The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation is scheduled to be released in April and will include changes to existing language as well as new sections. All are aimed at providing more guidance, and improving understanding and problem solving with regard to tile installations.

Referring to the revisions, “they run the gamut,” said Stephanie Samulski, the Handbook technical content manager and Secretary of the Handbook Committee for TCNA. “Anyone specifying, selling, designing, installing, superintending, or otherwise involved with tile should update their technical library with the new edition. With the range of new content ratified by the Handbook Committee, there’s something relevant to essentially anyone and everyone working with tile.”

New sections include “Tile Layout Considerations” and “System Modularity,” which are geared more toward those involved in tile selection and design. Further explanation of substrate flatness requirements is an example of one of various changes to pre-existing language in the handbook.

Eric Astrachan, TCNA executive director and Handbook committee chairman, explained that the Handbook is a vehicle for providing industry consensus, but is not a standard and therefore not set up like one, enabling the committee to provide information in non-mandatory language when needed. It is a particularly useful means of addressing conflicting recommendations or specifications, as can occur when a producer or another trade makes a major shift in product or practice in a way that impacts tile installations. The new Handbook includes a section to address the newer type of steel studs commonly referred to as “equivalent gauge” or “EQ” studs. The new Handbook language helps people understand the most important considerations for avoiding tile problems when these thinner studs are used. Samulski noted that, “the specific design criteria that are ultimately needed will likely get hashed out in ANSI”.

Other noteworthy changes include more information on how to avoid the undesirable effects of wall-wash lighting on tile Installations, new “Visual Inspection of Tilework” and “Design Considerations When Specifying Tile” sections, significant changes to the EJ171 movement joint guidelines, and a new method for tiling an exterior deck or balcony over unoccupied space (tile and stone versions).

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