First Ever Certified Sustainable Tile Products Unveiled

After 5 years developing an all-encompassing multi-attribute sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, the very first certified sustainable products are being announced.

Cumulatively, eight major manufacturers of tile and installation materials have hundreds of products that are already certified or will be certified by the start of Coverings on April 17, with yet even more of their products still in the evaluation process and expected to earn certification this year. At least six additional manufacturers have started the certification process for hundreds more products that are expected to be certified within the year.

According to Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America, “This early adoption, within just a few months of the passage of the Green Squaredsm ANSI standard, is a clear indication of the commitment North American manufacturers have made to sustainable manufacturing and sustainable products, in many cases starting years ago when conversations began regarding an industry standard for sustainability. Manufacturers looked at the breadth of their operations and made significant improvements to meet the multi-attribute criteria of the standard. They are to be congratulated for their willingness to do so, and their willingness to bring in outside certifiers to verify and substantiate their claims.”

Only those products independently evaluated and certified by a third party may bear the Green Squared Certified mark, making it easy for specifiers and consumers to select sustainable products and busustainable tile systems. Manufacturers with products already certified are Crossville, Ironrock, and Porcelanite Lamosa. Additionally, Daltile, Interceramic, Laticrete, Mapei, and Marazzi expect to receive notification of product certifications within the next two weeks.

Bonsal American, Florida Tile, Quarry Tile Company, StonePeak, TEC, and Vitromex expect to have Green Squared Certified products by year end.

Green Squared (ANSI A138.1) is the industry standard for sustainable tile and tile installation products. Because sustainability shouldn’t be defined by a single attribute, Green Squared takes a multi-attribute, balanced approach by establishing criteria for environmental and social issues alike. Covered by the standard are environmental product characteristics, environmental product manufacturing and raw material extraction, end of product life management, progressive corporate governance, and innovation.

To be in conformance with Green Squared, a product must meet all mandatory requirements and a specified number (depending on product type) of elective requirements, providing a total package that reflects the full range of environmental considerations.

Products covered by Green Squared include ceramic and glass tiles, grouts, mortars, trowelable membranes, polymer additives, backer boards, underlayments, and crack isolation and waterproof membranes. By seeking out Green Squared Certified products, specifiers can put together total sustainable systems when it comes to tile installations.

The ANSI A108 Accredited Standards Committee representing green building stakeholders, tile consumers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and many other relevant interests approved Green Squared at the end of 2011.

Currently, the approved third party Green Squared certifiers are NSF International, Scientific Certification Systems, and UL Environment. The certifiers conduct worldwide operations and are available to conduct Green Squared certifications wherever tile is manufactured.

For green news, links, and updates, please visit www.tilethenaturalchoice.com and follow @Green_Squared on Twitter.
For a high-resolution image of the Green Squared Certified logo or the Sustainability Criteria Chart for use with your news story, contact Andrew Whitmire ([email protected]).

MAPEI Gives Away $75K in Honor of 75 Years of Excellence

As part of its celebration of Mapei Group’s 75 years in business, MAPEI Americas is rewarding its loyal customers with a sweepstakes worth a total of $75,000 in cash and prizes. During 2012, contractors in the tile, stone and floor-covering installation sectors and in the concrete restoration sector will have a chance to enter the “$75K Giveaway” sweepstakes each time they purchase select MAPEI products. Entry forms and rules are available online at http://www.mapei.com/adv/us/75k_Giveaway/. “We’ll keep everyone updated on the promotion via our Facebook and Twitter presence, in addition to regular communications through our sales force,” said Operational Marketing Manager Steven Day.

MAPEI is giving away $50,000 (U.S.) in cash as the grand prize. The sweepstakes runs from March 1 to Dec. 31, 2012. A drawing will take place on January 4, 2013, to determine the winner of the grand prize, as well as the winners of one Polaris Ranger RZR XP™ 900, four  60″ (152 cm) flat-screen TVs and eight Apple® iPads. Announcements of the winners will take place during the 2013 Surfaces and World of Concrete trade shows.

