West Coast Style: Icon Tile and Design

Icon Tile and Design recently completed the entire floor and subfloor of a Bellevue Towers condo in Bellevue, Washington. The project was about 1,000 sq. ft. and they used a host of ARDEX products, including: ARDEX P 51™ Primer, ARDEX SKM™ Skimcoat Patch & Finishing Underlayment, ARDEX FEATHER FINISH® Self-Drying, Cement-Based Finish Underlayment​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, ARDEX V 1200™ Self-leveling Underlayment, ARDEX X 5™ Flexible Tile and Stone Mortar, ARDEX X 77™ MICROTEC® Fiber Reinforced Tile and Stone, ARDEX FL™ Rapid Set, Flexible, Sanded Grout, ARDEX DUSTFREE Dust-Reducing Unit for ARDEX Mixing Barrels and ROVER® Rolling Barrel Cart.

Icon Tile & Design co-owner Jamen Matthews said, “This project was very complex and challenging for us. We had to create a new flat subfloor with several transitions and height considerations.”

He continued, “Setting with ARDEX X 77 is a dream – it’s high-yield, creamy consistency and strength give it such versatility.”

Jamen and Co-owner and Operator Chanel Carrizosa have been in the industry for over 20 years.  Chanel was recognized as a 2017 Coverings Rock Star, an emerging leaders program that honors young talent in the tile and stone industry.


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Addressing Lippage in Large Format Tiles

The tile and stone industry is constantly evolving to keep pace with new innovations and trends in the marketplace. One of these recent trends has been the development of large format tiles.

A large format tile is loosely defined as any tile with at least one edge 15” or greater, though the size of tiles currently on the market far exceed these measurements. With minimal grout lines, super format tiles have a unique appeal, especially when used in large spaces.

Installing tile of this size makes innovative tools and installation materials a necessity, as placement, adhesive coverage and lippage concerns all become more difficult.  Suction cups, specialty trowels and lippage tuning systems have evolved to address the installation challenges associated with super format tiles.

In response to this need, several companies have brought their lippage control systems to market. For the sake of simplicity, we will analyze the MLT (mechanical lippage tuning) system, though other available systems may vary slightly in operation.

MLT is designed to be used with regular porcelain, natural stone and gauged (thin) porcelain. One non-reusable strap is provided for tiles sized 12”x24” to 18”x36”. For larger sized tiles, 24”x48” and up, a reusable strap is available.

The straps are designed to address the installation challenges presented by gauged (thin) porcelain tiles and guarantees the removal of the strap below the grout joints. This saves clean up time and limits the potential for tile damage.  The MLT plates are also designed to provide proper support under the tile and prevent voids.

The cap is designed to be disengaged after tensioning to allow for proper cleaning of grout joints, which saves time and possible tile damage due to aggressive cleaning. There are two options for the cap. The first is a rubber feet option which prevents mars and scratches of highly polished materials and is ideal for wall applications. The second is metal stainless steel inserts, which offer extra grip and tuning ability – perfect for a lippage-free install.

The system also comes with a setting tool that has five settings, from 1 to S (S standing for “snap”) to offer the installer different torque settings.

The flexibility of the MLT system addresses many of the challenges installers face when working with large format tiles.  By creating an eco-friendly option for installing the smaller tiles, to providing a setting tool that allows the installer to apply equal torque on all the straps – it’s an innovative solution that addresses the problem of lippage in large format tiles.

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Red Rock Contractors: Making a Splash with Glass Tile

This week’s featured tile install is a stunning pool located in Gilbert, Arizona. It was recently completed by Red Rock Contractors and Red Rock Pools, with the help of installer Alpentile Glass Tile Pools and Spas. The pool has roughly 2500 sq. ft. of Oceanside Glasstile. ARDEX 8+9™ Rapid Waterproofing and Crack Isolation Compound was used as a waterproofing and fracture membrane under the glass tile. They also used ARDEX X 77™ MICROTEC® Fiber Reinforced Tile and Stone Mortar​​​​​​ and ARDEX FL™ Rapid Set, Flexible, Sanded Grout.

Rick Chafey, co-owner of Red Rock Contractors and Red Rock Pools since 1998, is a Master Member of the Society of Watershape Designers, as well as a faculty member and instructor for Genesis 3 Inc.

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ARDEX Americas Announces Expansion of Aliquippa, PA Manufacturing Facility

Aliquippa, PA, July 11, 2017 – ARDEX Americas recently announced a major expansion of their Aliquippa, Pennsylvania manufacturing facility, effectively doubling its size. This is the third such expansion for the company this year. In February ARDEX released news of an extension for the Dallas, Georgia plant and is also currently working to expand the manufacturing footprint in Stockton, California. The Aliquippa addition, which is the site of the Americas headquarters, includes significant increases in warehouse and production capabilities to better facilitate ARDEX’s growth strategy.

ARDEX Americas President, Jesse David explained, “We continue to experience strong growth throughout the Americas and across all business segments. This expansion is a direct result of our growth and allows ARDEX to continue to provide innovative products to our existing customer base as well as meet the future needs of an expanding market. We are committed to investing capital into our plants and infrastructure to provide the very highest levels of service and support that our customers demand.”

The expansion includes the addition of a new production operation and additional capacity to support future growth. ARDEX Director of Operations Jim Masterson added, “We wanted to enhance the capabilities of our operation group and increase efficiencies in the long term. This will help both production and storage and position us well for the future.” The Aliquippa expansion project will continue in phases for the rest of 2017 and into 2018 but will have no effect on how customers are serviced.

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WEBINAR: Super Format Tile, the New Generation of Tile

Join us on July 20 at 1:00 pm Central Daylight time for a one-hour educational webinar.

