Ask The Experts: July 2017

QUESTION:

I have a client with glass tiles cracking on an install. The GC admitted to not installing with a crack suppression membrane. They also drilled pilot holes for a door install that resulted in cracking. The tiles associated with the holes were installed before drilling. The final comment by the client was the cracking was from the back, and did not come through the face.

In your opinion, is it likely the lack of a crack isolation membrane created the opportunity for all of these tile cracks?

 

ANSWER: 

It appears to me that the crack at the window wall may be related to structural stresses within the framing or deflection in the substrate. The crack at the control valve may be related to structural stresses such as deflection within the substrate that was not well supported at the valve location. The cracks from the drill holes are likely related to the physical and heat stresses placed on the tile during the drilling process and may also be related to deflection in the substrate if the substrate was not well supported in this area. A crack isolation membrane would likely not have prevented the cracking.

There are other potential issues that can cause large-format glass tile to crack. They would include: Incorrect mortar or adhesive selection; mortar cure time (which will vary based on the mortar used and whether a waterproof membrane was used); thermal expansion from light or hot water; lack of expansion joints; deflection in the substrate; etc.
– Mark Heinlein,
NTCA technical trainer/presenter

QUESTION:

I’m dealing with customers who are unhappy about their recent tile installation. They feel the tile has too high a color variation. Could the installer have laid out the tile incorrectly? Whose responsibility is this – the installer’s, or mine? Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Per our conversation, on page 2 of the 2016 TCNA Handbook there is a section that deals with aesthetic classification. It specifically talks about variations in color, texture and appearance, and how tile suit- able for TCNA Handbook installations must meet specifications out- lined in ANSI 137.1. This ANSI standard sets performance and aesthetic criteria for many types of tile. Using tile that meets ANSI 137.1 ensures a degree of quality and consistency among tiles.

This chart from CTDA illustrates the ranking of shade variation levels, from the most uniformly shaded V1 to V4, which represents a tile with the highest degree of shade or color variation. A V0 tile is very uniform in appearance and smooth in color, with a color difference of less than 3 Judds when measured by a colorimetric spectrophotometer.

Tiles can have a V (variation) designation from V0 to V4. V0 tiles are very uniform in color and shade. V2, V3, V4 tile all increase in their randomness of color with V4 being the most random. Is the tile in question an ANSI 137.1 tile and what is its V designation?

The TCNA Handbook says that tile should be installed from several boxes in a random fashion to avoid aesthetic issues. Are you aware if the installer did this? How much was installed before the variations were noticed? How quickly did the installer report this to you?

It is common practice in our industry to report any defects or issues with the tile prior to installation. Many tile manufacturers even have disclaimers on their boxes explaining that claims against the tile must be made prior to installation. Let me know the answers to these questions and I will try to help you further.

– Robb Roderick,
NTCA technical trainer/presenter

 

Sponsor Product Spotlight: LATICRETEⓇ HYDRO BANⓇ BOARD

LATICRETE® HYDRO BAN® Board is a lightweight, easy to install, ready to tile wall board designed for bonded tile or stone installations. It is made with a waterproof high-density extruded polystyrene core and a waterproof membrane on both sides to give triple protection from water and vapor intrusion. Available in thicknesses from ¼” to 2” HYDRO BAN Board can be used on walls, floors, ceilings and in many installations requiring dimensionally sound and stable substrates as well as in steam rooms and steam showers. HYDRO BAN Board does not contain cement, fiberglass or paper products and will not cause itching or create messy cement debris during installation. No tab washers are required for floor and wall installations when using HYDRO BAN Board Screws.

For more information, visit www.laticrete.com.

NTCA PARTICIPATES IN GARY SINISE FOUNDATION HOME DEDICATION

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), attended the R.I.S.E. home dedication of Jared and Jessica Bullock and their son Aidan, in Carbondale, Illinois on Thursday, June 29th, 2017. NTCA partnered with Crossville and MAPEI to provide all of the porcelain tile and setting materials for this home, installed by California Flooring.

