Tile of Spain Mourns the Death of 3rd Generation ADEX Leader, Mr. Francisco Garcia Felipeneri

Miami, FL – March 2018 – ADEX’s 3rd generation leader, Mr. Francisco Garcia Felipeneri, known to friends and family as Paco, passed away on March 9, 2018 surrounded by his family. He took on the leadership and visionary position of 2 generations of family before him and saw the company enter its 121st year in the business. He was a man of heart which he poured into his family, company and industry.
Among his professional merits, Mr. Garcia was President of CEVISAMA, the International Fair for Ceramic Tiles, for 12 years. In 1993 he received the Medalla de Oro de la Villa de Onda for his contribution to the international promotion of the Spanish ceramic tile industry.
Under his direction, the company expanded from its European customer base to the North American market and established ADEX USA which now entered its 21st year. Paco was instrumental to the company and lead the introduction of “Art Tile” to the U.S. markets with its hand-painted tiles 35+ years ago. From that he went into what is now known as “subway tiles.” He often laughed as he said: “ADEX was in the subway tile market before there were subways.”
Under his direction, he groomed his children to take over the business and continue the family legacy of ADEX. This 4th generation continues his philosophy of listening to the customer and meeting their needs. Paco was also beginning the mentoring process of the 5th generation which has just entered the business.
His life and legacy is one which will live on through his children and their families as they fulfill the vision and dreams of the family business.
Thank you Paco…you will be dearly missed.

OSHA Considering Changes to Silica Rule

OSHA may soon make it easier for employers to comply with the agency’s Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard. The standard, which OSHA announced in 2016 and began to fully enforce last fall, seeks to protect workers who may inhale silica dust.  A variety of construction operations may expose workers to silica dust including, for example, abrasive sandblasting and cutting bricks, stone, or concrete.

The silica standard is extremely detailed and complex. It contains requirements for assessing workers’ silica exposure, for using exposure control methods and respiratory protection, for offering medical surveillance, and for keeping silica-related records.  Fortunately, “Table 1” of the standard makes compliance with standard easier, at least in some situations.  The Table describes engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection requirements that may be implemented by an employer when performing certain construction-related tasks, thereby exempting the tasks from the standard’s exposure assessment provisions and permissible exposure limits.

Last week, during the mid-winter meeting of the American Bar Association’s Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee, a Department of Labor official announced that OSHA is considering changes to the silica standard for construction. According to Ann Rosenthal, the Department’s Associate Solicitor for Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA is currently working with members of the construction community to add more tasks to Table 1.

News that OSHA is considering an expansion of Table 1 comes after a recent federal court ruling that rejected several challenges to the standard by employer groups. The U.S. Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in an order issued last December, rejected arguments from employer groups challenging the standard’s lower permissible exposure limit and, among other things, the feasibility of compliance with standard

Written by authors Alyssa Levy, Patrick Miller, Matthew Morrison, and Dana Svendsen at Sherman & Howard, L.L.C.

Neolith Expands Global Production and Accessibility of its Revolutionary Sintered Stone for 2018

Following year-over-year sales growth and product demand, the surfacing brand will begin operations of fourth production line in Spain; open showrooms and logistics warehouse to service key markets 


Castellón, SPAIN (2018) – The largest sintered stone surfacing brand, Neolith, manufactured by Spain-based company TheSize, will continue its global expansion with several key initiatives in 2018—including an added production line, showroom openings, and a new logistics warehouse—aimed to enhance support of the brand’s vast network of distributors, architects, designers and fabricators.

Neolith has changed the residential and commercial architectural design industry in North America and worldwide. Neolith pioneered luxury surfacing with extraordinary characteristics unmatched by natural stone, for countertops, flooring, interior wall cladding, exterior facades and more. Developing a strong position in the marketplace, Neolith is now available in more than 80 countries and has achieved a sales increase of at least 40 percent year-over-year since 2011.

