Feature Story – June 2018 – Custom Building Products

Irvine, Calif. is a high-tech economic powerhouse sometimes referred to as “Silicon Valley South.” This fast-growing city’s skyline was transformed by a pair of distinctive glass office towers located at Irvine’s Spectrum Center, an open-air retail and dining district. Each 323-foot tower creates a vertical business campus offering impressive 360-degree views of coastal Orange County and showcasing large-format tile and stone on every floor. Both tile contractors on this project used a Build Green® Emerald System™ of products from CUSTOM to prep, set, grout and seal the assemblies and contribute to expected LEED Gold certification. 

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the architecture firm behind the Louvre’s iconic glass pyramid, designed the Spectrum Center’s new glass-walled, 426,000-sq.-ft. towers. Curtain wall construction creates an open, contemporary lobby to welcome employees and visitors to the many corporate offices headquartered here, including Mazda’s North American Operations. This effect is enhanced by the luxurious expanse of oversized natural stone on floors, walls and even inside the elevator cabs. 

Setting large-format tile and stone

Two long-time, family-owned, Southern California firms executed the tile and stone work at the Spectrum Towers. A team from NTCA member company Charles McCandless Tile of Santa Ana set 30,000 sq. ft. of porcelain and Carnevale and Lohr of Bell Gardens installed 20,000 sq. ft. of 3/4” thick quartzite pavers.

Prior to beginning work, samples of the very dense natural stone were submitted to CUSTOM’s laboratory for product testing. Based on their findings, the technicians recommended using ProLite® Premium Large Format Tile Mortar, which was then selected to install all tile and stone materials throughout the project. ProLite is a versatile, polymer-modified, dry-set mortar for large-and-heavy tiles that provides excellent bond strength. This mortar exceeds ANSI A118.15 TE and will not slump on floors or sag on walls. ProLite is formulated with lightweight, recycled aggregate, so it weighs 40% less than other mortars. Environmentally sustainable content delivers superior handling characteristics and also makes ProLite easier to carry and mix on the jobsite. A 30 lb. bag of ProLite typically covers the same area as 50 lbs. of traditional mortar. 

“ProLite is a game changer,” said Mark McCandless, president of Charles McCandless Tile. “The guys really like the way it comes out of the bucket on the trowel. It spreads easy, the non-sag is extremely good and its consistency is light and fluffy with very good workability. ProLite pays for itself in increased production,” he offered. 

Craftsmen from Carnevale and Lohr fabricated and set 30” x 30” Taj Mahal quartzite pavers in the ground floor lobby using a dry-pack method including ProLite® as the bonding mortar. Matching material measuring 2.5’ x 5’ was mechanically anchored on lobby walls and 20 stories of tower lobby floors were set with the quartzite in a 24” x 24” format. 

“ProLite is our number one choice,” said Jim Lunn, foreman at Carnevale and Lohr. “The guys in the field really like using it, especially for walls. The workability without sag is phenomenal. The pot life of ProLite is great and being lightweight is also a big plus,” he added. 

Protecting the tile assemblies

Core restrooms on all floors and the parking garage were treated with RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane. A ready-to-use elastomeric membrane that creates a continuous waterproof barrier, RedGard has outstanding adhesion and bonds directly to a variety of drain assemblies. RedGard exceeds both ANSI A118.10 and A118.12 for dual protection against moisture intrusion and in-plane crack transmission. Third-party laboratory testing has shown that RedGard outperforms other liquid-applied membranes for key performance attributes as well as actual coverage rate. 

After application of RedGard, bathroom floors were set with 12” x 12” Spec Ceramics Space Taupe matte tile. The porcelain tile installed on the walls was 12” x 24” Pure White matte supplied by Emser. Soft joints at changes of plane were filled with PolyBlend® Ceramic Tile Caulk which is suitable for use in interior, intermittently wet areas like these commercial buildings’ restrooms.

All porcelain and natural stone tile throughout both towers was grouted with Prism® Ultimate Performance Grout in shades to complement the materials for a modern, monolithic look. Fast-setting, lightweight Prism sets a new standard in grout technology. This calcium aluminate-based formula meets ANSI A118.17 high performance standards and will not contribute to efflorescence.  Prism demonstrates uniform, consistent color without mottling or shading, regardless of tile type or variable weather conditions such as humidity. These reliable results were important based on fluctuating environmental conditions at the jobsite due to the height of the towers and the effect of all-glass walls. Recycled aggregate content makes Prism 30% lighter than other grouts and delivers superior, smooth handling in grout joints as narrow as 1/16”. 

“Prism is more colorfast than other cement grouts and we do not see any mottling, which makes everyone happy,” said McCandless.

Aqua Mix® Sealer’s Choice® Gold was applied to protect both tile and grout from staining during and after installation. Premium quality Sealer’s Choice Gold is a water-based formula with low VOCs. This is important for enclosed installation areas like restrooms as well as compliance with California’s environmental regulations. This no-sheen, natural-look sealer maintains the color and character of stone while allowing moisture vapor transmission.

