No sanding, no skim coating with TEC’s new high-flow, super-smooth, self-leveling underlayment

AURORA, Ill. – TEC® is now offering Level Set® 500 HF Self-Leveling Underlayment, the flooring industry’s most advanced high-flow solution to achieve an exceptionally smooth surface without time-consuming sanding or skim coating. 

Based on next generation technology from TEC, no other self-leveling underlayment (SLU) has a faster flow or provides a smoother surface for today’s thinner floor coverings. The ultra-smooth surface of Level Set 500 HF means contractors can eliminate skim coating and sanding, which can cut labor costs by up to two-thirds. In addition, testing shows flooring adhesive coverage can increase by up to 20 percent* to further add to the cost and labor saving benefits.

TEC Level Set 500 HF Self-Leveling Underlayment employs high-flow technology

 “This new high-flow technology represents a tremendous step forward for today’s installers,” said Greg Schad, Director of Product Technology for TEC. “Contractors are facing rising labor costs and shortened timelines. Our Level Set 500 HF is an outstanding high-flow SLU that will help them deliver a superior, smoother surface in a shorter amount of time. This will lower costs and allow them to turn over each job faster to maximize their profits.”

The Level Set 500 HF is a high-flow SLU that pours like water and is pumpable for interior applications. The product provides installers with both extended working time and longer healing time to provide an unmatched level of surface smoothness. 

The new underlayment pours like water and is pumpable

In comparison, traditional SLU products have a consistency more like syrup that needs to be sanded where the pours don’t heal together properly. They also can leave voids that need to be filled in with a patch or skim coat. 

Level Set 500 HF is ideal for fast-track applications and is walkable within 2-3 hours for ceramic tile installations. Moisture-sensitive floor coverings can be installed in 15 hours, which is a significant improvement over the 24 hours cure time typically needed for traditional SLU products. 

 “We constantly monitor the industry to see what flooring contractor professionals need,” Schad said. “What we’ve found is a strong demand for simpler products to make the installer’s job easier. The traditional SLU products just didn’t deliver a truly flat, and ready-to-go surface for the installation of flooring adhesive. Installers either must skim coat and/or sand the traditional product before installing the flooring. We developed Level Set 500 HF to address those concerns.”

The ultra-smooth surface of Level Set 500 HF means contractors can eliminate skim coating and sanding, which can cut labor costs by up to two-thirds.

Level Set 500 HF is compatible with all types of floor covering – wood, vinyl planks and sheet goods, linoleum, rubber, ceramic and porcelain tile, VCT and more.  The product also is suitable for any substrate – concrete, pavers, cement backerboard, hardwood, plywood, gypsum substrates, tile, terrazzo, metal, VCT and OSB. 

“As a longstanding manufacturer of cement-based technologies for flooring installation, it’s a natural fit for TEC to bring advancements in self-leveling through this exciting innovation,” Schad said. “It truly represents a next generation solution that will be the foundation for many new products for our customers.” For more information, watch the Level Set 500 HF video or visit

*Results may vary depending on adhesive and substrate.

LATICRETE Introduces First-ever Modular Tile and Stone Installation Adhesive System, LATICRETE SELECT-BOND

The industry-first adhesive system is built upon a versatile standalone adhesive in addition to optional kits for specialized enhancements 

March 30, 2020, Bethany, Conn. — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced LATICRETE® SELECT-BONDTM, an industry-first, versatile tile and stone adhesive system that includes optional kits for specialized enhancements. Useful for both thin bed and large heavy tile applications, the polymer modified adhesive system offers versatility as distributors and contractors no longer need multiple adhesives for their various project types. Designed to be used alone or with one of three optional, pre-measured adhesive system kits, LATICRETE SELECT-BOND can reduce distributor inventory by 65% and helps ensure installers always have the right product for the job.

“LATICRETE SELECT-BOND is a unique innovation that delivers real value to the distributor and installer,” said Jon Scott, LATICRETE Senior Product Manager. “A first-of-its-kind product, LATICRETE SELECT-BOND is a game changer for all tile and stone adhesive needs. The base adhesive works well for the majority of applications and the enhancements allow customization never seen in the market before.”