The concept, developed by the Gary Sinise Foundation, was to build a custom, specially-adapted smart home, assisting Jared in “Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment” (RISE), as he transitions back into civilian life. Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Regional Evaluator Coordinator Kevin Insalato, also a U.S. Army veteran, commented, “It was my honor to donate my time and money to help Jared transition to an active lifestyle with his family. The most impressive feature of Jared’s recovery is his ability to view his injury as just another obstacle he will overcome.”

U.S. Army SFC Jared Bullock served two tours in Iraq and trained for Special Forces and received his Green Beret on October 13th, 2013. Jared was deployed to Afghanistan and one month later his ATV ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast took the life of his best friend and though he survived, Jared lost his right arm above the elbow and his right leg above the knee.

“The opportunity to work on Jared’s home was an easy decision for me,” Insalato said. “I’m an active board member of NTCA. I worked very closely with both Crossville and MAPEI and they requested I represent them at the home dedication. My company, California Flooring is located only five miles north of the home in Chicago. My employees are all Certified Tile Installers (CTIs) and they all took turns installing the different areas we tiled. This was a labor of love we will all remember for a very long time,” he said.

RUBI ZERO DUST, An Innovative System to Improve On-Site Working Conditions

After many months of work and exhaustive tests in third-party labs, RUBI is launching the ZERO DUST line of tile saws. These are the first electric tile cutters certified in compliance with the most rigorous health and prevention regulations in the construction industry.

The new tile saws with the ZERO DUST system drastically reduce airborne dust and water, preventing diseases related to inhaling silica dust.

This type of protection is already mandatory in Northern European countries and it will be enforced in coming years for the rest of Europe and USA. The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), which acted as the certification body, and RUBI has worked together for years to improve the working conditions for tile installers worldwide.

All the RUBI DC, DS, DX and DR lines of tile saws will start including the ZERO DUST system. Besides improving the working conditions, this innovative mechanism reduces water consumption while cutting, which minimizes downtime caused by refilling the water tank. The ZERO DUST system is likely to be greatly appreciated by RUBI users and is expected to boost one of RUBI’s highly successful product ranges.

INSTALLATION DESIGN SHOWCASE – NTCA Five Star Members complete Tiny House Projects at IDS

The Installation Design Showcase at Coverings in April got a new spin this year. Usually, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Contractors collaborate with leading designers to install ceramic tile in vignettes on the show oor. Sadly, they are then demolished at the close of the show.

Not this year! Contractors and designers collaborated on designing and installing tile in functional tiny houses on the showroom floor, which are being reused after the show. Creative designs utilizing many types of tile were installed in the three tiny homes throughout the show, allowing attendees to see their progress.

The design was inspired by Dan Welch (whose company participated in this year’s IDS: Tiny House edition), who hauled a shipping container to Coverings ’16 in which to build his vignette. Then he drove his vignette home and has employed it for multiple uses back in Michigan.

All three installation companies have successfully completed the NTCA Five Star Contractor recognition program and employ installrs who have passed the Certified Tile Installer exam administered by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. “I love the opportunity to showcase the technical as well as artistic capabilities of our Five Star Contractors,” said NTCA Five Star Program Director Amber Fox.

In addition to the suppliers for the individual houses, iQ Power Tools, ETM, Lackmond, Schluter, and USG contributed tools, equip- ment and materials to the Tiny House effort.

Retro Bungalow Visalia Ceramic Tile, Kim Lewis

Visalia Ceramic Tile, from Visalia, Calif., – the nation’s 38th Five Star Contractor, worked with Kim Lewis, founder of Kim Lewis Designs (www.kimlewisdesigns. com), lead designer for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Lewis’ design evokes the nostalgia of a Palm Springs desert setting, with tile provided by various Ceramics of Italy manufacturers, including nostalgic pink tile and surfacing from Atlas Concorde and grey tile from The Ricchetti Group that evokes concrete, Lewis said. MAPEI contributed installation materials to the project.

