Tile-related seminars at Coverings 2017


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Critical Changes to Industry Standards, Guidelines and Best Practices

Moderator: Eric Astrachan, Executor Director, Tile Council of North America

Industry standards and guidelines are living documents, ever changing due to increased knowledge and field experience; improved testing capabilities; new products, technologies and techniques available; and changes to government regulations and construction industry practices in general, just to name a few factors that drive changes to industry standards, guidelines and best practices for tile and stone. Don’t miss this overview of the most critical recent changes to better specify, sell, bid and install tile and stone. Emphasis will be on the most current real-world challenges, for example: differences between the concrete industry and tile industry floor flatness tolerances, tile sizing and layout conundrums, challenges associated with wall-wash lighting, considerations for proper movement accommodation, addressing questionable substrates and proper installation of ceramic tile in wet areas. Learning objectives include hearing from standards committee members about major changes to the TCNA Handbook, ANSI Standards, NTCA Reference Manual and the MIA+BSI DSDM; discussing how standards changes affect the specifying, selling and bidding process; and learning about what factors affect standards changes and proposed future measures.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Crossing the Bridge to Natural Stone Tile Installations

Speaker: Chuck Muelbauer, Technical Director, MIA+BSI

Installing natural stone tile is exactly like installing ceramic tile, right? Everything is the same except for the different tolerances, different adhesive requirements, different coverage requirement, the possibility of mesh backers, the lippage specifications and the abrasion resistance specification. The list goes on and on. Attend this course and gain a better understanding of what issues need to be addressed to successfully add natural stone products to your installation portfolio. Learning objectives include the tolerance standard for natural stone tile installation and how this is different from other products on the market; gaining a better understanding of natural stone abrasion resistance and how this differs from ceramic tile; and understanding lippage specifications for natural stone and how this affects installation.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

New Directions for Gauged (formerly Thin) Porcelain Tile

Speakers: Dan Marvin, Director of Technical Services, Mapei Americas; Noah Chitty, Director of Technical Services, Crossville, Inc.

Gauged porcelain tile is the new name for thin tile! Standards for the tile and installation process include new requirements. There are important things distributors, GCs and installers need to know before the first crate shows up. Learning objectives include understanding product and installation standards; gaining an understanding of how to handle the product; identifying new areas where gauged porcelain tile is being used; and learning what resources are available regarding installation of gauged porcelain tile.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Connecting Actual Job Costs Back to Estimating

Speaker: Dave Berry, Management Consultant, FMI Corporation

One of the biggest risks to a company in a low-margin construction economy is executing a project differently than how it was estimated (and vice versa). The best way to maintain profitability is to create field-friendly budgets, to aggressively track and manage direct costs and to incorporate actual performance into future estimates. Learning objectives include: Incorporating field input into estimates; determining the healthy differences between an estimate and a budget; recognizing why and how actual job costs should be tracked; and utilizing job-cost information to improve estimating accuracy.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Installation Training for Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs

Speaker: Noah Chitty, Director of Technical Services, Crossville Inc.

This will be a hands-on training program that covers the skills that will be required for the proper installation of large-format gauged porcelain tile panels and slabs. This technology is exploding in the market, and the installation process is both similar and different than traditional tile installations. A dedicated team of highly skilled trainers and installers will take you through a snapshot of what their training programs feature, and will cover the importance of mortar coverage, use of mechanical edges systems, proper handling of the material, and cutting and fitting into place. An explanation of the need to invest in training and the requirements of certification will also be featured. This is a live demonstration that will encourage audience participation and engagement.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

How to Create an Award-Winning Project from Design to Installation – a CID Awards Primer

