LATICRETE Releases New Liquid Rubber Anti-Fracture Polymer, FRACTURE BAN SC, Saving Contractors Time and Inventory

August 25, 2020, Bethany, Conn.LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has launched FRACTURE BAN™ SC, a thin, load-bearing, self-curing liquid rubber polymer that can be easily applied in a single coat to form a flexible seamless anti-fracture membrane. FRACTURE BAN SC is rapid drying and cures between one and two hours, increasing productivity and reducing downtime for installers. As a single-component, single-coat material, it also decreases strain on inventory as it requires less material to complete a project. FRACTURE BAN SC can be applied directly to tile, brick and stone without the need for fabric, providing anti-fracture protection of up to 1/8 inch (3 millimeters) over shrinkage and other non-structural cracks.

Fracture Ban SC bucket
Fracture Ban SC from LATICRETE

“The durability and ease of use that FRACTURE BAN SC provides makes it a valuable resource for contractors needing a quick anti-fracture solution without compromising quality. Possessing rapid-curing technology, coupled with the ability to be applied in a single coat, this new anti-fracture membrane effectively shortens installation time and aids construction professionals working with compressed schedules and controlled jobsite access in the midst of a pandemic,” said Dustin Prevete, LATICRETE Senior Product Manager. “FRACTURE BAN SC is also equipped with Microban® Antimicrobial Protection, fulfilling a growing demand in the construction industry for materials that inhibit the growth of microbes including bacteria, mold and mildew.”

rolling on liquid underlayment
Fracture Ban SC changes from a light blue to a darker blue when cured.

Useful for a variety of horizontal substrates, both interior and exterior, FRACTURE BAN SC can be used for a variety of residential and commercial applications and is useful for terraces and balconies overlooking unoccupied spaces. The product enhances surface durability with “extra heavy” service rating per Tile Council of North America (TCNA) performance levels and exceeds ANSI A118.12 standards. Requiring only a thin, single-coat application with a wet thickness of 30 to 44 mils (0.8 to 1.2 millimeters), the membrane cures at only 0.02 to 0.03 inches (0.5 to 0.8 millimeters) thick. As a design feature, FRACTURE BAN SC changes in color from a light blue to darker blue when cured.

For more information, visit laticrete.com.

Total Solutions Plus Keynote Speakers

CTDA, NTCA, TCAA, and TCNA have teamed up again this year to deliver an even bigger joint VIRTUAL Conference in 2020. Total Solutions Plus will provide educational sessions, networking opportunities, and feature a Virtual Exhibit Hall! The Virtual Conference takes place Monday, October 26th through Friday, October 30th. Click here to view the schedule. Register Today

Opening Keynote: Blaze Your Brain: Transform Negative Thoughts into Positive Results, Jessica Rector

Smiling woman with red hair
Jessica Rector

In an economy where self-doubt, worry, and stress are at an all-time high, you have that voice inside your head that never quits. It’s constantly chatting saying things like, “What if it doesn’t work,” “What if I fail,” or “What will they think.” When you ask successful people what led to their success, they say 98% of it comes from your inner game. What inner game keeps you from getting more done and better results? Your self-talk leads to a poor attitude, more mistakes, and increased stress while dictating your actions, keeping you from leading your team, engaging with others, and growing your organization. Transform your mindset to move to the next level and get bigger returns. Get ready to stay motivated, focused, and energized, while you develop your team, decrease errors, and grow no matter the changing environment or conditions. Blaze your brain to change your thoughts, change your outcome, and ignite your power within.

Closing Keynote: At the Edge of Disorder, Peter Zeihan

bearded man with colorful tie
Peter Zeihan

The concept of countries being able to buy and sell their wares openly on the international marketplace is inviolable. The freedom to sail one’s products around the world is a given. Everything from the transfer of money to the accessibility of energy is sacrosanct. Yet all this and more is artificial: an unintended — if happy — side effect of the American-led global order. With that Order in its final days, all countries and all industries must learn to operate in a world as unstructured as it is dangerous. Join us as Peter Zeihan lays out how we got to where we are, and what the future holds for sectors as diverse as energy, agriculture, finance, manufacturing, and transport.

