Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Treasure Coast Concrete Polishing helps create beautiful common areas in Port St. Lucie with SPARTACOTE Stain

New construction project – common area / gathering space
Port of St. Lucie, Florida
SPARTACOTE™ Stain job. 3,600 sq ft.

Treasure Coast Concrete Polishing is a family-owned polished concrete and SPARTACOTE coatings installer dedicated to superior workmanship and customer service. They are leaders in concrete resurfacing and pioneers in bringing the craft to the Treasure Coast.

The Port of St. Lucie, FL, had a new construction 3,600 sq ft gathering space that they desired to give a decorative concrete look and feel. Due to their track record of excellence in decorative concrete and referred to by the Port itself because of their superior reputation and workmanship, Treasure Coast Concrete Polishing got the job.

The project schedule that was demanding, requiring the Treasure Coast crew to work at night. Power was difficult to find due to it being new construction. The crew constantly had to run power to outside breakers in order to get the electrical required. They also had to enhance the crew size because of job site logistics and stringent project requirements.

Concrete surface prep is vital to any SPARTACOTE coatings job, and this one was no different. The crew began by grinding the surface by mechanical profile to an ICRI CSP 2, equivalent to about 40 to 60 grit sand paper. They cleaned and vacuumed the excess dust from the surface. After the prep work was complete, the crew was ready to apply the SPARTACOTE stain coating system.


After thorough surface prep, the new floor space was ready to accept the stain. The crew applied grey and black stain to the surface at a rate of 400 sq ft per gallon. The stain flashed off quickly, drying in mere minutes. Immediately following the stain application, the crew applied the SPARTACOTE™ WB EPOXY™ over the stain to help lock in the color. They allowed it to dry for four hours.

To complete the system, the Treasure Coast crew put down the top coat of SPARTACOTE™ Flex SB to the surface at a rate of 330 sq ft / gallon. The Flex SB is designed to give maximum work time while acting as an easy to place and versatile primer coat. To ensure high traction, the coatings crew employed SPARTAOTE GRIP 100 grit traction additive to the final clear top coat. This helps maximize slip resistance within the new space. 

The Treasure Coast project crew was able to deliver the job early and on budget. The Port of St. Lucie is very happy with the new SPARTACOTE Stain floor for their commons area. The Port plans to soon open the gathering space to the public.

Jeremy Benson
Treasure Coast Concrete Polishing


To learn more about our SPARTACOTE resinous and decorate finishes, click here or call us at 1.800.243.4788.

Friday, February 23, 2018

LATICRETE Australia “Drives” to Success During the ONE LATICRETE ONE TEAM Event

February 20, 2018

During 2018, ONE LATICRETE ONE TEAM events are being held throughout all LATICRETE global locations where executives of the company come to talk with our team members about the history, success, culture and future growth plans of the company. The main message is that LATICRETE, despite geographical distance, is ‘one’ team with the same vision, mission and values.

LATICRETE Australia Team

Last week, LATICRETE Australia hosted their event. It kicked off with presentations from Emma Tschannen, General Manager of LATICRETE Australia, Henry B. Rothberg, Sr. Vice President Training of LATICRETE International, and Faisal Saleem, Vice President of LATICRETE International.
Emma Tschannen, G.M. LATICRETE Australia

Emma Tschannen, G.M of LATICRETE Australia, welcomed our International guests Henry Rothberg and wife Sheila and Faisal Saleem as well as the Australian team to the One LATICRETE One Family event. The team joined in with Emma to welcome the guests in saying “We are one but we are many, and from all the lands we come, we’ll share a dream and sing with one voice, I am, you are, we are Australian”.

Henry B. Rothberg addressing the LATICRETE team

Henry B. Rothberg, Sr. VP of Training, then took the team through a series of questions that have been asked: Who are we? What are we going to do to move forward? When did it all begin? He told the story about an innovator and entrepreneur, the late Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, who started LATICRETE in the basement of his family home in the late 1950’s. He spoke about the challenges, the LATICRETE family culture and the future growth plans of the company. Henry thanked each team member for their commitment and spoke about the vital roles that every team member plays in contributing to the success and the growth of LATICRETE.

“I have to remind myself that where we are at LATICRETE today, around the world, is based upon people. I need to address everyone in the room, everyone in this room have all done a great job. Bottom line, thank you as each of you have contributed and made a difference – thank you!” – Henry B. Rothberg, Sr. Vice President of Training

Faisal Saleem, speach

Faisal Saleem, Vice President LATICRETE International, closed the presentation to the team speaking about the future and growth plans for LATICRETE International team including being the leaders in tile and stone as a single source provider of flooring systems from surface preparation, screed and hardeners, decorative, finishes, resinous flooring and complementary products.

