Tuesday, October 27, 2009

That's A Pick Up Truck ....!

Some Tile Guys drive Big Trucks

The largest pick up trucks in the world.

The International CXT. 25,999 GVW. They can carry 10,000 lbs while towing 80,000 lbs


Visitor From Norway Today

Morten Gaarud the General Manager of Laticrete Norway is visiting with us for a few days. Here he is watching Steve Rampino demonstrate Laticrete HydroBarrier and chatting with Jay Conrod our Laticrete Product Manager responsible for membranes.

We're discussing Sales, Marketing & Promotional issues.

Waterproof membranes are important products for Laticrete in Norway.


An Interesting Pool Project

American Olean sapphire blue mosaic tile in 3"x3" and 1"x1" with bright white SpectraLOCK "Stainless," chemical resistant epoxy grout.
Peter Strowbridge - Stone Dragon Corp.

We work on some interesting pool projects here at Laticrete.

(Actually, we specialize in tiled swimming pools and have written a comprehensive Tiled Swimming Pool Technical Design Manual. Click here.)


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Only In America ....!

This has NOTHING to do with Tile & Stone, but .....

ANVIL Shooting

How to Shoot an Anvil 200 Feet in the Air

Click Here or Here

Friday, October 23, 2009

PTK Educational Program Wraps Up

“All I can say is, "WOW!!" A great couple of days packed with great info and some hands-on stuff. Henry, as I told you before I left today, you've got a 1st Class operation and team of people there. It's obvious that everyone who had anything at all to do with extending Laticrete hospitality to us is very happy working there and extremely proud of the company.

I just came home to grab all my stuff. I'll be moving into the Guest House permanently!

Seriously, thank you for everything. It was a great experience with a mud bucketful of knowledge and memories that I'll cherish forever.”


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rain Or Shine ..... Laticrete is There ...!

One of our guys got married the other day.

His Laticrete umbrella came in handy that day

I Started Young

This is NOT My First Tile Job but is the first that I have "proof" of.... this is an exterior installation at the Grandfather's home of two tile people that I do business with - and consider to be friends - today.

OK ... so here's the 64 thousand dollar question:

Which is me and which is my brother David ...?


They Grow Up Fast

My Youngest Daughter's "First" Tile Job

The year was 1999. The General Manager of Laticrete Australia - Graeme Wall - was visiting my family here in the USA for the Christmas holidays.

Graeme was / is an experienced tile installer and we decided to tile an existing patio

My daughter Samantha learned a bit about "The Thinset Method ...!"

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Laticrete PTK educational program today

Yes, I managed to cut everyone's head off in this photo ... except for Frank and Elmo.

Can you find Elmo ...?

Frank is demonstrating a slurry bond coat for bonding Quarry Tile to a fully bonded, thick bed mortar.

Program continues tomorrow.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Laticrete Educational & Training Programs

A testimonial:

"Just went to the PTK up at Laticrete World HQ in Bethany Conn. Awesome building. I would highly recommend this course to any of you guys or gals on this forum.

Its similar to Schluterville in that they go over the basics of floors, like what deflection is etc. After that they go through all of their products with a demo on each one.

Some hands on as well, great course to get acquainted or more acquainted with Laticrete products which we all know are and have always been the best out there, been using them since the day I held my first trowel!

Jon Donmoyer - JD Tile

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some People Do "Good Deeds"

My College roommate does good stuff in his community.

short version:
I was helping out at Habitat for Humanity one day, installing underlayment and inquired if they needed help with electrical work. I went back the following Thursday and Friday to install switches and outlets because their regular electrician volunteer has difficulty working low because of his back. While I was at it, I connected phone jacks and TV cable outlets.

long version:
Our Fellowship Group serves meals once a month at the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle and were short one time so I called an ex-coworker who came with his family. For "payback" my wife and I helped at Habitat for Humanity when his church sent a group for Together we Build day http://www.togetherwebuild.org/. My wife caulked and spackled trim while I installed underlayment with a very quiet, observant Muslim. I inquired if they needed help with electrical work and went back the following Thursday and Friday to install switches and outlets because their regular electrician volunteer has difficulty working low because of his back. While I was at it, I connected phone jacks and TV cable outlets.