Ironrock Expands Green Squared Certification to All Products

Ironrock is pleased to announce the expansion of the Green Squared certification to all of its quarry tile and thin brick products, including Metropolitan Ceramics® Quarry Tile, Metrobrick® Thin Brick, and Royal Thin Brick®.  Green Squared is a rigorous, multi-attribute sustainability certification administered by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) that looks closely at both the products and the company producing them.  Ironrock was among the first companies to receive the certification when it was made available in 2012 and has now undergone two full renewal audits as well as yearly maintenance audits.  The latest renewal expands the certification from a handful of specific products to all of the products produced.

images of Ironrock quarry and thin brick products and Green Squared Certified logo
Ironrock announces the expansion of the Green Squared certification
to all of its quarry tile and thin brick products

“We were early adopters of Green Squared,” says Guy Renkert, President of the company and the fifth generation of Renkerts at the helm.  “Over the years, we have seen the certification used more, but we were limited by the number of products we had certified. Customers had to pick carefully to get their project credits.

Now they can pick any of our tiles, or even our thin brick products, and be confident that the product selected is eligible.”

“The Green Squared logo is the primary way we tell our sustainability story at a glance,” adds Dan Marvin, Senior VP of Operations for Ironrock and Chairman of TCNA’s Green Initiative Committee.  “When combined with industry average Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and the upcoming Ingredient Guide being prepared by the tile industry, our customers can quickly see what the ingredients and environmental impacts are for our products compared to other floor and wall coverings.  They also know that we operate our company with sustainability as a primary driver.  Together these tools make it easy to comply with the requirements of programs like LEED, Green Globes, and government procurement mandates that favor products with multi-attribute certifications.”

Ironrock’s Green Squared certification is based on using a minimum of 12% recycled material, efficient use of natural gas and electricity, negligible emissions to the environment, and 40 other documented requirements of the program.  In addition to the products and the facility, Green Squared looks at community involvement, philanthropy, and employee relations to ensure a ‘big picture’ approach to sustainability.  The certification was achieved under the watchful eye of SCS Global Services, a California-based certifier of Green Squared and other programs.

For information about the Green Squared certification and other sustainability topics, visit Ironrock’s website, http://www.ironrock.com/environment.

100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote marked by mosaics at Albuquerque gallery

Mosaic of laundry on the line

On August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified 100 years ago, granting women the right to vote. In this year, fraught with election drama and efforts to turn out the vote, the Tortuga Gallery in Albuquerque, NM is presenting “Many Votes, Many Voices,” commemorating the anniversary of ratifying of the 19th amendment, with works by Mosaic Artists of New Mexico.

12 square mosaics form a quilt themed to women's voting rights
The “Strength of Women” mosaic quilt is a collaborative effort among members of Mosaic Artists of New Mexico

The show, which is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday and on Wednesday, August 26, includes the work of 15 mosaic artists whose pieces celebrate and commemorate an aspect of women’s suffrage on the path to winning the right to vote. A statement on the gallery’s website (tortugagallery.org), says, “This show is not just visually alluring, it is also an education to read the artist’s descriptions of their pieces and learn more about women’s suffrage through the display, ‘Rightfully Hers’ on loan from the New Mexico Council for the Humanities. All are invited to view the show, make a bid on the collaborative piece, ‘The Strength of Women’ and purchase a mosaic to have in your own home.”

words of a song form the topography of the moon
“Women are Real Gold,” by Cirrelda Snider, inspired by songwriter Kavisha Mazzella

The Mosaic Artists of New Mexico created a unique body of work that expresses ideals around the right to vote. For instance, in “Women are Real Gold” mosaic artist Cirrelda Snider takes her inspiration from songwriter Kavisha Mazzella in a 24” x 24” mosaic piece that evokes topography of the moon along with selections of powerful lyrics from the song. In “Mother’s Washday Prayer Flags” mosaic artist Laura Robbins draws on her experience of being a mother and grandmother of girls, with encouraging messages written on laundry hanging on a clothesline.

