COVERINGS 2018 and THE INSTALLATION EXPERIENCE

The Installation Experience, booth 8401, allows Coverings 2018 attendees to experience firsthand numerous types of tile installations implemented by qualified, trained and certified tile installers. These interactive sessions will showcase today’s best practices relative to a multitude of different tile installations.

Live, interactive installations will be taking place in a fully functioning kitchen; a bathroom with heated tile floor, vintage fireplace upgrade and grand installation of a contemporary shower system. These state-of-the-art projects will involve glass tile, porcelain, gauged porcelain panels, natural stone and other cutting edge tile products and breakthrough technology installation systems.

Entering via a self-guided, designated pathway, attendees will journey through room-after-room of fully interactive installations with top representatives posted along the way to answer any and all questions.  They’ll have the opportunity to speak with industry experts regarding key processes, learning new strategies and experiencing hands-on demonstrations of the most modern of technologies.

Other highlights include “photographic retrospectives”… the Hall of Failures & the Hall of Excellence.  Here, attendees will see firsthand the difference between the right and wrong way to perform a tile installation, and in the Hall of Excellence installers who have mastered the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installation (ACT) courses will be available to discuss the program.

Don’t forget about the Construction Zone, where visitors can return throughout the week to experience the progression of the CTI Challenge. The CTI Challenge is an exciting, live event slated to take place between rival teams of NTCA members and qualified labor contractors. It has been designed and will be judged by CTEF Director, Scott Carothers. Clearly, this will be the tile industry’s “Fight of the Century!”

And, as part of the Installation Experience, all attendees will garner new insights on how to become a Certified Tile Installer (CTI). Advanced CTI officials will be onsite to define, discuss and demonstrate just what it takes to be a member of this elite tile contractor organization.

The first-time Installation Experience will come to a conclusion with “At Home, With Tile.” It will be the final installation area… complete with an expansive seating area and large TV screen offering viewers a time-lapsed progress video, highlighting the various construction stages of the various projects slated to take place.

Lynnette Bloomberg retires from 33 years with the Noble Company

After more than 33 years at the Noble Company, Lynnette Bloomberg, Chief Operating Officer, will retire on May 31st of this year. 

Bloomberg began her career at the Noble Company fresh out of business college as secretary/sales support for Harvey Powell, then Vice President of Marketing.  According to the “Women in Tile” story published in October 2015 TileLetter, Bloomberg always knew she was destined for a career in business, and this opportunity allowed her to learn from Powell’s passion for teaching “people about the importance of, and proper methods for, protecting and waterproofing tile installations,” she said. She learned about the industry as she typed Powell’s letters, memos and other documents, and built relationships with customers and reps through processing sales invoices and reports.

The company was supportive of Bloomberg continuing her education. She achieved a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with dual minors in accounting and computer information systems via evening classes while working at Noble full time during the day.

The Noble team at Coverings ’16 (l. To r.):  Dave Wormmeester, Nelson Wilner, Richard Maurer, Lynnette Bloomberg, Pat Delahanty, Dean Moilanen, Jon Outcalt, Jr.

“It was fun because I often completed required assignments by researching subjects that we would ultimately implement at Noble,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to have gained the confidence and support of (then) company owners, Harvey Powell and Ben and Louise Lowell, for them to allow me this opportunity.”

Ultimately, she and Paul Kik purchased the company from Louise Lowell in 2004. In 2016, Noble Company was purchased by Federal Process Corporation, based in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Lynnette is leaving a lasting legacy on the industry and the people of the Noble Company,” said Dave Wormmeester, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Noble. “Her welcoming nature and concern for all will be missed. We wish you well, Lynnette, and hit ‘em straight!” 

Other colleagues and industry members also took a moment to wish Bloomberg well. 

It has been a pleasure working with Lynnette the last two years,” said Jon Outcalt, Jr., President of Federal Process Corporation, which acquired The Noble Company in 2016. “She has been a true advocate for the Noble Company and the tile industry. Her passion and leadership will leave a lasting legacy at Noble and Federal Process Corporation. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement.”

At the Noble Smoker during Coverings ’17 (l. To r.): John Turner, Sr., Crossville’s Tim Bolby, Lynnette Bloomberg,and Rich Goldberg.

Eric Edelmayer, Director of Division 9 Sales & Technical Service for the Noble Company, added his accolades. “I have had the pleasure of working with Lynnette since the ’80s, working with her from the early days when she was a secretary and watching her grow to an owner of the company. I thank her for always looking out for the best interest of fellow employees regardless of her position with the company. I have some great memories of the old days working shows when many of the current Noble Company product lines were being introduced.” 

“People talk about working for a ‘family-owned’ company; well, that was the Noble Company I went to work for – 19 years ago,” said Dean Moilanen, Noble’s Director of Architectural Services. “When Paul and Lynnette bought the company, with all of the employees, a ‘family-owned company’ ethos prevailed. The sheer number of employees with 20+ years working for Noble boggles the mind.  It is testimony to the support and stability the owners offered to their ‘family’ through the years.