“New products is one part of the plan; if you have a complete line of products, it’s not necessary that you will be successful. I think people, technical expertise / technical know-how and manufacturing processes is something that LATICRETE has, and will help us be #1 within the flooring space, beyond tile and stone.” – Faisal Saleem, Vice President of LATICRETE International

Team Build
The Australian team then participated in a team build session, called ‘Bridging the Gap’, where they broke off into groups to work together to create a ‘Super Highway’. Teams worked with materials they were given, such as pop sticks (ice-cream sticks), rulers, straws, string, glue gun, polystyrene cups and small cardboard. The goal was to create a ‘Super Highway’ which required bridges to be built between 6 tables, within a period of time. The group had to overcome hurdles which were given to them throughout the challenge, and required the team to adapt, communicate and work together to be successful. The ultimate test was to see if a remote racing car was capable of going across the “Super Highway” and the bridges that were built.

LATICRETE Australia team building 

The team pulled together and successfully built a “Super Highway” in which the racing car veered through the bridges without any difficulties. The bridges were all given various International Business Unit names, which symbolised despite geographical distance, LATICRETE is ‘one’ team with the same vision, mission and values.

The ultimate challenges through the team build and what every company is faced with on a daily basis is company structure, budgets, communication, team work, procedures and policies. It’s a company’s ability to embrace changes, challenges and adversities to reach the winning goal.

We look forward to sharing the visits to our other global locations throughout the year!

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

LATICRETE Anti-Fracture and Waterproofing Products Help Rejuvenate 50-Year Old Mural on St. Jude Chapel

Guest Author: Julie Richey, Mosaic Artist

Photo: Danny Fulgencio

The Genesis Mosaic on the façade of the St. Jude Chapel on Main Street in downtown Dallas was in need of repair to maintain its stability and restore its beauty. MIT professor Gyorgy Kepes’ 1968 mosaic was suffering from two major fractures, smaller cracks, and mildew under the surface. Julie Richey and Cher Goodson put together a team to complete the arduous task. Six weeks after beginning, the Chapel was ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018.

St. Jude Chapel
Photo: Julie Richey

The Fracture
This is an example of the state of the mosaic when we removed the silicone that was added years ago to stop the fallout of tiles.

Fractured mosaic
Photo: Julie Richey

Mapping the Tesserae
Clear mosaic tape was used to capture the andamento, or pattern of the tile before chiseling to remove tiles surrounding the fracture. Tiles were removed in six-inch sections.

Tile mosaic pattern
Photo: Julie Richey

The Fixers
The principal players involved in the restoration project: Cher Goodson, owner of Art Restorations of Dallas; Plano mosaicist Lynne Chinn of; Reverend Jonathan Austin, St. Jude Chapel chaplain; Julie Richey of Julie Richey Mosaics, and Callie Heimburger, conservator at Art Restorations.

The Historic Palette
We were so fortunate to have a long-time connection with Miotto Mosaics of Carmel, NY. Stephen Miotto is the godson of the founder of Venetian Art Mosaics Studios of the Bronx, NY, and when that business closed, he took over the stock of Italian glass tiles. This allowed us to pull colors from the same stock used to make the original mosaic. Venetian Art Mosaics Studios was responsible for several wonderful architectural mosaics created for Dallas institutions in the 1960s.

Removing the Crumbling Substrate
Callie and Julie use small stone chisels to remove the cracked and crumbling mortar. 

Removing crumbling mortar
Photo: Danny Fulgencio

It was understood when we embarked on this preservation project that there were possibly more areas damaged than appeared on the surface. We were disappointed to find a horizontal fracture invisible from the street, which traversed the two vertical fractures. This fracture was treated with the same care as the verticals. Fortunately it wasn't too deep.

Color Palette
We removed loose and damaged tiles surrounding the two vertical fractures. 140 distinct colors were counted in these two, thin cross sections. This didn't begin to quantify the colors on the outer reaches of the mosaic: malachite and lime greens, azures, violets, pinks, tangerines, and 24-karat gold leaf tiles.

Eliminating Mildew
Mildew growing behind the tiles forced many of them to delaminate. The fractures, most likely caused by the building's settling event, then leaked water due to improper flashing on the roof. Now that the roof has been repaired and the mosaic is not subjected to water damage from behind, the fracture is dry. The mildew was neutralized with a bleach gel.

The Curve
An interesting detail of the mosaic was the curve on the southern side of the façade. This area was almost completely covered in 24-karat gold leaf Venetian glass—beautiful—but very thin tile. The mortar here was very fragile. Attempts to prepare the surface for just a few tiles to be reseated resulted in twice as many falling out. We waterproofed the area and made an invisible repair.