mosaic of ceramic garments tagged with encouraging phrases hang on a clothesline
Close up of “Mother’s Washday Prayer Flags” by Laura Robbins

In “Proof of Participation”, Erica Wendel-Oglesby creates a panel of flowers. But many of the petals on these flowers are inspired by the outdated practice of dipping an index fingertip in black or brown ink or applying an orange or purple line, signifying that the person has cast a vote. Background colors of purple, gold and white are the colors of the United States women’s suffrage movement.

flower petal motif
“Proof of Participation” by Erica Wendel-Oglesby

In addition to these artists, works by Caroline LaBlanc, Debra Toshimura, Erica Hoverter, Gayle Elaine Scott, Helen Atkins, Kyle Erickson, Marina Rabinowitz, Nancy Holt, Perri Yellen, Terry Storch and Tomas Wolff are on display. A collaborative glass mosaic quilt of 12 squares entitled “The Strength of Women” is also part of the exhibit.

View art online through the end of August  HERE . Call 505-948-8840 or email [email protected],org to purchase a piece.

Coverings Connected presents trio of education events on August 26

Coverings Connected is back! Coverings is excited to present important tile & stone industry content online quarterly via our digital experience, Coverings Connected. This is your unique and no cost opportunity to attend online educational webinars, earn CEUs, enjoy on-demand education, explore the 2020 exhibitor list, watch installation demonstrations, and much more. It’s never been more critical than now to stay updated on the latest industry trends and news.

On Wednesday, August 26, our first event will address standards, selling tile post-pandemic, and the benefits of tile for health and wellness. Join us at Coverings Connected.

TISE postpones show to June 2021

On Monday, August 18, 2020, Dana Hicks, Show Director, The International Surfaces Event (TISE), Informa Markets, announced that 2021 edition of the show, held annually at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be postponed from its late-January dates to June 16-18, 2021.

“The International Surface Event (TISE): SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo team has made the proactive decision to reschedule the event from January until June 16-18, 2021,” Hicks said. “The decision to move the dates of TISE was not reached easily, and a host of extraordinary factors were taken into consideration. While the live in-person event is being postponed to June 2021, TISE is dedicated to continuing to provide the critical, first-of-the-year product sourcing and purchasing opportunities the industry needs, a huge value the TISE event has and will continue to always provide.”

Hicks, together with Dana Teague, Vice President, Design Group, Informa Markets and the entire TISE Show Management Team encourage the industry to watch for updates soon on the TISE team’s plans to deliver a unique, fun, innovative, and resourceful virtual programming week to occur during the original TISE dates, the week of January 25, 2021.

Hicks added, “While this is a difficult decision to make to postpone the event, we know the importance of the TISE event and the significance it offers in being able to provide resources to the widest breath of the floor covering, stone, and tile communities. It has been amazing to watch how the industry has gathered in support of each other during this time, and this next step and decision, is just one of those measures so the industry can experience the power of the TISE event in-person.”

Industry leaders spoke out about the postponing of the show.

“We support this move because it will allow us to get back to what we do best,” said Bart Bettiga, Executive Director, National Tile Contractors Association. “The tile industry and the flooring industry, in its essence, is a networking industry, and we lose a little something when we are not able to make that connection. TISE is an annual gathering where so much strategy and businesses get done. I’m looking forward to it for all of our members, partners, and the industry.”

“We are really looking forward to the sense of community that TISE provides,” said Jim Hieb, CEO, Natural Stone Institute. “Exciting for TISE 2021, everyone coming is going to see an even larger showcase of natural stone in the Natural Stone Pavilion. The moving of dates should allow the opportunity to network, engage, honor the industry, and gather face-to-face, a desire I know we are all feeling right now.”

“I am so looking forward to face-to-face contact with the industry,” said Scott Humphrey, CEO, World Floor Covering Association. “TISE is THE place where the WFCA meets with our members, sees all the new products, and communicates our messaging. We are encouraged that the move of the event dates will be the best opportunity to ensuring we call all gather together in person soon.” 