“Lynnette would tell you – in many ways, she was like the sister I never had – albeit a stern sister who cared about you, but might just have to set you straight (for your own good…of course). Lynnette has given so much of herself for the good of others. Sometimes those sacrifices went unnoticed. So, now it is time for her to step back and tend to her own garden, and enjoy the fruits of her labor,” Moilanen concluded.

Toni Perfect, Executive Assistant, Noble Company, said, “Working under Lynnette’s strong leadership and guidance for 24 years has been truly an honor. She has been an inspirational role model and someone I really look up to professionally and personally. Lynnette’s kindness, energy, and humor will be missed in the office. Cheers to a hard-earned and well-deserved retirement!”

Noble hosted the NTCA Five Star Summer Meeting 2017 in Spring Lake, Mich.

Fellow Michigander Dan Welch, President of Welch Tile & Marble in Kent City, Mich., and a NTCA past president, said, “Lynnette’s hard work, ambition, and dedication to Noble Company’s success during her career is an inspiration to the men and women at Welch Tile & Marble. It is always great partnering with companies built on strong values, quality products, and long-standing relationships. You have crafted a vision of honest dealings with a strong like-minded team dedicated to providing high-quality products. I look forward to working together on whatever your next journey will be! Thank you.”

Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director added, “The Noble Company has been a strong supporter of the NTCA for many many years. Under the leadership of Lynnette Bloomberg, the relationship continued to strengthen. When they were given the opportunity to sponsor our Five Star Summer Meeting near their hometown of Grand Rapids in 2017, they quickly accepted the challenge. What was most impressive was the passion and professionalism that every single one of their employees demonstrated when we spent a couple of days with them at their corporate headquarters. It was clear that Lynnette had played a key role in helping develop an atmosphere where everyone felt valued and appreciated. This same appreciation was always evident in the way Lynnette and her team at Noble Company treated the NTCA staff, our employees and our contractor members. Congratulations, Lynnette on your outstanding career and thank you for your friendship and support for the past several years.”

Position available: Project Manager, Sanders Hyland Corporation

Project Manager
Southeastern United States

Company Description:

Sanders Hyland Corporation is a large and growing commercial flooring contractor based in Mobile, AL.  Founded in 1988 our commitment to quality and value has made us a leading force in the commercial flooring industry.  We operate mainly in the Southeast with offices in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama, Gulfport, Mississippi and sales agents in Nashville, TN.  We’ve completed more than 4000 projects, ranging from $ 100,000 to over $14 million.

Sanders Hyland Corporation’s mission is to exceed our customer’s standard of excellence with integrity and professionalism in a safe environment on every project.

Project Manager Responsibilities:

Manage large commercial flooring projects which includes:

  • Manage day-to-day operational aspects of assigned projects
  • Coordinate and manage flooring personnel on assigned projects
  • Execute conflict resolution effectively to ensure success on each project
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication with clients, other subcontractors, and project personnel to execute the project
  • Provide leadership in Sanders Hyland Corporation through building relationships, motivating others, providing clear direction and cooperative teamwork.
  • Communicate and interact with clients, potential clients and subcontractors to identify and pursue potential work.

Project Manager Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in construction management is preferred. A combination of education and work experience will also be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in all aspects of project Managing, Planning and Construction processing.
  • Must be familiar with all types of flooring materials (including but not limited to:hard tile, fabrication stones, all soft goods such as carpet, etc.)
  • Must be familiar with all components associated with flooring materials listed above (underlayments, grouts, waterproofing, etc.)
  • Must be able to read and take official drawings and specifications
  • Experience on large commercial jobs
  • Must be an excellent communicator with organizational skills and leadership qualities

Benefits/Salary:

  • Salary negotiable
  • 401K
  • Employee Health Insurance
  • Vehicle Allowances
  • Paid time off

Email resumes to [email protected]

April 2018 Feature – Merkrete Systems

Theatre is considered a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before an audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance.

In a project where collaboration is the name of the game, each and every detail, no matter how large or small, makes all the difference in the final presentation – or the final act. The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre in Cedar City, Utah, celebrated its opening night on July 7, 2016 and the collaborative efforts of all involved shaped the debut into a resounding success.

An open-air space, The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre is reminiscent of Elizabethan theaters but with modern amenities and technology. As the symbolic home of the Utah Shakespeare Festival (USF), it features plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights whose works are appropriate for its outdoor Elizabethan-inspired architecture.  It is also used for educational programming for Southern Utah University. 

The new outdoor Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre is the centerpiece of Southern Utah University’s $39 million Beverley Center for the Arts (named for the late philanthropist Beverley Taylor Sorenson), which also houses USF’s new 200-seat Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre and the $8 million Southern Utah Museum of Art.  The arts complex, built around the existing Randall L. Jones Theatre, spreads across two city blocks. Theater company facilities include a new ticket office, administrators’ offices, costume and scenic shops and rehearsal halls, as well as company dressing rooms and a multiplicity of patron restrooms.

Developed in collaboration between Big D Construction, NTCA Five Star Contractor Superior Tile & Marble, and Blalock & Partners, the theater seats approximately 921 and is named for the Ralph J. and Betty Engelstad family, which was a major donor toward the building.  

