Coverings, taking place April 14 to 17 in Orlando, Fla., will offer more than 75 free sessions, many of which will focus on topics of interest to tile and stone installers, beginning Monday, April 13.

Conference topics relevant to the contractor and installer segment will include an industry update on the latest tile standards and specification issues; best practices for working with other building professionals and consumers; guidance on working with specific materials, such as wood construction and thinset tiles and a review of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Reference Manual.

Sessions will include:

•Questionable Substrates? Jobs I Would Not Do Unless the Situation Changed. NTCA Five Star Contractor and recognized industry consultant, Frank Canto will discuss jobsite conditions, suitable substrates, questionable substrates in which significant preparation needs to be considered, and projects that should not be accepted in their current condition. Monday, April 13, 1 to 2 p.m.

•Stone & Tile Care Strategies—Issues & Opportunities. Custom Building Products’ Rod Sigman will address the issues that come with incorporating sealers and cleaners into normal installation methods. Tuesday, April 14, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

•Residential Estimating and Sales Strategies. Buck and Dana Collins from Collins Tile and Stone will share their unique approach to working with building professionals and consumers. Tuesday, April 14, 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

•Panel Discussion: The Tile Contractor/Tile Distributor Relationship—Challenges and Solutions. Led by Bart Bettiga, NTCA's executive director, this forum will highlight how important the independent distributor and contractor relationship is to the success of tile and stone projects. Tuesday, April 14, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

•Installations Over Wood Substrates. Tom Plaskota, TEC/H.B. Fuller Construction Products, will share guidelines to help choose the proper system and appropriate products to ensure successful installations for wood frame construction. Wednesday, April 15, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

•Selecting the Appropriate Thinset for Tile or Stone Installation. This session, hosted by William White of Custom Building Products, will identify the different types of cement and epoxy mortars for ceramic and natural stone installation. Thursday, April 16, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

•Contractor Roundtable Discussions. As part of the annual Contractor Days at Coverings, NTCA professionals will lead roundtable discussions on membranes, backerboards, thinset tiles and grouts and more. Wednesday, April 15 and Thursday, April 16, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

•Managing a Project with Owner Supplied Materials. Tommy Conner of Superior Tile and Stone will discuss how tile contractors can navigate the challenges of projects. Thursday, April 16, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

•Installation Design Showcase Deconstructed. The designers and NTCA Five Star Contractors of the Installation Design Showcase will present on the planning and on-site work dedicated toward bringing their vignettes to life in five days. Thursday, April 16, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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