Register now for Virtual Total Solutions Plus, October 26-30, 2020

October 26-30, 2020 | Visit TSP WebsiteRegister Today

CTDA, NTCA, TCAA and TCNA have teamed up again this year to deliver an even bigger joint VIRTUAL Conference in 2020. Total Solutions Plus will provide several educational sessions, networking opportunities and feature a Virtual Exhibit Hall!

The Virtual Conference takes place Monday, October 26th through Friday, October 30th. Click here to view the schedule. Register Today

How To Attend a Virtual Conference  

TSP will be utilizing a virtual platform to host the conference. For a quick demo of how to attend an educational session in the platform, check out this video .     

Virtual Exhibit Registration Now Open
Don’t pass up this opportunity to network with attendees and conduct business transactions. As a Virtual Exhibitor, you will be able to customize your virtual booth to showcase products & services you offer. This can be done through text, links, videos, images, and file downloads. There will also be chat and video call functionality to meet with attendees directly.
One of the major benefits of a virtual event is the data it will produce, such as being able to see data on who visits your booth. The cost per Virtual Exhibit is only $1,800 and includes one complimentary full-conference registration. For a quick demo showing how the virtual platform will work for Virtual Exhibitors, view this video. Click here for more information about registering as a Virtual Exhibitor.

Sponsorship Opportunities
Don’t miss out on these exclusive and package sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorship allows your brand to reach key decision makers with a variety of marketing opportunities. There are many different levels of sponsorship available, each with different benefits. Find out more about Sponsorship Opportunities here.

Questions? Contact CTDA at 630-545-9415 or [email protected].  

Partners in ProgressTotal Solutions Plus is brought to you by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, the National Tile Contractors Association, the Tile Council of North America, and the Tile Contractors’ Association of America. To learn more about these organizations, click on their logo above.  © 2020 Ceramic Tile Distributors AssociationNational Tile Contractors Association, Tile Council of North AmericaTile Contractors’ Association of America. All Rights Reserved.  Unsubscribe


Dallas, TX – August 5, 2020 – As part of Daltile’s ongoing digital and social media outreach, Daltile has partnered with well-known influencers nationwide to create its exciting new “Style Squad.”

“Today’s consumers are heavily influenced by the opinions and projects of influencers, such as designers, bloggers, and HGTV personalities,” said Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of marketing for Dal-Tile Corporation.  “As a marketing-savvy brand, Daltile is leading our industry in utilizing key influencers to reach consumers.  Our most recent influencer campaign is the newly-launched Daltile ‘Style Squad’, made up of popular influencers who are fans of Daltile and have used various Daltile products in their own projects.  We prominently feature these influencers’ projects on Daltile’s digital and social spaces, underscoring for the consumer that Daltile is a big player in style and design, offering the fashion-driven, on-trend products that consumers want.  This type of digital/social presence helps further set our Daltile retailers up for success with our products, by reaching and influencing customers before they even enter retailers’ showrooms.”    
For additional information on Daltile’s Style Squad, visit https://www.daltile.com/trend-hub/style-squad.

Sanitary surfaces – why ceramic tile and quartz countertops are a good choice for the COVID era

Tile and engineered quartz countertops have long held appeal with new applications arising as the technology of these products – and the skills to install them – have evolved.

Photo of Shea Pumarejo, Younique Designs
Shea Pumarejo, Younique Designs, said that after being sequestered due to COVID-19, clients want to spruce up their spaces.

Enter COVID-19, and these options are gaining ground, not simply because of their beauty, but also due to more-important-than-ever considerations like durability, easy maintenance, disinfecting – and in some cases – inherent antimicrobial qualities. Designers working with these products discuss how their businesses – and the demand for products – have evolved since spring 2020. 

Like many companies in the last few months, designers have seen interruptions in their operations, but things are starting to ease. For Shea Pumarejo, of Younique Designs in San Antonio, Texas, after coming to an initial screeching halt, she’s finding business picking up again. Many of her remodeling clients – including those in mid-project – put the brakes on when COVID-19 hit. But lately, half a dozen clients have signed on for projects. “People have been quarantining and they are looking around, wanting to spruce things up,” she said. 

