Tile Edge Protection – Is It Important?

What is Tile Edge Protection?

Tile Edge Protection is products that cover unfinished edges of tile that may become damaged or cause a tripping hazard. Some examples of edge protection would be bullnose tile, “L”channels or jollys, liner bars, chair rails, etc. Edge profiles do the following:

  • Protect tile edges from chipping.
  • Provide easy transitions between adjacent floor and wall surfaces.
  • Deliver a design element that is often ignored.

Is Tile Edge Protection Important?

If you want your tile design to look flawless for many years, then you will want to protect the edges of your tile. Once chipped or cracked, tile flaws tend to stand out. Having tile edge protection will protect the tiles from damage and create a finished, clean look.

A knowledgeable installer, salesperson, or designer should discuss tile edge protection before installation begins. Many tile collections do not have matching trim or edge pieces, so you will want to find an alternative before installation.

Where Do I Need Tile Edge Protection?

Common areas that will need tile edge protection are:

  • Floor transitions from tile to carpet or tile to hardwood.
  • Shower jambs or shower walls where the tile ends.
  • Edges around a recess or niche.
  • Unfinished edges of a backsplash.
  • Wherever you will see an unfinished tile edge (walls, trim, decoration, etc).

Excerpts taken from TileLetter December 2017

National Tile Contractors Association’s 70th Anniversary

NTCA Turns 70!

The National Tile Contractors Association is celebrating its 70th anniversary in September 2017. The NTCA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the professional installation of ceramic tile and natural stone. It is widely recognized as the largest and most respected tile contractors association in the world. The NTCA provides industry support through trade education and training, as well as, service to members with technical assistance and advice.

Memorable Moments Throughout the Years

1950s- The Southern Tile Contractors Association was established and the first director, Homer Panter, was hired. Annual conventions and local zone meetings were held focusing on member growth.

1960s- The association newsletter began (today known as TileLetter magazine), leadership changed, growth continued, and the annual conventions become the industry’s only exposition of tile and stone

1970s- Joe Tarver became the executive director and education became the one of the association’s main components.

1980s- In 1985, the association changed its name to the Association of Tile, Terrazzo, Marble Contractors and Affiliates to make a clear statement that it was a national association, and actually made that official with the National Tile Contractors Association name being approved in 1988. The NTCA Workshop, a traveling educational road show and the NTCA Reference Manual were developed. In 1987, NTCA, along with the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and the Tile Council of America formed the Tile Expo show, which is now known as Coverings.

1990s- The NTCA was able to grow its influence with support from volunteer leaders and the name of the Tile and Stone Exposition was officially changed to Coverings.

2000s- Bart Bettiga became the NTCA executive director and  additional staff in education, training, and association management were hired. Association volunteer leaders helped the NTCA to grow from 400 members to 1,000 members by the end of the decade. Credentialing and certification became a driving force at the end of the decade. Programs like the Certified Tile Installer program were implemented.

2010s- Since 2010 the Association has experience significant member growth expecting to pass 1,400 members at the end of 2017. Also, the NTCA added annual TRENDS and TECH issues to its 13 annual issues of TileLetter. More programs were developed, such as, The State Ambassador network, The Five Star Program, Apprenticeship Program, and more.

2017- The NTCA celebrates the past 70 years as the leading tile industry association.

Information provided by TileLetter September 2017 issue and the NTCA website www.tile-assn.com.

Glass Tile Quick Guide

Glass Tile Selection and Installation Guide – TCNA 2016 Handbook


The recommended substrates for glass tile installations are similar to ceramic tile installations, however, extra attention should be given to substrate stability, rigidity, and preparation. Substrates should be sufficiently flat to allow uniform coverage and avoid excessive mortar thickness. Glass tile is generally more vulnerable to crack propagation than ceramic tile. The glass manufacturer may recommend use of a crack isolation membrane for large format glass tiles.