“Of course, it’s not very often that you get to celebrate 75 years of excellence,” Day said, “and we want to let our customers know that we really appreciate their business.” The sweepstakes will be highlighted at a number of off-road events being held during 2012 in conjunction with Robby Gordon Motorsports’ off-road team, where the Polaris Ranger RZR XP 900 will be featured.

Day is encouraging everyone to join in the sweepstakes: “We feel that 2012 will be a great year for MAPEI, with the introduction of several new products in both our flooring and concrete restoration categories. The $75K Giveaway is a great opportunity for contractors to try these new products along with some time-tested standard products and get a chance at winning the cash and having a great time. So, let’s celebrate!”

About MAPEI

MAPEI Group, with 67 subsidiaries including 58 plants in 27 countries, is today the world leader in the manufacturing of adhesives and complementary products for the installation of all types of floor and wall coverings. The company also specializes in manufacturing other chemical products for building, including waterproofing products, special mortars and admixtures for concrete, products for the restoration of ancient buildings, and special decorative and protective coatings for walls.

Eighteen MAPEI manufacturing facilities are located in the Americas, with headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Florida. MAPEI is an environmentally conscious manufacturer – the company has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001 and a member of the Canadian Green Building Council since 2008. MAPEI Americas is a registered provider to the AIA/CES program and also offers training related to ceramic and stone tile, floor coverings and concrete repair through the MAPEI Technical Institute. The Quality Management Systems of the majority of MAPEI Americas facilities are ISO 9001 certified. Visit www.mapei.com for technical data or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734) for the nearest location.

ConestogaTile presents…Installation Expo 2012

During the third week of June, Conestoga Tile will be presenting the “Installation Expo 2012” to an expected 400 attendees representing 175 dealers, contractors and architectural firms. This wonderful educational opportunity focuses on the current hot topics of tile installations. The program will include product seminars by Laticrete International, Schluter Systems, NuHeat Industries, Trending Accessibilities and Aqua Mix. In addition, there will be 17 tabletop demonstrations from various ceramic tile installation manufacturers. And, the NTCA and CTEF (Ceramic Tile Education Foundation) will be highlighting their organizations and how they can help the industry.

The Installation Expo will begin on Tuesday, June 19th in Harrisburg, PA and then move during the next 2 days to Baltimore, MD on June 20th and Dulles, VA on June 21st. The program will run from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day.

“The tile industry continues to see many improvements and technological advances to the installation products and methods and we want to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn about these changes,” said Jim Vogel, president of Conestoga Tile. “We will have a very full schedule of seminars and demonstrations throughout the day.”

Starting at 10:30 am, Trending Accessibilities will be show casing an incredible curb-less shower pan. Often, installers avoid installing a curb-less shower because it normally involves dropping the floor to allow for the mud pan. In order to drop the floor, they must cut into the joist system and then reinforce the joists so that they do not compromise the integrity of the joist system. The Trending Accessibilities shower pan is a glass reinforced plastic that is only ¾” thick and provides a slope to the drain in accordance to industry standards of ¼ inch over 12”. The pan is adhered directly to the joists. It eliminates the need to cut into the joists and possibly causing a compromise in the joist system.

Laticrete International will be focusing their seminar on “How to properly install Glass Tile.” Our industry has seen a boom in glass tile being used in installations. But often, the installer struggles with glass mosaics in various aspects; such as, proper cutting of the glass to not have chips, ensuring that the proper thin-set is used to create an adequate bond, or having the small mosaics buckle on the wall prior to the setting material curing because of sagging. Laticrete will also address “When is it proper to use a Medium Bed Mortar”. With our industry continuing to see larger format tiles and planks being used in installation, the need for a medium bed mortar has increased. Unfortunately, many installers believe they can use a thin-set method with these tiles and incur problems with lippage and unsatisfactory installations.

Schluter Systems takes the floor in the mid-afternoon to discuss their different building materials for shower systems. Last year, Schluter introduced Kerdi-Board, a multifunctional tile substrate and building panel with a bonded waterproof coating on both sides of the panel. Kerdi-Board comes in several sizes from a 3/16” size to help plumb a wall, ½” size for an easy to install waterproofed shower wall, to 2” thick to build a fully structured wall. Along with their shower kits, the Schluter shower system allows an installer to build a fully waterproofed shower. This year, Schluter is introducing a linear drain to allow for a shower floor to use more than just mosaics.