“We like to use Sealer’s Choice to prevent damage by other trades during construction. It’s used as a protectant on about 90% of our jobs and those have fewer callbacks,” offered McCandless. “Sealing per the contract documents is a big benefit.” 

Sustainable building with the Emerald System™

Custom Building Products is committed to environmental responsibility in both product development and manufacturing practices. Over 100 CUSTOM Build Green® products contribute to LEED certification with low VOCs, recycled content and regionally sourced materials. CUSTOM’s Emerald System™ goes a step further, with products that are guaranteed to comply with environmental agency regulations. The Emerald System is also the first line of tile installation products to include Carbon Offset Credits that help reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. 

ProLite mortar and Prism grout are cornerstones of the Emerald System™ and met the environmental standards of the Spectrum Towers’ builders with contributions to LEED® certification and Carbon Offset Credits. In addition, all of the CUSTOM products that were installed – plus the help of the Technical Services team – exceeded the performance expectations of the tile contractors. 

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

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

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

Here are the highlights:

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Bobby Linam discussing DITRA-HEAT at Schluter.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

Schluter Systems – Tile brings warmth and quiet to oceanfront condominium – Feature Story May 2018

Tile brings warmth and quiet to oceanfront condominium

By Sean Gerolimatos, Director of Research & Development, Schluter Systems, LLP

With the range of tile membrane types growing, we are now beginning to see a new trend developing toward multi-functional products. This type of “Swiss Army” membrane can be the go-to product for almost any tile installer, and the Gateway Grand project led by Dobri Michev provided the perfect occasion. 

The luxurious Gateway Grand

The Gateway Grand is a luxury condominium residence in Ocean City, Md., with views of the ocean, the bay, and Ocean City itself. Developed by the Trammell Crow Company, it consists of a 16-story, nearly 500,000-sq.-ft. landmark building and 250 linear feet of direct ocean frontage. Other features include a resort-style, 4,000-sq.-ft. lobby, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, parking structure and surface lot, and a 4,500-sq.-ft. freestanding restaurant.

The project

Dobri Michev is the owner of DM Signature Remodeling Inc., and an exceptionally talented Certified Tile Installer (CTI) who specializes in high-end custom bathroom design and construction. He was engaged to perform the renovation of an existing condominium at the Gateway Grand. The current floors were to be replaced primarily for aesthetic reasons, but there were a number of other problems too – mainly cracks and even some delaminated tiles, due at least in part to a lack of movement joints. 

In addition to providing beautiful new floors in the interconnected bathrooms, hallways, kitchen, and living and dining areas, there were four primary requirements to fulfill. First and foremost, the floors simply needed to last. Second, the owners wished to have warm floors in both bathrooms for added comfort. Third, since there was another condominium directly below, impact sound through the floor needed to be managed to comply with the Gateway Grand sound abatement requirements. Finally, since this was a renovation, there was limited height available, meaning the floor covering assembly needed to be kept as thin as possible.

One membrane, multiple requirements

Dobri selected Schluter®-Systems’ DITRA-HEAT-DUO membrane to meet the multiple requirements of the project. The one membrane combines uncoupling to prevent future tile cracking, floor warming with thermal break, and impact sound control – all in a single layer. The product choice was primarily driven by the sound-control requirement. Laboratory testing documented in the product technical literature demonstrated the benefits of the membrane in reducing impact sound transfer to the space below. When tested according to ASTM E2179, a porcelain tile assembly including the membrane reduced the impact insulation class (IIC) of a bare concrete slab with no ceiling underneath by 20. When tested according to ASTM E492, the IIC of an 8˝-thick concrete slab with a porcelain tile assembly including the membrane was found to be 50. As those conditions very closely reflected the actual environment for this project, this membrane was a logical choice. It was clear that the membrane would also meet the other project requirements in an elegant way. 

Reduced heat loss, increased sound control

Use of an uncoupling membrane throughout the tiled areas provided protection against stresses caused by movement of the suspended concrete floor. From there, heating cables were quickly and easily secured between the studs on top of the membrane in the bathrooms. This didn’t create height differences between the bathrooms and hallways since self-leveling compounds are not required to encapsulate the cables. The tile could also be installed immediately after the cable was placed. 

The thicker bonding fleece on the underside of the membrane performs two functions. It acts as a thermal break to reduce heat loss to the concrete subfloor for faster warm-ups, and it reduces impact sound transfer to the condominium below. “The thermal break was so beneficial,” said Dobri, who has previous experience with other floor warming systems with the sound control element. “There is nothing out there that could do that with a 5/16˝-thick product.” 

The installation

In order to ensure a high-quality installation, Dobri meticulously followed the manufacturer’s instructions and industry standard guidelines from start to finish. He began the installation by securing a self-adhesive polyethylene foam gasket to all the walls the tile would abut. This simple act ensured that a perimeter movement joint was present at all restraining surfaces from the bottom of the tile assembly, right to the top. This joint was essential to allow the tile assembly to expand unimpeded and to prevent the transfer of impact sound between the floor and walls. 