    When used alone (without an additional adhesive system kit), LATICRETE SELECT-BOND provides a one-step installation for ceramic tile, porcelain tile, marble and stone on floors and walls, and is approved for use over exterior glue plywood for interior installations. The product meets both ANSI A118.4 and A118.11 and is available in 25-pound bags. 

To increase the versatility and enhance the performance of  LATICRETE SELECT-BOND, users can add a Non-Sag, Rapid Curing or High Performance (to meet ANSI A118.15 requirements) adhesive system kit. These adhesive system kits are pre-measured and come in a water soluble packet so additional measuring and calculations are not necessary to provide consistent performance.

For more information, visit

Merkrete Offers a New Dustless Setting Material Solution for Large and Heavy Tile and Stone Installation

Anaheim, CA — March 18, 2020 – Merkrete, a Parex USA, Inc. brand, announced the launch of 725 DUSTLESS Premium LHT Mortar, featuring new, innovative and patented DUSTLESS Technology (DLT™) from Parex USA.  It is a premium grade LHT mortar for installing large and heavy porcelain, ceramic tile and natural stone to walls or floors in either commercial or residential applications.  Its innovative DUSTLESS Technology produces approximately 80% less dust than ordinary thinsets and is designed to promote cleaner working conditions.

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725 DUSTLESS Premium LHT Mortar is designed to meet the demands of flooring professionals with the contractor and end-user in mind. Key features and benefits include:

  • For use with large and heavy tile and natural stone
  • Non-slumping formula eliminates tile lippage
  • May be applied up to 3/4″ thick on horizontal applications
  • Non-sag formula for vertical installations
  • Exceeds ANSI A118.4 and A118.11

“Recently, we have observed the increasing popularity of large and heavy tiles, presenting new requirements and challenges to the tile and flooring industry,” said Merkrete Vice-President of Sales, Dan Voss.  “These larger materials demand a setting mortar like 725 DUSTLESS Premium LHT Mortar that offers non-slip characteristics for walls and excellent adhesion for added support and reduced lippage for floors.” 

Also, 725 DUSTLESS Premium LHT Mortar features new, innovative and patented DLT™ – DUSTLESS Technology by Parex USA.  This new product is easier to use, produces less dust, and works in a complete system with Merkrete’s product portfolio.

Designed with the contractor in mind, DLT features and benefits include:

  • 80% Less Dust – Less dust versus ordinary thinsets
  • Uses Less Water – Hydrates consistently and dries quicker
  • Easier to Mix – Only the addition of water is required
  • Easy Application – Creamier and easier to spread
  • Longer Working Time – More versatile on the jobsite
  • Less Mess to Cleanup – Saves time, labor and money

“Merkrete’s research and development engineers have created a product feature that provides distributors, contractors and end-users with a number of key performance benefits,” said Tom Carroll, Sr. Product Manager for Merkrete. “Our new DLT products reduce dust by approximately 80%, so now you have less dust from the factory, to the distributor warehouse, on the shelves, in your truck, and on the jobsite.”

The addition of 725 DUSTLESS Premium LHT Mortar rounds out Merkrete’s full line of setting materials, surface preparation products, waterproofing liquids and grouts. For more information, visit

Eldorado Stone introduces new, lighter color palette

 Eldorado Stone, a Boral brand, introduces a new color palette to accentuate the classically-inspired aesthetics of one of its most popular profiles. As more nuanced, up-to-date design options remain in high demand from project specifiers, the innovative multilayered color notes in Loire Valley™ RoughCut® artfully blend contemporary hues with classic, nature-inspired textures to enhance residential and commercial spaces.

Eldorado Stone adds a new lighter palette with its innovative multilayered color notes in Loire Valley RoughCut.

“There has been an increased interest in classic looks with a contemporary twist, so we created this new color palette to refresh one of our most time-honored profiles,” said Sarah Lograsso, Director of Marketing. “With the introduction of Loire Valley RoughCut, specifiers can now incorporate a fresh new color into their projects while still embracing more traditional stone surfaces.”