Vision and functionality come together

Blalock and Partners teamed with Brooks + Scarpa, and Coen + Partners to create the new arts campus, which includes the new USF facility, the new Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), and the existing Randall Jones Theater. The three buildings are connected by an intricate landscape design inspired by medieval gardens of England and France. The new Engelstad theater pays respect to the old Adams Theatre in its overall configuration, yet adds a touch of refinement and modernism in its execution.

The exterior tile and stone installations throughout the building perfectly match this high-class, theatrical aesthetic, as each piece was masterfully chosen and strategically placed for an extra touch of glamour and ensured functionality.

When Superior Tile & Marble was approached by Big D Construction to supply the high-performing materials they required, Superior knew they’d need a trusted and top-quality installation system to ensure a job well done. Upon reviewing the scope of the project, all answers pointed definitively to Merkrete, a leader in waterproofing, crack-isolation and setting-materials technology. 

Superior’s work on the exterior of SUU’s Shakespeare Theatre consisted of over 15,000 sq.ft. of bush-hammered granite, 2,000 sq. ft. of 6” thick cubic granite, and almost 1,800 sq.ft. of mechanically anchored granite. Due to the exceptionally harsh weather, Superior partnered with Merkrete for versatile and high-performing installation products they can trust.

A versatile solution fastens the deal

The stone cladding provided elegance and durability on the walls and entryway to the building. “For those types of exterior installations, we generally use Merkrete’s 200/211 System,” said Casey Stewart, Superior Project Manager. “This easy-to-use, two-part system has excellent physical properties in adhesion, resiliency, water resistance, and shock and weather resistance.” 

Operations Manager Todd Robinson added, “The 200/211 System from Merkrete has excellent results when used in challenging exterior facade installations. For many projects, particularly this one, we relied on Merkrete for their technical expertise.”

Because of the size and thickness of the stone (up to 24” x 36” x 1” thick), Superior needed a versatile product that could address several specific needs at the same time: a high-performing adhesive product that will stand up to the extreme weather conditions and also double as a grout. Since both Robinson and Stewart have experience with Merkrete’s Integra, an all-in-one thinset and grout product, he knew Merkrete could assist with a solution.

Merkrete’s Sales Representative on the job, Railin Hunt, said, “I immediately knew that Merkrete’s 200/211 System could be modified in color and would be the perfect product for these requirements. Its flexibility allows it to perform as a grout and the color could be matched to the jobsite requirements. You don’t usually get that in a single product.” 

This solution was tested and perfected prior in another Superior Tile & Marble installation when the term, “The Lombard Method” was coined because the walls were spread with the adhesive, then mortar was placed on two sides of each tile and set, similar to the methods of striking brick. 

Merkrete proved the perfect match for a specific challenge again, considering the strength of the mortar it called for. “We used large and heavy natural stone, which requires a mortar with a super-high bondability that can handle the weight of the panels,” said Robinson. Hunt added, “Merkrete 200/211 System is a two-component, multi-purpose, polymer-modified setting adhesive for installing extra-large-format porcelain, ceramic tile and natural stone for both floors and walls, and can be used as thin- or medium-bed setting adhesive for stone. Merkrete proved it could hold its weight, eliminating the need for different grout products and allowing Superior the versatility it required.”

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…

Part of the challenge in this project involved extreme weather. It was critical that Superior chose a company who would be able to get the products delivered when required and the job completed on time. Merkrete is a member of ParexGroup, one of the largest companies and a worldwide leader in tile setting materials, façade finishes and technical mortars, established in 22 countries with 68 manufacturing plants and over 4,100 employees. “Merkrete was perfect for this project’s requirements, because we have plants and distribution centers all over the country, so our turnaround time and ability to get customized products there quickly were no problem,” said Hunt. 

The Festival now plays to over 110,000 patrons who view nearly 300 plays each year in three theaters over a 16-week season. Each year the Festival produces eight or nine professional plays. In keeping with its mission to entertain, enrich, and educate its audiences, the Festival also offers a variety of activities such as orientations, literary and production seminars, classes, workshops, and backstage tours – making it a true destination theater, and one of Utah’s cultural treasures.

Coverings 2018 Feature – MAPEI: A Tour of Atlanta

 

Atlanta’s culture, architecture and urban design have come together to produce a city on the cutting edge. With Coverings 2018 set here, it’s a good time to “take a tour” of some of the newest residential and commercial projects in the South’s hottest city. MAPEI’s full system of products were used to waterproof, level, strengthen and add elegant finishes to five fabulous new projects shown here. 

The Arbor at BridgeMill
Canton, Ga.

The Arbor at BridgeMill is a luxurious new senior living community. The expansive campus offers state-of-the-art residences totaling 28 private cottages, 130 resort-style apartments and an exciting range of on-site amenities. Aspire Development Partners designed the community to accommodate retiring baby boomers, empty-nesters and previous homeowners who would like the assistance senior facilities provide without losing independence. 