Want to hear about the designs that made the judges swoon? Or what about the technical challenges in an award-winning installation to help hone your craft? This session for installers, designers, builders and remodelers will address what it takes to come up with an award-winning design and a technically flawless installation. Join us as we divide into small groups and spend time with each designer and installer from the CID award-winning projects. Hear how the collaboration between the installer and designer really does make a difference. Groups will move to each table to hear about the design inspiration, products used, challenges and gain tips from their peers who have earned the coveted title of CID Award Winner. Don’t miss this interactive session where you will have the chance to be hands-on with each designer and installer from the winning projects. Learning Objectives include: Understanding how collaboration between designer and installer enriches the final design project; discussing the challenges experienced by each team as they tackled their project from design through installation; reviewing the steps taken to ensure a technically sound installation; and learning tips and tricks for creating inspiring and ultimately award-winning designs.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Five Ways to Avoid Tile Installation Problems

Speakers: Mark Heinlein, Training and Education Director, National Tile Contractors Association; Robb Roderick, Training and Technical Consultant, National Tile Contractors Association

As technology continues to develop in the tile industry, it becomes increasingly challenging to achieve successful installations. Product knowledge is now just as important as proper training in the field. This session will feature the main reasons why tile and stone installations fail and outline steps that can be taken to prevent this from happening.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Ceramic Tile: Market Forecast and the Economics of Distribution

Speakers: Donato Grosser, President, Grosser Consulting; Santo Torcivia, President, Marketing Insights, LLC

The presentation is to be comprised of two sections. The first section, by Donato Grosser, presents the current situation of the ceramic tile market: U.S. shipments, imports and U.S. consumption. There will be an analysis of ceramic tile distribution by channel, the effect of housing on the ceramic tile market, the growth of U.S. manufacturing capacity and the effect of the decline of the Euro versus the U.S. dollar. A short-term forecast will conclude the presentation. The second part, by Santo Torcivia, is an analysis of the economics and feasibility of direct versus independent distribution in flooring. This analysis examines the feasibility and economic viability of various channels of distribution and their comparative financial advantages and disadvantages; what it takes to be financially successful distributing ceramic tile and other floorings direct.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Hiring and Retaining the Right People

Speaker: Dave Berry, Management Consultant, FMI Corporation

The goal of most organizations is to have a robust workforce that supports the right people in the right positions and a set of systems and culture that keeps them excited to be there. However, the current reality for the construction industry is that there is not only an insufficient quantity of craft workers, supervisors, managers and staff for available positions, but also that the industry may not be appealing enough to attract and retain the younger Millennials or the upcoming Generation Z. Learning objectives include: Exploring what recruiting strategies and assessments may improve your chances of initially getting the right people to your front door; understanding what primary elements to watch for during the recruiting process to hire quality employees; identifying the leadership styles that motivate people and create a productive environment; and discovering the common mistakes that companies may make when addressing poor employee retention.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Tile Shower Installation Systems – Design Trends and Techniques

Speaker: Arthur Mintie, Sr. Director of Technical Services, Laticrete International Inc.

This educational session will focus on the latest design trends and the installation of tiled shower systems. It will provide an overview of the features and attributes of tiled shower installations, including a review of pertinent industry standards that govern these applications. Some of these industry standards include ceramic tile and stone guidelines based on Tile Council of North America methodology, as well as applicable building code, plumbing code and accessibility requirements. In addition, we will discuss the various types of waterproofing membranes and drains that are used for these applications. Throughout our presentation, we will review best practices, installation methodology and various installation tips and techniques that apply to modern shower constructs. We will also discuss the design requirements dealing with walk-in showers (also known as zero entry or barrier free showers). Lastly, the presentation will review the design requirements for alternative shower system receptors, components and accessories suited for today’s modern showers, including zero entry and barrier free applications. We will show photos of some great looking finished showers, which will hopefully stimulate some great design ideas.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Contractor Appreciation Day Tour and Luncheon

Join the Contractor and Installer Day Tour of the exhibit floor as we showcase the latest in machinery, installation materials and tools. After the tour, join us for lunch and a roundtable discussion in the Contractor Lounge. Pre-Registration required. Limited space is available.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

What a Difference a Grout Makes!

