Bettiga is the Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association.
Established in 1947, the NTCA is dedicated to providing education for the
proper installation of tile and its allied products to the ceramic tile
industry. More information on the NTCA is available on-line at www.tile-assn.com.
For several years, the NTCA has been actively promoting the sale and installation of radiant heat as an underlayment for ceramic tile and natural stone installations. It has been, and continues to be our contention that heated floors will add value and comfort for homeowners, creating a higher demand for our products in more areas and space of the home. In addition, the use of these quality products can add significant profit to the sale and installation price of the project.
face it. I could try to put a positive spin on today’s economic crisis in this
article, and most of you would roll your eyes. The facts are obvious. Money is
harder to borrow. Consumers are not spending their money or moving into new
goal established by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) for Total
Solutions this year (held at the new Gaylord Resort and Hotel in Washington
D.C.) was to offer educational opportunities in our ever-changing industry for
people from all facets of the tile industry.
Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf
Coast, complaints about contractors continue to give the construction industry
a bad name. I recently read an Associated Press report on the recovery process,
and some of the data detailed in the story was alarming, to say the least.
the past several years, many industry leaders have been promoting the
specification and installation of ventilated ceramic tile facades for exterior
vertical applications. Already a prevalent trend in Asia, Brazil and Europe,
some experts felt these systems would naturally grow in popularity in the
to what many industry people will tell you, a traditional “mud-set”
installation is not a lost art. While it is true that this proven method has
decreased in popularity for a number of reasons, there are still plenty of
times when it is practical and often necessary to implement a mud-set
installation. This is why it makes sense to continue to train installers to
learn the craft of mud-setting in a variety of situations.
of the hardest jobs I have faced in recent years involves judging installations
submitted for award consideration. Usually, the entry is the year’s crowning
achievement by the company submitting the project, and one has to look very
closely to discern the differences between them.
I first entered the ceramic tile industry over twenty years ago, I did so with
a small pamphlet of basic information I needed to know before I assisted my
first customer. Looking back, I would venture to guess that most of my
customers were more educated about how to install ceramic tile in their home
than I was. The training I received was really not that bad. However, the
company couldn’t afford for me to attend lengthy training programs. It was
Learn On The Job 101.