October 2019

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OCTOBER 2019 | 33 Tiles "We were looking for a convenient, state-of-the-art tool for our customers and installers that was accessible anytime and anywhere," says Marco Ludwig, CEO of Schluter North America. Working from the app, a smartphone can be used to scan and measure a room during the planning phase of the project. The data collected can be used to configure and customize the layout and build a personalized project plan. The results can then be shared electronically with a client or coworker. This layout information can improve client communications by providing a clear visual guide from the beginning to the end of any project. Products can be configured right down to the size, colour, format, and quantity and can also be priced immediately. Product selections will also prompt video recommendations so installers can get installation guidance wherever and whenever they need it. For floor warming projects the built-in Ditra-Heat Estimator will help with product selection, and then provide an estimate for the materials required. The app also provides easy access to the network of authorized Schluter dealers across North America. Users can search by location and generate a list of nearby dealers. After selecting a dealer, the app will provide directions to the location making it even easier to get materials to the job site. I N A B I N D Over at Mapei, the company has intro- duced the Keraflex family of mortars that have been designed for use with large and heavy tiles. These four new polymer- modified mortars share the innovative trait of high material transfer onto the backs of tiles, while retaining impressive non-sag/non-slump properties. "All of the new Keraflex mortars feature Mapei's High-Transfer Technology, which provides excellent adhesion to the substrate," explains Brian Pistulka, busi- ness development manager for Mapei. "The improved adhesive properties yielded from the high transfer rate makes these mortars especially advantageous for use with large and heavy tiles. They are also ideal for edge-levelling clip applications." Easy to mix, the Keraflex mortars blend quickly to a lump-free consistency. The extra smooth mortars are also easy to trowel, requiring less effort and thus cutting application times. For interior and exterior applications, the family of mortars is water- and frost-resistant, with Keraflex Super being highly resistant to freeze/ thaw conditions. The Keraflex mortars can be applied over plywood as well as over uncoupling, crack-isolation, sound-reduction, and waterproofing membranes. Included in the Mapei's Keraflex mortars are Keraflex Super, Keraflex Plus, Keraflex RS, and Keraflex SG. L O O K I N G A H E A D When it comes to the future of the tile sector, the Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) continues with its mandate to educate its members. "We are in the final stretch of releasing our 15 module online training program," says Brent Fisher, president elect, 2019. "Education for our trade seems to have been forgotten by traditional providers. Government agencies are dropping apprenticeship programs across the country due to lack of interest from Canadian youth and it is our responsibility to pick up the ball and run with the future of our trade." He adds that the next step in the development of the training program will be to roll out a hands-on component to complement the online basics. "We are pres- ently in discussions with sister organizations in the U.S. to help us understand how this can be offered," explains Fisher. "The program is intended to be very affordable for TTMAC members and we encourage enrolling employees even now as nine modules are presently available online." In addition to training initiatives, TTMAC has produced numerous versions of the 09 30 00 Manual. "We have a newly developed Installer's Handbook available and are working on ways to create awareness about the value it can bring to TTMAC members. Stay tuned for our new Fabrication Manual to be released in 2020." A Keraflex mortar from Mapei Inc.

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