As the summer winds down, one of the busiest times of the year approaches for us here at TILE. Traveling season. A time when we are able to get out of the office and explore all of the new products and standards that have been developed over the last year, and speak with different manufacturers as to why they came to be. We’re excited to see what some of the upcoming tradeshows have to offer, such as Cersaie in Bologna, Italy, later this month and Total Solutions Plus in Grapevine, TX, at the end of October. Stay posted for the official reviews of these key industry events, which will be featured in the October and November/December editions.

In the meantime, we’ve been focusing on continuing to provide our readers with pertinent information that is both educational and interesting. By introducing the “Contractor Spotlight” this year, we’ve been able to gain a better perspective about how the tile industry has evolved over the years, but we are always eager to learn more.

In this edition, we delve into the ever-growing topic of large-format tiles, which are garnering more labels with each product introduction. As of last year, the ANSI and TCNA officially defined these materials as “Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs” in order to establish some overall guidelines. These organizations, along with various manufacturers, have also been working on developing installation standards for these materials for some time now, which will help eliminate any trepidation and ensure a successful tile installation. Jim Whitfield, manager of technical services at MAPEI, goes more in-depth about the proper surface preparation required for these Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs in our “Technical Focus,” beginning on page 28.

When surface preparation is the topic of discussion, so are the types of underlayments and membranes that are offered. Whether for waterproofing, soundproofing or heating, there are an array of products for use beneath tile products nowadays. Head to page 24 to check out some of the newest introductions in tile membranes.

And as the summer begins to wind down for you and your family, I hope you can enjoy the last few weeks of the warm weather. Soak in every last minute of relaxation. Until next month.




Heather Fiore