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NTCA names winners of Five Star Contractor Project of the Year

Atlanta—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) named the winners of its sixth annual NTCA Five Star Contractor Project of the Year Awards at Coverings 2018 here. 

NTCA’s Five Star Contractor Awards were presented for both commercial and residential tile installations. Many submissions were received and judged via the following criteria: Scope (size of project), Complexity (challenges), Technical Soundness (resolution of challenges) and Design & Presentation (overall appearance, layout and artistic value).

This year’s judges included: Kent Klaser of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc., San Diego, Calif.; Gregory Mowat of Forensic Tile Consultants, San Diego, Calif.; Richard P. Goldberg of Professional Consultants International, LLC, Avon, Conn.

Sponsored by Daltile, NTCA Five Star Contractor Grand Prize Award winners received a custom plaque and were awarded two round-trip airfare tickets and a two-nights hotel stay in Atlanta for Coverings.

Christian Brothers Flooring & Interiors, Inc. of Lakeside, Calif., was the recipient of the NTCA Five Star Grand Prize Award for Commercial Project of the Year. The Mesa Commons installation in Irvine, Calif., resulted in a striking visual appearance, design and layout, and the complex environmental challenges overcome during construction are those a NTCA Five Star Contractor could solve easily with its specialized training.

Visalia Ceramic Tile, Inc. of Visalia, Calif., was the recipient of the Five Star Grand Prize Award for Residential Project of the Year. Workmanship and artistic qualities brought the Hoffman Residence in Fresno, Calif., to life. A challenging mixture of both natural stone and ceramic presented the opportunity for Visalia to showcase its Five Star Contractor skills.

David Allen Company of Raleigh, N.C., was the recipient of the Five Star Grand Prize Award for Commercial Elite Project of the Year (over $1 million). Nearly 80,000 square feet of marble and tile were meticulously installed in the new Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Of the many complexities which presented themselves working in a metropolitan area, the narrow doorways offered a unique opportunity for this contractor to showcase its innovative thinking.

“We would like to thank our contest judges and sponsor for their support and, of course, all of the Five Star Contractor members who submitted incredible projects.” said Bart Bettiga, executive director of the NTCA. “Each of these winning installations, as well as the other submitted projects, clearly demonstrates the value of engaging an NTCA Five Star Contractor in such complex arenas.”

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Starnet, NTCA partner for tile and stone training

Darien, Conn.—Starnet Commercial Flooring has completed the first annual Starnet NTCA Tile and Stone Training program. The three-day training event was held in partnership with the National Tile Contractor Association (NTCA) in Dallas for 50 Starnet Member employees from around the country from March 11-13. The event was sponsored by Starnet Vendor Partners Dal-Tile and MAPEI along with education partners Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) and Fails Management Institute (FMI).

Developed for project managers, field supervisors and estimators that contribute to a tile and stone project’s profitability, the training included an all-star lineup of industry-leading experts who provided advice and guidance to increase project profitability and minimize profit erosion.

“We are so pleased by the incredible response to our first dedicated Tile and Stone training program,” said Jeanne Matson, Starnet president and CEO. “More than 50 attendees enrolled in this training to learn from industry experts sharing invaluable guidance and know-how for maximizing profitability on tile and stone projects. In the end, efficient and profitable flooring contractors benefit everyone, including the client.”

Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director, added, “The NTCA is a proud association partner with Starnet. As leaders in the tile industry, we were honored to participate in this educational program. As technology continues to fuel the growth of our trade, the importance of training and education will continue to grow. We hope the success of this initiative will lead to more collaborative programs with Starnet in the future.”

Day one kicked off with an evening welcome reception and networking event for attendees. Day two offered a full schedule of educational events developed in collaboration with Starnet, NTCA, CTEF, FMI, Dal-Tile and MAPEI. The training was custom made to meet the needs of the tile and stone flooring contractor, featuring presenters Mike Clancy, FMI principal; Dan Marvin, MAPEI director of technical services; and Scott Carothers, CTEF director of certification and training.

On day three, attendees experienced a behind-the-scenes look at the tile manufacturing process courtesy of Starnet preferred vendor partner, Dal-Tile, visiting its American Marazzi plant in Sunnyvale, Texas. At the conclusion of the day the group toured the Dal-Tile Design Studio located in the Dallas Design District.

“We are extremely pleased with the positive feedback received from the attendees,” said Jesse Deason, Starnet training and development committee member and NTCA board member. “We would like to thank the NTCA for their valuable partnership and input in helping to guide this collaborative effort to success, along with the CTEF and our Starnet vendor partners, Dal-Tile and MAPEI. Our goal is to continue to educate our members through appropriate training so that they may be successful and profitable in this rapidly growing market segment.”

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NTCA adds new Five Star Contractor members

San Diego—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has accepted three new companies to its Five Star Contractor program: American Tile, Premier Tile & Marble, and Della Maggiore Tile & Stone.

