Bargain Mansions host Tamara Day breathes new life into Kansas City-area mansions

Tamara Day, host of Bargain Mansions on DIY Network

Tamara Day, host of Bargain Mansions on DIY Network

Returning neglected estates to their former glory is not for the faint of heart. Protecting the charm of the old home, while adding modern conveniences expected by today’s homeowner, is a daunting task on its own. Add pressing timelines and the hectic production schedules of a hit DIY Network show, and you have a glimpse into the daily challenges facing Tamara Day, host of Bargain Mansions.

Growing up in the construction trade, Day first became involved in restoration work by helping her father, Ward Schrader, maintain and repair her family’s Kansas farm building structures. Now, as an experienced design and construction expert, Day travels around the Kansas City area dramatically revamping historic homes with the latest modern amenities, while preserving character and authentic features such as exposed brick walls and original staircases. Just like old times, Day’s father can be seen by her side, but this time as her mentor. 

Bathroom of the “Farm House.”In one of the first episodes of the show’s second season, Day enlisted the help of contractor Centric Homes to overhaul the laundry room, kitchen, master bathroom, basement and bunkhouse of the “Farm House.” The new designs feature various Daltile product offerings like mosaic tile and are installed using LATICRETE® materials. 

Bathroom of the “Farm House.”“After speaking with LATICRETE, it was a no-brainer to incorporate their products throughout the entire home. They have installation materials for just about every kind of installation, allowing me the freedom to focus on creating fabulous designs for each space and not worry about how I was going to execute them,” said Day.

The Challenges 

Production deadlines: When working on a production timeline, the importance of hitting deadlines is elevated, especially when following trades need installations to be completed before they can begin their portion of the restoration. It was important that the LATICRETE products chosen be able to be installed with ease in a timely fashion.

Products for multiple applications: Not only does renovating an old home take a team of installers, but it also takes a team of products that are up to the task. From installing large-format tiles in showers around the home to leveling the concrete substrate in the basement for a flat floor, LATICRETE had a product for every design application.

Design flexibility: The Kansas City area is no stranger to the cold. When planning the “Farm House” improvements, Day mapped out two key areas where heat was a must – the large basement and master bathroom. It was vital the LATICRETE electric radiant floor heating system offer design flexibility to accommodate the unique floor plans of each space.

A LATICRETE Solution 

In recent years, interior designers have increasingly incorporated large-and-heavy tiles into their projects, which has not only presented new design possibilities but has also created new requirements and challenges. To install Daltile tiles that were 12”x24” (50.8mmx609.6mm) and larger in areas like the master bathroom shower, 257 TITANIUM™, a lightweight thin-set mortar was selected. This product features an easy-to-spread, creamy consistency for ease of use and exceeds ANSI A118.15, the industry’s highest performance standard for a cementitious- based adhesive mortar, for a long-lasting worry-free installation. 

STRATA_HEAT™ electric radiant floor heating system“The large-format tiles, installed with 257 TITANIUM, trick your eye into thinking the bathrooms are actually much roomier than they actually are,” added Day. “The tile’s large size allows for far fewer grout lines, creating an easy-to-clean, uninterrupted finish.” 

Grout colors featured in areas like the shower walls in the master bathroom and basement and the walls behind the mirror in the bunkhouse bathroom include Light Pewter, Sterling Silver, Marble Beige, Bright White and Twilight Blue. PERMACOLOR® Select Grout – the industry’s first dispersible dry pigment grout solution – was used to achieve these looks. With PERMACOLOR Select, contractors gain increased productivity and time savings on the
jobsite, with a faster time-to-grout, and foot traffic permitted in as little as three hours. 

Radiant floor heating is a high-end design feature that is growing in popularity in both new homes and renovations that focus on clean, comfortable living. To prepare the basement floors for the installation of STRATA_HEAT™ electric radiant floor heating system and the following floor covering, NXT® Level, a cement-based underlayment for use in leveling interior substrates was chosen. Centric Homes used this product to produce a flat, smooth and hard surface. Once cured, NXT Level is durable, fire- and heat-resistant, non-combustible, non-sensitive to moisture and maintenance-free. 

Unlike most other systems, the STRATA_HEAT Wire used to heat the floors in the basement and master bathroom does not have a minimum on straight-run lengths and will not interfere with other electronics in the vicinity. For added design flexibility, this product is highly customizable with multiple spacing options for variability in heat output, making it easy to work in the uniquely shaped rooms. 

As the world becomes more focused on smart home technology, the tile and flooring industry has been tasked to develop products like the STRATA_HEAT electric radiant floor heating system that keeps up with and adapts to a new way of living. To control the system, the homeowners will use the STRATA_HEAT Wi-Fi Thermostat, a smart-focused thermostat that is compatible with home automation devices and can learn homeowner routines to reduce heat usage by up to 25%. 

Outcome 

“The pictures speak for themselves. The Farm House went from unruly to an absolute knockout! Thanks to the wide array of LATICRETE products, we were able to make the vision for this home possible,” said Day. “Being able to bring a home back to life is why I love what I do, and working with companies like LATICRETE makes it easy.” 

Full episodes of the dramatic Bargain Mansions makeovers can be seen on DIY Network. The show can also be streamed via the network app, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU and Google Play.

LATICRETE products will be featured throughout the entire second season. 

What’s selling around the country

Sales trends for 2019

As wood looks and large-format tiles continue to dominate in the industry’s “what’s trending” news, other fashion-forward items are beginning to make a place for themselves, too. The following takes a peek at what’s heating up the spring from several major players throughout the nation, according to the sales personnel in the field. Contributors Marazzi/American Olean, The Tile Shop, D&B Tile and Westside Tile give their take and share their insight on what the current hot sellers are, as well as how things are shaping up in the different regions of the country.

Mid-Atlantic/Southeast

According to Eric Foley, General Sales Manager for American Olean and Marazzi, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions, this year has definitely seen an industry-wide trend emerging when it comes to tile formats. Specifically, large-format, gauged porcelain tile panels, subway tile, and wood-look planks are big are expected to increase in sales moving forward.

Modern Formation by Marazzi

Modern Formation by Marazzi

Foley noted, too, that Dal-Tile’s StepWise™ technology increases slip-resistance by 50%, allowing products to offer high dynamic coefficient of friction, without a rough texture that may interfere with maintenance. StepWise products also feature SimpliClean™ that makes cleaning easy and ClimatePro™ for surfaces that are used outdoors. 