“Neolith’s success can be attributed to the superior resiliency, quality and characteristics of the material itself, but more importantly, to our partners around the globe who share a passion for persistent innovation, service and design,” said Mar Esteve, director of marketing, TheSize. “As we expand in 2018, customer satisfaction and accessibility is more important than ever. We are always looking for new ways to make the Neolith experience an excellent one, for our distributors, designers and their clients, and look forward to building on that this year and beyond.”

New Production Line

Neolith’s steady increase in sales and visibility in high-profile commercial and residential projects has prompted expansion of its production capacity. At its headquarters and manufacturing factory in Castellón, Spain, Neolith will start operating a fourth production line during the first quarter of 2018. This additional line, which will manufacture slabs in 3mm and 6mm thicknesses for furniture, flooring, interior cladding and exterior facades, makes Neolith the only brand to have five kilns exclusively devoted to sintered stone.

Global Showroom Openings

With strategic distribution locations in more than 80 countries and hundreds of major metro showroom sites, Neolith is dedicated to customer accessibility and first-class shopping experiences. In 2018, the brand will celebrate openings of additional showrooms in key cities around the world, including: Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, Japan; and Ramallah, Palestine, with more locations planned throughout Europe, Latin American and Asia in the coming year. The showrooms will demonstrate unique design applications and will allow architects, designers, homeowners and building owners to better experience the versatility and performance characteristics of Neolith over natural stone alternatives.

London Warehouse Opening

In addition to new showrooms, the 2018 opening of a Neolith logistics warehouse in London, England will improve product accessibility and shipping lead times for crucial European markets.  The warehouse’s proximity to shipping ports and to the high concentration of distributors throughout Western Europe provides a logistics advantage over the competition. Carrying a centralized stock of Neolith’s most in-demand SKUs, the London warehouse opening is a strategic expansion designed to open up storage space for distributors and result in faster delivery times for projects.

In 2017, Neolith also opened a warehouse in Norfolk, Virginia to provide the same logistics benefits to the U.S. market and increased project demand, particularly on the East Coast.

With a growing network of distributors across the U.S. and Canada, the product is readily available across North America. For a location near you or to learn more, visit Neolith at www.neolith.com.

About TheSize Surfaces SL
TheSize was founded in 2009 with the objective of expanding and improving the thriving ceramic sector prevalent in the company’s headquarters, Castellón, Spain. The company launched all-natural sintered stone Neolith in 2010, a durable material created through a high-temperature, high-pressure process called sinterization.  For more information on TheSize and its products, please visit www.neolith.com.



The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, has released detailed information about this year’s newest segment at Coverings 2018, held in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Georgia World Congress Center, May 8-11, 2018.

“Plans for this interactive event have been in the works for over a year,” stated Executive Director of the NTCA, Bart Bettiga. “We are psyched to see it go ‘live’ and know it will be well-received and well-attended by Coverings attendees. The live demonstrations and wealth of knowledge that can be attained in this approximately 3,900 square foot arena should be the highlight of any visitor’s time at the show!”

The Installation Experience offers Coverings show attendees to experience firsthand, numerous types of tile installations implemented by Qualified Labor. These interactive sessions will showcase today’s best practices relative to a multitude of distinctive tile installations.

Live, interactive installations will take 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, guest/participants 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 way and wrong way to perform a tile installation. In the Hall of ACT (Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers), ACT representatives will be available to discuss the program with attendees.

Don’t forget about the Construction Zone, where visitors can experience the progression of the CTI Challenge. The “CTI Challenge” is an exciting, live event designed by CTEF Director Scott Carothers, which is slated to take place between rival teams of who are both NTCA members and Certified Tile Installers. 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 the attributes of Qualified Labor.  Representatives will be onsite to define, discuss, and demonstrate just what it takes to be a part of this elite group which includes the Certified Tile Installer program and the ultimate group of installers who have achieved the status of being ACT certified.

The 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.

