The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) will host its second-ever Mortar Beds for Floors and Walls program on November 16 at Floor & Decor in Downey, California.

This program is open to NTCA members and other professional tile contractors and installers, with a class size capped at 16. Led by highly-qualified and experienced NTCA trainers and supported by a team of tile industry experts and partners, instruction will be given in both classroom and hands-on environments to address real-world tile system installation challenges. Attendees will learn how to use and apply ANSI A108 installation standards and TCNA Handbook methods. 

The primary learning objective of this free class is to become familiar with the flexibility of dry-pack mortar beds to resolve a wide range of installation challenges and to achieve tile industry standard substrate requirements. Focus will be on thick-bed installations for walls, using different screed types along with scratch and brown and one-coat methods for wall installations. 

Areas to be covered include:

  • ANSI standards and how to apply them
  • Different substrates and standards that apply to them
  • Analysis of wall and floor substrates for flatness
  • Substrate preparation requirements for floors and walls
  • Components, recipes, ratios for site mixed dry-pack mortar mixes
  • Types and uses of pre-mixed / bagged dry-pack mortar mixes
  • Bonded and un-bonded thick-bed systems
  • Movement joints in a thick-bed system
  • Reinforcing materials in a thick-bed system
  • Tools used to construct thick-bed installations
  • Screed methods and techniques

This program will emphasize:

  • Industry standards and methods
  • Use of manufacturer instructions
  • Substrate installation, analysis and preparation
  • Selection and installation of thick-bed mortars
  • Selection and use of tools including specialty tools
  • Efficient work flow and teamwork
  • Job site safety and health practices

“We provide training on several areas of thick-bed training in a number of our traveling NTCA Workshop and Regional Training programs, and have decided to develop a full-day Regional Training Program focused only on thick-bed/mortar-bed installations,” said Mark Heinlein, NTCA training director. “Attendees will receive direct instruction from highly-experienced NTCA Trainers who are seasoned experts with mud (thick-bed) and tile industry standards. 

“This is an important class for every tile installer - it will provide instruction on skills that bridge the gap between a variety of installation materials and methods or can be used in standalone thick-bed/mortar-bed/mud installations,” Heinlein added. “We are really looking forward to working with installers to help them build skill sets that will make them better at their tradecraft. Attendees are certain to take away new knowledge and skills that will help them on their next job.”

Attendees should arrive by 7:30 a.m. in work clothes, with their own kneepads for a short classroom-type presentation followed by a full day of hands-on, attendee-involved instruction that will wrap up by 4:45 p.m. Attendees will receive new skills they can apply to many types of tile installations and a deeper understanding of time proven methods, materials, tools, and techniques. 

To register for the free program in Downey, Calif., contact Jay Williamson at or 562-299-7320. For more information or to join the waitlist for future Mortar-Bed/Mud Regional Trainings, visit at the NTCA Events Calendar website.