NABE: Superstorm Sandy generates $30-$50 billion loss

Storm rebuilding may encounter delays, but will fuel construction for next 12-18 months

The “Impact of SuperStorm Sandy on the Regional and Macro Economy,” a webinar hosted by the National Association for Business Economics today, estimated a total storm-related loss of $30-$50 billion, centering on casino revenue, damage and destruction of rental properties along the New Jersey shoreline, and travel disruptions resulting from the tropical storm.

The effect on construction is mixed, with some estimates of robust construction activity in the next 12-18 months to rebuild properties, and other projections citing delays in insurance funds to spur construction and folding of business operating on the brink of solvency.

Gregory Daco, senior principal US economist, IHS Global Insight, estimated insured infrastructure losses at $10-$20 billion, noting that total losses are usually equal to twice the insured totals. Total infrastructure losses and disruptions to business activity may climb beyond the estimated $30-$50 billion, but the impact may not be discernible in final GDP figures for the year. About 70 percent of oil refining capacity in the Northeast was idled, but measures such as gasoline rationing in New Jersey and tankers bringing additional oil to the region is speeding recovery.

Charlie Steindel, chief economist, New Jersey Department of the Treasury, reported that as of November 6, less than 20 percent of New Jersey utility customers are without power down from nearly three-quarters of customers without power in the early days of the storm. He noted a flare in auto sales to replace vehicles destroyed in the storm. New Jersey governor Chris Christie has temporarily repealed Blue Laws in mall-centric Bergen County, which will allow extra shopping time for residents affected by the storm and recouping of income for stores which had to close due to the storm.

Ken McGill, managing director for Rockport Analytics noted that travel was significantly affected with about 20,000 canceled flights and 2 million total air-and-ground trips lost during a four-day period. This represents $1-$2 billion lost in leisure and business travel mainly to suppliers of food, lodging and air travel. However, he predicted only about 25 percent will be permanent losses, with the majority of trips expected to be rescheduled. Steindel added that workaround measures allowed business to be conducted remotely, online or from home or public libraries with power.

The major impact of the storm is on New Jersey tourism in the areas north of Atlantic City, such as hard-hit Long Beach Island, communities of Brigantine and Beach Haven and the Tuckerton retirement community, Steindel said. The goal is to rebuild in time for the summer tourist season, which begins Memorial Day 2013. The challenge is that many of the accommodations are individual rental homes, not hotels which are simpler to rebuild. A quarter of the $12 billion accommodations spending in New Jersey is rental homes across the state, said McGill. On Long Beach Island alone, $300 million is hotel revenue, and $900 million is rental homes.

According to Kemm Farney, manager, economics and forecasting, PEPCO Holdings, Inc., most of the state’s largest commercial customers and flooded casinos never lost power and have reopened. However, the cancellation of the Hard Rock Casino project and the lackluster performance of the new Revel casino, which opened in April and brought 5500 new jobs to the area, “leave casinos in a continuing-to-struggle environment,” Farney said. He added that small businesses in the area that are dependent on credit cards and second mortgages for credit are struggling, and slightly larger small businesses need sales to fuel reconstruction. He struck a optimistic tone that once insurance monies start flowing, “it will keep South Jersey tradesmen very busy for the next 12-18 months, which is a very good thing.”

Ken Simonson, NABE president and chief economist, Associated General Contractors of America, was more reserved about construction opportunities, citing delays in the infusion of insurance funds and support from the federal government for repairs on highways and roads and a lengthened time frame for procurements of equipment and materials.

“Some businesses will not reopen,” Simonson said, “Some who were ready to expand will cancel those plans.”  As for homeowners, Simonson said new homes won’t “translate into one for one replacement. The net impact on construction industry will be small and a negative over a period of time. We will see a slowing down of economic activity and with it construction activity.”

Simonson predicted that longer hours for existing workers will ensue and despite an ample number of construction workers, “additional employment will be modest and gradual aside from immediate crews for cleanup stabilization and emergency repairs.” Capacity is plentiful — 12,000 construction payroll jobs were lost in New York and New Jersey last year, so labor shortages are not expected. However, since the beginning of 2011, he said, construction spending has risen 13% but employment only represents a fraction of a percent.

Similarly, capacity is plentiful for materials and equipment – it’s only currently at 30 percent of the peak levels of six years ago, Simonson continued. Wallboard and lumber prices rose pre-storm, but production is expected to be ramped up quickly to meet new demand. Some work may be hampered due to flooded equipment or sites where workers don’t yet have access.

