Wednesday, May 27, 2009

OK, So who is Laticrete ....?

Laticrete International is a world wide manufacturer and marketer of materials and methods for the installation of ceramic tile and stone.

Laticrete International is responsible for the development and introduction to the construction industry of thin adhesive mortars for bonding ceramic tile and stone.

The company was founded in 1956 by Dr. Henry M. Rothberg who is a chemical engineer. He was interested in bringing the improvements of chemistry to the normal Portland cement based installation systems for tile and stone. The pioneering work in this area done by Engineer Rothberg is the basis for all modern adhesives used today for the installation of tile and stone by the Adhesive Mortar Method.

It was during the late 1940’s that the use of Portland cement based adhesive mortar technology sparked the interest of a young chemical engineer in the United States. Henry M. Rothberg was managing a family tile, terrazzo and marble installation company when the problems inherent to installing these materials with the traditional “full mortar bed” became more and more evident to him. He decided to dedicate himself to research into alternate methods of installing ceramic tile and stone.

The search brought him to the Chemical Division of U.S. Rubber Co. (Uniroyal) in Connecticut. Rothberg became a consultant to develop the use of latex in the construction industry, primarily in the area of ceramic tile installations. After more than 300 synthetic rubber polymers had been prepared, tested and evaluated, he developed a unique compound that had all the properties of natural rubber - elasticity, water resistance and durability, plus the properties necessary to make it viable to the construction industry: resistance to frost and heat damage, the ability to mix with Portland cement and remain plastic for adequate working time and the ability to be stored in full or partial containers for extended periods of time without deterioration or spoilage. The new latex was introduced to the market as “LATICRETE.”

LATICRETE revolutionized ceramic tile and stone installation techniques. The new material piloted the opening of the ceramic tile market towards new horizons. LATICRETE mortars were suitable for use in installing tiles of all types, including difficult products such as glass mosaics, and in difficult situations such as exterior facades and swimming pools. LATICRETE mortars resolved problems inherent to installations in climate zones subject to freeze/thaw as well as to physical and thermal shock.

In the 1950’s, it was a difficult mission to convince users that Portland cement could be mixed with a liquid rubber to make a strong, durable adhesive mortar with all of the waterproof characteristics of Portland cement yet some of the flexibility and other benefits of adhesives. The new latex fortified Portland cement adhesive mortars would cure in thin applications, yet provide higher bond strength as well as the ability to resist thermal shock, physical vibration and all the ravages of wind, rain and frost that various climates could produce. After years of diligent promotion and education the construction industry was finally ready to recognize the benefits of the Latex Portland Cement Adhesive Mortar technology.

As awareness and acceptance of this truly problem solving technology spread, so did the growth in the global acceptance of Ceramic Tile and Stone for flooring and facades.

When industry standards for the installation of ceramic tile and stone were established in many countries, they were far below the capabilities of the Laticrete System Materials. The Laticrete standards remain the highest in the construction industry today, actually 200 to 400% above the national standards of most countries.

There is only one company that has been continuously involved for over 50 years in the development and production of ceramic tile & stone adhesive mortar materials and technology and has earned the reputation for industry innovative technology - LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL.

• Laticrete System Materials are marketed in over 65 countries around the world.
• Laticrete International was the first organization in its industry sector to receive the ISO 9001 certificate.
• Laticrete System Materials have been job proven around the world in a wide range of extreme climate conditions for over 50 years.

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