It takes more than a tool bucket to be a successful tile contractor; you’ve got to use the right reference books as well!
Many contractors, architects, designers, specifiers and industry partners are familiar with the Tile Council of North America Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation (TCNA Handbook) and the American National Standard Specifications for Installation of Ceramic Tile (ANSI Book).
The TCNA Handbook is “a guide to assist in clarifying and standardizing installation specifications for tile,” while the ANSI book is a compilation of voluntary standards that “define the installation of ceramic tile as well as the test methods and physical properties for ceramic tile installation materials.” Each is representative of the consensus efforts of national as well as regional organizations and individuals who volunteer their time to serve on each committee. Both of these publications are widely used throughout the industry.
Less widely used, but equally relevant is the National Tile Contractors Association’s Reference Manual. While the NTCA Reference Manual also focuses on tile installation and its many facets, it’s written for the benefit of professional tile installation contracting firms and individuals who are committed to installation excellence and the best interest of the industry.
Its purpose is “to identify recurring challenges to successful installations of tile and stone, recognize potential problems, and to gain consensus from industry experts on offering solutions.” In this respect, the Reference Manual is different from both the TCNA Handbook and the ANSI Book, because it takes things several steps further and details information for issues before, during and after the installations are performed.
This publication is valuable “feet on the ground” information about tile installation. It’s produced by the National Tile Contractors Association Technical Committee (comprised of highly skilled and experienced members providing perspectives and expertise from all segments of the tile industry).
Great effort has been given to provide consensus answers to issues tile contractors, manufacturers and distributors face daily. This unique compilation, its explanation of problems, causes and the listing of their cures is invaluable to the installation trade. The proper use of this manual will save its user the cost of an annual NTCA membership several times over. The education it provides represents sincere efforts by those on the committee who have “been there and experienced that,” and have the desire to see others in our industry avoid the pitfalls that often occur without this knowledge.
We encourage our peers in the industry to get this valuable reference tool and to apply it correctly as the problem preventer it is designed to be. Successful tile installations are the goal for all of us!