There is a huge push for 24″x48″ rectified formats and large traditional square sizes in traditional grid sets (24″x24″ and larger). Larger-format marble mosaic patterns are very desirable visuals as well – especially waterjet cut designs featuring unique patterns inlaid with coordinating porcelain or metal accents.

American Olean’s Historic Bridge

American Olean’s Historic Bridge

Wood-look planks continue to be very popular in sizes such as 6″x36″, 9″x36″, 8″x40″ and 8″x48″, both in pressed and rectified formats.

Another sales trend among customers is the installation of the same tile both inside and outside the home. Especially in transition areas, homeowners are using the same tile for both interior spaces and outside under covered patios and on pool decking.

Regarding wallcoverings, multiple wall formats in pressed (4″x12″,  6″x18″, 8″x24″) and larger rectified formats (16″x48″ and larger) continue to gain in popularity.

When it comes to subway tile, traditional subway tile in 3″x6″ is still overwhelmingly popular and a top choice in all markets.

Union by American Olean

Union by American Olean

Tile that emulates wood, concrete, encaustic, glossy, hand-made surfaces, satin finishes, textiles, limestone and marble continues to dominate the market. Dal-Tile Colorbody porcelains – across brands – that offer multiple textures in the same design scheme and color palette (light polished, unpolished and textured) are also a favorite choice.

Wood visuals are overwhelmingly popular since they provide a cleaner finish, less rustic graining and softer texture.

Encaustic has recently grown in popularity among designers, especially with coordinating solids and decorative patterns.

Hawthorne by Marazzi

Hawthorne by Marazzi

When it comes to small-format, high-gloss wall tiles in monochromatic color palettes are selling very well (wavy hand-made, or irregular look) and raised patterns with monolithic appearance. Popular small-format tile sizes include 3″x12″, 4″x4″ and 6″x 6″.

In terms of color for this region, lighter cooler tones still reign supreme (light white/grays through charcoal grays), while beige is on a comeback, and is best if blended with cooler tones (greige).

Porcelain is still the buzz, and Colorbody is the preferred choice for commercial environments. Ceramic is more important in new construction environments and less appealing in the residential remodel category. Metal is more popular when used as an inlaid accent.

Method from American Olean.

Method from American Olean.

As far as pairings go, wood together with glass, concrete and metal continue to maintain popularity, while wood plank floor is very commonly used with more contemporary, or traditional stone visuals on walls. Concrete visuals can stand alone with industrial worn visuals (repurposed stained concrete floors with mix of previous floor covering still visible).

Popular layout/installation patterns in this neck of the woods center around clean, traditional tile set in rectangular sizes. Tile in 12″x24″ format is seen as the favored choice on floors and walls. Also, wood-look planks in herringbone patterns are still popular in 6″x 24″, 4″x28″ and 6″x36″ sizes).

Nu_Tempo by Marazzi

Nu_Tempo by Marazzi

Foley said Dal-Tile is a vigorous sponsor of education in the industry, reaching out to dealers, tile contractors, builders, vendors and the A&D community with information about qualified labor, and the benefits of premium installation materials to support high-performance installations. This is of primary importance when using popular large panels and large-format heavy tile. 

Marazzi’s Castellina

Marazzi’s Castellina

One such product is large-and-heavy tile mortar (LHT) that supports the weight of large-format tile and assures that there’s enough coverage, based on industry standards and recommended spread rates by the manufacturer. In product knowledge presentations, the company recommends back-buttering tiles before depressing in mortar bed, to assure recommended coverage on the tile during installation. To ensure a lippage-free installation, leveling spacers are recommended for the corners of each tile during installation. This prevents high or low corners that are easily detected in environments with natural sunlight and wall-wash lighting, and are the lead complaint by consumers in the marketplace.

Midwest/Northeast

Aqua Blu from The Tile Shop.

Aqua Blu from The Tile Shop.

When it comes to the top sales directions in tiles, Minnesota-based The Tile Shop sees trends going in both directions as far as large-format and subway tile. Large format is definitely taking off thanks to fewer grout lines and a cleaner, more modern look. The company also sees the opposite trend, as people clamor for handcrafted looks, keeping subway tile a top category. 

Wood-look planks continue to dominate, presenting natural wood aesthetics without the maintenance. 

The Tile Shop’s Mos Metalica.

The Tile Shop’s Mos Metalica.

Another popular format for the company is the hexagon, connecting with clients’ love for the old-world/handcrafted feel. Rectified tile is also sought after for its clean, sleek and contemporary feel. It allows for smaller grout joints, which play into the large-format tile trend.

When it comes to the look and design of a tile, technology has definitely played its part recently. As printing and glazing techniques advance, natural stone looks have improved immensely, producing authentic white marble looks that are in demand. And natural stone is on the rise, as well.

Kingswood from The Tile Shop

Kingswood from The Tile Shop

Modern farmhouse design continues to be popular and includes encaustic-look and subway tile. And textiles are making a statement in tile. The Tile Shop is seeing more and more wallpaper-effect tile with subtle nuances of texture and a 3-D quality. Designers love the ability to use these tiles to tie the overall look of the room together. 

Firenze natural marble from The Tile Shop.

Firenze natural marble from The Tile Shop.

White and gray continue to be dominant in the Midwest/Northeast, paired with pops of color to make a statement. Two-tone or three-tone patterned tiles (such as encaustic-look) continue to be popular.

People are looking for something to personalize their space and make it different. Each category of material – whether it be porcelain, ceramic, glass, metal or wood – takes off due to its design quality rather than what it is made out of. The only material that The Tile Shop noted people specifically request is porcelain, due to its durability, but the design aspect takes precedence in most cases, with two-tone or three-tone designs, and mixed-material waterjet mosaics that offer elevated design capabilities. People are using these designs in new and innovative ways to add subtle pattern or a make a bolder impact in their spaces. Mixing natural stone with man-made products is always on-trend because it allows high-level design and affordability. 

The Tile Shop’s Star line.

The Tile Shop’s Star line.

Paris from The Tile Shop

Paris from The Tile Shop

The Tile Shop noted that installation patterns are dependent on the type of material used. Subway tile still tends to be laid in the most traditional way as a half-offset or brick pattern. It also observed a strong rise in the patchwork look, where multiple patterned tiles are mixed together on a single surface.

