Newsletter January 2003

Ceramic Tile & Stone

Industry News    Volume 2, Number 1  January 2003

  • Job Problem News –  
    • Top Five Tile-Related Complaints – According to both Dave Gobis of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and Tile Council of America the top five tile-failures, in random order, are 1. Floor Prep – substrates are not properly prepared; primarily in terms of having contaminates and cracks. 2.  Coverage and Type of Thin-set – first select the proper thin-set considering the tile and substrate being used. Then ensure proper thin-set coverage under tile; requirements are 80% evenly distributed on interior substrates and 95% on exterior or wet areas with complete coverage around edges of tile.  3.  Movement Accommodation Joints – packing grout into the wall line at the perimeter of the room is leading cause on the failure list.  All building materials move, and each type move at a different rate.  If installation is exposed to sunlight regularly, movement joints must be placed in the tile work at no grater than 12-foot intervals.  See TCA detail EJ171 for details.  4.  Shower Stalls and Floors – Ceramic Tile and Grout are not waterproof.  Wet area applications need a water-proof membrane and it needs to be installed correctly!  5. Improper Installation of Backerboard – all backer-boards for floor use require a leveling bed.  Thin-set is used under board for both bonding and providing a solid backing.  Proper fasteners are critical – no drywall screws!  Gaps should be left between sheets, and sheets installed off set from each other.  Backer-board does not provide any structural value. Published in National Floor Trends Magazine September 2002.
  • Quality Control News –
    • Insurance Companies – some insurance companies are now hiring quality control inspectors to provide quality control inspections during new construction.  They believe they can minimize claims and costs if they monitor the quality control themselves through the inspectors they hire.
  • Training News – 
    • University of Ceramic Tile And Stone campus coming soon  – By the end of January, the first online course will be available called Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile. It is a very comprehensive, but enjoyable journey for people new to ceramic tile whom what to understand the basics of ceramic tile and how to assist a customer in the selection process.  After passing the course post-test the student can print out a diploma.  Courses can be customized for companies.  For more information go to
    • Marketing News –


  • Differentiating your Products or Services – There are two questions that serve as fundamental filters through which to run your product’s or service’s points-of-difference benefits: Are they desirable to customers, and can you deliver them?  When the answer to both is yes, a point of difference can become a strong, favorable, unique brand association.  Read Harvard Business Review September 2002 for details.




    • Business Planning News –


  • Someone once said, “80% of success is showing up.”   If you want to see the results this year, then plan and implement now, before the year flies by again….





  • Stone Knowledge News 






  • Something to Think About….
    • “There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods, and that is the sincere desire to find out the truth; whatever it may be. Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914).
  • Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (

      •  Is a National Service Company providing Job Problem Investigations and Expert Witness Services, Quality Control Services for Product and Installation Methods, Training programs, Marketing Research and Outsourcing Services, and Business Planning Consulting to the Ceramic Tile and Stone Industry.

    * for a pdf file copy of this newsletter click here: NewsletterJan03.pdf