Designer Kim Lewis (l.) speaks with Coverings Industry Ambassador Alena Capra (c.) and Sam Bruce, project manager for Visalia Ceramic Tile

Lewis’ design evokes the nostalgia of a Palm Springs desert setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramics of Italy manufacturers supplied tile and MAPEI supplied the setting materials.

This tiny home was built in Austin, Texas and driven to Orlando for the show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitruvian Home J&R Tile, Inc., Nikki Vega

The Vitruvian tiny house, designed by Nikki Vega of bluetreehome, and installed by J & R Tile Inc., of San Antonio, was inspired by nature’s geometric forms, spe- cifically the spiral of the nautilus shell. The space, featuring tile by Crossville, Inc., was very detailed and required a lot of fabrication, made easier by Joel Guth and the equipment from iQ Power Tools, said J&R’s Erin Albrecht. ARDEX supplied setting materials.

“I’ve designed a few tiny homes and it’s really fun because you have to be really thoughtful with your design – every inch matters,” Vega said.

Crossville supplied the tile for the Vitruvian home – here Groove Glass was used to form the wall mosaic.

Erin Albrecht (l.) of J&R Tile, Inc., with Coverings Industry Ambassador Alena Capra (c.), and designer Nikki Vega, discussing the inspiration for the Vitruvian Home

Multiple seating areas characterize the Vitruvian home. The countertop
is made of Laminam by Crossville gauged porcelain tile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The oor is formed of Nest planked porcelain with arresting inset designs of Crossville marble-look tile from the Virtue line.

The Vitruvian bath, with Yin + Yang natural stone mosaic on the backsplash wall and Natural Inspirations in Bianco Statuario Polished, from the Kauri line of Laminam thin gauged porcelain tile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Michigan House Welch Tile & Marble, Lauren Figueroa

The West Michigan House was designed by Lauren Figueroa of The Georgia Pear Interiors (www.thegeorgiapear.com), and installed by Welch Tile & Marble, both from the Grand Rapids area, which made it easier to collaborate. Figueroa – who is new to tile – used a large-format commercial Florim line throughout to make the space seem taller and bigger. LATICRETE supplied setting materials.

Florim large format commercial tile was used throughout the space. Figueroa spent a lot of time on the Florim website to familiarize herself with the products, noticing that their tile is often used in commercial settings and decided to use that in
the residential space. “I noticed they also used really giant tile for the whole entire space, and thought that might help it feel taller and longer…it made it ow really well,” she said.

Designer Lauren Figueroa(l.) describes her design for the West Michigan House as Alena Capra and Dan Welch look on.

Since they were both located in the Grand Rapids area, Figueroa and Welch collaborated on the house from the very beginning.

Commercial tile from Florim gave an expansive feel to the space.

Sponsor Product Spotlight: LATICRETEⓇ STRATA_MAT™ XT

As a recent addition to its uncoupling products portfolio, LATICRETE STRATA_MAT™ XT provides installers instant coverage verification, faster drying of mortar and a shorter time to grout. Composed specifically for ceramic tile and dimension stone installations, STRATA_MAT XT serves as an uncoupling layer and vapor management layer that accommodates moisture from beneath the tile covering to minimize floor height gain from tile installation materials. In addition, at 5/16″ (7.9 mm) thick STRATA_MAT XT helps to create an even transition between typical 1/4” to 3/8″ (3 to 9 mm) thick tile and 3/4″ (19 mm) thick hardwood flooring.

For more information, visit www.laticrete.com.

NTCA COMPLETES FIRST YEAR OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has completed the first year of related content for its Apprenticeship Program. Year one of the two-year online training program is composed of 64 courses that serve as an introduction to the tile industry, beginning with the basics of cutting, mixing and grouting, and moving to surface preparation, underlayment application and other installation processes.

With 500 enrollments for the first year of curriculum, these courses are intended to support contractors in training by serving as a training resource for employees who are new to the industry, or as the related learning for the contractor’s Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program.