The company is educating its clients through events such as NTCA educational workshops and wedi certification events. Its Pro Network market managers also work closely with its pros, making sure they are choosing the best installation products to get the job done right.

Southeast/Florida 

Wood Impressions from Crossville

Wood Impressions from Crossville

At D&B Tile Distributors, with a multitude of locations in Florida, the top tile sales trends include porcelain wood planks at 48″, edging up to 60″ lengths. Tiles 36″ and under are commodities in the company’s territory.

Large-format porcelain, polished and matte, in 30″x30″, 30″x 60″, 24″x 48″ are popular, as are subway tile and mosaics. Popular colors include gray, silver, greige, white, and white with gray as in Calacatta looks.

Photography by G. Richard Booth.

Photography by G. Richard Booth.

Porcelain is the primary material for walls and floors, with a small percentage of decorative ceramic tiles such as wave looks, since the ceramic tile body allows depth to be created in manufacturing.

When it comes to pairings in the Southeast, wood and concrete work well together; so do glass and stone mosaics, porcelain, glass and metal mosaics, and combinations of various materials and shapes in mosaics.

Popular layout/installation patterns include rectangular tile set in 1/3 offset or straight. If square, then it’s traditional square installation, moving away from tile set at a 45 degree angle.

Crossville Laminam Statuario.

Crossville Laminam Statuario. Photography by G. Richard Booth.

The company educates its internal clients every day so that they provide proper consultation to external clients. Contractors are educated with product knowledge at the company’s branch locations and at industry educational events, such as NTCA/CTEF workshops, and LATICRETE/Crossville thin-gauged large porcelain presentations. 

In another effort to promote qualified labor, D&B lists the best licensed local contractors/customers on its website in a separate “find a contractor” page. Certified Tile Installers are sorted at the top, which gives D&B’s customer the best, most qualified options first.

Cement tiles like these from Bati Orient

Cement tiles like these from Bati Orient

West Coast

Woodtalk, in the Ergon line by Emilceramica, illustrates the trend to more authentic , realistic wood tiles.

At Westside Tile and Stone, as the Los Angeles housing market continues to boom and construction is seen in every neighborhood, the tile industry continues to evolve to accommodate everyone’s taste. Many homeowners are spending more time in their homes and want to create an oasis in their bathroom and a kitchen that will be the envy of the neighborhood. 

With the increasingly abundant tile options available in the marketplace, sustainable goods are becoming more sought out along with unique materials that will differentiate one installation from the next. While most trends are revolving around the wood-look tiles, the company is seeing Carrara marble or Carrara-like porcelain tile in bold colors and patterns starting to pop up.

This sintered tile from Neolith illustrates the gorgeous Carrara looks available today.

Wood-look tiles are increasingly being used in new construction as well as remodeled homes with authentic features like knots, textures, and grain in abundant variation. The variety of colors and sizes in these tiles allows them to be used not only for flooring but also in shower wall applications, where they provide natural looks while being impervious to moisture and easy to maintain. Since these tiles are being used in both traditional and contemporary installations, they are installed in unique patterns such as chevron, herringbone, or staggered brick.

Carrara marble is a fashionable finishing option on the West Coast. Its unique blend of colors and tones creates a timeless look. Since it comes in a variety of sizes, finishes and mosaics, it can be used in all sorts of residential applications and allows kitchens and bathrooms to take on both cool and warm tones that blend a variety of styles together. 

Cement tiles in encaustic patterns turn floors into statements.

The rise in use of Carrara marble has spurred an abundance of porcelain tiles meant to resemble it. Digital-print technology refinements have allowed porcelain tiles to look exponentially better than before, with an ever-growing amount of variation found as in real marble. Porcelain Carrara tiles offer the look of natural stone without staining or discoloration. 

Cement tile is moving into bolder patterns and colorways than before. These patterned tiles are being used in bathroom floors as statements, and allow for simpler wall tiles to be used. Encaustic patterns have brought back the ability for floors to be the center of attention in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and even kitchens. 

Chinese tariffs

Cement tiles offer a range of looks to match the design theme of the room.

Tariffs the current administration has imposed on tiles from China have gotten some attention, but what is the impact on the industry?

Most of our contributors say the tariffs have little effect on pricing. Eric Foley, of Marazzi and American Olean said, the Dal-Tile Corporation is largely immune because most of its series are produced in North America or able to be sourced from elsewhere around the globe, including its own production in Europe. It has, however, seen a spike in opportunities based on inquiries from customers that are dependent on Chinese material, particularly from the builder channel. 

D&B Tile Distributors got a jump on the situation as it started moving away from Chinese tile in 2017, so tile products aren’t feeling a pinch. However, tools and sundries the distributor imports from China are experiencing price increases, but currently D&B is confident that it won’t affect sales. 

Tile trends for 2019

Here we are, about to embark on another Coverings, the only United States trade show exclusive to ceramic tile and the showcase for the trends in our industry. We are all looking for the next new trend that will carry our industry into the future and continue to see ceramic gain share over other floor and wall coverings. We see other categories attempting to steal our thunder with terms like “waterproof” and “scratchproof,” where we want to say, “Hey – that’s not new! These have been characteristics of ceramic tile since its creation.” So, let’s talk about the tile trends for 2019 as we all converge on Orlando, Fla. to show who truly is the king of floor and wall coverings.

When looking at the industry, we immediately focus on the appearance of the product to announce what’s new, but in my quest to identify the next trend, I found we must look at a couple of key elements. Raj Shah, President of MSI Surfaces, commented, “We have to ask what it is the consumer wants from a performance standpoint. If you look at why other ‘trends’ have been created, it’s not always the decorative aspect. For instance, observe the transition from marble to quartz or laminate to luxury vinyl tile. These trends were driven by easy care and maintenance, or ease of installation.” 

We all are seeking the answer to an easy installation, so it makes you wonder who will be the first to bring “click ceramic tile” that solves our installation costs compared to other floor coverings. Then again, tile is a different animal than carpet or plastic floors – less forgiving and with a much longer life. Though speed is often a factor in our modern world, retaining craftsmanship and performance that result from installation by qualified installers is also a key consideration. Keep this in mind as you’re searching vendor booths at the show to ensure you are addressing your customers’ true requirements.

With the performance trend addressed, let’s turn our attention to the visual aspect, which ceramic tile leads the floor and wall coverings category hands down. 

