Becky

NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick heading to first 2018 NTCA Workshop in Anaheim

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick drove through Albuquerque, NM today on his way to the association’s first 2018 western swing workshop, located at Bedrosian’s in Anaheim, Calif., set for Wednesday night, January 17. He was able to connect with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin, based here,  for a quick lunch at Albuquerque’s famed Owl Café, before continuing his journey across New Mexico, Arizona and into California for the workshop.

NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin in Albuquerque, NM. Roderick drove through Albuquerque from his Missouri home on his way to present the first NTCA Workshop of 2018 at Bedrosians in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, January 17.

The NTCA Workshop program has a new theme for 2018: Tile Matters: Best Practices for Pros. The three-hour program – most often held from 5 pm – 8 pm – includes an hour of networking and catered meal followed by two hours of all new educational presentations and interactive opportunities.

Each workshop will address:

  • OSHA silica dust regulations
  • Standards review
  • Showers/waterproofing
  • Sealants
  • Mortar coverage

This year, not only will participants to the free workshops benefit from the presentations and product/method demos by NTCA Trainer/Presenters, but there will be more opportunities for attendees to have real hands-on experience with the products and methods being discussed.

The following workshops are being held this week:

January 17  

Bedrosians

1515 Winston Road

Ahaheim, Calif.

714-778-8453

[email protected]

 

January 18

Bedrosians

1725 Hacienda Drive

Vista, Calif.

760-724-6400

[email protected]

 

In addition to Robb Roderick, workshops are being presented by NTCA Training Director/Trainer/Presenter Mark Heinlein and NTCA Trainer/Director Luis Bautista. CTEF’s Scott Carothers is presenting CTEF Educational Workshops as well, and kicked the year off with one at Floor & Decor in Buford, Ga., on January 4th.

For more information about workshops and new members-only Regional Training Programs coming to a location near you, visit http://www.tile-assn.com/events/event_list.asp?show=&group=&start=11%2F4%2F2014&end=&view=&cid=12716

or http://bit.ly/2B4uG9J.

 

 

 

 

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