The Installation Experience, at Coverings, will be positioned in Hall C, Exhibit # 8401, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.


NTCA is a non-profit trade association serving every segment of the industry, spearheading education for the professional installation of ceramic tile, natural stone and allied products.  For more information, please contact NTCA executive director Bart Bettiga at [email protected], via telephone at (601) 939-2071, or visit www.tile-assn.com. Or, contact Terri Sparks: 708-921-3517; [email protected]

About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association  (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC. For more information, visit www.coverings.com.


TCNA statement on House passage of BRICK ACT: Legislation would delay implementation of EPA rule that yields no environmental benefits


(Anderson, SC) —  Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), the trade association of America’s ceramic tile producers, issued the following statement today in response to House passage of the BRICK Act (H.R. 1917):

“America’s tile manufacturers support the BRICK Act. The EPA has admitted that its recent rule would yield no air quality environmental benefits, while imposing costs on tile manufacturers,” said Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America. “It’s simply common-sense to delay implementation of the rule while the courts weigh challenges to it and EPA has a chance to reconsider this rulemaking. The last thing tile manufacturers need is a completely unnecessary government regulation.”
“America’s tile producers are grateful to Representative Bill Johnson (OH) for his leadership on this issue. For a few years now, Congressman Johnson has fought hard to help America’s ceramic tile producers remain competitive in the face of stiff global competition,” added Mr. Astrachan, in support of Congressman Johnson’s significant efforts.
The House of Representatives today passed the “Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017” (BRICK Act) (H.R. 1917). The legislation would stay implementation of the EPA’s “NESHAP for Clay Ceramics Manufacturing,” a regulation governing emissions at ceramic tile manufacturing facilities, until federal court challenges to the regulation are complete. The EPA, in its regulation, estimated that the new rule would yield no environmental benefits with respect to ceramic tile producers, while imposing certain costs on the industry.
About Tile Council of North America (TCNA)
TCNA is a trade association representing manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials and other tile-related products. Established in 1945 as the Tile Council of America (TCA), it became the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) in 2003, reflecting its membership expansion to all of North America.
The Tile Council is recognized for its leadership role in facilitating the development of North American and international industry quality standards to benefit tile consumers. Additionally, TCNA regularly conducts independent research and product testing, works with regulatory, trade, and other government agencies, and publishes installation guidelines, tile standards, economic reports, and promotional literature.

Economic Outlook

By Sean P. Boyle,
Vice President Marketing,
LATICRETE International

The article below provides a brief high-level summary of the construction outlook for both the residential and commercial markets, including an estimate of tile consumption for 2018.

Residential construction

Residential new and remodeling construction plays a significant role in tile consumption and is a key barometer to the overall economy. Over the past several years, the residential market has continued to climb out of the trough from the recession, and has shown growth throughout 2017. Home values increased again in 2017 while existing home inventory remained at normal levels. Overall, residential growth looks forward to continued expansion in 2018.

New Housing starts – 2017 total new housing starts increased overall only around 3% over 2016. Single-family starts were relatively healthy, increasing over 2016 by almost 9%, however multi-family construction dragged the overall category down – starts for multi-family were down close to 8% after some high growth years in 2014 and 2015 resulting in overbuilding for the segment. For 2018, new total housing starts are projected to only increase close to 3% again, with single-family up only around 5% and multi-family slightly down versus last year. Total units again will hover around 1.3M. The impact from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law recently will most likely dampen housing activity in very high home value markets ($1M or greater homes). However, it will not impact the majority of U.S. home owners, since they are still able to deduct interest payments on mortgage debt up to $750,000 which includes new mortgages or improvements made from December 17 through 2026.


Residential Remodeling – Remodeling is the other and larger side of the residential market place and has performed nicely throughout 2017 and is forecasted to lead again in 2018. The housing industry continues to benefit from robust sales of existing homes and is running at historic lows of inventory. According to many construction indicators, there is widespread agreement that residential remodeling spending will increase in 2018 versus 2017, at a mid- to high-single digit rate.