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Q3 2009 Issue of Laticrete Newsletter is available

The New Issue of the Laticrete Newsletter is available online.

Click here

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A Contractor Who Is Doing Something Interesting

Offering a FREE Specifications review to Architects and Developers from the Tile / Stone contractors point of view. The Tile & Stone section of the Spec ...!

Who is this contractor ...?

*3rd generation
*history of family dedication to the proper use of installation techniques in complex installations
*provided training; new Laticrete employees (intro to contract documents and field training for new tech service reps), blueprint reading for union members, lunch and learn programs for architects
*assistance in field trials of new products
*over 30 years of experience in commercial and residential projects
*attends industry training
*past president of Tile Contractors Association of Connecticut involved in union contract negotiations and arbitration hearings

Interested ...?

Contact Kathy Rafter - Cell 203 627-0067 email: kathyrafter@aol.com


Monday, October 19, 2009

my new favorite grout

PermaColor Grout

"I used some #61 parchment on the combo polished & honed job I just finished - ME LIKEY !!!!

You weren't kidding about the flash time on it - 15 min. - I spread half the floor let sit for 10 min. the started cleaning and got a little nervous that I went too far ahead but it came right up with ease and the joints were perfect!

no scratches either.

You guys hit a home run with the Permacolor !!!"

Tim Rogers
TRC Enterprises
Princeton, MN

Read More here


Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Mr. Rothberg, you'd be pleased to know after being given and using up my free sample of 125, I purchased another. That stuff's great for doing repairs over slab cracks. Saves a step...

Brad Bressler - Bressler Tile and Stone"

Read about Laticrete 125 here

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Interested in a FREE Floor HEAT Installation ...?

"I checked out your heat system. a little different than what I am used to but I like the fact that it is easy to customize on the jobsite. I have one coming up that I would like to try it out on. So basically I can install backer board, your heat system and one step tile with thinset?"

What's MY favorite in floor heating?

OK, I'm biased.

I like the Laticrete Floor HEAT ...!

If you're a Pro and reading this ... and HAVEN'T tried the Laticrete Floor HEAT products I will "put my money where my mouth is" and GIVE you one for your next project.

No Strings Attached.

(Actually there are a few strings attached - I'll give you the mat and thermostat - you gotta supply the labor.)

And YES, we are the only one to offer a comprehensive system warranty covering everything from the grout to the thinset to the self leveling underlayment to the Floor HEAT Mat and thermostat ...!

Read the whole story here


Call, write or email me about your next project and the floor HEAT products (of a reasonable size - no, I'm not doing 3,600 sq feet for free) are on me ....!

A versatile floor warming mat for installation underneath tile and stone. Equipped with self-adhesive backing, LATICRETE Floor HEAT is simple to install and comes with a low profile wire so it is virtually undetectable beneath tile and stone floors.

The LATICRETE Floor HEAT mat is designed for optimal performance when used in conjunction with LATICRETE 254 Platinum, LATICRETE 86 LatiLevel and LATICRETE SpectraLOCK™ PRO Grout.

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Not Your Ordinary Tile Backspash

Here's the message I received today:

"Hi Henry - Well I have installed my glass pieces."

Here's the original conversation:

"I am finally getting around to tiling my kitchen backsplash after a complete kitchen redo last year. I have designed and fused a glass "mural" for over my cooktop. I am still looking to purchase mosaic tiles to fill in the balance (most likely mesh backed - either Vidrepur or Sicis). I have tiled many times before (mostly porcelain) but have never tiled with glass. I understand this is a different animal and am not too concerned about the mosaics but am concerned about the mural.