Technology

While we have seen other categories strive to mimic ceramic tile to gain share, we continue to develop new technologies to enhance the visual appeal, and also widen the application scope of ceramic tile. Ink jet continues to evolve to allow manufacturers to create visuals that are more realistic than ever. We have truly started to understand the opportunities that gauged porcelain tiles, panels and slabs offer for increased applications on counter tops, walls, showers and other installations with this new technology. In addition, we will see additional 2cm pavers targeted at exterior applications, which will continue to grow with a new focus on exteriors from tile distributors.

The visuals 

It is critical that we continue to showcase the most desired visuals for our markets while ensuring we keep our clients engaged with what is new and trending.

Wood

Wood is obviously here to stay and is estimated to be about 30% of our industry’s sales; manufacturers continue to replicate new wood looks whether they be a new species or a weathered look from antiquated buildings. 

Gauged porcelain tiles, panels and slabs 

This has been a game changer in our industry and will continue to grow with the beautiful replications of various stones. They also offer marble looks with the ease of maintenance consumers, designers and architects strive for. Daltile’s Panoramic Porcelain collection is an example that offers stunning visuals and seamless design with no boundaries.

Daltile’s Panoramic Porcelain

Marble looks

With the continued evolution of ink jet, we continue to see marble looks as one of the most sought-after visuals with ceramic tile. As stated earlier, the ease of maintaining a beautiful marble is now achievable and will only continue to evolve.

Encaustic looks

While this has been viewed as a niche product, you will see a wide range of variations at Coverings, like Daltile’s Quartetto (pictured), which features a handmade-look encaustic tile in an 8” x 8” porcelain. It offers eight selections of decorative patterns in both warm and cool palettes, giving you a wide range of design freedom.

Daltile’s Quartetto

Fabric looks

Fabrics are continuing to come into the mix as manufacturers find the balance of what both the residential and commercial client is looking for.

Cement looks

Cement looks – also known as the industrial look – are still a large part of our industry’s sales, and manufacturers will showcase the next generation of these. While a large portion of the sales has been commercial, we see consumers seeking the more modern or contemporary look that the cement look caters to. Furthermore, ceramic tile’s performance and maintenance is far superior to stained concrete.

Metallic looks

The new iteration of metallics features a more muted appearance that lends itself to a wider range of applications. MSI’s Oxide (pictured) is a good example that offers three colors each with a unique distressed metallic-look finish for lasting visual impact. This appeals to both the edgy industrial look and one that’s more conventional.

MSI’s Oxide

Wall tiles

While floor tiles are increasingly used on walls, many distributors have increased their selection of wall tile beyond the traditional subway tile into larger rectangular sizes and even 12”x24”. Traditionally we have seen the neutral colors dominate this category; however, as more manufacturers enter this arena, we will see more design aspects like MSI’s Urbano collection (pictured) that features a contemporary detail in six colors as well as 3D patterns to allow a more chic look. Daltile’s Color Wheel wall program is a stunning collection of colors and formats in a program that is straightforward, easy to understand and easy to work with. This is key as we continue to increase our share of wall applications.

Also, Daltile’s Geometric Fusion (pictured) offers nine patterns designed to be installed randomly, which creates an intentional deconstructed geometric aesthetic. Each tile features a decorative blend of metallic, matte and glossy finishes enhanced by EverLux™ Sync technology, which utilizes dry glazes with digital synchronization and creates a high-definition realism that is new to the tile industry.

Daltile’s Geometric Fusion

Rustic/stone

While some markets in the US have moved beyond rustic stone looks, we still have many users that seek this style without the maintenance of natural stone. Manufacturers will display new generations of these designs to enhance the installation. 

Colors: what will we see?

Pantone announced the 2019 color of the year as Living CoralThe traditional colors will continue to dominate our market since we are a “neutral” category; however, as users get “braver” we see more colors being used in tile installations. While Pantone announced the 2019 color of the year as Living Coral, we will not see this impact our core colors, but it’s important to offer more color in our offerings. 

Summary

Keep in mind these checklist items as you walk the show:

What are my customers’ true desires from a performance standpoint?

Do I have the core looks addressed at various price points?

a. Wood

b. Gauged porcelain tile, slabs/
panels

c. Marble

d. Encaustic 

e. Fabric

f. Cement

g. Metallic

h. Wall tiles, with an emphasis on the contemporary design

i. Rustic/stone

j. Colors – be sure to infuse this into your offering

Installation & Design Experience designer offers show perspective

Designer Glenda Wright shares her thoughts on her vignette, trends, and qualified labor

We caught up with Installation & Design Experience designer Glenda Wright to preview her vignette, get her thoughts on tile and stone trends, and hear why she thinks qualified labor is important.

This year, the Installation & Design Showcase has a new incarnation. As part of the overarching Installation & Design Experience, each of three vignettes will pair a designer with a NTCA Five-Star Contractor to bring the design to life, with fully-completed vignettes ready for viewing once the show opens. 

Glenda Wright

Glenda Wright

One of the designers is Wright, Associate AIA, Associate CASE Manager II for Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock/Architects, Inc. (HHCP), an architectural company based in Orlando, with a world-class international reputation characterized by its passion for creating outstanding guest experiences. 

Wright is partnering with NTCA Five-Star Contractor Brad Denny of Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Company, Inc., on the vignette, titled “Hidden Oasis.” Ceramics of Italy will supply the tile and MAPEI will supply the installation materials. 

The Polite Pig Restaurant

HHCP designed The Polite Pig Restaurant, one of the new restaurants in Disney Springs at Disney World in Orlando. The interiors were done by Anna Schmidt Interior Design.

“My vignette demonstrates that tile is a durable, water-resistant and low-maintenance finish that lends itself perfectly to the creation of an exterior space where one can relax and rewind while enjoying the soothing sounds of a water wall,” Wright explained. “When correctly specified and installed, tile provides beauty, ambience and value, making it an ideal finish.”

Wright also gave us a designer view into upcoming trends for 2019.

“In 2019, one of the strongest trends in tile and stone will continue to be large-format tile in a variety of sizes and thicknesses,” Wright explained. “Advancements in digital technology will continue to provide new and much-loved stone and wood looks, as well as bold patterns and graphics. Blues, terra cotta, and greige are color trends that are welcomed in both modern and traditional environments.”

Wright noted that, “three-dimensional tile and playful, bold, and traditional graphics are emerging trends that can provide interest and personality to tile installations.”