Residential remodeling continues to benefit from factors impacting new housing starts. As with the last several years, Millennials are remaining at home longer, and older individuals are choosing to remain at home or “age in place.” This will spur home remodeling and will continue to result in solid growth again in 2018 with bathrooms, kitchens and in-law room additions driving remodeling activity. Rising home values and continued low interest rates are allowing homeowners to take out home-equity loans for the remodeling project. This is driving demand across all aspects of construction – especially for new tile or stone flooring!

Overall, we forecast the residential market to account for close to 60% of all tile consumption in the U.S. in 2018. It will drive growth for flooring, with kitchens and bathrooms as the main project types. The new tax law mentioned above will however bring down a percentage of remodeling spending on very expensive homes – as deductions on interest will be capped – but overall the segment will be strong in 2018.


Commercial Construction

We forecast the commercial construction segment to experience steady growth in 2018, between 3% and 5% in new square footage over 2017. The commercial segment is being aided by a continued easing of lending standards that allow for more of the much-needed financing for large projects, combined with an increase in demand for commercial lending. Whereas the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may lessen housing activity in very high-end home markets, the impact of the law is favorable for commercial construction due to reduced corporate tax rates, thus providing an incentive for investment. In addition, favorable commercial lending policies and recent survey results among architects show an increase in demand for services, so the environment is very favorable for expansion.

Looking within the commercial segment, low single-digit growth is basically forecast across most verticals with education and office building activity leading the way. All regions across the U.S. – except the North East – are poised for growth, with starts in the South Central and Mid-West states forecast to have the largest percentage of growth when looking at value of total starts.

Tile consumption 

As previously mentioned, 2017 residential construction experienced another solid year of growth for new and remodeling activity, and commercial construction increased modestly in terms of square footage. Based on this, we believe tile and stone combined consumption will increase to ~ 3.5 billion square feet in 2017, an increase around 4%.

Based upon the above-forecasted growth in each market for 2018, we can segment the ceramic tile and stone industry accordingly, and calculate the respective share in square footage of each segment with applicable growth percentages based upon the 2018 outlook. A conservative estimate range for 2018 indicates combined tile and stone consumption growth of between 4% and 6% to approximately 3.7 billion square feet.

Tile and stone consumption estimates are naturally subject to all the macro-economic and subsequent construction market risks as well. The recent tax law – coupled with a charged political environment – plus a myriad of changes in key markets around the world can instantly impact forecasts.

As with last year, all of the major institutions that track and forecast construction activity are projecting growth for 2018 at various rates.  It is that consensus which makes us confident that we are looking forward to an exciting 2018, and continued growth of ceramic tile and stone!

Persistent Workforce Shortages Challenge Commercial Construction Industry as U.S. Building Demands Continue to Grow

To Offset the Lack of Skilled Workers,
Contractors Increase use of Efficient Building Approaches

The Q1 2018 USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (Index), released today, reveals nearly two-thirds of contractors are highly confident that demand for commercial construction will increase over the next year, however, continued concerns around labor shortages have put even greater pressure on the industry. To increase jobsite efficiency and improve labor productivity, increasingly more builders are turning to alternative construction solutions, like prefabrication and modularization.

The Q1 Index indicates contractors turn to innovations such as prefabricated and modular building materials to create more efficient jobsites (89 percent), increase labor productivity (85 percent), drive cost savings (58 percent), and provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace (51 percent). In fact, 50 percent of contractors report their companies already use prefabricated and modular components and the number was even higher among general contractors (72 percent). Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of contractors report at least moderate demand for these building materials.

“Access to skilled labor is a continued concern, which has led contractors to increasingly seek solutions that help offset jobsite challenges,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of USG Corporation. “There is significant opportunity to introduce innovations that confront jobsite efficiency and strengthen the industry – such as solutions that enable prefabricated and modular building components.”