The next step taken was to level the floor before installing the membrane, which greatly simplified the tile installation by making it easier to keep any lippage between the 24˝ x 24˝ porcelain tiles to a minimum and within industry standards. The membrane was adhered to the floor with a suitable thin-set mortar, heating cables were snapped in, and tile installation began. 

A lippage tuning system was used to further minimize elevation changes between tiles. These systems are becoming more and more popular all the time, in large part due to the consumer demand for large-format tiles. Surface movement joints were provided every 16˝ to 20˝ within the tile covering. Prefabricated movement joint profiles were used to eliminate the need for any associated maintenance going forward. The visible surface of the profiles was relatively narrow and selecting the color to match the grout made them blend seamlessly into the decor.

New possibilities

By selecting a membrane that was uniquely suited to meet the requirements of the application and paying close attention to the technical and aesthetic details, Dobri Michev was able to provide the owners of this luxury condominium with tiled floors truly befitting the space. Beautiful, durable, and comfortable tiled floors that reduce impact sound transfer to the downstairs neighbors are now within reach. They can be achieved with an assembly that is compatible with surrounding floors and does not compromise other homeowner objectives.

COVERINGS INSTALLATION & DESIGN AWARDS RECOGNIZE SUPERIOR WORK IN TILE AND STONE

(ATLANTA, GA – May 10, 2018) Ten outstanding tile and stone projects have been selected as winners of the Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards, which honors exceptional design and installation of tile and stone in the categories of Residential Stone, Residential Tile, Commercial Stone, and Commercial Tile. An esteemed panel of prominent editors, top designers, and industry professionals evaluated submissions based on execution, original usage, and overall design and purpose, and gave distinct recognition to those projects demonstrating outstanding tile and stone applications.

“The CID Awards program is important because it exemplifies how beautiful product, design artistry, and a high level of technical skill come together to create breathtaking architecture and design,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management company that produces Coverings. “Coverings offers its congratulations to all of the recognized honorees.”

This year’s winners and their projects were honored at a special reception, held Wednesday, May 9.  The 2018 CID winners and special honorees are as follows:

 

DESIGN

GRAND PRIZE

Project: Exclusive Residential Apartment

Designer: Farr Interiors

Location: Milwaukee, WI

 

Commercial Stone Design

Project: Kitchen and Bath Design Showroom

Designer: Empire Kitchen & Bath

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Commercial Tile Design

Project: Riverchase Galleria

Designer: Architecture Design Collaborative

Location: Hoover, AL

 

Residential Stone Design

Project: Luxury Modern Design

Designer: Gaskin Designs & Development

Location: West Hollywood, CA

 

Residential Tile Design

Project: Knollwood Kitchen

Designer: SOURCE

Location: Atlanta, GA

 

INSTALLATION

GRAND PRIZE

Project: Trinity Dome

Installer: Rugo Stone LLC

Location: Washington, DC

 

Commercial Stone Installation

Project: 609 Main

Installer: Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd.

Location: Houston, TX

 

Commercial Tile Installation

Project: Apple Campus 2 Gateway Tunnel

Installer: California Tile Installers

Location: Cupertino, CA

 

 

Residential Stone Installation

Project: Black & White Marble Bathroom

Installer: Columbia River Tile & Stone, Inc.

Location: Portland, OR

 

Residential Tile Installation

Project: Interference Pattern: Bold Colors Weave Together and Collide in a Vashon Island Home

Installer: Tile Design by Edelstein

Location: Vashon Island, WA

Six honorable mentions were given in two additional categories, recognizing international projects and projects creatively using tile in public spaces. These special recognitions were awarded as follows: 

 

Special Recognition – International:

  • Puritsu Façade: Designed by Anoma in New Delhi, India
  • The Almost Invisible School: Designed by Imagen Subliminal in Salamanca, Villares de la Reina, Spain
  • TUNATECA BALFEGO Restaurant: Designed by El Equipo Creativo in Barcelona, Spain
  • Laan van Spartaan; Amsterdam Student Housing: Designed byLevantina The Natural Stone Company inAmsterdam, Netherlands

 

Special Recognition – Creative Tile in Public Spaces

  • Hand Made Ceramic Tile Mural ‘City of Fog’:Designed by Linda Larson Artin San Francisco, CA
  • The Great Wall of Zacatlan – A Monumental Mosaic Mural in Mexico:Designed by Trish Metzner in Zacatlan De Las Manzanas, Puebla, Mexico

The grand prize winners received $3,000, while prize winners in all other categories received $2,000. In addition, all winners won a free one-night stay in Atlanta to attend the Coverings 2018 show.

The judging panel included Jen Quail, Editor in Chief of i+D; Nicole Esposito-Polly, design editor of This Old House; Jennifer Richinelli of BNP Media/Stone World; Chris Abbate of Novità Communications, representing Ceramics of Italy; Lori Dolnick of Frank Advertising, representing Tile of Spain; Kathy Meyer and Stephanie Samulski of the Tile Council of North America; Bart Bettiga of the National Tile Contractors Association; John Cox of Cox Tile; and Nyle Waterford of Neuse Tile Service, Inc.

 

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.

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