Speaker: Mike Micalizzi, CTC, Senior Director, Technical Services, Custom Building Products

The type of grout specified on your project can mean the difference between success and failure as standard grouts are easily affected by tile types, climatic conditions, installation techniques and maintenance. Due to changes in technology, higher performance grouts are available and may be required. Join our presenter as he describes the options and advantages/disadvantages of various grouts.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Using Online Education and Apprenticeship to Improve Company Performance

Speakers: Mark Heinlein, Training and Education Director, National Tile Contractors Association; Becky Serbin, Training and Education Coordinator, National Tile Contractors Association

It is becoming more difficult to find quality tile installers on the open market. Many contracting companies are now turning towards resources available to them to train their employees in the field and in product knowledge improvement. Online educational programs are an ideal way to help train your employees. This session will discuss online apprenticeship, technical and business education training and more.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Membranes: When, Where, Why and What

Speaker: Eric Edelmayer, Business Development Product Line Manager, Sheet Membranes, Mapei Americas

Gain an understanding of basic membrane application, selection and standards through the four basic questions: When, Where, Why and What? WHEN is a membrane recommended in a given application? Learn what can dictate membrane use — from substrate conditions to environmental conditions, even the project service rating. WHERE can a membrane be used? Inside? Outside? Wet and dry applications? WHY should you choose one membrane over another? What factors to consider when selecting a membrane? WHAT are the applicable standards? Understand the standards which are applicable for the many different membranes, their uses and the importance of the TCNA Handbook.Thursday, April 6,


8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Introduction to Tile Industry Standards and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

Speakers: Mark Heinlein, Training and Education Director, National Tile Contractors Association; Robb Roderick, Training and Technical Consultant, National Tile Contractors Association

Professional tile installation companies understand how important it is to follow best practices and industry standards. These valuable reference materials provide important information that can be used to communicate with project owners and building contractors. This session will provide an overview and explanation of the standards, and will outline strategies on how to use these documents in your business.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Care & Maintenance Interactive Experience: Cause, Cure & Prevention

Speaker: Rod Sigman, Business Development Manager, Custom Building Products

This session offers a unique experience to understanding some of the most common tile- and stone-related care and maintenance problems; how to fix them and most importantly, how to prevent them. Attendees will choose a small group and be able to help discuss and interact with their group in assessing the cause, cure and prevention and then provide their conclusion to the entire room for a general discussion. Given the varying backgrounds and experience levels of all attendees, this session will be helpful and practical for anyone interested in learning more about proper care and maintenance and the common pitfalls to avoid. Additional hands-on demos will also be shown by the presenter to further demonstrate proper care and maintenance techniques and problem solving. Learning objectives include: Identifying some of the most common problems with tile and stone installations regarding the use of sealers; defining the critical role of proper maintenance, including what cleaners to avoid and why; demonstrating the ability to troubleshoot and problem solve some common issues with porcelain tile; and finding practical ways to eliminate the most frequent problems associated with grout.


11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Contractor Appreciation Day Tour and Luncheon

Join the Contractor and Installer Day Tour of the exhibit floor as we showcase the latest in machinery, installation materials and tools. After the tour, join us for lunch and a roundtable discussion in the Contractor Lounge. Pre-Registration required. Limited space available.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Turning Your Project Managers into Business Managers

Speaker: Ryan Howsam, LEED AP, CRIS, BD+C, Management Consultant, FMI Peer Group Discipline Leader, Risk Management Practice, FMI

Although they need to have a solid foundation of technical knowledge, the most successful project managers have also developed strong management, leadership and business skills in order to execute projects profitably. They must understand the financial impact of what they do every day and learn skills such as proactively managing cash flow, accurately forecasting cost to completion, tracking, and pricing and collecting change orders. The best project managers will accomplish this while maintaining positive client relationships to leverage future repeat business. Learning objectives include: Understanding the financial impact of effective project controls, projected cash flow and getting paid for all of the work you do; managing all aspects of the job utilizing innovative tools and leveraging key relationships with subcontractors, suppliers and consultants; and establishing long-term client relations through an understanding of marketing and business development concepts.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Proper Substrate Preparation for Tile Installations

