Coverings 2014 offers a wide-ranging conference program comprising more than 80 free sessions, many aimed specifically at tile and stone installers. Coverings returns to Las Vegas for its 25th Anniversary, April 29 to May 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the education program beginning April 28, adding a fifth day of conference programming.
In addition to the more than 900 exhibitors, installers often cite the free conference sessions, which are categorized by professional experience ranging from novice to corporate leader, as a primary reason for attending the tile + stone super show. Coverings is an AIA/CES Provider, an NKBA CEU Provider Partner and is IDCEC approved. For the complete list of IDCEC and AIA approved sessions, please visit coverings.com/education.
In addition to the keynote and featured speakers previously announced, other conference topics of particular interest to installers include best practices for the installation, maintenance and restoration of tile and stone; collaborative sessions on the challenges faced daily in the field; the critical importance of industry standards; and best methods for bringing one’s business to a new level of success, including thoughtful budgeting and strategizing, and the incorporation of modern technology in the field.
Here are the details of some of these sessions:
Sealing Tile, Grout, and Natural Stone: True or False? Monday, April 28, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Joe Salvo, of Miracle Sealants and Abrasives, will explore the myths about sealers and impregnators, and their use in the tile and stone industry. This session will educate attendees on how to separate fact from fiction, and how to use these products effectively.
NTCA Presents Live Hands-On Demonstrations to Today’s Installation Challenges Monday, April 28, 2:15–4:15 p.m.
NTCA presenters Gerald Sloan and Michael Whistler bring the NTCA Tile & Stone Workshop to Coverings. Large-format and thin tile installations are highlighted, along with helpful tips to prepare for and pass CTI and ACT Certification. Other topics covered include the TCNA Handbook, showers, membranes and more.
Barrier Free Shower Installation Tuesday, April 29, 1:45–2:45 p.m.
Art Mintie focuses on the design and installation of barrier free tiled shower systems. It provides an overview of the attributes of barrier free shower installations, including a review of applicable industry standards that govern tiled shower installation systems. It also discusses the various types of waterproofing membranes and drains that are used for these applications. Best practices, installation methodology and various installation tips and techniques are also discussed.
Budgeting for Tile Contractors 101: Forecasting and Budgeting for Success Tuesday, April 29, 1:45–2:45 p.m.
Many tile contractors don't budget or feel what they do is correct, and this seminar, presented by Bod Woodward, will focus on important components of a tile contractor's budget and offer solid guidelines for all levels. Key factors in budgeting, such as billing, estimating, project management, warehouse and equipment needs, vehicle costs, fixed costs, safety, and more will be addressed.
Large Porcelain Panel Installations for Floors and Walls Wednesday, April 30, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
Tom Plaskota advises large porcelain panels provide an innovative option for finished surfaces. At thicknesses and sizes not normally found in traditional tile formats, they are a lightweight alternative to traditional ceramic and natural stone tile and offer many distinctive design opportunities. However, the same size and thickness characteristics that make them aesthetically pleasing also present unique installation challenges. Learn about these unique challenges, review proper installation methods (floor and wall installations) and help solve the mystery of these panels to ensure a successful and long-lasting installation.
Rules of the Game: How Contractors Can use ANSI, TCNA Handbook and NTCA Reference Manual to Improve Their Business and Their Profit Thursday, May 1, 8:00–9:00 a.m.
Installation standards drive the tile and stone trade, and these standards can be a contractor’s best friend or worst enemy. Leaders of the NTCA - Chris Walker, James Woelfel and Nyle Radford - sit on the voting committees of these important standards and in this session will discuss the relevance and importance of standards, and how contractors can use the knowledge of critical standards to become better contractors and improve their business.
The New ACT Certification: Grouting Techniques – Cement, Epoxy and More Thursday, May 1, 9:15–10:15 a.m.
The Advanced Certifications for Tile (ACT) Installers Program is now in full swing. As the program continues to develop, more certifications will be offered. The new Grouting Techniques certification developed by the ACT Taskforce is explained.
Understanding Thin Tile Installations. Neil McMurdie Thursday, May 1, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Neil McMurdie explores the special application challenges to producing sound, durable installations with tiles of reduced thickness and lighter weight. Learn the results of a two-year study to determine the best process and technology for installing large-format thin tile.
Utilizing Technology in the Field to Improve Performance for Contractors Thursday, May 1, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
The tile trade continues to evolve, and technology is taking an increasingly bigger role in its development. Martin Howard, of the David Allen Company, will investigate how popular devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and cameras, can help one’s business in the field.