The trend towards larger and thicker tiles has paved the way for fantastic new opportunities for tile, Wright said. “The increase in sizes and thicknesses of tile has allowed for new applications in kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, tables, and outdoor kitchens,” she noted. “Geometric shapes, bold graphics, and colors are great ways to bring personal style and interest to spaces. When installed correctly, tile and stone offer durability and water resistance, as well as beautiful aesthetics and easy maintenance.”

endering of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Rendering of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) headquarters in Orlando, Fla., currently under construction, designed by HHCP.

Qualified labor

One of the purposes of the Installation & Design Experience is to champion the partnerships that result when pairing visionary designers and qualified installers, who have obtained industry-recognized credentials, be they Certified Tile Installers, ACT certified installers, Trowel of Excellence Installers or NTCA Five-Star Contractors, which require certification for entry into an elite group of craftspeople. 

Wright’s firm seeks out qualified installers, explaining that they “offer consistent quality installations and an overall understanding of the product’s characteristics and the details that contribute to a coherent design and installation. Below is a paragraph on installer qualifications from our specifications.”

Working closely with the qualified tile /stone contractor helps to ensure success on projects and satisfaction for clients. Wright said, “They understand the nuances of tile installation and they have a greater awareness and understanding of the details that contribute to a complete quality design and installation.”

To buttress her knowledge of tile products and their installation, Wright takes the extra step of seeking industry information. “I have attended manufacturer factory tours with StonePeak, Schluter, and Crossville Inc., and regularly attend lunch-and-learn presentations,” she said.

Come to the Installation & Design Experience at Coverings booth #3538 to see Wright’s vignette, as well as vignettes by two other designer NTCA Five-Star Contractor teams. These include: Reginald Dunlap of Reginald Dunlap Interior Design, working with Welch Tile & Marble, with tile supplied by Estima, and installation materials by LATICRETE; and Ryan Young, AIA/NCARB/LEED AP working with C.C. Owen Tile Company, Inc., with tile supplied by Crossville, Inc., and setting materials by ARDEX. For more information on Coverings or to register, visit www.coverings.com

 

The Wyndham Rio Mar

The Wyndham Rio Mar – Puerto Rico project is located in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.  The picture is of the Lobby Bar.  Designed by HHCP, Baskerville did the interiors.

About HHCP

Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock/Architects, Inc. (HHCP) is an architectural company based in the USA with a world-class international reputation characterized by its passion for creating outstanding guest experiences. An innovator in architecture since 1975, HHCP delivers award-winning, imaginative designs and exceptional services for clients around the world. With a talented staff of architects, urban and regional planners, managers, project coordinators and support personnel based in Orlando, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Beijing, China, HHCP offers clients a unique depth of expertise through its diverse practice areas. Clients benefit from the sharing of international trends and ideas across HHCP’s diverse practice areas, including planning/mixed-use, hospitality, themed entertainment, residential, retirement resorts, health care facilities, government/civic, and higher education.

 In addition, HHCP is one of the few firms in the United States that has a division focusing on construction litigation. HHCP’s Construction Analysis Support & Evaluation (CASE) Division completes its architectural and planning practice. CASE specializes in supporting attorneys, owners, design professionals and contractors in dispute resolution efforts on non-HHCP projects. The lessons learned from this work have allowed HHCP to provide even better service to its clients.

Slam-dunk Bosti-Set® installation at University of Houston’s Fertitta Center

The University of Houston unveiled its transformed basketball arena on December 1st, 2018, when the men’s basketball team played its first home game in its upgraded facility against the University of Oregon. The “old” arena was gutted in Spring of 2017, and this cutting-edge $60 million renovation project was completed in November. The newly constructed sports center, which was built by Turner Construction, was named after local billionaire Tilman Fertitta, who was fittingly inducted into the UH Athletics Hall of Honor just a few days before the first game took place.

Due to Mr. Fertitta’s generosity, the original 50-year-old University of Houston arena, formerly known as Hofheinz Pavilion, was renovated into a sports venue slated for future UH teams, characterized by a futuristic exterior. Whereas the entire exterior structure and roof were unchanged, just about everything else throughout this building project, inside and outside, was completely updated.

Crossville’s Laminam large-format gauged porcelain panels for the walls of five concession stands were strategically positioned throughout the interior concourse of the arena.

The low interior ceiling was eliminated, replaced by open ceiling space for both the bowl and concourse levels. Other major improvements included reconfiguring the arena’s seating to offer even more premium opportunities, two large VIP club areas, highly upgraded facilities in the Guy V. Lewis Basketball Center via a new tunnel connection, a beautiful new court, and much, much more. 

Architectural plans called for the specification of Crossville’s Laminam® large-format gauged porcelain panels for the walls of five concession stands strategically positioned throughout the interior concourse of the arena. “I met with the installer, Allstate Commercial, along with our Houston distributor, BPI,” said Santiago Hernandez, Bostik’s Texas Territory Sales Manager. “Together we helped train the installation team. But first, I had to convince both groups about the winning characteristics of Bosti-Set®, our state-of-the-art adhesive, formulated specifically for the installation of today’s gauged porcelain tile panels.”

Bosti-Set, Bostik’s state-of-the-art adhesive, formulated specifically for the installation of today’s gauged porcelain tile panels, was used to install the Laminam panels.

Hernandez not only persuaded both firms, but together with Ruben Rivera of BPI, subsequently staged winning educational sessions to ensure that installers from the Allstate Commercial team not only knew all the many attributes of Bosti-Set, but became psyched to work with this space-age material. Bosti-Set is a premium adhesive and sound reduction membrane, created specifically for gauged thin porcelain tile panel installations. It immediately grabs porcelain tile panels in a single coat, does not allow for any sag and makes it possible for panels to be repositionable for at least 30 minutes. Projects calling for gauged thin porcelain tile panels now can be installed in roughly half the time with a smaller crew. Why? A single layer of adhesive is troweled only onto the back of the panel or wall, cutting in half the square footage necessary to trowel. Additionally, with Bosti-Set, installation crew members dedicated to basics such as mixing, running mortar back and forth and similar functions, can be redirected to work on more skilled installation procedures.

Projects calling for gauged thin porcelain tile panels now can be installed in roughly half the time with a smaller crew since only a single layer of adhesive is troweled only onto the back of the panel or wall, cutting in half the square footage necessary to trowel.

