New CERAMIC TILE
Promises and Problems
Ceramic tile has had a glorious past,
and predictions for the future are even
more rosy. The total U.S. ceramic tile
market in 1975 was, in round figures,
$214 million. In 1986 it topped $900
million and by 1995 that figure is
expected to double.
While the rapid growth was good
news for the tile industry, it caused
problems for old-line craftsmen, who
had a difficult time keeping pace with
demand. In response, the industry
began developing innovative "thinbed"
methods and materials as alternatives
to the traditional "thick-bed"
installation. Thin-bed installations, including
mastics and dry-set mortars, now
command over 90 percent of the
market. (Thin-bed mortars are called
"dry-set" because the tiles don't need