Setting Materials

Mortars specifically formulated for glass tile must be used. When installed over an impervious substrate, setting materials may take longer to cure. Some manufacturers may require use of a specific mortar.


Grout recommendations for glass tile vary based on aesthetics and joint size. Most manufacturers recommend unsanded grout to prevent scratching. Because glass tile is impervious, additional setting time may be necessary to allow the grout to firm prior to cleaning.


Make sure to check your TCNA Handbook or ANSI standards when installing glass tile.


Color Trends for 2017

TCNA Color Trends 2017

According to Shelly Halbert, director of of Product Design Dal-Tile Corporation, the following are some of the color trends we can expect for 2017:
  • White – evokes a sense of crisp and clean, all white kitchens and bathrooms are still in style.
  • Black- classic pairing with white, staple of both modern and classic combinations- expect black and white marbles used in checkerboard patterns.
  • Greige- grays have reigned for more than five years and warmed-up grays will remain an important neutral.
  • Blue- came strongly into the tile market at Coverings 2016
  • Sensitive Blue- calming, soft blue, balanced, comfortable and casual like an old pair of faded jeans.
  • Relaxing Cloud- this color trend is restful and calming, with cool, minimalistic influences that are derived from nature. Found in Scandinavian design.
  • Metallic Taupe- medium brown undertones, taupe inspired metallic that is bold, rich, warm. Growing out of the popularity of rose gold.
  • Pottery- mid-range red-browns that bring warmth of nature and earth. Creates cozy, comfortables atmospheres and rooms.
  • Vintage Reserve- like deep red wine, this color is rich, bold, and pleasing to the palate, incorporating red/blue/brown hues.
  • Organic Olive- a color that evokes a hope for the future, green is growth. Balance between light and dark hues.
  • Victorian Plum- dark, strong, solid, a rich hue of velvet and pairs well with lace.
TCNA Trends Magazine 2017

Care and Maintenance of Cement Tiles

Cement tiles have become quite popular in the tile industry and customers are asking about the upkeep of cement tiles. Here is some important information from Sabine Hill — one of our main cement tile manufacturers:


Cement tile surfaces should be cleaned, free of grease, oil, dirt, wax or any other foreign matter including grout release material. Next, apply a high quality penetrating sealer for cement and concrete tiles and carefully follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions. Sealing the cement tiles will insure the color and design will remain unstained and vibrant.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Do NOT use any acids or alkalines to clean tiles. Use a PH neutral cleaner and fine sandpaper to remove any stains or residues. Do not allow water or other liquids to spot, pond, or ring on the surface of the tiles. Regularly mop cement tiles with clean water. To improve the tiles natural sheen, a cap-full of liquid wax can be added to the water. Never use acids to clean the tiles because they will damage it.

Other Considerations

Cement tiles are manufactured using natural materials, so it possible that there could be color differences between the original order and tiles ordered at a later date. Carefully calculate how many pieces you will need and then order a few extra pieces.


Keep these guidelines in mind when planning to use cement tile in your home.

Current Trends

March 2017- Current Trends

Excerpts from TILE Magazine March/April 2017 Issue

While larger format tiles are seemingly taking over the tile market, manufacturers also expressed the trending looks, which just keep evolving over time, are popular. Wood and stone looks being the most popular trends. “The current neutrals [when it comes to colors] right now are grays and the whites. Beige is kind of coming back again as well.” Micah Hand- Brand marketing manager at Marazzi USA.

Senior brand marketing manager at Daltile Kim Albrecht is seeing more visual interest in textures and believes fabric-inspired looks are the next biggest trend. “Wood-look tile is not new; what’s new is that it is continuing to rise in sales and consumers are demanding more choices,” she said. “In regard to color, gray is the new neutral. The gray is changing; it’s getting a little bit warmer. It’s not that cold, concrete block gray. Beige is also around, but it’s not as yellow as it used to be.”