Simonson also does not expect much investment in storm protection construction. “We don’t have a history of the U.S. engaging in protective investment. I’m not optimistic for a big uptick in this kind of construction spending.”


Coverings 2013 Call for Entries

Coverings 2013, The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience,  has announced a call for entries for two of its most acclaimed programs,    PROJECT: Green and the Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards.

“With these two programs, Coverings is proud to recognize excellence in the entire tile and stone community by saluting professionals for their design creativity, craftsmanship and environmental stewardship,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “Recognition of the projects selected for PROJECT: Green and winners for CID Awards has become a much-anticipated highlight of the show.”

PROJECT: Green  recognizes sustainable new and remodeled commercial, institutional and residential projects featuring tile and stone.  The program, now in its fourth year, is

open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and installers. Projects must have been completed within the past two years and may be located within the United States or internationally.

The independent panel of judges will evaluate projects based on such criteria as positive environmental impact, environmental innovation, aesthetic design, and use of tile/stone products with environmental benefits such as recycled or low VOC materials.  Deadline for entries is Jan. 18, 2013.  Selected projects will be showcased at Coverings in Atlanta, April 29-May 2, 2013.

The CID Awards honor achievements in outstanding design and installation of tile and stone in residential and commercial projects.  Architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other professionals are invited to enter projects located within, or outside of, North America.  New for 2013 a category has been established for international firms submitting projects.

Projects are judged on design and installation excellence, giving special recognition to unusual, creative and innovative uses of stone and tile.

The deadline for entries is February 8, 2013. Winners will be announced at the CID Awards Reception & Ceremony on Monday, April 29 at Coverings at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. If winners are unable to attend, the project will be disqualified and a new winner will be awarded.  International category entrants are encouraged to attend but attendance is not mandatory.

To enter PROJECT: Green  and the  CID Awards   go to

There is no fee to visit Coverings or to enter either of these awards.  And unlike many other shows, there is no charge to attend almost 70 informative educational sessions either.  Professionals can register online at .

About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States.  It features exhibitors from more than 50 countries and 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 segments of the industry, with almost 70 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge

Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) , Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica , National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and The Tile Council of North America (TCNA).  The show is managed by National Trade Productions.

Coverings 2013 will be held April 29-May 2, at Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information visit or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

Garden State Tile to Hold Laminam By Crossville Launch Event on Thurs., Oct. 11th

Unveiling of Innovative Large Format Porcelain Panels for A&D Community
— Open House & Presentation Part of DESIGNPHILADELPHIA Festival —

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Regional tile distributor Garden State Tile (GST) will host the Laminam by Crossville Launch Event at its new, state-of-the-art Architectural & Design Center in Philadelphia in conjunction with the DesignPhiladelphia festival. The event will take place on Thursday, October 11th, with an open house from 5 – 8 p.m. and a presentation at 6 p.m. GST’s Architectural & Design Center is located at 2401 Walnut Street. The event is free and open to the public.
Billed as “large format porcelain panels,” Laminam by Crossville products are just 3mm thick with outer dimensions of 1m x 3m. The lean profile combined with generously sized panels creates a versatile surface skin ideal for giving walls, doors, counters and cabinetry a nearly seamless appearance. Lightweight yet very durable, these porcelain panels expand the possibilities for tile applications for both commercial and residential use. Garden State Tile is the exclusive source for Laminam by Crossville in the metro Philadelphia area.
The Laminam by Crossville event is being held as part of the annual DesignPhiladelphia, a four-day festival celebrating the region’s design industries at work and the city’s contemporary significance as a center for creative innovation and advancement.
For more details on Garden State Tile’s Laminam by Crossville Launch Event or any DesignPhiladelphia festival activities, visit
Members of the media are invited to attend and may request interviews and showroom tours by contacting Irene Williams at [email protected].
About Garden State Tile
Garden State Tile (GST) is a tile distributor with 10 design centers located throughout the eastern U.S. The company is built on the idea that people make all the difference, and its service and design expertise has defined its reputation since GST first opened for business more than 50 years ago. Grounded in a long tradition of supplying the highest quality tile products and service, Garden State Tile offers guidance, education and consultation to its customers, including interior designers, architects, retailers and product specifiers for national accounts.
In 2011, GST opened its 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Architectural & Design Center located at 2401 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, PA, giving a spatial showcasing of premium porcelain, stone, ceramic, glass tile and much more.
For more details, visit
About Crossville Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. The company is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following: – production of large format tile on site, – manufacturing tile with certified recycled content, – development of the Tile Take-Back® Program for recycling fired porcelain tile – certification of its waste recycling programs – TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines, – become a net consumer of waste.
For more information on Crossville, visit
About Laminam by Crossville
Laminam by Crossville is Crossville, Inc.‘s exclusive U.S. distributorship of select thin panel porcelain products manufactured by Laminam S.p.A., the world leader in the production of large format, lean profile ceramic surfacing products. A consolidated division of Systems Group, Laminam S.p.A. utilizes an advanced, fully automated production process to create large and lean profile ceramic and porcelain slab products available worldwide.
For more details, visit