Inspired by the French countryside after which it derives its name, Loire Valley RoughCut presents a sophisticated gradient of ivories and muted creams with touches of sand and rust. The bold, hand-formed shapes of RoughCut incorporate embedded, fossilized artifacts on a roughly cleaved, pronounced face to mimic the character of limestone.

According to Remodeling Magazine, manufactured stone provides one of the highest return values of any material. Incorporating stone veneer into interior and exterior projects is a more cost-effective and higher quality finish than many other materials. An exterior façade made with manufactured stone veneer can enhance curb appeal and potentially increase home value, while using stone indoors can create a distinctive space that blends natural world elements with modern design.

To learn more about Eldorado Stone and its products, visit

Create your own custom designs at Imagine Tile

Creating your own custom tile is as easy as 1,2,3! The process starts
with your vision and ends with a beautiful, durable, commercially
rated ceramic or porcelain tile. In a few easy steps Imagine Tile will
help you imbue any space with your design vision.

1. Design: Provide imagine tile with a concept or ready-to-go artwork, including color references. If artwork is not available, we’ll work with you to develop the final artwork.

2. Sample: Once artwork is finalized, we will proceed with making a physical tile for review and approval before production. The sample process takes approximately 3-4 weeks. If any revisions are needed, we’ll create a new sample.

3. Product: After review and approval of the sample, your order is ready for production. Allow approximately a 4-6 week lead time to produce
your custom tile.

From unique colors, patterns and textures, to the replication of encaustic design and even photographic images, Imagine Tile offers the perfect solution for any surface; commercial or residential, and the ability to totally transform any space through design.

Imagine Tile’s custom tiles are perfectly suited for applications such as
hospitality, retail, corporate, healthcare, transportation + more.
process. Contact for more information.

Antolini debuts Crema Cielo marble

Mother Nature has always provided the strongest and most artistic designs imaginable. Antolini has over 60 years of experience harnessing this natural power allowing us to revel in our world’s innate elegance. New to Antolini’s lineup is the Exclusive Stone: Crema Cielo.

Antolini’s Crema Cielo

Allow yourself to be enamoured by Crema Cielo’s captivating presence in this interior design. This marble is revolutionary to the divine setting, capturing the fine details of this stone. As the room transcends into a delicate and contemporary union, Antolini has perfected Haute Nature in any design.

Captivating movement is evident in Crema Cielo

The cascading delicate and soft hues descend sinuously and create an admirable kinship throughout the surface of this fine marble. The fluent Crema Cielo enhances the spaces and gives a sense of lightness and spontaneity thanks to the wavy streams that allow a constantly evolving smooth shape.

For more information, visit

LATICRETE launches SPECTRALOCK® 1 Evolutionary and Versatile Pre-Mixed Grout

 SPECTRALOCK® 1 is the only pre-mixed grout in the Tile & Stone industry that meets and/or exceeds ANSI A118.3 performance

March 9, 2020, Bethany, Conn. — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced SPECTRALOCK 1, the industry’s first pre-mixed, stain proof grout with true epoxy performance. SPECTRALOCK 1 offers superior strength at 3,500 psi, the ability to be submerged and an extremely fast cure rate so that customers can complete durable projects in less time than ever before. SPECTRALOCK 1 is simple to maintain and use, safe to use with no epoxy resins and is available in a wide variety of colors to match any design. 

“SPECTRALOCK 1 is a product of more than a decade of research and development. After going through thousands of iterations, SPECTRALOCK 1 is the only formula on the market that exceeds ANSI A118.3 performance and provides the strength, quality and application opportunities in a true, pre-mixed grout,” said Ryan Blair, LATICRETE Senior Product Manager. “SPECTRALOCK 1 is the solution needed to reduce the risk of installation errors, reduce waste and overall material costs while offering more durability.”

This patent pending, professional-grade grout offers all the benefits from the original LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK, a highly chemical resistant industrial grade epoxy grout, without the hassle of mixing. SPECTRALOCK 1 provides exceptional durability, extreme versatility and excellent color consistency – even with the most demanding applications. It is the only pre-mixed grout in the market that meets and/or exceeds the ANSI A118.3 specification. 