Contractors in the Northeast (69 percent) reported the most frequent usage of prefabricated and modular components, compared to the South where only 24 percent indicate their companies are using these materials. Firms in the Northeast also expect to hire fewer workers—38 percent of contractors in the region expect to employ more staff in the next six months, compared with 57 percent in the South, 59 percent in the West, and 68 percent in the Midwest. Across all regions, concern over the cost of hiring skilled labor has remained consistent over the past year—nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of contractors expect these costs to increase in the next six months.

Despite labor concerns, contractor sentiment remained steady for the first quarter, as a result of strong revenue expectations and higher profit margins, with a composite score of 74.

“As we work to continually build our neighborhoods, towns, regions, and roads, as well as the workforce that supports our growth, innovation becomes a key component in advancing our country into the 21st century,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “We must invest in a skilled, competitive, motivated workforce and embrace new innovations to ensure we are able to compete on a global scale.”

The Index looks at the results of three leading indicators to gauge confidence in the commercial construction industry – backlog levels, new business opportunities and revenue forecasts – generating a composite index on a scale of 0 to 100 that serves as an indicator of health for the contractor segment on a quarterly basis. The Q1 2018 composite score was 74, holding steady from Q4 2017.

The Q1 2018 results from the three key drivers were:

  • Backlog: On average, contractors currently hold 8.9 months of backlog, relatively close to the average ideal amount of 12.2 months, continuing the stability of the market, although there is room for growth. Down two points from Q4 2017, this represents 73 percent of ideal backlog levels.
  • New Business: Nearly all (98 percent) contractors report high or moderate confidence in the demand for commercial construction. Year-over-year, the number of contractors who have high confidence in demand over the next 12 months jumped 11 percentage points (from 51 percent in Q1 2017 to 62 percent in Q1 2018).
  • Revenues: Over half (54 percent) of contractors expect to see revenue gains in the next year. This percentage jumped seven points from last quarter (47 percent in Q4 2017).

The research was developed with Dodge Data & Analytics (DD&A), the leading provider of insights and data for the construction industry, by surveying commercial and institutional contractors.

About the Index

The USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index is a quarterly economic index designed to gauge the outlook for, and resulting confidence in, the commercial construction industry. USG Corporation and the U.S. Chamber produce this Index, along with Dodge Data & Analytics (DD&A). Each quarter, researchers from DD&A source responses from their Contractor Panel of more than 2,700 commercial construction decision-makers in order to better understand their levels of confidence in the industry and other key trends. This panel allows DD&A to provide findings that are representative of the entire U.S. construction industry by geography, size, and type of company.

Click here to see the full report, methodology, and graphics.

Please note the Commercial Construction Index report is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to support an investment decision with respect to USG Corporation, nor is it intended to be used for marketing purposes to any existing or prospective investor of USG. This report is not a forecast of future results for USG and actual results of USG may differ materially from those of the commercial construction industry.

Where the Index is Available

Each quarterly Index published is available on the USG Corporation website at www.usg.com/commercialconstructionindex as well as on the website www.CommercialConstructionIndex.com

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. For more information, visit www.uschamber.com.

About USG Corporation
USG Corporation is an industry-leading manufacturer of building products and innovative solutions. Headquartered in Chicago, USG serves construction markets around the world through its Gypsum, Performance Materials, Ceilings, and USG Boral divisions. Its wall, ceiling, flooring, sheathing and roofing products provide the solutions that enable customers to build the outstanding spaces where people live, work and play. Its USG Boral Building Products joint venture is a leading plasterboard and ceilings producer across Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. For additional information, visit www.usg.com.

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation Unveils a New Logo

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry has unveiled its new logo.