Recreating the Sections
Once we carefully documented the areas to be removed, cleaned the tiles, and received replacements from the stock at Miotto Mosaics Studios in NY, we were ready to rebuild. Using both printed “before” photos of the mosaic and our iPads and iPhones (for easy enlargement of the details), we were able to identify original tiles and put them right back next to their neighbors. A classic example of ancient craft and modern technology working together.

Puzzle Time
Careful attention to color, shape, and pattern allowed our three “puzzlers” to rebuild the missing sections. The lids served as “trays” for each page of the rebuilt sections.

Beginning the Rebuild
Julie Richey begins at the bottom of the small fracture, replacing tiles from the pattern.

Placing the Anti-Fracture Membrane
We were fortunate to have a great local rep from LATICRETE International, the company that provided our mortars, grouts, and anti-fracture compounds. In this case, it was HYDRO BAN® Waterproofing / Anti-Fracture Fabric to the rescue. We coated the seams with HYDRO BAN® liquid applied waterproofing, then applied thinset and the custom-cut membrane. This provided a stable base for the replacement mosaic, and we are confident that the membrane will keep the old fractures at bay. 

Photo: Danny Fulgencio

Re-Piecing Begins
It takes three to accomplish this task: Callie on the right is working on the thinner fracture; the wider fracture requires a tracker (Lynne on the left) and a fixer (Julie in the middle) to keep the tesserae and patterns in line.

That Tile, That Spot
Highly detailed photos allowed the team to ensure the exact tiles, based on their characteristics, were put back in place.

The Red Wash
Conservator Callie Heimburger created a special “wash” of Indian red and burnt umber to unify the design by coloring joints and mortar to match the intensity of the glass tesserae. This process was used in the installation of the original mosaic in 1968. We know this because we found traces of the pinkish-red stain under the loose tiles.

Almost Finished
Once the replacement of tiles along the fractures was complete, it was time to spot-grout low areas, and clean and replace randomly missing tiles across the façade.

About the Artist
Texas artist Julie Richey has been making mosaics for more than 20 years, creating custom residential and commercial installations in the US, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. Her mosaics and sculptures have been exhibited across the US and in Italy at the biennial Ravenna Mosaico Festival and at the Orsoni Smalti Veneziani Foundry in Venice as part of the Orsoni Grand Prize for Mosaic in 2009.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

LATICRETE China Celebrates 10th Anniversary and ONE LATICRETE TEAM Event

On January 12, 2018 LATICRETE China hosted the ONE LATICRETE ONE TEAM event during the day for over 200 employees followed by their 10th Anniversary celebration later that night.

This new initiative started in 2018 brings David and Henry Rothberg, 2nd generation LATICRETE to the employees of each of our global business units to talk about the history, success, culture and future growth plans of the company. LATICRETE, despite geographical distance, is ‘one’ team with the same vision, mission and values.

The event for our team in China kicked off with inspirational speeches from Bill Qiu, GM of LATICRETE China, David Rothberg, Chairman / CEO, LATICRETE International and Erno de Bruijn, LATICRETE President and COO, International Division

Bill Qui, GM LATICRETE China

Bill Qiu, GM of LATICRETE China, gave a speech where he explained how the Chinese name for LATICRETE, “LADI” was chosen. I think it means “strong thunder”. I thought the logic and relevance of the name in Chinese would bring a smile to the face of our founder, of blessed memory, Dr. Henry M. Rothberg” – David Rothberg, Chairman / CEO, LATICRETE International 
David Rothberg, Chairman / CEO of LATICRETE International with Jenny Fu, Management Trainee 

Jenny Fu, Management Trainee, acted as translator to assist with conveying David’s message to the team. 
“I am very proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary in China! In 10 years we became one of the driving forces behind the national standard setting for tile and stone installations, we became one of the leading brands in the industry and our material were used on many of the landmark construction projects.
Equally important; we built a very strong and enthusiastic team of over 200 people that operates in true LATICRETE spirit.” – Erno de Bruijn, LATICRETE President and COO, International Division

After the speeches the group split into teams to learn how to play the African drum and later competed for the opportunity to perform at that night’s 10th Anniversary celebration.

The team building session was divided into 3 parts: concentric, synchronization and inspiration. The groups learned about the drum and practiced using a combination of their body and the drum to develop the beat and rhythm into a song.

Next the coaches came on stage helping the teams bring into synchronization with one another. Finally, the teams competed against one another in a drumming competition! During the exercise the teams learned how to interact with one another enhancing each other’s strengths and creating positive energy throughout the entire experience.

10th Anniversary Celebration
We were honored to include employees, customers, several former employees, LATICRETE China Board Members, and international guests from LATICRETE headquarters and other LATICRETE international business units from around the globe in the anniversary celebration. 
We were honored to award 7 of our suppliers with a “Supplier of the Year Award”! 