Bosti-Set is lighter in weight with much greater coverage than typical mortars. It contains zero VOCs as well as 2% recycled material. Bostik’s patent-pending Thickness ControlTM Spacer Technology built into Bosti-Set, ensures proper membrane thickness is always maintained between tile panels and the substrate. And recycled rubber crumb particles mixed into the adhesive offer optimal membrane sound reduction performance. 

“We first found out about Bosti-Set from our BPI representative, Ruben Rivera,” stated Rusty Dennison, Vice President of Operations at Allstate Commercial Flooring of Spring, Texas. “Typically, we’d use a thinset for wall applications, such as the one slated for the concession areas in the new Fertitta Center. So, during Surfaces/TISE West 2018 in Las Vegas, we met together with BPI and Bostik to get a really good picture of the benefits offered by this new material. We were impressed by many of its characteristics, and I must state, also by the highly professional way in which the product was presented to us. And of course, as businesspeople, we were obviously excited learning that with Bosti-Set, it took fewer workers less time for installations to be completed.” 

Allstate Commercial team not only knew all the many attributes of Bosti-Set, but became psyched to work with this space-age material.

Fast forwarding, once all parties were 100% on the same page, the installation process for these interior concourse areas of Fertitta Center began.

“In many ways, this was a championship, total-team effort installation!” beamed Hernandez. “It was the first time Allstate Commercial had ever worked with Bosti-Set, but we know it won’t be the last. The firm’s installers all had an A-game attitude throughout the entire process. Ruben and I were on-site for a great deal of time. It was awesome to witness a state-of-the-art, architectural conception being transformed into structural reality step by step. And even more so, watching our product being used so effectively by those that we had a hand in training, was truly a gratifying experience.”

Rusty Dennison added, “Not only was this a winning installation. But at the University of Houston Cougars’ first home game in the brand-new arena, we beat Oregon 65-61!”

Bosti-Set is a premium adhesive and sound reduction membrane, created specifically for gauged thin porcelain tile panel installations that immediately grabs porcelain tile panels in a single coat, does not allow for any sag and makes it possible for panels to be repositionable for at least 30 minutes.

 

What is minimum grout joint?

QUESTION

We were awarded a large office building project in California. The lobby floor tile is 5,000 sq. ft. of 24” x 48” porcelain over a mortarbed. The architect is calling for a 1/16” grout joint. During your seminar last summer, you educated me about how this is not a good thing, since there is expansion within the tile itself. Do you have some literature or could you tell me where I can get some stating this, so I can submit it to the architect and get them to change it to a 1/8” joint? 

ANSWER

Minimum grout joint size is addressed in both the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and in ANSI. It is found on page 37 in the 2018 TCNA Handbook section entitled, “Grout Joint Size, Layouts, and Patterns,” which is excerpted from ANSI A108.02-2017, section 4.3.8.

The Handbook states: 

“To accommodate the range in facial dimensions of tile supplied, the actual grout joint size shall be at least three times the actual variation of facial dimensions of the tile supplied. Example: for tile having a total variation of 1/16” in facial dimensions, a minimum of 3/16” grout joint shall be used. Nominal centerline of all joints shall be straight with due allowances for hand-molded or rustic tiles. In no circumstance shall the grout joint be less than 1/16”.”

It goes on to give an example of tiles that vary in size in running bond/brick joint patterns, calling for a minimum of 1/8” wide grout joints for rectified tiles and 3/16” wide grout joints for calibrated tiles with any side greater than 15”. 

Generally speaking, under this standard, most calibrated tile should not have a grout joint smaller than 3/16”. Most rectified tiles should have no grout joint smaller than 1/8”. The smallest grout joint you should ever have is 1/16” and is usually only applicable in stone installations.

I hope this helps. 

Robb Roderick, NTCA Technical Trainer

Wood frame construction recommendations for tile and stone floors

Building design guidelines and additional measures to accommodate sustained concentrated loads 

This article was derived from an article by Dr. Frank Woeste, P.E., Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech and a wood construction consultant, and Peter Nielsen, cofounder of MGNT Products Group, LLC, a consulting and product design company for the tile and construction industries. This version of the information was generated by NTCA to provide a brief overview of their wood framing recommendations for hard surface flooring.


Two kinds of designers are involved in construction: design professionals responsible for performance and structural integrity and interior-focused designers responsible for the final appearance. Although they have very different roles, some of their decisions should be coordinated. For example, they should join forces when hard surface flooring – like tile and stone – is selected since these materials are on the heavier end of the spectrum, requiring more robust structures to support their weight. Hard surface floors are also more susceptible to problems than flexible floor types are when the weight of a concentrated load, like a dreamy kitchen island, is not adequately designed for. This article provides guidelines to design professionals for specifying adequately supportive structures for tile and stone floors in new construction wood frame buildings.

Designing for dead load

Sagging book shelves illustrate the concept of creep deflection; over time, shelves that are not strong enough for the weight they are loaded up with will bow.

A key factor is “dead load,” which is the cumulative weight of everything that a structure needs to support continually, including the flooring. When the actual dead load in a wood frame structure exceeds what was designed for, it over stresses the wood framing and over time can result in excessive “creep deflection,” a permanent bowing of the structure. An easy way to envision creep deflection is to picture an overloaded bookcase. The shelves will bow over time – and permanently – under the weight of the books.

Similarly, a home or building can be overloaded, for example by being structurally designed for luxury vinyl planks (LVP) flooring rather than the interior designer’s vision for ceramic planks. Some creep deflection is inherent and expected in wood frame construction, and not an issue for tile and stone floors. Overloading is what causes excessive creep deflection, possibly beyond what a tile or stone floor can withstand. Potential for and severity of a tile flooring issue because of excessive creep is tied to the amount of overloading and passage of time.

Weighty design features, like large kitchen islands with solid surface tops, and heavier-than-usual appliances, such as a Sub-Zero refrigerator, are examples of concentrated dead loads that additionally need to be designed for, structurally. This is true regardless of flooring type, but something to be especially aware of when the floor will be ceramic or stone tile. That’s because rigid, hard surface flooring materials are where concentrated overloading of a wood frame structure might become visually apparent, in the form of cracks, due to their inability to bend.