American Tile (ATC) was founded in 1967 by Vince Mattingly, Sr. and his wife, Dola. ATC grew from being a small home-based business to serving industry, commercial and institutional clients throughout the Midwest. After Mattingly retired in 1990, his son, Vince Jr., took his place with his wife, Jewell, and son, Vince III. ATC is based in Louisville, Ky.

Since 1993, Premier Tile & Marble has had the distinction of being a high-quality ceramic tile and stone installer. Despite the company’s growth, it continues to focus on maintaining the same high standards that helped launch the company many years ago. A key component is qualified labor; many company foremen have been onboard since its inception, working with Greg Games, president, as tradespeople out in the field. Premier Tile & Marble is located in Gardena, Calif.

Della Maggiore Tile & Stone, equally owned by both Rich Della Maggiore and Nick Della Maggiore, has been setting tile since 1977. In order to grow into the company, the Della Maggiores have made it their objective to provide the highest quality craftsmanship on a daily basis by providing an opportunity for any employee willing to successfully obtain the highest skills necessary to become a certified tile layer/setter. This commitment to qualified labor has made Della Maggiore Tile & Stone a premier tile installer in San Jose, Calif.

To obtain Five Star Contractor certification, contractors must be a member of NTCA and complete an application process that includes submitting examples of work, reviews and recommendations from peers and customers, and demonstrating proven commitment to service, quality, safety and superior job performance. Five Star Contractors are also required to certify a minimum of 10% of their installers through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer program or have completed a three-year apprenticeship program approved by the Dept. of Labor.

If you are a NTCA member and interested in gaining Five Star Contractor certification, contact Amber Fox at amber@tile-assn.com.

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NTCA participates in RISE home dedication

ntcaFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) attended the RISE home dedication of Jared and Jessica Bullock and their son Aidan, in Carbondale, Ill., June 29. NTCA partnered with Crossville and MAPEI to provide the porcelain tile and setting materials for this home which was installed by California Flooring.

The concept, developed by the Gary Sinise Foundation, was to build a custom, specially adapted smart home, assisting Jared in “Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment” (RISE), as he transitions back into civilian life.

“It was my honor to donate my time and money to help Jared transition to an active lifestyle with his family,” said Kevin Insalato, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation regional evaluator coordinator and U.S. Army veteran. “The most impressive feature of Jared’s recovery is his ability to view his injury as just another obstacle he will overcome.”

U.S. Army SFC Jared Bullock served two tours in Iraq and trained for Special Forces and received his Green Beret on Oct. 13, 2013. Jared was deployed to Afghanistan and one month later his ATV ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast took the life of his best friend and though he survived, Jared lost his right arm above the elbow and his right leg above the knee.

“The opportunity to work on Jared’s home was an easy decision for me,” Insalato said. “I’m an active board member of NTCA. I worked very closely with both Crossville and MAPEI and they requested I represent them at the home dedication. My company, California Flooring, is located only five miles north of the home in Chicago. My employees are all Certified Tile Installers and they all took turns installing the different areas we tiled. This was a labor of love we will all remember for a very long time.”

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NTCA completes first year of apprenticeship program

NTCAFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has completed the first year of related content for its apprenticeship program. Year one of the two-year online training program is composed of 64 courses that serve as an introduction to the tile industry, beginning with the basics of cutting, mixing and grouting, and moving to surface preparation, underlayment application and other installation processes.

With 500 enrollments for the first year of curriculum, these courses are intended to support contractors in training by serving as a training resource for employees who are new to the industry, or as the related learning for the contractor’s Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program.

In addition to proper training for new hires, these courses may also serve as continued education for tile professionals who would like to refresh their memory on basic knowledge of the industry. “When we started developing these courses, I knew very little of the actual tile installation process including materials, tools and all of the steps required before installing tile,” said Becky Serbin, training and education coordinator, NTCA. “We worked with experienced contractors and manufacturers to simplify the courses so that someone such as myself, who is new to the installation process, would be able to understand industry terminology and apply course information on the job.”

The second year of the apprenticeship program is currently under development, and will continue to be announced in six-month increments. It will be available for viewing and purchase online as each course is completed.

For more information contact Serbin at becky@tile-assn.com, or visit tile-assn.com.

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NTCA joins ConsensusDocs Coalition

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 2.26.51 PMFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has joined the ConsensusDocs Coalition, a unique coalition of over 40 design and construction industry associations that produces industry-standard contracts that are fair and balanced to facilitate project success.

“Joining the ConsensusDocs Coalition provides NTCA members with a real voice in the industry, particularly in drafting fair and balanced contracts that will make a positive impact,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director. “NTCA members will not only have influence in creating best practice contracts, but will also receive a member discount on all ConsensusDocs products.”

For more information and to access the NTCA discount code, visit tile-assn.com/page/ConsensusDocsPage.