Each of the spacious cottages features an open-concept floor plan, resort-style living rooms, walk-in closets, walk-in showers, and supportive carpet in the bedrooms. The multi-entryway bathrooms feature barrier free, zero-entry, walk-in showers to eliminate incidence of falls or slips. 

The installation team used Mapelastic AquaDefense to waterproof showers along with Mapelastic CI for crack isolation. To set the sand-colored 13” x 13” Daltile Cove Creek tiles in the showers, Ultraflex LHT provided premium performance for a non-sag, non-slump installation. To grout the shower walls, Pro Floors installers used Ultracolor Plus FA in Pewter for its efflorescence-free application. 

The serene glass tile backsplash was set with Adesilex P10 in each cottage kitchen. Commercial kitchens were set with 8,000 sq. ft. of 8” x 8” Quarry textured tiles from Daltile, using Ultraflex LHT and grouted with Kerapoxy CQ. Moisture issues were solved by using Planiseal MSP, a moisture-control membrane and self-leveling primer with fast track technology. Differentials with foundation walls in pool areas were resolved with Mapecem Quickpatch.

Hanover Buckhead Village
Atlanta, Ga.

Hanover Buckhead Village is uniquely located in the most prestigious residential location in metro Atlanta for affluent singles and city dwellers. It rises 21 stories, with 350+ units including penthouse suites, a state-of-the-art fitness center and many premier amenities. The luxuriously curved tower was developed by the Houston-based Hanover Company and designed by architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz of Chicago. 

Installers used Ultraflex LHT to set large 24” x 48” white and gray marbled Calacatta Thorntree tile on walls, floors and the grand staircase in the impressive lobby. The installation crew first prepared the subfloor with Mapeguard UM. Large format 12” x 24” EuroMarmo Calacatta porcelain tiles were set with Ultraflex LHT, and grouted with Ultracolor Plus FA in Frost on bathroom walls, floors and the kitchen backsplash. In a unique and unconventional move, the entire complex utilized Ultraflex LHT mortar to set the condo number markers outside of each residence.

Piedmont House
Atlanta, Ga. 

A full system of MAPEI products were used to construct this impressive new high-rise tower in Midtown Atlanta. The living area begins on the seventh floor, sitting atop a six-story parking garage, giving all units a spectacular view of Piedmont Park and the surrounding areas of midtown Atlanta. The complex, designed by Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, LLC, includes premium amenities on the seventh floor and a second amenity space on the 22nd floor rooftop.

All the tile and wood flooring was installed with MAPEI products. In the urban-inspired lobby, Ultraflex LHT was used to set contemporary 12” x 36” Borneo blue tiles on the entry walls as well as large-format Concreteback Lappato black and Lappato white floor and wall tiles flown in from Spain. Strada Mist Ultraflex LHT was the mortar of choice to set the Veincut Marble polished mosaic tiles; they were grouted with Ultracolor Plus FA. Bathrooms floors and walls were tiled with 12” x 24” Interceramic Porcelain Pewter tiles, using the same products.

A big draw to utilizing MAPEI products was the full system offerings of mortars, grouts, adhesives and self-levelers. “The floors had several flaws when poured, so we used MAPEI products to level them out,” said contractor Sam Munsi. “I’m a big proponent of using all the materials on the job from one brand. When [there is an issue], I want to be able to call one person. This is why I look for full systems like MAPEI.”

Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters
Atlanta, Ga. 

The three-story, 200,000-sq.-ft. Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters under construction will house all corporate functions. MBUSA President and CEO Dietmar Exler explained that “the idea of the building is cooperation and working together.” The emphasis on creating communal work areas led the architect Gensler to design exposed offices and collaborative workspaces in multi-functional rooms.

Installers chose Planipatch and Ultraplan 1 Plus to flatten the substrate and level the floors. Keracolor S in Avalanche was used to grout white 6” x 36” Starker Porcelain tiles by Unicom in the building atrium, which doubles as a cafeteria and informal meeting area, as well as the area leading to the adjoining commercial kitchen. Keracolor S was also applied to marbled floors, walls, mosaic tiles in showers and the backsplashes in break rooms. 

Nine15 Midtown
Atlanta, Ga. 

As part of the revitalization of downtown Atlanta, the historic city is seeing a resurgence of new shops and luxe residential communities. Nine15 Midtown apartments fit right into the walkable landscape of the area’s mixed-use developments, with a design that emphasizes green living (the complex is on track to becoming LEED Certified).

As part of the green vision, interior walls were limited, allowing the kitchen to seamlessly merge into the living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows, airy cloud-colored walls, wood-look tile in Pepe Root hues and glass mosaic backsplashes transform the combined space into a breathable indoor-outdoor experience.

For surface preparation, MAPEI’s 4-to-1 Mud Bed Mix was used in the showers in conjunction with Mapelastic AquaDefense to waterproof the tub surrounds and showers. Ultraflex 2 anchored tiles from Shaw Floors’ Elegance collection, resulting in a glossy and sleek finish. Installers used Adesilex P10 to set the translucent Random linear mosaic tiles by Elysium in the kitchens and bathrooms. For the finishing touch, UltraCare Grout Sealer provided protection against common stains without altering the color of the grout joint. 

