May 1st, 2005


May-June 2005

TEC® 1Flex® Crack-Isolation Mortar

EC® brands’ new fast-set version of 1Flex® Crack-Isolation Mortar delivers the advantages of both a one-step, crack-isolation system and a fast-setting mortar with a high performance bond in a single solution. With 1Flex® Fast Set, contractors can crack isolate and set tile in one step, and grout within four hours—eliminating the need to wait up to 20 hours to grout when a standard mortar is used. 1Flex Fast Set is a single-component modified polymer mortar that acts as a tile setting mortar and a 1/8-inch (3 mm) crack-isolating technology. By combining a unique blend of exclusive acrylic spray-dried polymers and hydraulic cement in a non-staining white formulation, 1Flex Fast Set provides an outstanding bond with virtually all ceramic and natural stone tile. It also carries a heavy-duty commercial floor rating. By combining all the steps into one, 1Flex Fast Set cuts labor costs and the need for additional material associated with sheet membrane systems. “Ceramic tile contractors and installers are under increasing pressure to finish jobs as quickly as possible for a number of reasons,” said TEC Brand Manager Sandy Eich. “1Flex Fast Set allows contractors to speed the crack isolation, tile setting, and grouting processes with a single application. Additionally, specifiers and users can feel confident in knowing that 1Flex Fast Set is built on a heritage of proven tile-setting technology from the manufacturer of TEC brands.” (

StickNStep by SafeStep

SafeStep introduced StickNStep, a patent pending, adhesive-backed strip used to provide a non-slip, decorative surface to a variety of substrates. Available in seven colors and two sizes to accommodate virtually any application, StickNStep can be used indoors or out, and has been tested in a variety of climates for durability and longevity. The product will be marketed by M-D Building Products under the brand “StickNStep.” (

Laufen introduces Palace and Verona

Laufen Tile has introduced two new porcelain products offering exceptional durability. Palace polished porcelain is a micronized, double-loaded, soluble salt screen through-body porcelain with less than 0.5% water absorption. In 12 by 24, 18 by 18, an 18 by 18 polished medallion and 2-½ by 18 border, Palace is available in Aurora , Cream and Nocce colors. Verona unpolished porcelain is also a micronized, double-loaded, soluble salt screen through-body porcelain with moderate shade variation in Pearl, Tan and Almond and in 12 by 24, and 18 by 18 sizes along with an unpolished 4-¼ by 18 border. Both products are ideal for medium to heavy traffic and can be used for commercial installations. (

Warmly Yours simplifies installation

The Safety Siren from WarmlyYours helps attain a fault-free installation on every job. By checking the continuity of the floor heating system at all times during installation, the Safety Siren brings peace of mind to tile contractors. It beeps as soon as a short in the system is created, alerting the tile contractor to call WarmlyYours 24/7 technical support for immediate assistance.The troubleshooting team will then work to help the installer fix any problems ASAP. Though OHM readings can help determine if a system is working, they identify the problem only when it is too late. The Safety Siren detects incidents BEFORE the tile contractor lays tile over the system. The Safety Siren is simple, effective, and is a preventative maintenance item for a successful tile installation. (


StoneXpress is presenting its Travertine Series. This collection offers 40 natural stone travertine SKU’s in six colors and two finishes. In Beige, Giallo, Noce, Espresso, Macchiato and Latte, the Travertine Series is offered in two finishes: honed & filled (Latte and Macchiato) or tumbled. The Travertine Series is perfect for residential and commercial markets. StoneXpress offers consistent product quality and supply through its US based warehouse. StoneXpress is ‘stone made easy’ without all the typical problems encountered with ordering stone direct. In the Travertine honed & filled finish, sizes available include: 18″ X 18″ and 12″ X 12″. In the tumbled finish, sizes include: 6″ X 6″, 4″ X 4″, 2″ X 2″ and 1″ X 1″. Listellos, mosaics and liners are also part of the Travertine line. StoneXpress offers full product support with promotional tools and is presented with an easy-to-use, segmented landed pricing structure. Pricing includes both high-end residential and commercial products. (207-828-8050)