Baseline weights to factor into dead load 

To facilitate adequate structural design for tile and stone floors, the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation provides the approximate per square foot weight of tile, stone, and installation materials, individually by material type (i.e., 1/2” thick cement board weighs 4 lbs. per square foot) as well as cumulatively by installation method (i.e., Method F144 weighs 8 or 10 lbs. per square foot, depending on whether 1/4” or 1/2” cement board is used). Using this information, located in Appendix B, building designers can arrive at accurate dead loads. 

Appendix B of the TCNA Handbook is a compilation of material and system weights.

Method F141 Stone weighs 23 pounds/square foot with a 1-1/4” mortar bed.

Accurate dead load is important because dead load influences the maximum span (length) of wood joist that can be used, per International Residential Code (IRC) guidelines. These guidelines provide maximum allowable joist span separately for an assumed dead load of 10 psf and 20 psf. Remember though, dead load is not just the flooring. So, while the separate span tables may be generally used according to flooring type (e.g., follow guidelines for 10 psf dead load when lighter floorings like carpet will be installed, and guidelines for 20 psf dead load for tile and stone), one should not assume they apply in all situations. Additional dead load could be present from other elements, causing total dead load to exceed 10 psf where a lighter floor finish will be installed or exceeding 20 psf where ceramic or stone tile will be installed. Not to mention, some tile and stone installation methods on their own exceed 20 psf, which demonstrates that IRC span tables aren’t always enough.

Research indicates that an even more important consideration for tile and stone floors in wood frame construction is the thickness/stiffness of the subfloor, although not necessarily because of system-creep-inducing overload. Rather, the subfloor sheathing could simply deflect (bend) between joists under an applied load more than a hard surface tile can withstand, even if the sheathing is otherwise adequate within the full design scheme to support the expected loads. 

In Method F144, the wood subfloor can be 19/32” thick or 23/32” thick and relates to whether the installation methods falls under the residential or light commercial service rating.

This industry-specific consideration, not addressed in IRC, is addressed in the TCNA Handbook through more stringent deflection limits. Specifically, the TCNA Handbook limits deflection under concentrated loads, whereas IRC deflection limits are for uniform loads. What this means for building designers is that the minimum subfloor thickness/stiffness required by code for strength may not be enough. A thicker/stiffer subfloor may be needed to limit subfloor bending between joists. More robust framing may also be needed, again to go beyond the strength consideration to further limit bending related to concentrated loads. The heavier and more concentrated the load, the greater the need to beef up the floor framing to limit bending.

An example: the large kitchen island

As an example, consider the large kitchen island scenario. With 30mm (3cm) thick stone tops and normal contents being stored inside, this popular kitchen feature could present a 40 psf dead load, calculated by using the square footage of the island’s footprint as the area. In service, the framing and subflooring directly below and around the island is subjected to a substantial sustained load that produces creep deflection, but only in that area. As such, for hard surface floors, building design should incorporate more stringent framing requirements in areas where concentrated dead loads are expected, with kitchen islands a particular focus because of their widespread use. 

Because this kitchen island is oriented parallel with the wood joists, its weight is on fewer framing members.

It’s not practical, though, to expect a customized calculation and specification for every kitchen island. A more practical approach would be to follow general guidelines that are widely effective and easily incorporated into documents and processes. 

Since large kitchen islands are frequently paired with ceramic or stone flooring, it makes sense to have the following structural design parameters specifically attached to them: 

  • For solid-sawn and I-joists: joist spacing beneath kitchen islands shall be reduced by one-half and indicated on the joist framing plan.
  • For floor trusses: floor trusses beneath kitchen islands shall be doubled. 

Designing for hard surfaces checklist

These suggestions are in addition to the following recommendations, some of which were provided earlier in the article but are restated here in the interest of supplying a complete “designing for hard surfaces checklist”: 

  • Prepare construction documents that contain:

º the TCNA Handbook installation method

º the weight of the installation method (from TCNA Handbook Appendix B)

º the footprint of the kitchen island (and other heavy equipment)

º a specification that joists shall be doubled, or spacing reduced by half, beneath an island

  • Require floor system designs based on a “total load” that includes the actual weight of the installation method
  • Upgrade subfloor thickness (above what is given in the TCNA Handbook method being used) 
  • Require strongback bracing for floor trusses to minimize differential deflection of joists
  • Offer customers (homebuyers, owners) floor framing and subfloor “upgrades” for added protection against the likelihood of tile and grout cracks and annoying floor vibrations

The generalized “overbuilding” that some of these recommendations suggest may not seem an easy ask in an industry that prizes value engineering. But they do have enormous value – not in material cost savings – but from having effective boilerplate solutions to a common design challenge that are also practical with respect to implementation. Tile and stone professionals would be well served if these guidelines were better known and understood by building designers. TileLetter readers are encouraged to help make that happen by circulating and posting the information freely.

New offerings come to Coverings

Every year Coverings gets bigger and better and offers more inspiration, education and opportunity for those in the tile industry. In addition to the massive free educational program, there are products, installation demonstrations, and events to attend. Here’s a brief rundown of the event that will take place at the Orange County Convention Center – be on the lookout for the Coverings issue of TileLetter coming to your mailbox in March for more information:

  • Art Tile Courtyard – Tile Council of North American Pavilion – Come by and see an amazing array of imaginative dog houses, tiled to perfection by TCNA member companies, and some perky pooches to pet as well. 
  • Coverings Connect – Relax, charge personal devices, and network in the Coverings Connect Lounge; enjoy 15-minute “Byte” sessions that address growth through social media and online channels. Coverings Connect is located right on the show floor.
  • Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards – celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile & stone in both residential and commercial projects. Attend the CID Awards Reception on Wednesday, April 10.
  • Coverings Rock Stars – Emerging Leaders – This program recognizes and engages the best and brightest young talent in the tile and stone industry.
  • Live Installation Demonstration Stage – One of the most popular features at Coverings, these live “how-to” classes offer attendees an up-close look at how top contracting pros handle a variety of challenging tile installations. Attendees will see exactly how to install a wide variety of new products and learn techniques to make tile & stone installation more successful.
  • Online Pre-Event Planner – Attendees can now create a personalized event planner for Coverings 2019 using their registration confirmation. In the planner, attendees can favorite exhibitors and products and build and education and events schedule ahead of time. 
  • Mobile App – Info on Coverings is as close as your fingertips with this app. For 2019, it will once again include an online new product showcase and a way to coordinate meetings through your profile. 
  • New Product Showcase: Don’t miss the New Product Showcase, available on the Coverings website and mobile app. Discover the new products and trends exhibitors are bringing to Coverings 2019. Mark favorites and visit those booths on the show floor.
  • SFA & the Stone Zone – The Stone Fabricators Alliance presents demonstrations and sessions for fabricators and installers as well as products designed by fabricators FOR fabricators. 
  • Quickfire sessions – These 15-minute sessions that give quick insights into the highlights of the Why Tile campaign take place right on the show floor in the Coverings Connect lounge. 