 

Coverings Ambassador – Coverings 2018

New and old combine for exciting show in Atlanta

By Alena Capra, CKD, CBD

I’m looking forward to another great Coverings this year in Atlanta! Not only am I excited to see all of the new products and amazing tile displays, but there are a lot of exciting events to check out on the show floor! 

New this year is the Installation Experience, where you will be able to learn about installation best practices, tips to make your projects shine, find out what you need to get certified, and watch an installation competition in this beautiful and dynamic exhibit. 

This year also will include extended show hours on Tuesday May 8th (with some fun networking opportunities as well), and the Orientation Theatre, which will help you get the info you need and make the most of your time at the show, as well as suggestions for tackling the show floor. 

The Coverings mobile app will also include a new feature: what “new products” are available to see on the show floor. 

In addition to so many exciting new things, there are some Coverings favorites returning this year, like the Installation & Design Showcase, where we will see three Tiny Homes built live at the show! There will also be Audio Tours, the Coverings Connect lounge, Live Installation Demos, and the Stone Zone. 

I’m so excited for the show’s return to Atlanta, one of my favorite cities for sourcing design products for my projects. There’s so much to see and do in Atlanta, including the Coverings Celebration, tailgate style, at the College Football Hall of Fame! Get your tickets and have some fun celebrating at the end of this year’s Coverings, in your favorite sports team attire!

Looking forward to seeing you at this year’s show!

– Alena

Feature Story – LATICRETE International – March 2018

Texas Motor Speedway boasts
first-of-its-kind concrete coatings

LATICRETE SPARTACOTE™ brings a professional
polish to NASCAR® track

The Texas Motor Speedway, located in Fort Worth, Texas, is home to several popular NASCAR®events each year. With the ability to fit four Dallas Cowboys’ football stadiums inside the track, the Speedway can fit over 190,000 screaming fans and holds the largest outdoor high-definition digital display board in the country, amongst other features.

In the fall of 2016, Texas Motor Speedway management partnered with LATICRETE to bring high-performance SPARTACOTE™ concrete coating systems to the legendary raceway’s massive garages – a first at any NASCAR track. Texas-based Intertech Flooring was awarded the project as the installer due to its excellent reputation in flooring solutions and experience in specialty, high-profile projects.

“This was a big project with a lot of planning involved,” said Richard Garcia, Director of Concrete Operations from Intertech Flooring. “My team and I really enjoy working with the SPARTACOTE product and appreciate the support LATICRETE brings to the table. We look forward to doing another coatings project like this soon.”

The garages at Texas Motor Speedway

Design professionals initiated the garage floor concept, which included custom colors, textures, logos and specified a moisture-mitigation primer coat spanning the concrete surface to minimize any excess moisture found within the existing concrete slab.

This type of project is increasing in popularity with tile contractors, due to the ease of install and variety that resinous flooring offers to customers as an alternative to large-format or more traditional tile or stone floors.

The challenges 

High-Profile Customization: The owners were not looking for just any old epoxy coatings as a replacement for the existing thin-film epoxy floor surface that was failing and had exceeded its service life. They demanded a professional, unique concrete coating system, which only SPARTACOTE offers.

Timely Preparation: Floor preparation is often the most time-consuming part of a professional SPARTACOTE coatings project, but this is a necessary step to achieve the desired results.


The Intertech Flooring crew mixing LATICRETE NXT Vapor Reduction Coating before application.

A LATICRETE solution

The Intertech crew began surface preparation procedures by shot blasting and grinding the existing concrete to CSP 3 for proper adhesion. After grinding, the floor was repaired using SPARTACOTE FAST FIX™ to treat the joints and areas of the concrete that scaled and spalled.

The crew then began to mix and apply NXT Vapor Reduction Coating, a single-coat, low-odor, epoxy coating specifically designed for controlling the moisture vapor emission rate from new or existing concrete slabs. This particular moisture mitigator is unique in that Intertech Flooring was able to pigment the resin a grey color for it to act as the base-colored primer, saving the installer a step in the SPARTACOTE coatings process. The crew rolled out

Intertech Flooring pigmented the resin of this moisture mitigator a grey color so it could act as the base-colored primer, saving the installer a step in the SPARTACOTE coatings process.

the pigmentedcolor across all 22,000 sq. ft. (2,044 m2) of prepared concrete at 12 mils thickness and allowed it to cure for 12 hours.

Applying the logo at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Upon full cure, the crew buffed the surface using a swing machine with 100 grit screens and began mixing and rolling out a solid black base coat and cherry-red Metallic mid-coats of SPARTACOTE material that served as the outline for the rectangle leading to the massive, 90 ft. (27.4 m) Texas Motor Speedway logo in the middle of the garage. In phase two of the garage installation, a cobalt blue SPARTACOTE Metallic color was used instead. The mid-coats had SPARTACOTE Grip added to the coating for additional foot traction.

Adding the clear SPARTACOTE topcoat to the TMS logos.

