The Tile Association held its AGM in April, and formally welcomed two new directors to the board. They are Rebecca Talbot and Tim Tatlock. Rebecca is Marketing Manager at Instarmac, in which role she has headed up the company’s marketing team for the past four years. She also chairs The Tile Association’s Marketing Committee, the Awards Working Group, and the Website Working Group.
Tim is Group Buying Director at Topps Tiles. He has over 20 years’ tile industry experience and, prior to joining Topps, held senior leadership positions with UK tile distributors and multinational tile manufacturers. He takes the place of Brian Linnington, who is standing down from the TTA board. The TTA directors would like to thank Brian for his time on the board.
Why distributors and retailers should recommend a TTA fixer
Tile distributors and retailers could find themselves coming unstuck over any tile fixer recommendations that they pass on to their customers. This is because one of the requirements incorporated into the latest revision of the main British Standard on tiling (BS 5385 Part 1: 2018) includes a clause relating to workmanship (Clause 7.1.3). For the first time the Standard now recognises that the installation of ceramic or natural stone tiling should be carried out with ‘efficient supervision and the employment of properly trained operatives, skilled to an appropriate level of competence, certified by a recognised authoritative body, eg. The Tile Association.’
This is a change that TTA has been lobbying for and is highly significant for the whole industry. TTA believes it is a change which will help drive quality through the industry and protect TTA member fixers who are carrying out high quality work for their customers.
The new wording of the Standard does, however, increase the possibility of liability issues for tile retailers and distributors if they, even unwittingly, promote or recommend a tile fixer who is not competence certified or a TTA member, in the event that any poor workmanship problems arise on a job that has been carried out by somebody they have recommended who was not appropriately certified.
TTA, therefore, recommends that all those involved in the direct sale of tiles, adhesives, grouts, etc., to the end-user rather than to the tile installer, should make themselves aware of who are their local TTA-registered fixers, and be sure to only promote these fixers.
Information on TTA-registered fixers in all parts of the UK is available on TTA’s website. Additionally retailers should also provide details of several appropriately competence-certified tiling contractors, not just one, and should encourage consumers to seek multiple quotes, again from competence-certified installers. Any information provided to customers should include appropriate disclaimers.
‘The emphasis on fixer skill levels enshrined in the Standard fits with Government initiatives to qualify the workforce,’ says Brian Newell, Chairman of TTA’s Technical Committee. ‘The fact that TTA has been explicitly mentioned in the Standard is a recognition of the work that TTA has been doing to drive up quality in the industry and to ensure that quality levels are adequately policed. The formalisation of a commitment to quality is a very important development which will enhance customer confidence in the sector.’
It is worth noting that ceramic and natural stone tiling is the first sector of the construction industry in which a recommendation regarding competence-certified workmanship has been incorporated into the relevant British Standard. This reflects the persistent lobbying on this subject carried out by TTA in recent years.
TTA Awards night proves a great success
At the annual TTA Awards the tiling industry rolled out the red carpet in style to recognise and celebrate the top achievers in our sector, making this year’s Awards night one of the most memorable ever.
Kyran Bracken MBE was host for the first time. His hilarious stories from an illustrious career in international rugby (and Dancing on Ice) kept everyone entertained. He also did a great job, leading the presentations with pace, humour, and professionalism.
The spotlight, however, was firmly on the Award winners and TTA would once again like to congratulate all the winners and finalists, who are a credit to our industry. The winners in all categories were fully reported in the April issue of TSJ and also in Tilezine, TTA’s online newsletter.
TTA wishes to express its thanks once again to our record number of Gold sponsors, who made the event possible: Banks & Lloyd, Jackoboard, Mapei, Norcros Adhesives, Shackerley (Holdings) Group, Tilemaster Adhesives, Topps Tiles, Trimline Group, UltraTileFix, Walls and Floors, and Warmup.
It was also a highly successful night for the TTA’s nominated charity Children Today. The fundraising draw raised a very impressive total of £2,800.
Elizabeth Oakes, regional fundraiser for the charity, says: ‘This is a fabulous amount of money and will enable Children Today to help another three families living with disability.’
The Tiling Show declared a great success in its second year
The TTA-organised Tiling Show has firmly established itself as a must-attend event for our industry. Taking place on Friday 12th April at The Hilton Birmingham Metropole, The Tiling Show attracted 32 exhibitors, growing strongly for its second year, and proved to be an essential day out for fixers, retailers, and others from the tiling sector.
IntCeram were the main sponsor and also an exhibitor. They were joined by exhibitors from virtually every sector of the industry: tile manufacturers, distributors, agents, as well as manufacturers of tools, adhesives, and chemicals.
As well as visiting the stands at the Show, visitors had the opportunity to attend a programme of product demonstrations and seminars which were held during the day.
Demos and seminars were presented by: Mapei, Warmup, UltraTileFix, Jackoboard, Shackerley, and TTA.
Feedback from those attending and visiting the Show was overwhelmingly positive.
According to Mandy Searle, Head of Technical Services at Norcros Adhesives: ‘The Show had a real buzz about it this year and it was definitely worth being there, with a good footfall, good networking opportunities, and some important customers calling in on the stand. We ran a competition during the day, which also generated a lot of interest.’
Becky Firth, Marketing Director at House of Mosaics, said: “This was our first year exhibiting at The Tiling Show. We found it to be a great way of talking to fixers directly, meeting independent retailers, as well as making new industry contacts, and, of course, seeing many familiar faces! It was also a good opportunity for us to showcase our new award-winning display stand, which received a lot of interest at the show!’
As George Steele, Head of Warmup Pro, said: ‘The show was a great opportunity for Warmup to engage with new leads and introduce our new initiative - Warmup Pro - to key professionals within the industry.’
Martin Mallon of Armatile said: ‘We had a good visit to the Show and it was really good to catch up with everyone again.’
David Lyman, Sales and Marketing Director at BAL, said: ‘The Tiling Show was a fantastic event which showcased the best that the tiling industry has to offer. We were delighted to be able to attend and exhibit our latest products and innovations as well as seeing many faces; old and new.’
Meanwhile, Mark Watson of STS said: ‘We’re new to the TTA, so it was really useful for us. It allowed us to understand the vibe of the industry. The energy was really on show, so you could see that the tiling industry is alive and well.’
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