Speaker: Tom Plaskota, Technical Support Manager, TEC

It is impossible to have a quality tile or stone installation without a properly prepared and suitable substrate. This program will cover industry recognized substrates and how to prepare them for tile. Questionable and unsuitable substrates will also be explained in this session.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Standing Out from Your Competition: CTSS Certification for Your Sales Staff

Speakers: John Zolman, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Miles Distributors; Donato Pompo, President, University of Ceramic Tile and Stone

The consumer is savvier than ever. They do their research online, they know what they want and they expect knowledgeable, professional salespeople who can be strategic partners in their buying experience. CTDA and Southern Illinois University developed The Certified Ceramic Tile Specialist (CCTS) program, the only certification program specifically designed by and for ceramic tile salespeople, to meet this need. With CCTS, your company and your sales staff can increase customer satisfaction and differentiate yourselves from the competition. Join this session to learn the history, benefits and expectations of the CCTS Program; review the updated CCTS Study Guide; and learn firsthand how the program has advanced other tile distributors and retailers.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Installation Design Showcase: Deconstructed

Speakers: Dan Welch, President, Welch Tile and Marble; Lauren Figueroa, Owner, The Georgia Pear; Erin Albrecht, Director of Operations, J&R Tile; Nikki Vega, Blue Tree Home; Sam Bruce, President, Operations Director, Visalia Ceramic Tile; Kim Lewis, Founder, Creative Director, Kim Lewis Designs

Meet with the leading designers and NTCA Five Star contractors who have collaborated on the Installation Design Showcase and learn what it takes to pull together these annual vignettes in just five days. During this one-hour interactive session, you will tour the three tiny houses, each highlighting a different design aesthetic and featuring tile and stone, and discover every detail of the spaces. From the types of tiles selected and why, to the thought process behind the designs, to the exceptional installation techniques, the participants will leave no stone — or tile — unturned. Learning objectives include: Discovering new, effective and attractive uses of tile and stone in tiny spaces; discussing ways in which the designers, manufacturers and contractors came together to come up with workable and aesthetically pleasing solutions; reviewing the steps involved to create a tile and stone project from start to completion — from preparation to onsite installation; and demonstrating an understanding of the tile and stone materials which worked best for installing in tiny spaces.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Innovative Tools in the Tile Industry

Speakers: Mark Heinlein, Training and Education Director, National Tile Contractors Association; Robb Roderick, Training and Technical Consultant, National Tile Contractors Association

Many new tools have been introduced in the tile industry that allow for faster, safer and more professional installations. This session will offer a variety of live demonstrations around the room for installers to see firsthand how this technology can help them in the field.


Friday, April 7, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Capillary Passive Drainage to Avoid Efflorescence and Failures on Exterior Balcony, Porch and Patio Tile and Stone Installations

Speaker: Ralph Johann, Managing Director, Gutjahr Systems GmbH

Exterior environments, including balconies, patios, porches, swimming pool surrounds, etc., present some of the most difficult environments for tile and stone installations. Northern regions can experience hundreds of freeze/thaw cycles over a winter and Southern regions are faced with extreme heat, humidity and heavy rains. These types of environments present several problems, including dis-bonding failures, efflorescence, water damage to interior living spaces and general loss of aesthetic appearance. The primary factor in the failures of exterior tiling systems is water and moisture management. In Europe, Gutjahr Systems has developed Passive Capillary Drainage Systems to manage water and moisture within the installation. Johann will discuss and present: Exterior tiling, what are the issues and concerns to consider; understanding water and moisture as it relates to exterior tile and stone installations; common mistakes when installing tile and stone in exterior environments; solutions for successful tile and stone installations outside; various graphic representations based on situation and environment will be presented; and trends toward seamless transition from interior to exterior environments (living area to patio/porches, balconies, etc.). Johann will also allow ample time for questions from the audience regarding practical site evaluation and installation methods for exterior tiling.