The monstrous-sized Texas Motor Speedway logo was applied over the Metallic coatings using a stencil to ensure exact placement. Once the team applied, tamped-down, and carefully removed the backing adhesive, they applied a final clear SPARTACOTE topcoat over all 22,000 sq. ft. (2,044 m2) of garage space to lock in all colors, textures and logos, and to ensure a seamless, durable finish.

Designed to withstand aircraft hydraulic grade oils, such as Skydrol®, SPARTACOTE coatings are resistant to other common garage chemicals and three times more abrasion resistant than traditional epoxy.

Outcome 

“With these floors, Texas Motor Speedway has once again raised the bar for NASCAR race tracks,” said Mat Stolley, Vice President of Operations for Texas Motor Speedway. “Not only do they convey our image as a first-class facility for our professional racing, they also provide a safe, high-traction floor for the race teams and NASCAR inspectors. With more than 40 high-performance cars being worked on at any given time on race days, our garage floors need to be able to withstand hot tires, hazardous fluids and the regular use of heavy equipment – and LATICRETE delivered exactly that.”

The Intertech team completed and turned over Phase 1 of the Texas Motor Speedway north commercial garage project in October 2016 in time for the Texas 500 NASCAR event in November. Phase two in the south race car garages was completed in February 2017.

Metallic cobalt blue TMS logo completed.

Completed cherry-red metallic logo at TMS.

Phase 1 of the 22,000-sq.-ft. project is complete, along with custom logo.

Construction Wages: skilled workers command higher pay

 Contributors: Sasha David, BuildZoom; and Bart Bettiga and Lesley Goddin, NTCAIn a recent study published on BuildZoom (buildzoom.com), author Sasha David analyzed wage data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to determine which construction jobs pay the most – and the least. (The full BuildZoom story can be found at http://bit.ly/2osxF8B.)

The study looks at the diversity of jobs that exist in construction, and also identifies broad patterns that identify higher-paid workers as well as “certain cities that offer better pay across the board for all construction jobs,” David said.

Median_National_Incomes_In_Construction_2016

It’s important to note that cement, concrete and terrazzo workers in this study are shown to make $35,000/year and brickmasons, block masons and stone masons as well as carpet, floor and tile installers and finishers make $30,000/year – a far cry from elevator installers and repairers at $80,000 annually, or construction and building inspectors at $55, 000.

David’s analysis indicates that higher wages are often commanded by supervisors, engineers and inspectors, but skilled “blue collar” positions also can bring in more robust salaries.

“People tend to associate white-collar or office jobs with higher salaries compared to blue-collar or manual labor, but the rankings show that this is not necessarily the case,” she said. “Working with elevators or boilers requires physical work, but these are among the highest paid jobs in the industry.”

 

Skilled labor = higher wages

An important factor in this wage analysis, David said, is level of skill required. “Occupations that require more training or technical expertise consistently pay higher than those with lower barriers to entry,” says BuildZoom’s Chief Economist, Dr. Issi Romem.

David added, “The highest-paying occupations often require specialized apprenticeships, licenses or certifications that demonstrate an understanding of the trade and command a premium in the market, such as a grounding in mechanics for elevator technicians, circuitry for electricians, or water systems for boilermakers. Of course, licensing can also serve as a means for controlling the number of people practicing and by reducing the supply of those tradesmen, increase their wages.

“Towards the bottom of the list are trades that generally have lower barriers to entry. Floor installers, construction laborers, drywall installers, painters and roofers are listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics as having ‘no formal education credentials’ required, while professions with average pay including pipelayers, sheet metal workers, glaziers, insulation workers, and carpenters typically require ‘a high school diploma or equivalent.’

“There are people in our industry and outside of our trade who contest that tile installation costs are already too high,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director. “But I believe that the overall cost of installation will come down if we have more highly skilled people installing tile and stone.  These products are not meant to be put in by an untrained workforce.  Tile and stone are most often selected because they are considered to be a permanent finish.  For this to be the case, we need to have a highly trained and a highly compensated workforce.”

This finding that correlates higher wages with a skilled workforce is of particular interest to NTCA, which has its core mission to educate and train installers and raise their skill level.

“For the past several years, the NTCA has been developing its online apprenticeship curriculum,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director.  “We have worked with several of our members to help them use this educational tool to recruit new people into the trade and to train their current staff.  It is our hope that this program can be integrated with supervised and field-related training.

“The reason this is so important is that we believe that tile installation is a highly skilled craft that takes several years to master,” Bettiga added. “Why is this important?  Because we have a big job to do, and it is perfectly illustrated in this paper.  We must raise the wages of our trained tile installers if we are going to recruit talented young people into our trade.  We cannot continue to be grouped with other flooring trades that quite frankly are not as complex, nor do they take as long to master.  Tile installers should be making wages like other trades that are considered to be highly skilled.”

6_trades_in_10_largest_citiesLocation impacts wages

David’s analysis also shows “ordering of occupations from highest-paid to lowest-paid at the national level,” and “within individual metro areas. Within any given city, supervisors are paid the most and painters the least, with an overall downward slope.”