Aqua Mix will be giving an informative session on “How to solve Grout Problems”. This informative session will explain why various grout problems occur and how to solve the grout problem, but they will also discuss how to avoid these problems in the future. There have been a lot of advancements in grout technology and as an industry we should move away from the traditional sanded and unsanded grouts to the more advanced hybrid grouts that exist today.

NuHeat Industries will finish up the program talking about many different facts about Electronic Radiant Heating Systems so that the installers understand how these different systems work. In addition, they will compare the use of a custom mat versus a standard mat to provide the best heating coverage of a floor.

Also on hand to offer advice and demonstrations are manufacturer representatives from Fin Pan Util-A-Crete, The Noble Company, StarQuartz Grouts, Barwalt Tools, BASF, National Gypsum PermaBase, DeWalt Saws, Ebbe Drains, Imer Saws, No More Slips, Rubi USA, and SuperiorBilt Tools.

Conestoga Tile is a wholesale tile distributor for the mid-Atlantic region since 1958. Over the years, Conestoga Tile has been dedicated to bringing various educational programs to their dealers, contractors and architects. “Providing employees who are well educated about our industry and having opportunities to pass on our education about the new technologies is a major goal of our company” states Jim Vogel. “In order for the tile industry to continue to grow, we need to ensure that the installers have the knowledge to provide superior installations.”

If you would like to receive more information on this excellent educational opportunity, feel free to email Jim Vogel at [email protected] or call him at 717-564-6860.

Technical Experts to Discuss New Installation Standards at COVERINGS

Architects, designers, builders and installers are learning that advances in technology are impacting the tile and stone trade like never before by requiring new standards and methods for installation. Professionals who don’t keep up with these changes risk increased failures or worse yet, becoming obsolete.

Chairman of the National Tile Contractors Association’s (NTCA) Technical Committee, James Woelfel will present the newly approved and important language relating to methods and standards for installing tile, glass and natural stone at Coverings, the world’s largest tile and stone exposition, April 17-20, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The Tile Council of North America’s (TCNA) Handbook, which defines the nation’s standards for tile, glass and stone installation, now addresses a key component to installation success; who is doing the work. “For the first time the handbook will include specification language that will help architects and design professionals recommend a level of installation quality,” explains Woelfel. “Knowledge and experience is a critical factor.”

Discerning homeowners would be astute in following the recommendations according to TCNA Executive Director, Eric Astrachan; “The Tile Council of North America strongly recommends using installers who have demonstrated a commitment to their craft and taken the time to stay current with the latest materials and methods. There are excellent programs to help find those installers: the NTCA Five Star program and the CTEF Certified Tile Installer program are two… for a tile installation with permanence and artistry, find installers who are passionate about their craft. For a permanent finish, the issue should never be who is cheapest, but rather who is best,” Astrachan said.

Astrachan and Woelfel will be joined by Nyle Wadford, President of the NTCA for the new standards seminar. Woelfel and Wadford will also lead a session on “How to pick a quality contractor.”

Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Company in Mesa, Arizona, and Neuse Tile in Raleigh, North Carolina are the only two contractors in the nation to sit on the TCNA Handbook Committee for Ceramic Tile Installation and the ANSI ASC 108 Committee for Ceramic Tile Installation.

Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Company is the only NTCA Five-Star Contractor in Arizona and employs CTEF Certified Installers. Woelfel was recently named NTCA’s “Tile Person of the Year” for his technical knowledge and contributions to the industry.

Visit www.coverings.com or www.facebook.com/CoveringsShow.

About Coverings
Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500

QEP Co., Inc. Expanding Social Media Presence

QEP Co., Inc. has just launched all new social media outlets through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. “These new social network platforms provide QEP Co., Inc. with another method of communicating and engaging directly with our current and future customers,” noted Jamie Clingan QEP Co., Inc. Sr. VP, Marketing “Real time information about our company, products and employees will be posted to keep customers up to date with product launches, sweepstakes and allows them to view and share product how-to pictures and videos.”