Ideal for bathrooms, steam showers and kitchens plus exterior applications such as pools and patios, SPECTRALOCK 1 is the most functional pre-mixed grout on the market. Not only can SPECTRALOCK 1 be utilized for more installations than other pre-mixed grouts, users gain the added benefit of increasing overall productivity since no sealing or mixing is required. It also provides an exceptionally easy clean up while inhibiting the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew.

For more information, visit

Daltile adds stunning new marble designs to award-winning Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces Series

Dallas, TX – February 14, 2020 – With the continued popularity of porcelain slabs in design, Daltile is extending its Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces extra-large porcelain slab line with new additions to the Elemental Selection. The two new 10.5’ x 5’3” porcelain slab offerings – Calacatta Topaz and Jasper Grey – are beautiful marble designs that will elevate the ambiance of virtually any space. These additions to Panoramic further expand Daltile’s extra-large format porcelain slab program, providing even more outstanding design options for designers and homeowners.  The new products will official launch in April. 

“Nothing speaks sophistication and luxury like the look of marble,” said Paij Thorn-Brooks, Vice President of Marketing for Dal-Tile Corporation, parent company of the Daltile brand.  “The appeal of marble is timeless and one of this year’s hottest interior design trends.  At Daltile, we make it easy to bring the beautiful visual of marble into a home or commercial space with the added performance features of porcelain — through our Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces line of 10.5’ x 5’3” porcelain slabs.  Our two new gorgeous marble designs join ten existing marble Panoramic visuals as well as the entire Daltile Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces line to offer ‘the style of natural stone with the performance of porcelain tile’.”

NEW Calacatta Topaz

Panoramic’s Calacatta Topaz satisfies several of this year’s hottest design trends.  As mentioned, marble is still extremely popular.  The foundation of Calacatta Topaz’ stunning marble visual taps into the desire for sophisticated white marble, and then infuses the design with a with a striking vein pattern that features on-trend gold veining. 

Calacatta Topaz

NEW Jasper Grey

Panoramic’s Jasper Grey also nods to several of this year’s hottest trends.  Jasper Grey elegantly marries the timeless appeal of marble with the current popularity of the color black.   The majesty of Jasper Grey’s black marble design also satisfies designers’ and consumers’ current leaning toward bolder and more dramatic visuals. 

Jasper Grey

Endless Design Possibilities

The Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces line provides “endless design possibilities”.  Panoramic is great for both indoor or outdoor installations.  It can be used on a multitude of surfaces including floors, walls, countertops, fireplaces, vanities, backsplashes, shower walls, tub surrounds, and even as exterior flooring and cladding.  With Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces, designers and homeowners can create looks ranging from awe-inspiring and larger-than-life to a completely uniform design that seamlessly fits into a variety of aesthetics.  Panoramic also adds powerful design impact through the wrap-around-luxury of a floor-to-wall-to-countertop continuum or book-matched for a stunning feature wall.  Panoramic nicely serves two of the most prominent trends in interior design — creating style and luxury through seamless, continuous design and the prominence of large, open floorplans in new home construction.

Luxury At An Attainable Price

Panoramic is a great solution for designs that require a high-end look, but are limited by budget or performance constraints.  Panoramic easily brings the scale and style of natural stone slabs to projects where stone might be cost or installation prohibitive.  Thanks to Daltile’s proprietary printing technologies, designs are so realistic that it’s hard to tell the difference between Panoramic and natural stone.  Because Panoramic is made of authentic porcelain, each product is heat, stain, scratch, and chemical resistant as well as durable and easy to maintain. 

“FlexFit Size Solutions” Program

Additionally, the new Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces products are part of Daltile’s FlexFit™ Size Solutions program, a custom cut-to-size program designed to give additional flexibility and reduce installation time and cost.  The FlexFit program offers the slabs pre-cut into seven smaller stocked sizes that reflect the most standard cut dimensions needed for both residential and commercial applications.  The program also offers the option to order a custom cut to any size, in addition to the extra-large format size already offered.