Updated for 2019 Installation & Design Experience 

Coverings has expanded The Installation & Design Experience with more demonstrations, cutting-edge vignettes, and interactive learning features. This space will also serve as a networking hub on the show floor for those interested in installation best practices as well as a chance to view specially designed vignettes showcasing the synergy between great design and installation.

NTCA highlights

There are several highlights for contractors in the educational program as well. The Installation & Design Experience area will include the NTCA Contractors Lounge – a place to learn, network, grab a snack and take part in educational games, contests and drawings. Learn more about NTCA and its role in the industry, and about the CTEF and ACT tests. In addition, consider some of these features, geared towards the contractor community.

  •  Installation Track Seminars – This seminar series focuses on topics important to contractors. Two of note are: 

º 15 Year Cycle Analysis, featuring Ryan Fasan, Design and Technical Consultant, who will discuss the lifecycles of flooring products and why ceramic tile comes out light years ahead of the competition. Thursday, April 11, 8:00 am – 9:00 am

º Transparency Trilogy Part III: Artistry and Creativity: A Timeless Component of Tile and Stone Installations. The session will take a close look at unique individuals who possess the passion, drive, discipline and skills necessary to install, train, and supervise projects that require the craftsmanship to create lasting masterpieces. Thursday, April 11, 9:30 am – 11:00 a.m. 

  • NTCA booth tours – There are a LOT of installation and setting material exhibitors at Coverings, so how to see them all? Sign up for a NTCA booth tour, and visit at least 10 exhibitors in one hour on a well-paced informative tour. 
  • NTCA Awards night – Join NTCA for its annual Awards Night on Thursday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. Being announced this year is the brand new “Tile Setter Craftsperson of the Year” member award that will be unveiled at Coverings, and the winner determined before Total Solution Plus. 

MAPEI mortar brings life to National Shrine’s mosaic dome in Washington, D.C.

MAPEI’s Kerabond/Keralastic System was used to install 14 million pieces of specialized Venetian glass tile 

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States, and the second largest church in North America. As one of the 10 largest churches in the world, the Basilica features over 80 chapels/oratories as well as extravagant domes with detailed mosaics in the Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style. 

As the national Catholic Church of the United States, the shrine has experienced several papal visits including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and, most recently, Pope Francis in 2015. During his first visit to the United States, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to canonize 18th century Spanish Franciscan missionary Saint Junípero Serra, who founded 21 missions in California. The canonization of this “Californian” saint at the church was heavily covered in the media, including the New York Times, the front cover of Newsweek, USA Today and C-SPAN.

The “crowning jewel” of the shrine is the Trinity Dome. It depicts the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary and a procession of saints who have an association with the United States and the National Shrine. In celebration of the Basilica’s 100th anniversary, MAPEI provided products to complete the delicate installation of more than 18,300 sq. ft. (1,700 m2) of Venetian glass tile.  

Installation challenge at a height of 159 feet

The Trinity Dome is one of the most visually striking and physically extraordinary mosaics in the world, echoing those from the ancient world. The installation process – which featured MAPEI products – also employed age-old techniques, turning the installers into high-climbing artisans. 

Having previously installed mosaics on three smaller domes within the Basilica, when the crew from Rugo Stone won the bid for the tile installation of the mosaic in the main dome, they immediately began working with the archdiocese, the architects and MAPEI on a plan to install the soaring artwork in the most unobtrusive manner possible. 

Being a sacred place of worship, as well as the National Basilica, the church had to remain open during the installation. Further, nothing could fall from the jobsite. At that height, even the smallest tile could be deadly if dropped. So, an elaborate safety system was devised. The mosaic fabrication and installation processes were completed using a unique scaffolding system anchored into the structure of the Basilica itself. The deck/base of the enclosed compartment was six floors above the central aisle (known as the nave) and featured eight floors of scaffolding rising above the deck in the enclosed compartment to the dome’s apex, where the oculus marks 159 feet (48.5 m) above the nave. The worksite also included an air exchanger and ceiling cover to hide the installation crew from the worshippers below and to avoid interruption of regularly scheduled services. 

MAPEI products on the jobsite

All of the work was completed using MAPEI’s ANSI A118.15E-compliant Kerabond/Keralastic System. An installation of this kind required a tile mortar with a high-performance bond. This two-part system provided exceptional bond strength, flexibility and elongation. A flexible yet strong mortar was imperative, as failure was not an option. The specified mosaic embellishment consisted of 14 million pieces of specialized Venetian glass, totaling 24 short tons (21.8 metric tons) of tile across 18,300 square feet (1,700 m2) of the dome.

First, the Rugo Stone team completely removed all of the old plaster. Then, working in a manner reminiscent of their artistic forebearers in Ravenna, they hand-set the handmade Venetian glass tiles throughout the project. Given the delicate nature of the tiles – and of the setting – through their work, the Rugo crew returned to the classic past.

To complete the complex design of gold and glass tile, installers laid on their backs to individually place each tiny tile. Only a handful of contractors in the United States are capable of completing such a project – especially given the fact that the Trinity Dome project is one of the largest mosaics of its kind in the world – and the tile had to be hand-set. But the crew from Rugo Stone knew the enormity of the task. They had previously completed mosaics in three other smaller domes on the property. And now, thanks to these craftsmen in conjunction with MAPEI, the basilica’s dome is a golden, glittering heaven in celebration of the National Shrine’s 100th anniversary.

TECHNICAL DATA

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception – Washington, D.C., USA

Period of construction: 2015

Period of intervention: 2017

Where MAPEI products were used: MAPEI’s Kerabond/Keralastic System was used to install Venetian glass tile on the ceiling of the Basilica’s Trinity Dome.

Project owner: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

Architect:
Charles Donagh Maginnis

Installer: Rugo Stone LLC

MAPEI distributor: Morris Tile

MAPEI coordinators: Gary Waldron, Allen Janofsky,
Vince Linton

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