Please LIKE, follow and share our QEP Co., Inc.’s brands pages

Facebook
QEP: http://www.facebook.com/pages/QEP/327010034003253

Harris Wood: http://www.facebook.com/HarrisWood

Roberts Consolidated Industries, Inc.: http://www.facebook.com/RobertsConsolidated

Twitter
@QEPTools
@RobertsAdhesives

Pinterest
Harris Wood: http://pinterest.com/harriswood/

LinkedIn
QEP Co., Inc.: http://www.linkedin.com/company/qep

ABOUT QEP CO., INC.

QEP Co., Inc., founded in 1979, is a leading worldwide manufacturer, marketer and distributor of a comprehensive line of hardwood flooring, flooring installation tools, adhesives and flooring related products targeted for the professional installer as well as the do-it-yourselfer. Under brand names including QEP® ROBERTS®, Capitol®, Harris® Wood, Vitrex®, PRCI®, BRUTUS® and Elastiment®, the Company markets over 3,000 flooring and flooring related products. In addition to a complete hardwood flooring line, QEP products are used primarily for surface preparation and installation of wood, laminate, ceramic tile, carpet and vinyl flooring. The Company sells its products to home improvement retail centers and specialty distribution outlets in 50 states and in over 80 countries throughout the world.

LATICRETE Promotes Todd Bartosz to Assistant Regional Sales Manager

Todd Bartosz

LATICRETE, a global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry, has promoted Todd Bartosz to Assistant Regional Sales Manager for the firm’s Indianapolis plant area of distribution. The announcement was made by LATICRETE Regional Sales Manager, Eric Pucilowski, to whom Bartosz will be reporting.

“I am pleased to have Todd join our management team. Since beginning with us in 2005 and working as a Distributor Sales Representative in the greater Chicago and Milwaukee region, Todd has shown exceptional customer service while strategically managing his territory and increasing our market share. In his new role,” Pucilowski continued, “Todd will be taking on cross-territorial responsibilities and help our team continue the growth we have experienced. As a past business owner, Todd already brings Management experience into his new area of responsibility.”
Pucilowski also mentioned that Greg Sherwood remains the Assistant Regional Sales Manager for the Bethany plant (Connecticut South) area of distribution.
LATICRETE International, Inc. is a US-based, family-owned global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry. LATICRETE® products are produced and distributed worldwide in the commercial and consumer channels. The company’s philosophy of innovation and technical expertise has led to an unparalleled reputation and commitment to superior quality, performance and customer service. Manufactured in state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facilities, LATICRETE offers a broad product portfolio including an extensive line of low VOC sustainable products independently certified by GREENGUARD. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SpectraLOCK®, Hydro Ban® and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc. Corporate Website: www.laticrete.com.

Chris Condeni joins LATICRETE as Technical Sales Representative

Chris Condeni

LATICRETE, a global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry, has announced the appointment of Christopher “Chris” Condeni to the Architectural Products Division (APD) Sales Team as Technical Sales Representative for Ohio, Northern West Virginia, and Kentucky. He will be reporting directly to Eric Pucilowski, LATICRETE Regional Sales Manager.

Chris originally joined LATICRETE in December of 2010 as a Retail Ambassador for the firm’s Home Center Division, where he serviced Lowe’s in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Prior to coming to LATICRETE, Chris graduated from the University of Findlay in Findlay, OH majoring in finance with minors in both business management and marketing.

Condeni stated, “LATICRETE is a company that is always ahead of the curve. It’s great to be with an industry leader with a track record proving that it simply never stops growing. My goal is to contribute to this growth.”

“We believe that Chris positively impact our customer base within the region he’ll be handling,” stated Eric Pucilowski. “Coming from the retail side of our business, he already knows quite a bit about our firm’s products and culture. We’re confident he’ll do an excellent job for us.”

LATICRETE International, Inc. is a US-based, family-owned global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry. LATICRETE® products are produced and distributed worldwide in the commercial and consumer channels. The company’s philosophy of innovation and technical expertise has led to an unparalleled reputation and commitment to superior quality, performance and customer service. Manufactured in state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facilities, LATICRETE offers a broad product portfolio including an extensive line of low VOC sustainable products independently certified by GREENGUARD. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SpectraLOCK®, Hydro Ban® and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc. Corporate Website: www.laticrete.com.