1. Jiangsu Gude Plastics Co., Ltd.
2. Shanghai Yinge Industrial Co., Ltd.
3. Tianpu Chemicals Co., Ltd.
4. Changsha Meilin Building Materials Co., Ltd.
5. Shanghai Miaogu Industrial Co., Ltd.
6. Pinghu Shengzhu Packing Co., Ltd.
7. Shanghai Leixia Industrial Co., Ltd.

During the night, several employee awards were given for:

Service Awards for 5 and 10 Years 
3 Best Sales People
2017 Best Sales Team
Employees of the Year 
General Manager’s Special Award 
5 Year Service Awards
Attendees were entertained by 11 different teams giving performances which included singing, dancing, acting and reciting poems! Everyone had the opportunity to win gifts during the “Luck Draw” game using a QR code in WeChat. 

David Rothberg and Faisal Saleem

It was a great day and night of celebrating the accomplishments of our team and our partners who help make us successful.


Monday, January 22, 2018

LATICRETE Middle East & Africa Celebrates the ONE LATICRETE ONE TEAM Initiative in Style

On January 14, 2018 over 85 LATICRETE team members from the Middle East and Africa got together to participate in the ONE LATICRETE ONE TEAM event held at Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

LATICRETE Middle East and Africa 

David Rothberg, Chairman/CEO of LATICRETE International arrived and was met by a special team of Kandura performers, dressed in the local attire dancing to the tunes of a traditional Emirati song, in true form of a customary Emirati welcome. 

The event kicked off with Ritesh Singh, General Manager, LATICRETE Middle East, sharing a video presentation of the journey and history of how LATICRETE started off in Dubai and grew as a successful business enterprise across the Middle East and Africa, while highlighting several iconic projects that the team has been a part of. 

“It is said that the future belongs to those who can see it, and I wholeheartedly believe in it. The future of any business also lies in its ability to develop and sustain customer relationships. Beyond just the monetary significance, being customer centric is key to nourishing a growing business.” - Ritesh Singh, General Manager, LATICRETE Middle East

A highlight of the day was another video that Mr. Singh shared with the group of all the employees coming together chiming in with the phrase One LATICRETE One Family, in their own unique way and in different languages conveying the importance of the theme of the event, “ONE LATICRETE ONE TEAM”.

Mr. Rothberg spoke to the group (with the help of Faisal Saleem, VP LATICRETE International, translating into Hindi) the journey of LATICRETE throughout the past 61 years into a truly global company.

“As this is the beginning of the New Year, I challenge everyone in the LATICRETE M.E. team to set big goals and to put those goals in writing. If it’s in writing and you give it to someone to hold you accountable, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.” 
– David Rothberg, Chairman/CEO of LATICRETE International, Inc.

David Rothberg and Ritesh Singh of LATICRETE

Team building fun was next on the agenda! Eight teams formed to take part in “Chinese Whispers”, “The Perfect Square” and “Build a Building” activities.

“Chinese Whispers”
A twist on the “Chinese Whispers”, or “telephone” game adopted where instead of whispering messages to their neighbor, they used actions instead. This made it a ton of fun for all playing and observing the game! The objective was to understand the implications of one’s actions and the need to listen attentively. It reminded the participants, just how quickly a message can be changed into something completely different when it is passed between even a few people. It educated the team to be mindful of what information is spread, given the fact that what is said or done, can have a negative impact on the individual or business that is being talked about.

“The Perfect Square”
The second activity, “The Perfect Square” each team stood in a circle and blindfold themselves. The objective was to form a large, perfect square with the rope, using its entire length. When the team had reached a consensus that they have formed the square, they call out “Perfect Square” and the results were inspected. The objective was for team participants to realize the importance of being able to get a clear mental image of the end result. It also demonstrated how empowering one’s teammates, contributed to goal attainment. Being blindfolded, the key was communication and the ability to work together as a team to achieve a favorable result.

“Build a Building”
The third activity, “Build a Building” each team was given the same set of tools, flipchart, foam board, masking tape, tennis ball and markers, to build a building. Using these tools, the teams had to first draw out and then construct a freestanding structure that had to be transported to the stage without falling apart. They then presented their project with a solid marketing plan to prove that their development was the best. The objective of the game was to understand strategy, planning a project, managing resources and collaborating to achieve a common goal, under the pressure of a tight timeframe. 

Congrats to the winners, SUPERCAPTAINS, for their innovative idea, construction, teamwork and collaboration, marketing and presentation of their overall concept.

Winners of Building a Building team building activity

“As a company we see great potential in the Middle East and African markets. I’d like to wish the LATICRETE Middle East team good luck in all their efforts for the coming year and beyond.” – Faisal Seleem, VP LATICRETE International

We love that our team members are enjoying these events! 

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