Ashland added to online blend tool

Hakatai Enterprises’ Ashland Series, a rustic, multi-toned, 1″ x 1″ glass tile available in a palette of 17 stylish colors, is the latest addition to the company’s online Custom Blend Tool. By simply visiting and clicking on the Custom Blend Tool link, architects, designers, builders and homeowners can quickly and personally create, price and order their own unique Ashland custom blend online. Hakatai’s Ashland Series glass tile inspires old-world sophistication with rough-cut edges and handmade textures and yet is versatile enough for interior, exterior, residential and commercial wall, countertop or backsplash installations. “This tool opens up new ‘self-service’ doors for customers who are interested in the fast growing trend of using colorful and unique custom glass tile blends to modernize a shower, spa or kitchen,” says Ann-Britt Malden, Creative Marketing Director for Hakatai. The Custom Blend Tool gives the customer the option of choosing their own sample grout color. Hakatai does not sell grout or setting material but they do offer a list of grout manufacturers. Each Ashland Series’ custom blend sheet is mounted with clear film on the face of the tile. With any custom blend, there is a 3-5 week production lead time from the point of Hakatai receiving the 50% deposit. This does not include shipping time. (

10″ Diamond Glass Blade

Pearl Abrasive is pleased to introduce a new 10″ diamond blade engineered specifically for cutting glass tile. The blade’s unique bond and thin matrix minimize chipping and ensure a clean cut while promoting long blade life. Other features include:

• Extra thin kerf (rim width is .048″) contributes to smooth, chip-free cuts.

• Premium diamond concentration enhances blade life.

• Extremely fine grit optimizes the blade for glass tile applications. Available in 10″ diameter.


WhisperMat for sound control and moisture resistance

Many professionals overlook the concern about reducing sound transmission through hard flooring surfaces, but eliminating noise problems in multi-story construction is a sign of quality installation, and a feature that clients appreciate. Protecto Wrap offers a full line of high performance underlayments to reduce floor noise to a whisper. The line includes: WhisperMat-CS: for ceramic and natural stone tile; WhisperMat-HW: for engineered hardwood, parquet, and laminate flooring; WhisperMat HW Plus: same qualities as WhisperMat-HW plus protection from subfloor moisture emissions. WhisperMat-CS is a peel-and-stick sheet membrane that reduces impact and airborne sound transmission while isolating finished flooring from subfloor cracks. It is constructed of cross-linked poly-olefin foam sheet combined with an aggressive rubberized adhesive and a polyester mesh fabric. WhisperMat-CS has the flexibility and strength to withstand structural movement and concrete shrinkage cracks up to 1/4″ without transferring stress load to finished tile. It also has superior moisture resistant properties that make it the most comprehensive underlayment product for ceramic and natural stone available. WhisperMat-CS is approved for installation over radiant heated floors. (

Supercut grout removal tool

The Fein Supercut is the tool for a wide assortment of jobs. Supercut’s 400-watt motor and 6-speed variable speed control uses a patented oscillating technology and wide blade assortment to eliminate hundreds of previously manual tasks. The Supercut does not rotate like most conventional power tools. It oscillates, which permits the user to do extremely fine and delicate work. The Supercut removes grout quickly and safely without risk of damaging the tile. The Supercut reaches even the toughest positions because its blades can be attached in a wide assortment of angles. The hexagonal mounting system assures you never have to worry about blade slippage. Supercut’s diamond blades allow you to remove grout at the low cost of .09 cents per linear foot. (

Marmo Meccanica HTO-1B bridge saw

Marmo Meccanica announced the HTO-1B, a fully automatic bridge saw ideal for cutting granite and marble slabs. The HTO-1B is an extremely heavy-duty, well built machine designed for the toughest cutting jobs. It is made with a double-beam bridge and oversized steel construction. Bridge movement is on cylindrical rollers contained in oiled guides. Rack and pinion gearing with helicoidal teeth ensure smooth movements, reducing play and wear. The bridge saw allows the operator to program its movement in manual, semi automatic and automatic cutting mode. It can even operate without the operator present. It can program up to 792 different cuts for maximum flexibility over a wide range of jobs. The controls are easily understood and simple to operate. A 20 HP motor provides cutting speeds of approximately 120 lineal ft. of 3 cm. (1.18-in.) material per hour. The motor is connected directly to the cutting blade without the use of V belts. This direct drive system allows the HTO-1B’s motor to obtain the characteristics of a 25 HP belt driven motor. The unit’s cutting blade head can tilt from 0° to 90°. Each HTO-1B is equipped with an hydraulic tilting table lockable at any angle position. The table is easily rotated. The angle shot indicator displays the angle at which the table is being rotated through, which can assist the operator in positioning angle cuts quickly and accurately. (800-279-9233)