Tile Of Spain Launches “Passport To Creativity” Contest Show Us Your Creativity, And We’ll Show You Spain

Four design professionals will be selected to attend an all expense paid, CEU architectural tour and trip to Cevisama 2013 in Valencia, Spain – entries accepted through December 3, 2012

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER), is proud to announce the launch of “Passport to Creativity” contest.

The contest offers architects and interior designers a chance to win a free trip to Spain to participate in an architectural excursion where they will earn 4 CEU credits and visit Cevisama 2013, the International Ceramic Tile and Bath Furnishing Show in Valencia, Spain.

To enter, architects and designers must show their creativity!
Tile of Spain is asking architects and interior designers to submit a picture of themselves with Spanish Tile. It can be a picture of them holding a catalog, a picture (printed or on a phone), a drawing of a room or even sample of Spanish Tile. They can also stand next to a project where they specified Spanish Tile.

Entries will be accepted through December 3, 2012 and winners will be notified in the week of December 10, 2012.

Part of the Tile of Spain 2013 Architects & Designers Tour running February 2 to February 9, 2013, the “Passport to Creativity” trip includes time to explore Spain to be immersed in the culture, sample Spain’s world-famous culinary arts, observe sites and attractions with architectural and design significance and to gain a general understanding and appreciation for Spain. The trip also includes a guided visit to Cevisama 2013, factory and booth tours and a press conference. All participants will earn 4 CEU credits.

For complete rules, and details on how to enter the “Passport to Creativity” contest, please visit


Lori Dolnick: [email protected]com
Katie Sikorski: [email protected]com

About Tile of Spain
In Spain, tile makers labor as they have for centuries – pushing their passion for design and innovation to new levels of artisanship. With one of the purest and strongest domestic clays available, Spanish manufacturers have an unparalleled ability to make the end product more diverse. From rustic handmade forms; to technical facades that cool buildings and clean the air; to the impossibly slim, sustainable recycled and ink jet masterpieces that fire the imagination. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) is the private organization whose primary objective is to support Spain’s ceramic tile manufacturers and the industry as a whole by stewarding and promoting the Tile of Spain brand worldwide. A strong global leader, the ceramic tile industry of Spain comprises 125 manufacturers concentrated primarily in the province of Castellón. For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Call 305-446-4387 or visit

For photography, interviews or questions, please call Lori Dolnick at 609-490-0999 x22 or [email protected]com


Donato Pompo Honored with Construction Specifier Magazine Article of the Year Award

Donato V. Pompo, CTC, CMR, CSI, CDT, MBA of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc. (CTaSC) was honored with The Construction Specifier Magazine Article of the Year Award by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). CSI is a prominent architectural association for architects that prepare construction specifications. The award was presented to Mr. Pompo at CSI’s Annual Meeting held in conjunction with CONSTRUCT 2012 in Phoenix on September 14, 2012.

The article that earned Mr. Pompo the distinguished recognition from CSI is entitled “Good Specs Mean Good Tile and Stone Installations” and appeared in the magazine’s December 2011 issue. click here for complete article. CSI’s Editorial Advisory Board stated that they selected Pompo’s article based on its relevance to the industry as a whole, readability, impact, and alignment with CSI’s mission and technical standards and formats.

“Like Pompo’s previous pieces for the magazine, it exemplifies what makes an article successful—the writing is in-depth but accessible, and thought-provoking but based on objective fact,” said Erik Missio, editor of The Construction Specifier. “Pompo draws on his own experiences in the tile industry to present clear, concise, and correct information for architects, specifiers, and engineers within a CSI context. His article is the very spirit of the tagline that appears on The Construction Specifier covers—a solution for the construction industry.” Pompo has a new article just released in The Construction Specifier’s October 2012 issue titled “Avoiding the Fall: Specifying Ceramic, Glass Tile, Stone, and Terrazzo for Slip Resistance.” click here for complete article.

