New Options on Green Squared and an Innovative Mortar That Sets in Hours
February 23rd, 2012

New Rapid-Setting Mortar from MAPEI

In response to ceramic contractors’ needs for time-saving products, MAPEI has introduced Ultraflex™ LFT Rapid mortar to its line of fast-setting tile and stone installation systems. This mortar sets quickly, allowing grouting in three to four hours. Ultraflex LFT Rapid has a high content of a unique dry polymer, resulting in excellent adhesion to the substrate and tile. Its nonsag medium-bed and thin-set mortar characteristics are ideal for installing large-format tile and stone on interior and exterior floors, walls and countertops. Ultraflex LFT Rapid directly answers the need for quick-turnaround on installation of larger-format tile residentially and commercially in a variety of environments. MAPEI began developing rapid-setting mortars and grouts more than 20 years ago with the introduction of Granirapid® mortar, a faster-setting version of its premium Kerabond/Keralastic™ mortar system for indoor and outdoor applications. Another rapid-setting product, Ultracontact™ RS mortar, allows installers to “drop and go” without back-buttering tiles, a huge time-saving asset for large projects such as shopping malls and airports. MAPEI chemists also developed Planiprep™ RS, a rapid-set patching compound for fast-track concrete repairs to substrates before installers begin setting the tile or stone. When it comes to grouting the joints, MAPEI provides Ultracolor® Plus rapid-setting sanded grout to finish the job quickly. “In terms of commercial renovation projects, the time savings from these rapid-setting products allow the owners to re-open the floors sooner to their customers, or maybe not close the spaces at all,” said Brian Pistulka, Business Development Manager for MAPEI’s Tile & Stone Installation Systems. “We see the need for speed as a key requirement for flooring contractors today, and MAPEI products play an important role in helping them get the job done on time and on budget.”

Sustainable Tiles and Installation Material Manufacturers Can Now Earn Green Squared Certification through NSF International

NSF International, an independent global organization that writes public health standards and certifies products for food, water and consumer goods, now offers Green Squared Certification for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles and installation materials. NSF’s Sustainability division is a leading developer of sustainable standards and certification programs for building and furnishing products such as furniture, wallcoverings, and furnishing fabrics, carpets and flooring.

Developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Green Squared certification provides accurate, third-party verified information on the environmental impacts of certified tile products. Green Squared certification through NSF Sustainability helps manufacturers and suppliers of tiles and installation materials distinguish their products from competitors, earn preferred vendor status by environmentally-minded consumers and companies, and demonstrate compliance to state and federal purchasing requirements.

The NSF certification process includes a comprehensive documentation review and onsite facility audit to verify conformance to the standard upon which the Green Squared certification program is based, ANSI A138.1 American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles and Tile Installation Materials. This consensus-based standard requires an evaluation of products in five categories of performance: Product Characteristics, Manufacturing, Corporate Governance, Innovation, and End-of-Life.

“Green Squared provides a standard of excellence in sustainability for the entire industry as it covers not just tile products but also the materials required for their installation,” said Bill Griese, TCNA Standards Development and Green Initiative Manager. “We are pleased that the certification bodies we have participating in Green Squared are leaders in the realm of developing sustainability standards and certification programs for interior furnishing products, and these organizations have the expertise and industry experience necessary to provide high quality certifications under the Green Squared program.”
“Green Squared and NSF Sustainability certification programs are the most credible certifications available in the marketplace,” said NSF Sustainability Director Tom Bruursema. “Architects, designers and consumers can now easily identify products carrying the Green Squared and NSF Sustainability marks. NSF certified sustainable products such as furniture, carpets, flooring, wallcoverings, furnishing fabrics, and now tiles and tile installation materials, help companies and consumers meet their sustainability goals and demonstrate their commitment to the environment.”

Tiles covered by the Green Squared program may include mosaic, quarry, pressed floor, glazed wall, porcelain, specialty, cast glass, fused glass and low-temperature coated glass tiles. Installation materials may include mortar adhesives, mastic adhesives, reactive resin adhesives, grouts, tile backer units, crack isolation membranes, waterproofing membranes, water containment membranes and sound reduction membranes.

News from Florida Tile, LATICRETE, and Crossville, Inc.
February 15th, 2012

Florida Tile Sets Recycled Content Bar

All domestically produced Florida Tile porcelain products have been certified to contain at least 40% recycled content, thus setting a new standard in an industry eager for valid environmental initiatives. The certification was made by the independent Bureau Veritas, a third-party world leader in conformity assessment and certification services, established 1828 with the stated mission… “to seek out the truth and tell it without fear or favor.”

“This achievement is just the latest step in Florida Tile’s ongoing CARES (Creating A Responsible Environmental Strategy) program,” said company President Michael Franceschelli. “In early 2011 we contracted with Bureau Veritas which conducted a painstaking assessment of our claims and our processes. In September, we were awarded certification verifying that ALL of the porcelain product lines manufactured in our Lawrenceburg, KY factory incorporate AT LEAST 40% pre-consumer recycled content,” he added.

“The certification is not only a great achievement for Florida Tile but also an industry first,” according to Franceschelli. “Other US manufacturers have successfully achieved high recycled content with certain colors or among some series, but not across the board in porcelain and definitely not to this extent.”

