Industry Initiative Touts The Benefits of Tile

Why tile? The Tile Council of North America teamed up with other industry groups to answer that question—and to extol tile’s benefits.

To inform consumers about the benefits of tile, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) has launched a marketing and education initiative called Why Tile.

It’s a joint effort that includes the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, the National Tile Contractors Association, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, the Tile Contractors Association of America, and the Tile Heritage Foundation, as well as manufacturers. TCNA launched the initiative at the Coverings tradeshow last week.

The website WhyTile.Com contains various resources on tile, including a downloadable project guide, schematics, and maintenance tips; an “inspiration gallery”; and a Test Your Tile IQ quiz, with the chance to win a prize. The initiative focuses on four main tenets: design, easy care, healthy spaces, and heritage.

“The industry got together and realized that there was a lack of awareness in the market about everything tile has going for it,” said TCNA Marketing Director Kathy Meyer. People like the way tile looks, but they know less about the other three tenets. “Tile is without a doubt the healthiest surface for any space. It contains no VOCs [volatile organic compounds], and its hard surfaces are naturally fungus-, mold-, mildew-, and bacteria-resistant,” she said.

Tile also has a rich history. “Think of nearly any great space, a building of spiritual or secular significance, and there’s tile at its heart. With each piece lovingly hand-installed by a qualified craftsperson, tile is a connection to that artisanal legacy,” Meyer said.

TCNA represents manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials, and other tile-related products. “Each of our members has their hands full communicating to their target audiences regarding their own product lines and points of differentiation,” Meyer said. “This initiative lets us make the case for tile as a whole, to get those audiences excited about tile.”

Bringing various stakeholders together for this initiative was important. “Management at the highest levels of the largest companies in our membership have rolled up their sleeves and gotten down to work together—as competitors—on this initiative,” Meyer said, and “our tile manufacturers are also working on an equal and cross-disciplinary basis with our grout manufacturers, for example.”

The initiative aims to be useful to people other than consumers as well. For the architecture and design community, “We intend to use WhyTile.Com to help provide tools and information on tile’s benefits in commercial design—for example, in directing professionals on the use of tile in gaining LEED pilot credits,” Meyer said.

The inter-organizational collaboration is key. “We are incredibly fortunate to have a very close working relationship with a number of other organizations,” Meyer said, “and it’s definitely one of the strengths of this campaign, that we can provide the Why Tile audience with information from the point of view of all of our stakeholders—not just from us and our membership.”


Allison Torres Burtka

By Allison Torres Burtka

Allison Torres Burtka, a longtime association journalist, is a freelance writer and editor in West Bloomfield, Michigan. MORE

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