“The new CTEF logo represents an evolution in the mission of the CTEF and in the maturity of the tile installation certification programs that CTEF sponsors,” says Scott Carothers, director of certification and training for CTEF.  He adds, “The tile industry is experiencing a significant shortage of qualified labor to properly install ceramic and porcelain products correctly the first time.  Only through ongoing training of existing talent as well as enticing high school students to enter the tile trade, will it survive.  Our job is to train, certify, and fill the marketplace with enough skilled installers to meet the need.”

The updated CTEF logo includes the tagline, “Qualified Labor. Certification. Tile Industry Recognized.” This is recognition that the installer certification programs (i.e., CTI and ACT programs) are tile industry recognized and define a tile installer with those designations as being ‘Quality Labor.’

What is Qualified Labor?

Through the many hours of proposal writing and encouragement to the architectural and design communities, language now exists to aid the architect, specifier, and designer in the preparation of job specifications.  This language is now a part of the Tile Council of America (TCNA) Handbook.  One portion of that section says it all, “Because tile is a permanent finish, the lowest bid should not be the driving factor, but rather, who is the most qualified to perform the scope of the work specified.”

The Handbook Installer and Contractor Qualifications Guide provides an exhaustive list of the associations and organizations that provide the training and education necessary to produce an installer who has the skills and knowledge necessary to be known as Qualified Labor.

The Handbook also includes the section entitled, “Sample Language for Including Installer and Contractor Qualification in Specifications.”  Here, specific language calls for installer and contractor qualifications and quality assurance based on the training and certifications provided by the recognized entities.

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Program

The CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry. It offers homeowners peace-of-mind that their tile installer has the right skills to complete a successful tile installation.

The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship. Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.

To qualify for the CTI Program, installers must have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.

“The CTI program is strictly a test of the installer’s skills and knowledge; it offers no instructional classes,” says Scott Carothers, director of training and education for CTEF.  “However, many installers who have completed the CTI tests say that studying the written materials was very valuable and assisted in the completion of the hands-on test and that the CTI Manual provided the correct methods for tile installation which may not have been the way they installed tile in the past.”

The CTI program includes two separate tests.

  • The first is an online open-book exam which is taken at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows.
  • The second is a hands-on test which is conducted at regional locations across the United States. The hands-on portion of the test begins at 7:09 am and must be completed by 4:00 pm. Installers should arrive at 6:30 am in order to get their tools set up and be ready to start the test at 7:09 am.

The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) Program

The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) include offers certifications in seven specific areas of tile installation.  An installer may choose to become ACT certified in one or more of these areas:

  • Grouts
  • Large Format Tile & Substrate Preparation
  • Membranes
  • Mortar (Mud) Floors
  • Mortar (Mud) Walls
  • Shower Receptors
  • Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs

Installers wishing to become ACT certified must be pre-qualified in one of two ways:

  • Be a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation; or
  • Be a journeyman tile setter who has successfully completed the apprenticeship program conducted by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

ACT certification in each area is granted upon successful completion of a written online test – designed to measure the installer’s understanding of applicable ANSI specifications and TCNA recommended methods – and a field test conducted by trained, third party evaluators who assess the installer’s skills under real life conditions.

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which sponsors the CTI and ACT programs is supported by all segments of the ceramic tile industry. CTEF is headquartered in Pendleton, South Carolina, near Clemson University and near the offices of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

To learn more, see https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/about-us

# # #

About the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. Certification programs include the CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program which is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge to be recognized by the tile industry, and the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT). For more information, visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org.

Follow CTEF on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ctilef, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeramicTileEducationFoundation/, and on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+CeramictilefoundationOrg


Fuse Alliance and Starnet Worldwide Hold Inaugural Joint Task Force Meeting at Surfaces

The two largest organizations of commercial flooring contractors, Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring and Fuse Alliance, recently held their first joint task force meeting. Last year, these two organizations announced that they had formed a joint task force to focus on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry as collaborative step toward supporting each networks’ Members and better serving their manufacturers.