Mr. Pompo is a frequent contributing author to many of the construction, tile and stone trade publications. He has been a Certified Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) through CSI since 2000 and has produced hundreds of tile and stone installation specifications. His more than 30 years experience in the tile and stone industries, combined with his dedication, commitment, and a desire to improve the industry as a whole through training and the sharing of information is key in motivating Pompo to publish many articles and offering training services. It is also what led him to establish the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) in 2002.

“I realized the importance of training early on in my various roles in the ceramic tile and stone industry. I realized that there weren’t enough opportunities for those who specify, sell or install tile and stone to learn the critical requirements and standards needed to ensure successful installations. When e-learning technology became available it made it possible to educate installers, salespeople and architects in the most cost-efficient and convenient way, so that’s why I established the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (,” Pompo said. “Most people have access to a computer and an internet connection today. So now industry standards, product knowledge and uses, and installation application information is conveniently available online,” he continued. “And the beauty of online learning is that you can do it without having to miss work or incur any travel expenses, and you can go at your own pace and convenience.”

The core business, CTaSC, is what supplies Pompo with ideas for stories that turn into magazine articles. CTaSC specializes in forensic investigations, quality control, tile and stone installation specifications, testing, and expert witness testimony. Pompo is frequently called on to conduct forensic investigations throughout North America and this enables him to see first-hand the kinds of problems that are occurring on many different types of jobs. Installations run the gamut from exterior veneers, to swimming pools, hotel lobbies, showers, malls, airports, and the list goes on. CTaSC also provides various quality control services such as writing installation specifications and quality control plans, and having CTaSC inspectors, who are seasoned tile installers, perform on-site quality control inspections.

By keeping a record of the issues he comes across in the field, and translating them into informative articles and online courses, Pompo hopes to get the word out to the construction industry members about how such problems can be avoided through education.

For further information about the UofCTS training services please visit or call 886.669.1550.

Countdown to Cersaie! What to expect from tile’s hottest event

This year marks the 30th edition of Cersaie – the premier international ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings exhibition in Bologna, Italy – that will take place from September 25-29, 2012. Promoted by Confindustria Ceramica in cooperation with BolognaFiere and organized by Edi.Cer SpA and Promos, the show features nearly 1,000 exhibitors from 31 countries and a sprawling 176,000 square meters of exhibition space. Like the Milan Furniture Fair of the ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings industry, companies will use the show to introduce cutting edge designs, designer collaborations and new technological innovations to the world.

Highlights of this year’s “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” conference program include: a keynote speech by 2011 Pritzker Prize winner Eduardo Souto de Moura (on Friday, September 28), a talk on “Design Goes Sci-Fi” with American science fiction writer Bruce Sterling and Italian designer Cini Boeri (on September 25), a lecture on emergency and intervention architecture with Shigeru Ban (on September 26) and a presentation by Heike Hanada on her design for the new Bauhaus Museum in Weimar (on September 27).

For more information on the exhibitors and the full conference program visit

Tile of Spain Introduces CERSAIE’12 Show APP

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER), has introduced a CERSAIE’12 show app.

This free app for iPhone, iPad, and Android allows you to have access to all Tile of Spain exhibitors at CERSAIE’12 at your fingertips.

Download the app and search by exhibit hall, sector or company. Select your favorite brands and create a ‘must visit’ list. It also includes a full database of companies and contacts at your disposal.

The Tile of Spain CERSAIE’12 show app can be downloaded at

For a preview of the Tile of Spain brands exhibiting at CERSAIE’12, September 25-29 in Bologna, Italy visit

Also, be sure to visit the inspiration gallery at

About Tile of Spain

In Spain, tile makers labor as they have for centuries – pushing their passion for design and innovation to new levels of artisanship. With one of the purest and strongest domestic clays available, Spanish manufacturers have an unparalleled ability to make the end product more diverse. From rustic handmade forms; to technical facades that cool buildings and clean the air; to the impossibly slim, sustainable recycled and ink jet masterpieces that fire the imagination. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) is the private organization whose primary objective is to support Spain’s ceramic tile manufacturers and the industry as a whole by stewarding and promoting the Tile of Spain brand worldwide. A strong global leader, the ceramic tile industry of Spain comprises 125 manufacturers concentrated primarily in the province of Castellón. For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL  33134. Call 305-446-4387 or visit

For photography, interviews or questions, please call Lori Dolnick at 609-490-0999 x22 or [email protected]

USG Facebook Photo Contest Supports “Strength Beneath the Surface™” Campaign

CHICAGO, September 13, 2012- USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), a leading building products company, is offering their Facebook fans a chance to win up to $500 through their Strength Beneath the Surface™ Contest which requires contestants to submit an on the job picture of themselves and USG Tile and Flooring products.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a $500 gift card, and the four runners-up winners will each receive a $100 gift card. All entrants will receive a free t-shirt.