Neo Collection from Eliane

Eliane has introduced the Neo Collection three series—Neo Provence , Neo Marmara and Neo California . The innovative Neo Collection combines striking style and cutting-edge technology to decorate and accent virtually any residential or commercial floor installation. Neo Collection porcelain tiles, smooth-to-the-touch, are offered in a variety of colors with unique, soft looks specific to each series. Field tile sizes include 18″ x 18″, 12″ x 12″ and 12″ x 24″. Decorative pieces are also available. Neo Provence is presented in warm colors accented with slight veining. Neo Marmara reflects the natural beauty of marble with intricate stone veining and calming colors while Neo California explores trendy hues and unique size options. “Eliane’s Neo Collection is a balance of the latest production technology, interior design trends and classic elements of design. We’re very pleased to introduce our new generation of glazed porcelain tile geared specifically to the North American marketplace,” said Marcio Muller of Eliane. (

DL700 saves installation time

Current trends indicate an increasing demand for jobs using high-end materials and specialized inlay installations. The DL7000 from Diamond Tech International helps installers meet this demand while saving time and money. “The saw paid for itself after the first job!” quotes DL7000 user, Sid Sidman, Fantastic Floors Inc. Designed for the shop setting, this ¾hp wet band saw makes precision cuts through natural stone, porcelain, glass and ceramic tile. It can even handle slab materials up to 1 ½” thick. “We used to cut circles on a regular table saw, taking up to ½ hour to cut. Now using the DL7000, we cut them in 10 minutes; saving time and money,” states DL7000 customer Raul Rodriquez of Whistler Tile Marble. The saw’s durable metal construction stands up to the heaviest shop use. Easy-to-use adjustments allow installers to cut quickly and its large two-wheel design creates a 13″ throat depth for deep diagonal cuts. The DL7000 includes instructional manual, toll free tech support and 1-year warranty. (

Arsemia from Vitra

Vitra Tiles USA is introducing the Arsemia line of large-format porcelain tile with a natural look. The new line is available in 12″ x 24″, 18″ x 18″ and 24″ x 24″ sizes in matte and semi-matte finishes for floor tile. The 10″ x 16″ wall tile is offered in both matte and glossy finishes. The colors are Sand, Mocha, Mink, Light Grey, Dark Grey and Black. The tiles, ideal for both commercial and residential use, have a porcelain body that makes them resistant to abrasion and chemicals and also resistant to frost. The floor tiles can be used in both interior and exterior applications. “With its natural look, Arsemia transforms rooms, creating a rustic-but at the same time modern-look,” said Esin Aksan of Vitra Tiles USA. “Its beveled edges and matte and semi-matte surfaces make it smooth to the touch as well soft to the eyes. Arsemia will not scratch or wear out, keeping its new look for years.” (

Palais from Crossville®

Crossville combines the look of three French limestones to create its new Palais series of Porcelain® Stone tile for floors, walls and countertops. This sophisticated mix of unpolished stone patterns was inspired by Crema Marfil, Beaumanniere and Casablanca —three French limestones that are prized for interior floors and walls. But while natural limestone is costly, difficult to clean and requires regular sealing, Crossville’s Palais is Porcelain® Stone, so it’s stronger than natural stone, refuses to scratch, stain or fade, never needs sealing or waxing, and cleans with just hot water. For residential and commercial installations, the Palais Series comes in four of nature’s colorways and multiple sizes for floors that include 2″ x 2″ and 4″ x 4″ sheet-mounted tumbled mosaics and 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 12″, 12″ x 12″, 12″ x 18″, and 18″ x 18″ individual tiles with a precision edge—all slip-resistant. The coordinating wall tile is available in an 8″ x 10″ tile with single bullnose and bullnose corner trim pieces. In addition, the series includes wonderfully ancient-looking decorative trim pieces that recall the rope, ribbon and vine motifs found in centuries-old Italian architecture. Palais gives homeowners and designers unlimited possibilities for creating “rooms of stone”—one of today’s hottest trends—floors patterned with multiple-size tiles and walls tiled floor to ceiling. (

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