The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and additional industry sponsors recently held the 5th Annual TileLetter Awards during a special ceremony Coverings 2008 in Orlando, FL, honoring installation excellence of national contracting professionals.


Grand Prize Residential #1: Holland Tile Premier Installers, Rockville, MD
Project: Pratt Residence Master Bathroom, McLean, VA


The NTCA and additional industry sponsors recently held the 5th Annual TileLetter Awards during a special ceremony Coverings 2008 in Orlando, FL, honoring installation excellence of national contracting professionals.

Contractor winners in both residential and commercial categories received cash prizes and trophies. Grand prize winners were awarded $1,500; award of merit winners received $750; and honorable mentions winners received $250.

RESIDENTIAL WINNERS



Honorable Mention: X Styles and X Tiles, Royal Oak, MI
Project: Woz Master Bathroom, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Honorable Mention: X Styles and X Tiles, Royal Oak, MI

This master bath by Jeff and Tanya Woods of X Styles and X Tiles utilized a palette of aquas and sandalwoods.

The Woods used HardieBacker cement-board templates, TEC thin-set and TEC Hydra-Flex waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane, and Nuheat radiant heating system for the floors.

Award of Merit: Picasso Tile & Design Inc., Phoenix, AZ
Project: Master Bath, Paradise Valley, AZ  

Award of Merit: Picasso Tile & Design Inc., Phoenix, AZ

The shower shell in the center forms a bathing cathedral that is the focal point of this master bath. It was sized with mud and tiled with Sicis 3/4 x 3/4-inch glass mosaics and glass quarter-rounds around all interior and exterior windows and doorways. Epoxy silver-sparkled grout from Custom adds to the breathtaking appearance.

Grand Prize Residential #1: Holland Tile Premier Installers, Rockville, MD

Eleven hundred square feet of glass mosaics from Oceanside Glasstile grace the walls, steam shower, tub step and deck in five sizes ranging from 1 x 1’s to 4 x 8 rails. On the floor, 375 square feet of honed Lagos Blue 16 x 16-inch stone tiles from Portugal were diagonally installed over a Nuheat radiant heat system.

Tiles were set with MAPEI’s Kerabond and Keralastic. Both caulk and grout were from Custom.

Residential Grand Prize #2: Cox Tile, San Antonio, TX
Project: Jalnos Residence Master Bath River Rock Retreat, San Antonio, TX

Residential Grand Prize #2: Cox Tile, San Antonio, TX

The master bath retreat features genuine 2 to 3-inch Rocky Mountain river rock from Colorado and Mexican river rock supplied by Keller Materials.

The oversized steam shower started with Schluter Kerdi waterproof membrane. Each stone was individually back buttered with MAPEI Ultralight mortar. Mexican 16 x 16 inch Pavio Parra stone from Stone Solutions was set on the walls with matching 8 x 8-inch stone on the floor. All the rock was sealed with Aqua Mix High Gloss Sealer.

COMMERCIAL WINNERS



Honorable Mention: Ray’s Flooring Specialists, Albuquerque, NM
Project: University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital Expansion

Honorable Mention: Ray's Flooring Specialists, Albuquerque, NM

This $233.8 million expansion to the existing UNM Children’s Hospital, funded largely by Barbara and Bill Richardson, the former Democratic presidential hopeful and current governor of New Mexico, includes a new six-story structure that adds 700 new beds, 400 new employees and 466,000 square feet of space.

The main lobby walls were lined with 6,000 feet of 24 x 36 inch India Sandstone tiles. 24 x 24 inch terrazzo tiles from Daltile form the nautilus shell design and graphic treatment on the floor. Laticrete Hydro Ban was rolled on to protect against cracks. Laticrete materials were used to set the tiles, grout them and seal the expansion joints. Hydro Ban was then used for waterproofing the new patient rooms that were set with Marazzi ceramic tile over cement backerboard.

The exterior 23,000 square foot wall received 24 x 36 inch Radiant Red Indian Sandstone tiles after preparation with PermaBase CBU and Laticrete 9235 waterproofing membrane. Accessing the wall with a 30-foot lift, Ray’s Flooring Specialists set the tiles with 3/8-inch grout joints.

Award of Merit Commercial: Scuderi Tile Contractors, Phoenix, AZ
Project: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4 Retail Renovation, Phoenix, AZ

Award of Merit Commercial: Scuderi Tile Contractors, Phoenix, AZ

The retail renovation at Terminal 4 of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport encompasses 100,000 square feet with more than 35 colors of tile installed the length of the building.

MAPEI setting materials were used including Ultraplan M320 self-leveling underlayment topped with Mapelastic SM crack-isolation sheet membrane. Scuderi placed expansion joints every 20 feet in accordance with TCA Handbook recommendations then set the tile with Keralastic and Kerabond, using Granirapid in the security checkpoint where fast setup time was needed.

With 800 passengers an hour streaming through the checkpoints, Scuderi had to juggle cordoned-off areas to do the work. The company hired an on-site engineering firm that plotted points for the layout using a CAD system. The points were graphed, transferred to the floor and connected, so the tile setters had shapes to follow in setting the geometric patterns. Lasers helped line up the overall pattern. Small holes cut into barricades helped ensure the work was on track.

Tiles that formed the geometric patterns, radiating shapes and curvilinear forms were cut on-site. An offsite company water-jet cut medallions of the coatimundi, scorpion, Gila monster and cactus wren, using 24 x 24 inch tiles by Ceramiche Keope. Contractors installed the medallions in each of the four elevator lobbies -- which were color coded for wayfinding -- and installed 5 x 5 inch glazed clay tiles by Natural Elements on elevator lobby walls. Other tile manufacturers included Casalgrande Padana, Cercom, IRIS, Italgraniti, and Ceramiche Lea.

Grand Prize Commercial: Des Moines Marble & Mantel Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Project: Paragon Prairie Tower, Urbandale, Iowa

Grand Prize Commercial: Des Moines Marble & Mantel Co., Des Moines, Iowa

The grand prize commercial winner rises nearly 120 feet into the air as a cultural landmark for the state of Iowa. The Paragon Prairie tower is a unique synthesis of public art and architecture at the Paragon Business Park.

Fifty-four hundred sheets of 5/8 x 5/8- inch glass mosaics by Sicis express the image of the Iowa prairie as a monumental three-dimensional “painting” of sorts. A sculpted design of prairie grass adorns the base of the column. Four story plaques on the plaza tell the importance and history of the tower and the surrounding landscape. The entire park is illuminated with dramatic lighting designed to highlight the iridescence of the glass.

The tower is comprised of five stacked sections of pre-cast, each segmented into four 20-foot tall quadrants of 12-foot radius panels, assembled onsite.

The vertical joints were built up and cut to ensure a smooth surface and accurate plumb lines – then Laticrete 9235 Waterproofing Membrane was applied in the wind. To ensure a wrinkle-free surface, the membrane was tucked into the vertical joints over a backer rod. Since the membrane could only be exposed for 30 days, the contractor applied a skim-coat of thin set.

Tiles were set with Laticrete 254 Thinset, and grouted with sterling silver SpectraLock Pro Grout. The contractor applied a second backer rod in the vertical joints, and cut in horizontal surface joints every 10 feet – then caulked them with Latasil Sealant to match the grout. Sunderland Brothers Co. in Urbandale supplied all the tile and setting materials.