As states begin to phase out of shelter-in-place orders and businesses begin to reopen, a lot of people are still hesitant to do things that seemed second nature before this pandemic happened. Life as we know it has seemingly changed, for now at least. With new restrictions and different sets of rules for each state, it can also get confusing as to what’s allowed and what’s not, especially for those who begin to travel again. There is definitely a new normal that we’ll have to get used to, but I’m confident that, as a country, we will be able to adapt, as we always have.

In this edition, we cover the evergrowing topic of gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs (GPTP), which has been gaining a lot of traction in the industry as of late. The larger-than-life panels, which stand as tall as 12 feet nowadays, have become one of the most desired items to use for countertops, full-height walls and floors and other household items such as furniture. One fabricator in Australia, known by many in the industry as the “porcelain artist,” has found his niche in creating artworks with GPTP, which are admired by professionals all over the world. Head to page 20 to learn more about his unique installation process and how he crafts these pieces of art.

For a more technical look at GPTP, we spoke with the director of technical services at MAPEI, Jim Whitfield, who outlined the installation and product ANSI standards, as well as recent changes in the International Building Code (IBC) regarding tile size for exterior installations. Learn more about these changes on page 32.

We also gathered a selection of new tile tools and accessories that were recently released, which can assist any builder, contractor or installer on the jobsite. Flip to page 28 to check those out.

As we all transition back to our normal, everyday lives, it’s important to be cognizant of those around you. Everyone has different reactions to what is currently going on and we have to respect each other’s boundaries. As the great Mark Twain once said, “Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”



Heather Fiore, Editor