This contest is open to professional contractors, subcontractors, do-it-yourselfers and others who are engaged in the construction or remodeling industry. In order to participate, entrants must be a legal resident of the United States and 18 years of age and older.

The Strength Beneath the Surface photo must show the participant and USG Tile and Flooring products on the job. Products can include: DUROCK® Cement Board, FIBEROCK® Tile Backerboard, FIBEROCK® Underlayment, DUROCK™ Tile Membrane, DUROCK™ Tile Membrane Adhesive, FIBEROCK™ Floor Protector Paper, Builder Paper, DUROCK™ Multi-Use Self-Leveling Underlayment, DUROCK™ Quick-Dry-Self-Leveling Underlayment, DUROCK™ Floor Patch, DUROCK™ Primer-Sealer, DUROCK™ Tile Backer Tape and DUROCK™ Tile Backer Screws.

Judging will take place October 22 through October 26, 2012, with a judging panel consisting of marketing and product managers from USG Tile and Flooring Installations. Finalists will be selected based on craftsmanship, creativity and use of USG Tile and Flooring Installation Products. Voting will then be turned over to the public on October 29-November 11, 2012, when each person can vote once a day for their favorite picture. Judges will announce the final winner on or by November 16, 2012.

For more information about the Strength Beneath the Surface Contest, please visit

USG Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance building systems through its United States Gypsum Company, USG Interiors, LLC, L&W Supply Corporation and other subsidiaries. Headquartered in Chicago, USG’s worldwide operations serve the commercial, residential, and repair and remodel construction markets. USG’s wall, ceiling, flooring and roofing products provide leading-edge building solutions for customers, while L&W Supply branch locations efficiently stock and deliver building materials nationwide. For additional information, visit the USG website at


LATICRETE® SUPERCAP®, LLC, manufacturer of the revolutionary self-leveling SUPERCAP®System, has announced that DAC SUPERCAP, LLC, a newly

PHOTO from L to R:
Harry Baulch, VP DAC SUPERCAP, LLC; Brad Fulkerson, Managing Director LATICRETE SUPERCAP, LLC; Martin Howard, VP David Allen Company; David Roberson, Sr. VP David Allen Company; Art Odom, VP CFO David Allen Company; John Sacco, Dir of Business Development, LATICRETE SUPERCAP, LLC

formed division of David Allen Company, will be its newest regional applicator. Harry Baulch, a construction veteran with a strong General Contractor background will be directing the new organization.

He stated, “We looked very closely at the SUPERCAP System before assessing that it was a good investment. Clearly, it offers superior problem-solving performance. Over the years, we’ve seen a parade of nightmares relative to moisture mitigation and the usage of curing compounds on concrete slabs. The SUPERCAP System will resolve most of the problems inherent with concrete construction and eliminate the need for other products that compound these issues.  We are excited to be introducing the SUPERCAP System to the Southeast and believe that the product, and the pump truck delivery system, will change many of the fundamental practices of concrete construction in our region of responsibility.”

David Allen Company, one of the nation’s leading tile, stone and terrazzo contractors for nearly a century, “made a sound business decision when establishing DAC SUPERCAP,” said Brad Fulkerson, Managing Director of LATICRETE SUPERCAP. “For decades, our parent firm, LATICRETE, has been supplying David Allen Company with its tile and stone installation systems. As a result, there is an ongoing, high degree of trust between the two companies. The established confidence in each other, and also because of the strong relationships David Allen Company has with GCs throughout the Southeast, make DAC SUPERCAP a company we feel will be a perfect partner.”

“In particular,” Fulkerson continued, “few people understand the importance of having a perfectly flat, deflection-free concrete slab prior to the installation of finished floor covering better than the professional installers at David Allen Company. Now by having a LATICRETE SUPERCAP applicator as a sister company, they will in many future instances have the comfort of knowing the concrete slabs they will be installing floor covering upon… will be in the best possible condition to do so.”