Be on the look out for these trends and more in the tile industry!

Coverings 2017

Excerpts from TILE Magazine March/April 2017 Issue

Coverings is the annual international trade fair and expo dedicated to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. This year it was held in Orlando, Florida. Coverings will be filled with seemingly endless rows of exhibits, displaying the newest in aesthetics and technology in both the stone and tile industries.

Installation Design Showcase

In a collaborative effort between leading designers and contractors, “tiny” houses will be built on the show floor. The live-action demonstration and exhibit will feature three tiny homes being installed with tile over the course of the show by master installers. These homes will incorporate material from industry-leading tile and stone manufacturers. “The Installation Design Showcase is continually praised by show attendees for exemplifying design trends and the importance of proper installation techniques,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ Industry Ambassador. Materials sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, Crossville, Florim USA, Ardex, Laticrete, and Mapei will be used for the project.

Educational Opportunities

Complementing the exhibition floor will be an extensive education program, including 70+ seminars on a diverse range of topics to meet everyone’s interests and area of expertise. Coverings will provide cutting-edge sessions which are free of charge to both attendees and exhibitors.

Popular Trends at the Beginning of a New Year

2017 Tile Trends

Natural materials are the main inspiration for tile patterns and designs for 2017. Tile trends including wood, stone, and cement tiles are only becoming more realistic and textured with time. Also, decorations, graphics, and textures are in high demand. A trend we are noticing is the textile look- patterns that look like linens, fabrics, carpets- something you could just reach out and touch. Metallic looks are also gaining popularity. Shown below is a new collection from AKDO called Textile Glass. Golds, silvers, and dark gray metallic colors make up this stand out collection.

akdo-twill-gold-silk akdo-3

Care & Maintenance Questions and Answers (NTCA Reference Manual 2016/2017)

Wondering how to care and maintain your tile, grout, or natural stone? Check these quick tips!

Q: Is vinegar a good cleaner for my tile or stone installation?

A: Vinegar is a mild acid. Acids do not degrease and primarily work by attacking the minerals in the grout and many stones thereby creating damage overtime. Vinegar can also compromise the sealer in the tile, stone, or grout. A neutral pH or specialty tile or stone cleaner should be used.

Q: Can I clean my tile or stone with lemon oil to bring it back to life?

A: Lemon oil or cleaners containing oil will darken and appear to rejuvenate the appearance of tile or stone. However this effect is temporary and often they leave behind residues that remain tacky and serve as a dirt and dust collector. A neutral pH or specialty tile or stone cleaner is recommended for routine cleaning. For certain tiles or stones, a color enhancing sealer can be used to darken and highlight the character.

Q: Does grout really need to be sealed?

A: All cementitious grout, unless otherwise stated in the technical data sheet, is porous and subject to staining if not properly sealed. Sealing also reduces the ongoing maintenance requirements and helps preserve the original look.

For more cleaning and maintenance questions feel free to contact TileCraft, Inc. We usually keep stock of sealers, cleaners, and enhancers that are specifically made to work with tile and stone products. All natural stone products need to be sealed to keep the integrity of the product. Poor cleaning and upkeep can ruin a beautiful tile installation!

Crossville, Inc. Celebrates 30th Anniversary this year!

Crossville, Inc. was the first American-based tile manufacturer to produce tile in Crossville, Tennessee beginning in 1986. The company has had many firsts which include: first to produce large format tile onsite, manufacture tile with recycled content, develop the ability to recycle fired porcelain, achieve certification of its waste recycling program and the TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all U.S. produced tile collections, and much more.

Crossville, Inc provides many different porcelain and ceramic tiles that vary in style and color. You can find many of their looks on their website: www.crossvilleinc.com.

Fun fact: They have used recycled porcelain toilets in their tile production!

To read the full article about Crossville, Inc. view Tile Magazine September/October 2016 titled “Three decades of hard work and dedication” by Heather Fiore.