The mural has approximately 20 pieces, the largest being the center which is about 13" x 13" (four leaf clover shaped piece). The overall design is 32" x 32". Do you think there would be any problem installing this with the same glass adhesives used for 1" mosaic sheets? I had thought that I would apply the adhesive to the wall and back butter the pieces as well.... Appreciate any advice or direction ~ thanks, Jeanne"

Care to see more beautiful work by Jeanne Van Kirk ...? Click here for her website - www.kirksglassart.com

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Way Cool Stone Wall Installation

New World Stoneworks video of stone wall being laid up.

Click Here

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Nice article in October issue of Stone World

There is a nice "Case Study" article in the October issue of Stone World magazine about a beautiful stone lobby in a luxury residential building.

Send me an email with your address - email or postal - if you would like me to send a copy to you.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Words From A Tile Contractor

"Henry, issue is resolved. I think it was me using a new product and not being use to it. Red quarry tile and black grout will make anybody panic. I've been pushing Permacolor for all my jobs . And i've been using alot of Hydroban lately.

So keep making great products and I'll keep using them. And thanks for showing interest, you don't normally get that from big companies."


CERSAIE - The Most Important Tile Exposition Globally

Almost 100,000 people from around the world attended the CERSAIE Ceramic Tile Exposition in Italy two weeks ago


Some Tile Guys Do Well Fishing

"Brother John and I just got back from Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) Mexico. Here are fish we caught on the first day. A 35lb. Black Sea Bass (left) and a 38lb. Pinto Bass (right)."

Bill Moody - Desert Mountain Tile & Marble Inc.
3802 E. LaSalle Street, Suite 2 - Phoenix, AZ 85040
Phone 602-426-9800 Fax 602-426-9804


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DON'T Take My Word For It ... Ask Another Tile Contractor


I was in my local supply house ( Genesse Tile ) this morning picking up some "marble beige" perma colour grout to finish off a stone install we tiled last week and i was talking to one of the guys that work there about how i love the perma-colour and how i wished they carried more than 10 colours and he was saying not many people know about it.

So this evening i get a phone call from another tile contractor asking me what i think about perma-colour and how he is thinking of useing it but is a little nervous cause he does'nt know what to expect, he said he had used Tec XT and didn't really like it ,so i told him i used to use XT but switched to perma-colour because i was tired of shading in the grout. I told him that theres notthing to fear and that its a great grout and the fact that it elimanates the need for sanded/unsanded grout is a huge plus and time saver. My supply house gave him my phone # and told him to call me if he has questions as i use it regularly. And i also told him that Laticretes customer service was second to none which in my opinion is a huge plus.

Yes , he will be trying the grout

Talking up your products is the least i can do."

Stephen Maloney - Maloney Tile and Marble
734 513-5041 office
734 513-5150 fax
734 578-6999 mobile

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Monday, October 12, 2009

I often offer to put "My Money Where My Mouth Is" and provide samples of Laticrete products

So here's what one contractor had to say .....

"Well Henry, I'll take you up on your offer to try some Sure Set. I'm never one to pass up a chance to try a new Laticrete product.

By the way, I've used that epoxy sample you sent me with great success. Have done soap dishes, a few corner shelves, and some slate trim and a loose cap on a hardscape and it worked like a champ."

Brannigan Heenan - Heenan General Contracting
Licensed General Building and C-54 Tile Contractor
CA License# 904406 - (949) 584-4112

Is there a Laticrete product that YOU would like to try ...? Send me an email. Call me.

(203) 988-1814


Email From My College Roomate

I was working at a habitat for humanity site yesterday and got a kick out of seeing a sack of Laticrete thinset where the entry will get tiled soon.

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Laying Up A Stone Wall Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

We get some pretty interesting visitors with some pretty interesting technologies here at Laticrete.

New World Stoneworks. More info here

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Yes, We're listed: http://www.greenformat.com/search/laticrete

We are listed in the CSI Green Format Database …!

This is a database to help Architects / Specifiers find green products by CSI category. The program was launched at the 2008 Greenbuild, and is heavily marketed by CSI to the spec writers.

Many specifiers have good awareness of this valuable tool and are impressed that we have our products in there for project selection.


The information required to enter a product into this GreenFormat database is very extensive.