While the group discussed a wide variety of topics, the task force ultimately decided to focus on the two biggest challenges facing flooring contractors today: recruiting and training labor and concrete moisture issues.

Because labor is a challenge in all construction trades, the group discussed proactive tactics to keep the flooring labor pool sufficient to meet demand. Moisture is a hot button topic since many new solutions have hit the market from sundry and product manufacturers that sometime create confusion for architects, designers and end users. This situation creates an opportunity for flooring contractors to guide these customers toward the best solutions.

The meeting took place at Surfaces in Las Vegas and included four Starnet members, four Fuse members and was moderated by Mike Hutton at Fuse and Eric Boender at Starnet. Jeanne Matson and Fred Williamson from Starnet and Geoff Gordon from Fuse also attended. The Starnet members included Ric Pleis, Floor Connection, Arroyo Grande, CA; John Kellen, Kellen Flooring Solutions, Dallas, TX; Dan Ulfig, Master Craft Floors, Detroit, MI; John Becker, Floors by Becker, Minneapolis, MN. The Fuse members included Todd Birtcher, Floors Inc., Lincoln NE; Rick Elfman, Flooring Solutions, Livermore CA; Rick Goolsby, Business Flooring Specialists, Houston TX; Andy Meyer, Flooring Systems, St. Louis MO. Moving forward, the task force meet once a quarter via teleconference to work toward putting a plan in place for both initiatives.



Dallas, TX – February 23, 2017 – Dal-Tile (parent company of Daltile, Marazzi, and American Olean brands) is officially launching its own “Why Tile” campaign on National Tile Day 2018.  The campaign is designed to complement the Tile Council of North America’s ongoing Why Tile campaign that promotes the use of tile.  The foundational messaging of the Dal-Tile campaign is presented via a “four Ts” message.

“Communicating the reasons why tile is an excellent flooring choice and how tile stacks up against other flooring categories is an important 2018 goal for our brands,” said April Wilson, director of brand marketing for Dal-Tile.  “Along the lines of ‘the four Cs to look for when purchasing a diamond’, we have created ‘the four Ts’ of tile to help in-store sales reps and consumers clearly understand why tile is such a smart choice for flooring.”

“We will feature this messaging in our brands’ POP merchandising, digital endeavors, sales training, and advertising,” said Wilson.  “We want our distributors and retailers to feel equipped to engage in conversations with their customers about the benefits of tile.  During the life of our new campaign, we will educate on why tile ‘Sets the Standard’ for flooring.”

The attributes of tile as presented by Daltile, Marazzi, and American Olean’s campaign are:

Tough — Tile is Tough.  Tile is innately durable and resists decades of heavy traffic.  It is stainproof, scratchproof, waterproof, and fire resistant.


Timeless — Tile is Timeless.  Tile offers unlimited color and design selections that transcend styles, as styles come and go.  It also provides a way to seamlessly connect spaces including both indoor and outdoor.


Trouble-Free — Tile is Trouble-Free.  Tile is low maintenance and easily cleaned with zero restrictions, and won’t damage from cleaning services.


Trustworthy — Tile is Trustworthy.  It’s made from natural materials and returns to natural materials.  It is green certified and completely free of any VOCs, PVCs, phthalates, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals.


About Dal-Tile

Dal-Tile is the largest manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile, natural stone, and countertop products used in residential and commercial spaces across North America. Under its four powerhouse brands — Daltile, American Olean, Marazzi, and Ragno — Dal-Tile leads the industry in both design and product innovation, and is committed to incorporating environmentally-friendly materials, processes, and products throughout its organization.


Dal-Tile has more than 9,000 employees in North America and sells its products through a network of more than 300 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards, design galleries, and design studios, as well as through independent distributors and leading home center retailers nationwide.


Founded in 1947 and headquartered in Dallas, Dal-Tile is a division of Mohawk Industries, the leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world.  For more information on Dal-Tile and Mohawk Industries, please visit mohawkind.com.


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