Some cities are more generous with construction wages. For instance, carpet and flooring workers earn more than the national average in both the San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland region and the New York/Newark /Pennsylvania/Connecticut regions than Dallas/Fort Worth or Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

 

Cities with Higher Wages in Construction Occupations: San Jose, San Francisco , Oakland, Calif.

Cities with Higher Wages in Construction Occupations – New York-Newark, NJ, NY, CT, PA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The higher incomes in San Jose and New York suggest they may be related to how expensive it is to live in those cities,” David said. “The Cost of Living Index measures the difference in the price levels of goods, services, and rent across the US, where 100 is set as the average national cost of living. San Jose and New York have Cost of Living Indexes of 124 and 121, which are respectively the second and fifth most expensive cities in the US.”

“Wages are consistently higher across all construction occupations in certain cities, in line with the cost of living,” summarized Romem.

On the other hand, cost of living is lower in Dallas and Miami, with indices of 100 and 106 respectively, David pointed out. These lower costs of living  give“people greater purchasing power than expensive cities like San Francisco or New York,” she said.

<Cities with lower wages charts – 2>

Cities with lower wages in construction- Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, FL

Cities with lower wages in construction – Dallas, Ft. Worth, Texas; Oklahoma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how do construction occupations rank in your city? Use the dropdown at http://bit.ly/2osxF8B  to display the rankings for your city.

The above rankings and spider charts for large cities are available for download in the links below.

See the BuildZoom story at http://bit.ly/2osxF8B for notes and methodology and downloads for Occupation Rankings by Metro Area and Metro Area Comparisons to National Median.

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Raised in Tokyo and Honolulu, Sasha has implemented international marketing campaigns on five continents. She is fascinated by the intersection of technology and socioeconomic development, and is a street food enthusiast.

 

70-year old Flamingo hits the jackpot with Bostik – Feature Story – February 2018

ForrestPerkins’ renovations keep true to the property’s character and charisma

The third gambling establishment to open on the soon-to-become famous Las Vegas Strip, today The Flamingo is the Strip’s oldest resort. In the mid-‘40s, businessman extraordinaire William “Billy” Wilkerson envisioned a grand hotel/resort with an energized casino, pool, spas and golf course drawing gamblers and celebrities from across the globe. At that time, almost all casinos already in Las Vegas were extremely rustic and followed a Western theme.

That was about to change – enter architect George Vernon Russell, who brought his vision of a European-styled hotel/casino to reality. Clearly, The Flamingo was eons ahead of its time and via its luxury, major glitz and non-stop publicity campaign, created a bona fide blueprint for future resort/casinos in Las Vegas.

The Flamingo recently celebrated its 70th birthday, continuing to give visitors an authentic Vegas experience. The resort offers more than 3,500 guest rooms and suites, and features a sprawling 15-acre pool and wildlife habitat complete with waterfalls, island-like vegetation and tropical wildlife.

In 2016, and as part of an extensive renovation plan from its owner Caesars Entertainment Corporation, a major $90 million complete guestroom renovation project was launched. Led by design firm ForrestPerkins, the process began in late August. Some rooms were opened to guests in November; final completion is expected for the second quarter of 2018. Long-time aficionados of the hotel needn’t worry, as the newly renovated rooms continue using the property’s well-known pink theme.

“Flamingo Las Vegas is an iconic resort filled with 70 years of rich history and unforgettable experiences,” said Bob Morse, President of Hospitality for Caesars Entertainment. “The renovated rooms pay homage to the property’s past, while also giving it a fresh and modern new look.”

This new design program not only updates the guestrooms; it clearly brings the bathrooms up to today’s standards. All fully renovated rooms feature unique, contemporary and retro-chic designs with accents that celebrate The Flamingo’s rich history as a centerpiece of the Las Vegas Strip. ForrestPerkins’ rooms were tasked to “sparkle like glitter and shine like champagne, with vibrant hues of gold and bright pops of flamingo pink, keeping true to the property’s character and charisma.” Without question, the heralded design firm did not disappoint.

Gibson Tile, Daltile + Bostik make bathrooms shine

This renovation included the previously mentioned 3,500 guest rooms, of which about a third were completed at press time. Getting the guest baths up to the designers’ stringent standards and making very, very tight deadlines overall, was a major undertaking for all trades contracted for this project.

Mark A. Dopudja, Vice President of Gibson Tile Company, Las Vegas, Nev., stated, “We were contracted to handle the tile installation. The bathroom design called for a very high-quality, white Dal-Tile 3” x 6” product. We wanted a premium installation system, so we selected three Bostik materials: Hydroment Vivid Grout; D-2001 Ultra-Premium Mastic and Bostik GoldPlus for waterproofing.

“Our reasons for choosing these materials were very basic,” continued Dopudja. “Vivid was chosen for time constraints. It is a rapid curing grout that offers ease of installation; a superior color-consistent grout joint and non-sag properties, which are ideal for wall tile projects. We did not have time to wait for an epoxy product, which takes considerably longer to cure, so Vivid was the ideal selection. The time frame was so tight, once furniture was in place, fixtures installers were right behind them. This was the procedure, floor-by-floor, throughout the entire hotel.