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NTCA names Martin Howard 2016 Tile Person of the Year

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 9.19.27 AMFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) presented Martin Howard of the David Allen Co. in Raleigh, N.C., with the 2016 Tile Person of the Year award. With more than 36 years of experience in the construction industry, Howard is a highly regarded expert and consultant in the technical aspects of tile and stone.

Howard, president of the NTCA and executive vice president of David Allen Co., was recognized at the NTCA Awards Program held April 6 at Coverings in Orlando, Fla. “Martin Howard has been actively involved in the NTCA for many years, and as a leader in the David Allen Co., he has supported and encouraged many of their employees to be involved in our association,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director. “He has been extremely generous with his time and his leadership on our board of directors and executive committee and has helped us to transition into a new role of industry leadership.”

Howard serves on the NTCA committees for Standards and Methods, Training, Education and Finance. He is a voting member of the ANSI A108 Subcommittee for Ceramic Tile Installation, represents the association on the Tile Council of North America Handbook Committee and has served as an NTCA board member for 10 years.

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Fuse Alliance enters partnership with NTCA

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 10.28.35 AMLaguna Niguel, Calif.—Fuse Alliance, a member-owned organization of professional, commercial flooring contractors, has entered a partnership with the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). The NTCA is the largest tile contractor’s association in the world with more than 1,300 members worldwide.

FUSE AllianceThe partnership between both organizations is a natural as Fuse Alliance members continue to grow the ceramic tile category in flooring. The NTCA is the leading industry trade association that is focused on ceramic tile and natural stone and is prepared to support the network’s professional flooring providers. As the demand for this flooring solution increases, the NTCA will provide Fuse Alliance members with technical and business consulting services centered on ceramic tile and natural stone including industry trends, standards and best practices.

“As part of our overall business goals, we are continually focused on providing our members with access to the very best business support through organizations such as the NTCA,” said Geoff Gordon, executive director of Fuse Alliance. “We are thrilled to be a conduit to the NTCA for our members and their businesses so that we can support growth in this specific category.”

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NTCA hires Spanish-speaking trainer for workshop program

Luis Bautista
Luis Bautista

Jackson, Miss.—The NTCA has hired Luis Bautista, owner of Master Tilesetter, LLC in Arlington, Texas, as its newest workshop trainer/presenter. Bautista, originally from Honduras, is a native Spanish speaker, and will present nine NTCA Tile & Stone Workshops in 2017 to Spanish-speaking attendees.

NTCA committed to bringing on a Spanish-language presenter to attract attendees who may not be fluent in English to workshop events. This initiative was galvanized when NTCA took part in the Installation Summit in Dallas over the summer, and the lack of installers was explored.

“At this Summit, one key area identified to help the growth of flooring installers was the Spanish community,” said Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director. “As a response, the NTCA translated the Trowel & Error video and the NTCA Reference Manual into Spanish. In 2017, the NTCA will offer Spanish Workshops for the first time.”

NTCA Tile & Stone Workshops provide free opportunities for attendees to stay informed of the latest techniques, developments and systems for tile and stone installations. The Spanish-language workshop schedule is as follows.

  • June 20, 2017: D&B Tile, West Palm Beach, Fla.
    Contact Wendy Ready at 561-478-4242 or email wendy@dbtile.com
  • June 22, 2017: D&B Tile, Doral, Fla.
    Contact Maddy Diaz at 305-592-9340 or email maddy_diaz@dbtile.com
  • Sept. 12, 2017: American Olean/Marazzi, Phoenix, Ariz.
    Contact Joe Schipper at 602-253-5551 or email jschipper@marazzitile.com
  • Sept. 13, 2017: Daltile, Flagstaff, Ariz.
    Contact Shawn Tipton at 928-556-0583 or email shawn.tipton@daltile.com

In addition, Bautista will present in Spanish during the Coverings 17 conference program at the Orange County Convention Center, April 4-7.

Bautista has owned NTCA-member Master Tilesetter for 20 years, specializing in custom bathrooms and kitchens. He also works in the mission fields in Spanish-speaking countries and will make several trips to Honduras and Guatemala with his wife, Susan, in 2017.

Reach Bautista by calling 817-454-2407 or emailing eljefebautista@sbcglobal.net

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Applications open for NTCA’s 2017 Tom Ade Ceramic Tile Scholarship

ntcaJackson, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for the 2017 “Tom Ade” Ceramic Tile Scholarship. This $5,000 scholarship is available to children or grandchildren of NTCA contractor members or their employees who are currently in good standing with the association. The scholarship will be presented at Coverings 2017 in Orlando, Fla., on April 6.

Tom Ade is a former NTCA regional director and a previous recipient of the NTCA’s Ring of Honor and Tile Person of the Year Awards. Through his generosity and support of training and education, funds have been earmarked to launch this scholarship. NTCA awarded a total of $7,500 in scholarship money in 2016, and hopes to increase this total in 2017.

Applications may be submitted online  and will be accepted until March 1.