Additional Information

For additional information on the new products, Calacatta Topaz and Jasper Grey, as well as the rest of the Elemental Selection Series and the full Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces portfolio, visit

Daltile Launches Two New Quartz Lines —Largest Quartz Slabs In The World, Made In The USA

Dallas, TX–February 14, 2020–Daltile has launched its newest ONE Quartz Surfaces®American Reserve™collections,the Historic Series and the National Marble Series. These two new collections are Made In The USA in Dal-Tile Corporation’s quartz plant in Dickson, Tennessee and are also the largest quartz slab products in the world.The newly-launched products are available nationwide.

Rocky Mountain, from the Historic Series

“Our state-of-the-art domestic facility creates quartz slabs that are the epitome of design and style,” said Roy Viana,Director of Natural Stone and Slab for Dal-Tile Corporation (parent company of the Daltile brand). “Daltile’s new American Reserve ‘Historic’ and American Reserve ‘National Marble’collections are extra-large 136”x79” quartz slabs, the largest in the world. With designers and consumers wanting countertops and walls to be as free of seams as possible and with the increasing popularity of larger kitchen islands, these extra-large quartz slabs are a perfect material to meet today’s design needs. The quartz produced in our facility is made using proprietary design technologies,the most advanced decorative capabilities, the highest levels of gloss and clarity, and exclusive colors and designs.”

Arches, from the Historic Series

“Quartz seems to be a product that not only the design community enjoys working with, but homeowners are specifically asking for,” said Paij Thorn-Brooks, Vice President of Marketing for Dal-Tile Corporation. “The outstanding features of quartz include the virtually unlimited availability of colors and designs combined with durability and ease of maintenance. For example, with quartz, you can add gorgeous marble looks to your home’s design in a material that stands up to real life activity, perfect for kitchens.”

Daltile’s new Historic Series features four beautiful marble designs, each one inspired by one of America’s famous landmarks. Niagara has subtle veining reminiscent of foaming water at the bottom of a cascading waterfall, while Arches, inspired by the famous St. Louis Arch, has more distinct veining. Rocky Mountain evokes the majestic mountain range running the length of the country and Golden Gate provides subtle veining and West Coast design.

The National Marble Series offers four different exquisite white marble looks. The series is made up of Freedom Calacatta, Liberty Calacatta, Rushmore and Washington.

Rushmore from the National Marble Series

All of these new products combine the beauty of marble with the performance of quartz. Available in 2-cm and 3-cm thicknesses, these American-made quartz slabs are waterproof, scratch resistant, stain resistant and heat resistant, and can be used on walls and countertops.

For more information about Daltile’s American Reserve Historic Series and American Reserve National Marble Series, as well as the full line of ONE Quartz Surfaces products, visit

Artistic Tile debuts stunning new natural stone slabs

Artistic Tile rolls out a collection of stunning new natural stone slabs, with three emerald-kissed slabs leading the march.

Verde Tifone is a celebration of the entire spectrum of green, in marble slab. Green shades swirl around the surface: the bright freshness of willow in spring, the precious richness of emerald, the deep, dark pines of a northern forest. Verde Tifone offers an energy that is remarkable and utterly unique in the world of marble. Quarried in Iran, stocked in 2cm polished.

Verde Tifone

This fascinating slab features a dazzling variety of green veins – bright to deep – intertwining with inky black, playing across the characteristic milky-white background so prized by those who love Calacatta marbles. Calacatta Verde offers the luxury project an alluring but discreet flare of color, retaining a classically neutral appeal enhanced by the occasional sparkle of golden pyrite. Stocked in 2cm polished.

Calacatta Verde

Amazonite is a striking cerulean green mineral whose rarity and watery beauty have been noted for generations. Its very name evokes a sense of the exotic, and the slabs


Cosmopolitan’s rich color flows from effervescent sangria to flaming orange to palest silvery pink, with inky merlot veins providing striking counterpoint. A 2cm polished Quartzite from Brazil, Cosmopolitan has one extra feature – when back-lit, it shows off a dazzling translucence, ideal for vertical and horizontal applications alike.


Quarried in Brazil, Patagonia granite has a soft beige foundation with bright splashes of transparent material and large floating clasts. Stocked in 2 cm and 3 cm polished slabs.


For information, visit

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