LATICRETE SUPERCAP offers “The Next Generation Slab™,” a cutting-edge, high technology process which combines the power of the state-of-the-art, patented “Pump Truck” with the next generation of self-leveling materials. The “Pump Truck” is a computer-controlled, mobile blending unit (MBU) that ensures perfect concrete mixing every time. Once mixed, formulas are pumped directly onto prepared sub-floors through a controlled high-rate piping and hose system. “The Pump Truck can continuously deliver up to 15 tons of material per hour to all kinds of buildings, even high-rises located in congested areas as tall as 50 stories, covering up to 50,000 square feet per day,” added John Sacco, Director of Business Development for LATICRETE SUPERCAP.

Robert Roberson, Chairman/CEO of David Allen Company summed it all up by stating, “I am excited about David Allen Company’s partnership with LATICRETE SUPERCAP. I believe this great new technology will enhance the appearance and performance of all floor covering products and bring significant value to building owners.”

LATICRETE SUPERCAP is a leading manufacturer of premium self-leveling materials for the building industry. The LATICRETESUPERCAPSystem is a time-saving, cost-effective method for finishing new concrete or capping existing slabs that meet or exceed finished flooring tolerances. The system consists of a LEED-qualified, low alkali, premium self-leveling, cement-based technology that is installed using a patented computer-controlled mobile blending unit. For more information, visit the corporate website:

Ceramic Tile Education Foundation Announces New Training Initiative

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has developed a new educational course designed to enhance the knowledge of sales professionals within the ceramic tile industry.

“Fundamentals of Thin-Bed Knowledge,” was developed specifically for non-installers such as sales staff and field representatives who want to augment their familiarity with product and installation standards and best practices. It is scheduled to launch September 17, 2012.

Fundamentals of Thin-Bed Knowledge (FTBK) encompasses all material provided in CTEF’s Certified Tile Installer study guide.  Topics include safety, overview of thin-bed installation methods, concrete, masonry and wood substrates, installing backer boards and bonded membranes, setting tile on walls and floors, grouting, sealants, and movement joints.

CTEF executive director Scott Carothers stated, “A gap exists within our industry in our capacity to convey correct, up-to-date technical information about proper tile installation methods to sales representatives, field representatives, and others who have a direct or indirect contact with the tile contractor and client.  It is imperative that industry professionals and associations move quickly to fill this gap.  Fundamentals of Thin-Bed Knowledge is intended to increase that knowledge base for all tile professionals.”

Carothers continued, “The impetus for this new manual and program was a direct request from a distributor’s sales manager prior to a recently scheduled Certified Tile Installer (CTI) test.  She said, ‘We need this information for all of our sales and field representatives, to improve communication with the tile contractors. It’s necessary to ensure that our staff know the broad scope of tile installation so that they are better equipped to assist installers in the field.’ ”

To date, CTEF has certified over 800 tile installers across the United States.  The FTBK course does not convey certification credentials on sales and technical personnel who complete it. However, each individual, through the self-study manual and on-line testing, has the opportunity to develop the equivalent knowledge base of the installer. In addition, those who achieve the required test score are recognized as FTBK professionals – a credential that is valid for three years and must be renewed with a retest at that time. Re-testing requirements ensure that each FTBK-credentialed individual has current technical information based on revisions to the Handbook, ANSI standards, and the NTCA Reference Manual.

“Being on this level will allow them to assist installers, which is key to any successful installation,” said Carothers.  “This knowledge equips the salesperson to provide guidance about materials, installation methods, and scope of job for each project.  He or she will have the current technical knowledge to converse with and guide the tile contractor toward making the proper selections, thus reducing potential failures and the need to modify the project scope in mid-stream.”

The $99 per person fee for the course includes the FTBK Manual, 2012 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation, and on-line testing.  The newly designed, portable manual will have a distinct logo, and will provide valuable guidance in using  the TCNA Handbook and ANSI standards.  On-line testing will be modified to accommodate the schedule of the enrollee, and allows greater participation throughout the industry.

Ceramic tile professionals throughout the industry now have another tool in their arsenal for increasing sales, supporting the tile contractor, and potentially solving installation challenges prior to occurrence.   “CTEF is focused on providing the end consumer with a choice of a Certified Tile Installer when selecting a tile professional for their project,” Carothers said.  “We are taking advantage of cutting-edge industry knowledge to raise the bar for sales professionals and the companies they represent.”

For additional information, contact Scott Carothers, 864-222-2131, [email protected], or visit

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