The evolution of tile and stone in recent years has provided endless design and application possibilities. The adaptation of innovative press and print technologies has provided materials that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also extremely durable. The trend has also been to transition to ever larger format tiles – they are now available in sizes as large as 5’ X 12’ in facial dimension, with thicknesses ranging from 3 mm to 3 cm and thicker.

In this one-hour educational webinar topics covered will include: the evolution of tile from ceramics to porcelain, review the importance of proper substrate preparation, proper tools and handling techniques for super format tiles, as well as selecting the appropriate installation products. Finally, we’ll review the most current industry guidelines as developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), specific to the installation of gauged (super format) porcelain tile panels and slabs.

About the Presenter:

Pat Renne, ARDEX Business Developer, Key Accounts, Tile & Stone Installation Systems, has years of  hands-on knowledge and experience of the tiling industry. Growing up in a family owned tile and stone business, Pat mastered the ins and outs of owning and operating a family business and maintaining integrity through proper and successful installation practices. Over the years, Pat has been involved with the sales, estimating and installation of residential and commercial projects. He joined ARDEX in 2014 and currently works in business development and manages relationships with complimentary manufacturing partners for the Tile & Stone Installation Systems division.


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Maris Tile: Rock Solid Installations with an Edge

Ulas Maris is a CTEF Certified Tile Installer and has been in the tiling industry for nearly 20 years. In 2004 he formed Maris Tile PRO and hasn’t looked back since.

Maris is currently working on  a massive project in Westhampton Beach, New York, that includes a master bathroom, four guest bathrooms, a powder room, a laundry room and a cabana floor. He’ll also be installing a kitchen backsplash and a fireplace. His installation pictures reveal many different types of tiles, making each space unique.

Throughout his work he’s been using ARDEX 8+9™ Rapid Waterproofing and Crack Isolation Compound to waterproof wet areas. To set tiles he uses ARDEX X 5™ Flexible Tile and Stone Mortar.

Maris says, “ARDEX..makes my installs rock solid and beautiful. All my clients have peace of mind knowing they are in good hands.”

To view even more of Ulas Maris’ stunning work, check out his website, www.maristile.com.

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Veteran John Bailey Retires After 21 Years with ARDEX Americas

John Bailey, ARDEX Americas Government and Military Sales Specialist, retires at the end of June after nearly 21 years of service. He began his ARDEX career as a Sales Professional for North and South Carolina. Over the years, John’s strong work ethic and great relationships with local distributors, architects, general contractors and flooring contractors made him a trainer and role model for rookie ARDEX sales professionals. As business in his region grew, he was promoted to Team Leader of the Carolina-Virginia Sales Team.

In 2009 the ARDEX Government & Military Sales Team was formed. Bailey, a retired major of the US Air Force (USAF Special Operations and Logistics), was appointed as the very first ARDEX Government and Military Sales Specialist for the Southeast. He was instrumental in opening this large, previously closed, market sector for his Southeast sales team.

John’s ARDEX career included many years of extensive travel, and special thanks to his wife Barbara for her patience and encouragement during his tenure. ARDEX Americas thanks John for his years of professionalism, commitment and service, and wishes him best of luck on the next phase of his life.



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ARDEX Americas Honors Retired Sales Professional Brett Anthony

Brett Anthony, recently retired sales professional for the northern California market, was recognized for his years of untiring service to ARDEX Americas. Presenting the retirement award are Jesse David (right), ARDEX Americas President, and Aaron Chaffee, Regional Sales Manager, Western Region.

After nearly 23 years, Brett retired in late April of this year. He came to ARDEX Americas from the commercial flooring industry, and his relationships with many major flooring companies were instrumental in growing sales in his territory. Over the years, many of his fellow employees and customers have come to rely upon his product knowledge and expertise.

Looking forward to the years ahead, Brett is eager to spend time with his family, especially his four grandchildren. The award, which reads in part, “your loyalty and friendship will long be remembered,” echoes sentiments expressed by his coworkers, who will miss his unwavering commitment to excellence.

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Prestige Custom Tile Delivers Quality Installations

Charles Nolan of Prestige Custom Tile, along with his son Caleb Nolan, recently completed a 500+ sq. ft. project in an office building in Indianapolis, Indiana. He completed the bathrooms using ARDEX UI 740™ FLEXBONE® Uncoupling Membrane, ARDEX X 5™ Flexible Tile and Stone Mortar under the FLEXBONE and ARDEX X 77™ MICROTEC® Fiber Reinforced Tile and Stone Mortar to set the tile.

Nolan says, “ARDEX products are made with the consumer and installer both in mind. They give the public great products that perform well and give the installer products that are user-friendly, cut installation times and gives us the peace of mind we need with products that allow us to be more confident in the materials that have been chosen.”

Nolan, who has been tiling for 29 years, is a CTI and is a NTCA State Ambassador for Indiana.

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ARDEX Recognized by NASFA For Participation and Support

NASFA, the National Association of State Facilities Administrators, recognized ARDEX Americas during their 2017 Conference & Resource Expo held from June 11 to June 14, 2017. Robert Jones (left), President of the NASFA Virginia Chapter, presented the award to Mike Tracy, ARDEX Business Development Manager, in appreciation of ARDEX’s participation and support for the event and the organization.

Tracy said, “This was ARDEX’s first participation in NASFA’s Annual Conference. The caliber of the attendees, professionalism, level of engagement and information interchange was impressive and exhilarating!”

The Expo was held at the Sheraton in Virginia Beach, Virginia. NASFA is an association committed to fostering communication and providing leadership for the state facilities professional.

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