The information is loaded in a 3 part spec format and follows the sequencing that a spec writer would need to access the information to incorporate our products into a full set of LEED specifications.

The data required to be in this database is for more extensive than the normal LEED information. Items such as Toxicity, Life Cycle Analysis, Sustainable Manufacturing Process and Environmental Product Declarations or EPD are required.

CSI’s goal is to make the database a single source of information for green product data - applicable for all of the green certification programs, not just LEED.

As we make presentations to Owners, Architects, Designers & Specifiers we need to be sure to mention that Laticrete is in the GreenFormat database.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Directly From A Tile Contractor

"You can't charge enough for the lasting benefits Laticrete Spectralock will bring to your customers.

Sell it right and you can make good money just on the epoxy installation alone. It doesn't take any longer than sanded grout and you don't ever have to worry about color retention. I prefer Laticrete Spectralock of any other epoxy or sanded grout/sealer combination."

Kevin Tindall
Marietta, Ohio

I couldn't have said it better


A Great use of SpectraLOCK Dazzle Grout

The Mosaic Maker - Victor Jorgensen

Visit his website - click here

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Large Ceramic Panels

High end Houston Condominium building. The parking garage is clad with an Italian Porcelain that is 1/8" thick.

The large ceramic panel size starts at 5'x9' which was not conductive for hanging on the outside of the building in the wind. The pieces were cut down to a nominal 3'x 5' and other sizes to fit needed dimensions.

Installation system is Laticrete 220 as a leveling coat, Laticrete HydroBan as waterproofing & crack suppression over all exterior areas that are clad, Laticrete 254 as the thinset adhesive mortar bond coat for the Porcelain ceramic tile panels.


OK, So Tell me ... What Do YOU Want ...?

From a Tile Contractor:

Which reminds me to ask you about a .... fast-setting or full-hydrating medium-bed mortar that I can use for large format tile (especially big stone tile) over waterproof surfaces.

Examples are products from Brand C and Brand M. These use up most all of the water in the hydration process, leaving a dry, mostly-cured center overnight; even when they're trapped between a huge tile and a waterproof backing.

Most modified mortars cure too slowly here, and with stone, the trapped moisture darkens many stones for an extended time period. Epoxy is great, but at 1/4" max trowel notch, it's only good for smaller tile over perfectly flat mud (where a regular mortar would do fine anyway).

My dream mortar (which no one has) would be a true cementitious mortar, medium bed, approved for moisture sensitive stone. While I'm wishing, it would of course be a no-sag... oh, and light weight... and dirt cheap too.

A Brand M product probably comes the closest when they talk about full hydration and say it will not contribute to effloressence.

OK, so tell me ... what is it that you think the industry needs ...? We like to hear your comments & feedback. Send me an email (hbrothberg@laticrete.com) or call me. (203) 393-4620 office or (203) 988-1814 cell.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Famous Tileman Writes Articles

Watch for the next issue of Fine Homebuilding
magazine to see an interesting article by the world famous author and tileman Tom Meehan of Cape Cod Tileworks.

The title of the article is Fearless Approach to Epoxy Grout. In the article you’ll read about, and in the pictures you will see that the author is grouting left handed and has a splint on his right hand. This pretty much tells the readers that almost anyone can use an epoxy grout for “Stainless Grout Results & Performance!”

The pictures are great and the text is informative and extremely user friendly. Because of the importance of this subject and the expected interest to the magazine’s readers the article is a full 3 pages in length.

Buy Tom's book online at his website here.


Self-Leveling for Norway’s Oslo Opera House

Designed by Norwegian architectural firm Snohetta and built by government-run property owner Statsbygg, the Oslo Opera House serves as the seat of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the country’s largest music and theatrical institution. Read more here.

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More Thin Brick Veneer Work

A beautiful Thin Brick Veneer project at USC. Want more info ...? Contact Andrew Games of Premier Tile & Marble in California Cell: (310) 930-8416

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Another Mosaic Work of Art

Nebula Aqua is a mosaic installation for a private home. It is a series of six 'Nebula,' integrating semi-precious stones, mineral specimens, tiles, smalti and more. The mosaics are created on mesh and installed, ungrouted, moving around a curved stucco wall and floating downstairs.