“We needed a quick-cure system, one that allowed for full foot traffic in rooms after just four hours from being installed,” he added. “That’s why we decided upon a total Bostik system. And in particular, we knew their waterproofing system was ideal for the bathrooms,” stated Dopudja. “And frankly, using one full system from one single manufacturer, we believe helps to ensure an even more successful install.”

Bostik Hydroment® Vivid™ is a rapid curing, premium grade, stain resistant cementitious grout for demanding commercial and residential projects. It offers consistent color technology with enhanced stain and efflorescence protection. And Vivid™ is exceptionally ease to clean up. This greatly contributes to the speed at which installers can perform their overall project work.

Bostik D-2001® Ultra-Premium™ Mastic is a high performance adhesive for the interior installation of all types of ceramic and stone tile (except moisture sensitive marble). Ideal for fast and highly professional installations, it provides excellent vertical grab.

Lastly, Bostik GoldPlus™ is a ready-to-use, roller-applied, latex waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane for use beneath thinset ceramic tile installations on both vertical and horizontal surfaces.

“A few years ago,” concluded Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, “Bostik made a focused commitment to become a major source for tile and stone installation systems to high-end Las Vegas hospitality establishments. Our recent work at The Flamingo represents another cornerstone to that pledge. As the need for high-quality, easy-to-use and high-performance tile and stone installation systems increases, Bostik will continue to have the products, the experience and the wherewithal to more than meet this demand.” 

Educational Feature – Teamwork and collaboration with associations and government programs address manpower issues

By Steve Coates, COO of Welch Tile and Marble

Leveraging association benefits, networking, and being able to anticipate the future business outlook is more important than I’ve ever imagined.

As a matter of confession, the earlier years of career #2 were spent with my nose down to the grindstone, working long hours as if enslaved to budgets and schedules.

Transitioning from project management to a division director, becoming part of the larger community and interacting with others has proven invaluable.

Working with organizations and associations

At the local level, we are members of several organizations – ASAM (American Subcontractors Association), CWDA (Construction Workforce Development Alliance), ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) and CFMA (Construction Financial Management Association). Across the board, each association is talking about the lack of human capital/manpower. Many business owners and individuals are wondering if there will ever be positive traction on this crucial topic. We are all talking about it; when will we see results?

Here in Michigan, we are starting to see strategic efforts on several fronts, working to the same end, though not yet in unison. Associations such as CWDA, community foundations, manpower temp agencies, individual companies and governmental departments have continued to push the topic forward to various degrees. While the water is still muddy, let’s see if we can bring some clarity to the topic.

While individual groups are competing for manpower, we are starting to see some trends emerge and movements in this arena. CWDA (founded by ABC, ASAM and The Home Builders Association – HBA) is one of the key leading groups supporting this effort.

CWDA has been in existence for four years, with a goal of bringing awareness to construction job opportunities and training the next generation for the growth of our businesses.

Recently I had the privilege of sharing CWDA success stories at a monthly ASAM meeting. Because of the following CWDA team efforts, we have seen the needle move on the part of high school students, teachers, and counselors related to construction manpower:

  • Long-term strategies include MiCareer Quest, whose construction exhibit booths show off construction trades to over 9,000 kids in our region.
  • Short-term strategies include high school outreach – we share career paths for all trades.
  • Teachers are now open to integrating curriculum with construction story problems or scenarios for practical learning.
  • Providing jumpstarts into construction program and construction summer camps, where students are hired after completion. Tuition is funded by CWDA.
  • Marketing efforts are re-branding construction as a viable profession rather than a dirty, second-rate job.
  • High school counselors are challenged to realistically guide kids into the right career path, rather than 100% into college, because we know the dropout rate is over 50%.
  • Gearing up to team with state-led initiatives to get folks back to work, with Michigan Works Association (MiWorks) as our government partner.
  • Our local community college is partnered with us to supplement trades without apprenticeship programs or help jump start their skills.

Exciting news from the state level has pushed manpower and training to the forefront. Our business- minded governor instructed our state education leaders and business economic leaders to outline specific strategies to get kids better positioned for the real jobs.

The draft directives on this list open the doors and mandate that schools in the future will need to advance kids’ exposure to careers and prepare them for the real world.

In addition to transforming school agendas, the state has tagged 29 million grant dollars to be utilized in the training of new hires and advancement of existing employees. With the help of MiWorks, Welch Tile was successfully awarded $20,000 in training pending completion by each individual.

Recruiting at Welch Tile

On the company level, Welch Tile’s culture transition journey has already proven successful in terms of recruiting. Internal staff members are starting to recommend friends to the business because they feel we care about people, train people, and provide career advancement.

Defying the stats, while the national growth rate is around 3%, and West Michigan’s average growth rate is 5.8%, in the last three months our crew grew by over 15%.

What can you do about the manpower shortage? Team with key associations to collectively push the needle, band together and influence governmental policy and budgets, and create a company that is considered the employer of choice.

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