In addition to proper training for new hires, these courses may also serve as continued education for tile professionals who would like to refresh their memory on basic knowledge of the industry. “When we started developing these courses, I knew very little of the actual tile installation process including materials, tools, and all of the steps required before installing tile,” said NTCA Training & Education Coordinator Becky Serbin. “We worked with experienced contractors and manufacturers to simplify the courses so that someone such as myself, who is new to the installation process, would be able to understand industry terminology, and apply course information on the job.” The second year of the Apprenticeship Program is under development, and will continue to be announced in six month increments and be available for viewing and purchase online as each course is completed.

For more information regarding the apprenticeship program, please contact NTCA Training & Education Coordinator Becky Serbin at becky@tile-assn.com, or visit www.tile-assn.com.

Bostik Video Chronicles 2017 Design ‘N Gather Mosaic Mural Campaign

Grand Prize Winning Mosaic “Champagne Wishes”

“Design ‘N Gather 2017” (DNG), the international mosaic design competition co-sponsored by Bostik (Bostik.com/us) and Artaic Innovative Mosaic (artaic.com), has been beautifully showcased via a state-of-the-art video just released. Click on this link to see it: https://youtu.be/9w01bU90POc

Mosaic enthusiasts worldwide submitted spectacular mosaic mural design concepts for the world’s “most highly photographed and wildly publicized Selfie Studio.” The grand prize winner ultimately was Lisa Darroh-Pouls of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Pouls Hospitality Design. Her masterpiece, “Champaign Wishes” was unveiled in front of 600+ hospitality architects & designers as a backlit, mosaic mural permanently installed at Hyde Bellagio, overlooking the iconic Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas.

According to Chris Eichman, Bostik’s Marketing Communications Manager, “The submissions this year nearly doubled from our premiere campaign in 2016. The judges had to narrow down to the top ten finalists(which were prominently displayed during HDExpo), and finally selected the top design, which, truly captured the essence of Las Vegas. Our latest video captures the excitement of this one-of-a kind marketing program, which was another integral part of our global thrust to build Bostik brand recognition.”

“Together with Artaic, we want to give back to the design community,” stated Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. “Everyone loves mosaic design, but its popularity has decreased over the years due to cost of labor and long turnaround time, forcing Americans to go offshore to procure these designs. To remedy this, Artaic invented a computerized process where mosaic designs are assembled by robots. This regimen is hundreds of times faster than the archaic, time-consuming process of putting little mosaic squares into place by hand.”

Inventor and scientist, Artaic’s Dr. Ted Acworth added, “Our relationship with Bostik began when we started using Dimension® RapidCure™ Grout, their unique formulation which contains 60% recycled glass content. The product is easy to apply, highly durable and most of all, actually adds more luminosity to mosaic productions. For example, if a project contains glass mosaics, imagine another light source being incorporated: that’s what Dimension® RapidCure™ offers.”

All of the above and more can be visualized/experienced by seeing the new high-quality video production.

Sponsor Product Spotlight: LATICRETE NXT Product Line

The porous nature of concrete slabs allows significant flow of moisture vapor — enough to cause disastrous results to flooring applications installed above them. Easily prepare and protect your installation from water vapor transmission with LATICRETENXT self leveling, skim coat and vapor reduction products.

Included in the line is the new and improved NXT Skim premium quality, fast-drying, cement-based underlayment designed for skim-coating, smoothing and leveling prior to floor covering applications. The improved formula holds more water, resulting in a creamier consistency for a smoother application and sleeker finish, as well as an extended pot life and easier troweling.

Additional products in the NXT line include NXT Level Plus,  NXT Level, NXT Primer, NXT Embossing Admin, NXT Patch and NXT Vapor Reduction Coating. For more information visit www.laticrete.com.

LATICRETE-SPONSORED JOEY TERNULLO WINS Waterford Speedbowl

LATICRETE sponsors the No.10 Legend car for teenage racer, Joey Ternullo, who recently beat out 20 other cars placing first at the Waterford Speedbowl. The Legend car is produced by U.S. Legend Cars, and are internationally sanctioned by INEX to provide a fun and affordable racing opportunity in which anyone can compete. Joey has ranked in the top five in every race he has participated in this season!

 

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