Photo of Robin Wilson, Robin Wilson Home
Robin Wilson, Robin Wilson Home, says the concept of virtual design is growing.

Robin Wilson, the interior designer, wellness expert, and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, based in New York City, sees an evolution of consciousness due to the COVID crisis. “There is a realization that the big commute – and running all those errands on Saturdays – just is not necessary.” The other evolution she is seeing is a demand for virtual design. “You get the floor plans, and walk through the space virtually, then design the home,” she said. “You are creating from afar, and working with contractors remotely.” Wilson noted that the new HGTV series Design at the Door capitalizes on this trend – catch it Thursday nights at 9/8c.

Some aspects of the design process are foundational and unchanged: “Good designers will ask people how they live – do they have children, do they entertain a lot, do they have underlying health conditions? – and will suggest materials that are easier to clean and maintain and more durable, based upon client response,” Wilson said. 

Tile and quartz safeguard health

Photo of bathroom with Modtique HDP porcelain tile from Florida Tile
The Modtique HDP line of porcelain tile from Florida Tile incorporates Microban® to inhibit bacterial growth, improve visible cleanliness, and reduce odors.

That’s where tile and quartz shine. “It’s a known fact that porcelain tile is impervious and easy to clean, said Mark Shannon, executive vice president of sales for Crossville, Inc., Tennessee-based porcelain tile manufacturer. “Its inherent properties in a properly-installed system make for an ideal surface, thanks to the ability to withstand any necessary cleaning and sanitization materials or methods.” 

Photo of kitchen countertop
Solid surfaces that don’t have places for microbes to hide are becoming de rigueur, and glass tile backsplashes with undermount lighting are bringing beautiful reflectance to spaces, said Wilson.

Ceramic tile products, in fact, are a huge foundation for Wilson’s business. “Clients love wood-look tile, the texture, the light shades that look like weathered wood,” she said. Clients are choosing these products especially for mudrooms, laundry rooms, playrooms, and basements. A particular favorite is the 48” planks now available; Wilson favors the Crossville planks since they don’t exhibit a bowing in their length like some other long planks do. 

“People are doing an entire basement in tile – wall cladding with thin tile on the wall and on the floor now,” Wilson said. As a result of COVID, she said, people are “recognizing their home should be a sanctuary,” especially outdoor spaces. 

Photo of Agate mosaic from Allison Eden
Agate mosaic from Allison Eden in the niche, stone tile on shower walls, and floors of porcelain provide easily cleaned and beautiful surfaces.

All kinds of tile are being incorporated, Wilson said: flat tile, textured tile, rugged surfaces and live edges, a spike in the use of glass tile on backsplashes with undermount lights that create a bright, beautiful reflectance on the glass, Wilson said. 

Quartz countertops are a favorite due to the antimicrobial features that some brands offer. “The goal is to have a solid surface that doesn’t have a place for bacteria to hide,” Wilson said. 

“Silestone has a quartz product with an antimicrobial treatment added to it, and some tile options that have Microban® added,” Pumarejo said, such as specific collections from Panaria/Florida Tile. Pumarejo noted that a new client – a doctor husband and wife – recently rejected a butcher block countertop due to the possibility of microbe growth in favor of a quartz option. 

Wilson said that quartz countertops combined with a gauged porcelain tile “waterfall” down the side of the islands are becoming more popular. 

Photo of vanity with mosaic Pumarejo chose from Allison Eden Studios.
Glass tile enlivens projects like this mosaic Pumarejo chose from Allison Eden Studios.

Pumarejo also sees large-format tile in general gaining ground since it limits grout joints, facilitating maintenance and cleaning. She also has observed that “grout has come a long way in recent years, too, as far as maintenance and cleanability.” 

General awareness of pro-health products are the purview of the designer and sometimes the client themselves. “Rugs are better than carpet because they can be cleaned and shaken out or laundered, keeping tile as the surface,” Wilson said. Even highly-trafficked areas can still be as beautiful with ceramic tile and yet easier to clean, she explained. 

Ceramic vanquishes vinyl

Photo of white subway tile in a bathroom
Today’s grouts have come a long way in regards to cleaning and maintenance, Pumarejo said.

