More than four years of cross-disciplinary industry collaboration and 4,000-plus hours of research from the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Laboratory Services team have culminated in two new standards: ANSI A137.3, the American National Standard Specifications for Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs, and its companion, ANSI A108.19, Interior Installation of Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs by the Thin-Bed Method bonded with Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar or Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar. Currently known as the “thin tile” standards, the standards use the term “gauged” to cover a range of precise thicknesses that can carry different loads and be used in different ways, taking a similar approach to standardized wire gauges and gauged sheet metal. Two classes of gauged tile products are defined: those for wall applications from 3.5 to 4.9 mm and for floor and wall applications from 5.0 to 6.5 mm.
ANSI A137.3 standardizes the minimum required properties for the products themselves and ANSI A108.19 standardizes the methodologies for installing the products in interior installations by the thin-bed method with specific mortars. These standards are the result of a multi-year consensus process of the ANSI Accredited A108 Standards Committee, which maintains a broad and diverse group of participants reflecting stakeholder interests in all aspects of the tile industry.
“Interest in gauged tiles has been growing exponentially the last few years,” said Eric Astrachan, TCNA executive director. “Such growth encourages more products to enter the marketplace, but without standards, tile consumers have no way to know what to expect in terms of performance. Installers especially were asking for standards to allow for installation practices to be developed based on consistent tile properties. Without such, it was feared that problems resulting from an undefined range of products could hinder growth of this market segment.”
A free preview copy download is available from TCNA, and a professional publication of both standards will be available for purchase in July.