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06 June 2019

The first large-format
tiling seminar on African soil was a resounding success with the organiser,
Mapei, receiving positive recognition for its innovation from the country’s
leading building and design professionals.

The popularity
of large-format tiling has boomed in European and US markets in recent years
and the local market has followed closely. However, until now, skills and
training have not kept up and the seminar has given a timeous injection of
knowhow to the industry.

The seminar,
held at Mapei’s state-of-the-art training facility in Germiston, was aimed at
professionals, including architects, designers, quantity surveyors, as well as
flooring experts, to shed light on the materials, tools and techniques required
to manage successful large-format tiling projects. 

Industry first

Mapei South
Africa product manager for ceramic line, Zamaswazi Ntobela, says that as a
leading supplier of adhesives and grouts for large format tiling, the company
sees upskilling and promotion of best practices as essential to moving the
industry forward.

“The seminar
and workshops were open to everyone in the industry and provided an opportunity
for delegates to interact with Mapei as well as with other suppliers of tiles,
tools and other components and find out more about this specialised type of

 CPD-accredited workshops were also held over
the two days in parallel with the event and were specifically aimed at training
installers and applicators,” Zamaswazi said.

Derk Borneman,
Corporate Area Manager for Mapei from Italy, felt the seminar was of utmost
importance to architects, quantity surveyors and the specifying community at
large. “If the application is done the right way it will last for up to 20 or
30 years. We are showing them how to avoid failures on-site,” he asserted.

Feedback from exhibitors

He was also
impressed by the feedback as the Mapei team has been approached to do
one-on-one training and technical training as a result. “Mapei technical
support will be available to assist in specifying the right product for the
right job. Not only that, but we have the online tools and systems to ensure
specifiers and installers make the right choice,” said Borneman.

Feedback from
all involved in the event was positive. Exhibitors too were excited about the
opportunity afforded to demonstrate their products and technologies that could
assist large-format tile installers.

Vassaroti, director of Avanga, said the seminar was timeous for professionals
to understand the many applications – from flooring and cladding to furniture
design and more. Large-format tiles are an attractive choice for all manner of
applications and they are hard-wearing and durable enough to last for decades –
even in tough applications.

tiles are greener than natural stone with thinner profiles and lighter weight
that makes them easier to work with,” he said. “And with the right adhesives
and techniques the finishes are long-lasting and well worth the investment.”

Role players

Participants were pleased with the focus on
large-format tiling and agreed that the emphasis on correct usage of tools,
adhesives and techniques that were discussed at the seminar was invaluable.

opportunities during the seminar were well received and gave companies the
chance to share ideas and strike-up new agreements with suppliers and service

Exhibitors with
tools specially developed for large-format tiling, drew an enthusiastic audience
who were exposed to lifting, transporting, cutting, shaping and drilling tools
and were given advice on how to use them.

Getting it right

“Tiling starts
from the transport stages to unpacking on site, to placement and installation.
It’s really about the whole process and having the right tools to do the job
more quickly and efficiently while minimising the risk of breaking tiles that
can cost tens-of-thousands of Rands each,” said McTool MD Anthony Mc Lea. “Seminars
like these are invaluable as the cost of the tools are insignificant compared
to the risk of breaking tiles or redoing tiling.”

Mapei’s modern
range of ceramic and porcelain adhesives and grouts as well as waterproofing
products were also on display. “It was an interactive, informal environment
where delegates networked and communicated for the betterment of the industry,”
Zamaswazi Ntobela concluded.

information on MAPEI South Africa’s Solutions and Innovative products, please
contact Mapei South Africa at 011 552 8476 / www.mapei.co.za

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