These are an interpretation of mosaic artist Sonia King's fine art mosaics into a larger, site-specific setting. The first five nebula are finished and installed. More Info here.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Yes, It Is Installed With Laticrete ...!

Nebula Chroma has received another honor. It's been selected for RavennaMosaico, the First International Festival of Contemporary Mosaic in Ravenna, Italy. The festival runs from October 10 to November 20.
Sonia King the mosaic artist creator of Nebula will be at the Festival for the opening weekend.

Nebula Chroma is her newest wall at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Click here.

LUXE magazine featured Sonia King as a 'Style Maker' in a two page spread in their summer issue. See it here.

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Interesting Visitors at Laticrete Today

"When you walk onto a jobsite using New World Stoneworks you won’t see piles of rubble, heaps of scrap, clouds of dust from noisy diamond blades or many of the other things you would normally expect to see with natural stone construction. What you will see is exceptional stonework taking shape faster than you ever thought possible and exactly to the complete design plan that you proofed before the first stone was even set in place."

More Info Here

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More Wow .....!

"The finished project in high resolution.

The artwork is titled "Confluencia". Artists are Hank Saxe & Cynthia Patterson. The work was commissioned by the City of El Paso, Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, Public Art Program for the Sun Metro Downtown Transfer Terminal.

Cynthia & Hank"

Click on the photo above to see a high resolution image


A smile on my face this afternoon

I received an email from a tile contractor:

"Mr Rothberg

Good Morning! Ed Strickland here and I wanted to thank you for the help I received from Laticrete with the Transformation Life Center in New York.

Ed (Metcalf) did not hesitate to contribute not only materials but sending Gary Martin to help. It has been a privilege serving with Ed on the NTCA board, He is a first class guy.

Gary is a great representative for Laticrete and is always there to help with any question or concern I have.

Thanks for sending news letter, thanks for your care and involvement in the lives of folks in our industry and most of all great products that make me a better tile contractor.

Thank you again,

Ed Strickland
Tile Crafters Inc

PS I was honored with The Best Practices Award For Community Service 2009 by the NTCA in San Antonio for the New York Project. That would not have been possible without the generosity of fine people like the folks at Laticrete."


Some Creative Multi-Media Stuff

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) brings us TILE-TV!

TILE-TV is a monthly Internet broadcast news program for those in the tile industry; it provides uplifting and informative coverage of the industry with a focus on topical events, late-breaking stories, association news and benefits.

TILE-TV features prominent tile business owners, manufacturers, and contractors as well as reviews on new products and services within the tile industry.

The inaugural broadcast features an interesting tile project installed by Ed Strickland and his crew at Tile Crafters with Laticrete materials. More info on Tile Crafters here.


Some People Have Very Interesting Hobbies

I spent some time over dinner the other night chatting with one of the key people at Laticrete Italy. His hobby is Team Penning.

In Team Penning the idea is to take three cows, separate them from the rest of a herd and move them into a pen at the other end of an arena.

Click here to read more.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thin Brick and Thin Stone Veneers

The subject of the installation of Thin Brick and Thin Stone on exterior and interior walls is becoming a rather popular subject for discussion.

At Laticrete we are getting a lot of inquires about this type of work.

We've recently produced a brochure showing simple, straightforward installation techniques for thin brick, natural & manufactured stone. ( Yes, with Laticrete products!)

If you would like a copy of this brochure, let me know ... I can mail or email a copy to you.

Read an article about a recent project here

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Another Nice Project

"My bomb shelter-3.4 lath, scratch,brown, Hydroban, 254, Spectralock/Latisil. First mud job in a few years, struggled with the window jambs. Other than that it all came right back. Without a helper doing mud just sucks."

More Photos here

Matt Madrona - Madrona Tile - Seattle, Washington - (206) 225-6270