Though Pumarejo noted that her clients sometimes choose luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) for price, softer and warmer feel underfoot, and a realistic wood texture, Wilson said her clients, “choose tile over LVT for durability and also because if vinyl is installed improperly, moisture can grow beneath the surface, which can be unnoticed until you have a sick home. In any wet area, tile or concrete should be used to prevent major health issues from unseen mold growth. A contractor once told me, ‘It’s like putting a shower curtain on the floor and putting caulk on the shower curtain edge. If one piece of a shower curtain does not adhere, watch the mold grow!’ 

“I am noticing that there are people who believe LVT should be placed in a baby nursery,” she added. “I would like to go on record to say make sure it NEVER gets wet. Do not use a mop and bucket. But people are not told about what can happen with these products.”

KBIS Moves Forward with Heightened Health and Safety Measures and New Virtual Programming

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show is planned for February 9-11, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) – July 30, 2020 — The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)announced today plans for the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in February are moving forward to include a new omni-experience format. KBIS, which is the largest North American trade show dedicated to the kitchen and bath market, is scheduled for February 9-11, 2021, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. In addition to the onsite experience in Orlando, KBIS 2021 is expanding its presence through the integration of a new live virtual program over the three-day event to provide attendees access to exclusive show content all-year long.

“These are extraordinary times. KBIS 2021 is going to have a unique look and feel,” says Suzie Williford, executive vice president, industry relations and chief strategy officer, NKBA. “We are fully intending to host an in-person event. As long as we are able to safely bring our industry together for this extraordinary event, we will. For those who are unable to be there in person, we will bring KBIS to you.”

These virtual experiences are available to all show attendees and exhibitors and are designed to help bridge the gap with those unable to attend KBIS in person. The virtual component will be used to amplify educational content, exhibitor product launches, as well as a variety of networking opportunities. Show details are in the final planning stages with the new programming scheduled to be announced shortly.

“The Emerald and NKBA teams are talking with our exhibitors and attendees every day and I can confidently say, our industry is ready to rebound,” says Amy Hornby, KBIS show director. “Many of our legacy brands including Miele and Cosentino, as well as newer exhibitors like nobilia are confirmed to exhibit and are looking forward to connecting with their clients. We have also signed several new partners which we are excited to share with you in a few weeks.”

KBIS 2021 features hundreds of returning and new exhibitors across two halls, along with a full complement of educational offerings including the NKBA Voices from the Industry series.

Health & Safety

Health and safety are a critical component for KBIS 2021. Leaders from the NKBA and show producer, Emerald, are working diligently with convention center executives, vendors and state and local authorities to design the in-person experience. A corporate-wide preparedness plan with comprehensive health and safety guidelines and protocols have been established to provide attendees with the safest experience possible.

“At this time, all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and partners are required to wear face masks inside the Convention Center and maintain appropriate social distance,” says Hornby. “Masks will be available at registration upon request.”

Additional safety measures include:

  • Increased hand sanitizer stations positioned through-out the convention center
  • Daily, heightened cleaning of all public spaces, exhibit halls, meeting rooms and registration areas
  • Contactless registration process with remote badge printing
  • All show floor aisles will be single directional to help manage traffic flow and encourage social distancing
  • Exhibitors are encouraged to design open booths to allow for open entry and exit points

These plans may adapt and change in order to effectively limit potential spread.

“We know it is crucial that we provide regular updates about KBIS 2021 to help all of our attendees make plans. As we’ve seen over the last six months, situations can change overnight,” says Williford. “As show organizers, we are working to apply what we learn in this new environment to produce a safe and successful experience for everyone.”

Additional information regarding the show, as well as travel and accommodations, is available on KBIS.com in the COVID-19 Resource Center.

Downloadable Resources

Emerald Preparedness, Prevention & Response Plan

Exhibitor Best Practices

KBIS 2021 Logo


Registration for KBIS 2021 opens on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, on KBIS.com. Registration is free for the month of September for all NKBA members. Those who register for the onsite experience in Orlando are automatically registered for the virtual experience.

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