How did Florida Tile do it? According to President Franceschelli, “We’ve been working at it for a long time, consistently incorporating increasing amounts of recycled content into our domestically produced tiles. Starting in 2007 with a major upgrade of our facility in Lawrenceburg, we created a system allowing us to recycle and re-use the byproducts of our manufacturing process, including water used in production, clay, unfired tile, dust and unfired ceramic tile. We built on that initiative by sourcing raw materials close to the manufacturing facility, including some with high levels of post-industrial recycled content. Then last year we went on line with a proprietary system which allowed us to regrind fired porcelain and to reintroduce it into the body of new tile.”

“We knew all along that our CARES initiative is the right thing to do, but with green washing so prevalent in every industry, including our flooring and interior coverings marketplaces, Florida Tile felt the need to prove its claims via independent validation for the sake of the industry and our own credibility,” Franceschelli added. “Now our customers, whether they be designers, architects, builders or the end customer, will have the satisfaction of knowing that their US-made product not only meets current GREENGUARD guidelines but in fact leads all brands with an across-the-board recycled content.” For more on sustainable attributes of Florida Tile products, visit or

Hydro Ban™ System includes Pre-Sloped Shower Pans, Pre-Formed Seats & Niches LATICRETE has brought to market Hydro Ban™ Pre-Sloped Shower Pans, Pre-Formed Seats and Pre-Formed Niches. These are components of the expanded Hydro Ban line of waterproofing products that allow for top quality, highly expedient shower installations. Constructed of lightweight high-density polystyrene, each component is equipped with a code-approved waterproof coating, which may be tiled over immediately upon installation. Hydro Ban Pre-Sloped Shower Pans eliminate the need for traditional “mud bed installations” and come equipped with a factory-installed drain assembly saving contractors valuable time during installation. Additionally, these drains can easily be modified on-site to adjust for any measurement variations. Lightweight, durable and code-approved, the LATICRETE Hydro Ban Shower System is backed by an available lifetime warranty providing both peace of mind and insurance of installation. “Waterproofing is becoming more and more of a focal issue within the tile installation process,” stated Sean Boyle, LATICRETE Marketing and Product Development Director. “We’ve successfully addressed that issue with LATICRETE Hydro Ban Waterproofing membrane. Now, we’re taking this process to the next level with our waterproof shower pans, seats and niches. The end-user no longer has to worry about water problems after his or her shower tile installation. Now, that same person can have a comfortable and beautiful spa-like shower complete with built-in seating and a recessed soap & shower niche.”

Crossville introduces Origins glass mosaics and Structure Porcelain Stone ® tile Crossville® introduced Origins Glass™ mosaics, a new take on Old-World craftsmanship. Made of post-consumer recycled glass, Origins Glass requires a minimal amount of materials for production, yet its textured, swirled and iridized surfaces create great visual depth and give the appearance of hand-made glass. The line comprises 20 colors in five groupings: Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Universe – all inspired by nature. Designed by one of the industry’s most respected color forecasters, Barbara Schirmeister, ASID, DC, CAUS, the line has a clear, luminescent quality, which is extraordinary for recycled glass. “Specifiers and homeowners alike may mix, match and blend these hues to create colorful and dramatic installations, while knowing that they are using a product that is good for the planet,” says Schirmeister. Face-mounted on 12″x12″ sheets, Origins Glass mosaics are available in 1″ x 1″ and 2″ x 2″ sizes, as well as an offset mosaic featuring 1″ x 2″ tile. Also offered are 1″ x 1″ blends, as well as custom blends, which may be designed with Crossville’s Mosaic Blender Tool @

Inspired by concrete and refined stone, Crossville’s new Structure™ is a U.S.-made Porcelain Stone® tile that serves as the canvas upon which you can create your vision. Clean and fresh, this unpolished contemporary line provides an understated backdrop for bold, minimalist design statements. Designed for both commercial and residential installations, Structure contains a minimum of 20=percent pre-consumer recycled content and is manufactured by Crossville® using recycling processes that have been certified by Scientific Certification Systems.* Offered in five colorways – Gypsum, Sandstone, Shale, Timber and Basalt – and in rectified, large format and plank-shaped sizes: 24″ x 24″, 12″ x 24″, 6″ x 24″ and 6″ x 6″, Structure is part of Crossville’s Get Planked® program, whereby additional plank shapes may be cut with no minimum order and a short lead time. Coordinating trim is available as a 4″ x 24″ Single Bullnose and a 6″ x 12″ Cove Base. “Because Structure is Porcelain Stone® tile, it has unsurpassed durability, resists staining and scratching and will remain virtually maintenance free on interior floors, walls and countertops,” says Lindsey Ann Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “It will never need sealing or waxing; plus, Structure is also highly recommended for exterior walls and cladding.” Barbara Schirmeister, ASID, DC, CAUS, who is color and design consultant to Crossville, Inc., adds, “The subtle textural appearance of Structure represents an emerging design movement toward a new, more interesting minimalism.

Crossville’s offering of five pivotal neutrals were carefully developed by Crossville’s R&D team to harmonize with current interior palettes. These select hues will afford the architect and designer unlimited color solutions when used as a foil in creating both monolithic and contrasting schemes with soft or bright colorations.”

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