CTEF streamlines Certified Tile Installer testing process

Pendleton, S.C.–The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has recently modified its Certified Tile Installer (CTI) testing program to reduce the time away from the jobsite for participating tile and stone installers and contractors.

The CTI program provides a means for good, knowledgeable installers to verify their skills and promote themselves to potential clients and employers. Certification enables professional installers to provide industry-recognized proof of their abilities and secure more work. In addition, language was recently approved for inclusion in the upcoming TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation that recommends including the use of qualified labor in specifications.

CTEF now administers the written portion of the exam online at the installer’s home for the ease and convenience of participants and to better fit their schedules. The hands-on test, which previously took two days to complete, has now been compressed into a one-day exam.

“The combination of these new test developments places the installer back on the job more quickly, and means fewer missed money-making opportunities,” said Scott Carothers, CTEF executive director.

Those attending Coverings will have an opportunity to complete the hands-on test during the show. CTEF will again conduct the CTI hands-on test on the Coverings show floor Tuesday April 17th in booth # 963 which is adjacent to the Installation Designer Showcase in the rear of the hall. This is the fifth consecutive CTI test administered at the Coverings show. The CTEF booth #970 is located next to the CTI test space to provide attendees with the features of the program and benefits of becoming a CTI.

New CTIs are listed in the CTEF Directory of Certified Tile Installers which is included on the CTEF website and upcoming TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation.

For more information about CTEF and the CTI program, visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/tile-certification-overview-ctef, or contact Scott Carothers at (864) 222-2131, [email protected]

Architects and Interior Designers Invited to Bring Clients to COVERINGS 2012

Coverings, the international tile and stone expo and conference, has effectively set itself apart from the trade show pack with “Bring Your Client to Coverings” — the one opportunity consumers can sneak a peek at what their architects and interior designers are privy to in this decorative building materials category. Coverings 2012 convenes April 17 through April 20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and registered A+D attendees can be joined by up to two client guests daily as they peruse the introductions of hundreds of global exhibitors representing more than 50 countries. Attendance for all is free.
“The ‘Bring Your Client to Coverings’ program is always a huge hit with A+D show goers,” said Karen Fendrich, show director of Coverings, “because it keeps their clients involved in the design process and exposes them to the wealth of options and resources available in the marketplace. On the flip side, for consumers in the company of their designers, it’s an eye-opener that helps them appreciate the challenge of editing through the vast crop of choices and hone in on what’s best suited for their projects. This program is yet another example of Coverings’ singular dedication to cultivating an enriching environment for everyone who’s interested in tile and stone.”
Visit www.coverings.com or www.facebook.com/CoveringsShow.

About Coverings
Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

USG Corporate Innovation Center’s Paul Shipp to Receive the ASTM Award of Merit

A hallmark of USG’s leadership is its adherence to core values that call upon us to maintain the highest standards. This extends to the internal specifications that go into the USG Bulletin System and the many tests and procedures used to certify products for building code and other marketplace requirements. Both domestically and globally, standards provide a level playing field where companies can compete fairly and successfully by offering the best products and services.

ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development of voluntary consensus standards used by industry and government agencies worldwide. Through the contributions of over 30,000 members who are technical experts and business professionals representing 135 countries, ASTM publishes more than 12,000 standards annually. Today, over 1,300 ASTM standards are being used in building codes and industry documents supporting the safe and economic construction of buildings.

USG’s commitment to industry standards is exemplified by its participation on 25 ASTM technical committees spanning a wide range of areas. USG can be found leading ASTM task groups, serving as committee officers, and even serving on the Board of Directors. In its latest recognition of a USG member, ASTM International has named Paul Shipp, Principal Research Associate at the USG Corporate Innovation Center, to receive the ASTM Award of Merit. Established in 1949 by its Board of Directors, the Award of Merit is the highest society award granted to an individual member for distinguished service and outstanding participation in ASTM International committee activities.

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